Chemistry students, can you imagine this?

strychnine

(4aR,5aS,8aR,8a1S,15aS)-4a1,5,5a,7,8,8a1,15,15a-octahydro-2H-4,6-methanoindolo[3,2,1-ij]oxepino[2,3,4-de]pyrrolo[2,3-h]quinolin-14(4aH)-one.

Imagine if Agatha Christie had to write that every time she had to mention the poison used in the murder, or if Hitchcock’s leading man had to vocalise it in the courtroom. Well they’d never get the book or the film down to a manageable size. It’s much easier to say strychnine!

Source: http://www.improbable.com/2013/05/23/some-say-strychnine/

Full article: http://www.chemistry-blog.com/2012/07/31/whats-in-a-name/

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Kim Jong Un looking at Tumblr and…

kim jong un looks at floor plank

 

A former technology blogger had a screw loose by diverting his attention to a new hobby: knowing what The Supreme Leader observes at almost everyday. From magnus opus like national monuments, operational plans for North Korea’s million-troop military, to even minutiae stuff of infinitesimal importance (ping pong table, floor planks, cockpit ceiling, male swimmers, or a beautiful pianist). It can be assumed that nothing is left unseen by The Great Leader, and your privacy may be ‘unsafe’.

 

Visit the Tumblr page here.

 

Exemplification:

 

looking at a medical monitor

 

Kim Jong Un looking at a medical monitor

 

looking at women soldiers

 

Kim Jong Un looking at women soldiers

 

looking at a kitchen cabinet

 

Kim Jong Un looking at kitchen cabinet

Magnasanti: the totalitarian city that wins over Sim City 3000

magnasanti

 

 

Vincent Ocasla may be a mad man, or simply an ordinary architecture student from Philippines, but his creation is beyond the former’s definition – it is, albeit a computer game simulation, painstakingly a masterpiece, with all mathematical equations having been considered and modeled after more than 4 years of uneasy hard work to embody ‘the most totalitarian Buddhist city’ in the Sims’ universe.

Magnasanti, as it is named, is Ocasla’s magnum opus – it has a population of over 6 million, all constricted to towering blocks of apartments and office buildings that resemble much of Hong Kong’s skyline – but in a more terrifying version. Through meticulously calculated mathematical models and rocket-science, overtly complicated logarithmic projections, Ocasla can make sure that with little education, healthcare, infrastructure, little space to organize a protest, and little chances to escape the city, all the city inhabitants are perpetually bound to obey the governing ‘laws’ of the police state. Nevertheless, as a consequence, life expectancy does not exceed 50 years, human quality remains utterly substandard, progress is largely impeded (reminiscent of North Korea).

Nevertheless, there is a lesson worth learning: this is an experiment that proves how urban development may unexpectedly bring us to wrong direction.

 

Read some of the articles here:

 

http://rumorsontheinternets.org/2010/10/14/magnasanti-the-largest-and-most-terrifying-simcity/

http://www.vice.com/read/the-totalitarian-buddhist-who-beat-sim-city

http://kotaku.com/5518771/the-most-astounding-sim-city-population-six-million

http://mentalfloss.com/article/24864/most-terrifying-sim-city-them-all

And most importantly, refer to this website if you want to download the city.

http://imperar.webs.com/magnasanti.htm

 

Technically, no one is leaving or coming into the city. Population growth is stagnant. Sims don’t need to travel long distances, because their workplace is just within walking distance. In fact they do not even need to leave their own block. Wherever they go it’s like going to the same place.

There are a lot of other problems in the city hidden under the illusion of order and greatness: Suffocating air pollution, high unemployment, no fire stations, schools, or hospitals, a regimented lifestyle – this is the price that these sims pay for living in the city with the highest population. It’s a sick and twisted goal to strive towards.

The ironic thing about it is the sims in Magnasanti tolerate it. They don’t rebel, or cause revolutions and social chaos. No one considers challenging the system by physical means since a hyper-efficient police state keeps them in line. They have all been successfully dumbed down, sickened with poor health, enslaved and mind-controlled just enough to keep this system going for thousands of years. 50,000 years to be exact. They are all imprisoned in space and time. – Vincent Ocasla, while explaining the reason why he wanted to create Magnasanti.

The world according to street children

Street-Kids-Mongolia-2-634x397

 

 

Children often dream about a perfect world. A realm of existence where they are free of constraints in achieving their dreams. Idealists often talk about harnessing universal equality that encompasses all the world’s individuals, either poor or rich. Popular figures often generate all-positive pep-talks, about ‘a better world that is soon to come’.

All this is not until the reality, the medium that constitutes this world of absurd enormities, holds their eyes up.

Troubles, hardships, difficulties, all these words have never disappeared even in such increasingly sophisticated – and often in incomprehensible ways – world, and will never be altered throughout the existence of this cosmos. Among a multitude of problems, and new hodge-podge of troubles generated, an issue that has long yet to be resolved is the chronic presence of street children around the world.

No matter how exponentially rich the civilization is ending up, the abundance of street children poses a harbinger to every respective nation. Ignored after by the societies, detached from their supposedly nurturing loved ones – parents, families, educators, they are living in an absurd, unprincipled world, where wrong is hardly differentiated from right, where evil is barely separated with kind, and where all worst-case possibilities may subsequently happen.

And we all realize that every nation that fails to pay attention to the concerns of the generations often puts itself at great stake.

Ben Faccini, a novelist, attempts to make a comprehensive coverage of street children across the world, from bustling streets in Cairo to potholed roads in Ulaan Baatar. View the full essay here.

 

One excerpt from Faccini’s essay:

The phrase ‘street children’ is a much-used catch-all term for heterogeneous groups of children. Some live solely on the street, sleeping rough, finding shelter where best they can. Some spend their days in public spaces before returning to a family or a similar support structure in the evening. Others still live with their families on the streets. Overall figures don’t necessarily allow for these distinctions. The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) estimates there are currently more than 100 million street children worldwide — an estimate that is often quoted, with all categories of street child included. But it is those children who live solely on the street, away from a consistent adult presence of any kind, who are perhaps the most emblematic of the phenomenon. Research shows that these children leave, or are forced to flee, their homes for many reasons. Family breakdown and the death or illness of a parent are prime factors but, equally, natural disaster, conflict and abuse play their part.

While escaping to the streets is often a child’s only solution, the street provides an ephemeral freedom. It becomes mother, father, school and home. Survival rates are unsurprisingly low. Once on the street, a child can quickly get sucked into a life of violence and sexual exploitation, trafficking and substance abuse. Their existence is overshadowed by the urgent need to find a safe place to sleep and shelter. Those who do survive become forever alienated from mainstream society — and all the more menacing to it as they grow older.

A costly romance epic titled ‘China and Africa’ (maps)

Pictures worth 1000 words, thus save my energy in describing the enigmatic love story between the two giants.

China's grab on Africa

 

 

China's interest in Africa

 

 

China's investment offers in Africa

 

 

China's planned projects in Africa

 

 

china's projects in DRC

 

Ugly rumor: Chinese companies are making use of extensive labor force (often with low pay and pot-luck safety guarantees) in Democratic Republic of Congo. Don’t say that’s another conspiracy theory formulated by the Americans.

 

China hydroelectric projects in Africa

 

 

China projects in Africa

 

 

Unsatisfied? Click this link (and the last reference to satisfy your information thirst).

Javin Lau – Hong Kong is Home

Hong Kong is Home.

I remember when I first arrived in Hong Kong almost a decade ago, I felt like I had walked into an actual movie set. It was a place that I had only seen on TV as a kid, with its strange red taxi’s, odd stop lights and driving on the other side of the road.

My intent with this project was to illustrate the grandeur of Hong Kong that most people would never get to see. When I had recently watched the movie Oblivion, it had somehow starkly reminded me of Hong Kong, with the feeling of being so insignificantly small — almost irrelevant to my surroundings. Hong Kong is an unbelievably dense city, where much of the world can be accessed at your fingertips. But in a city where you can access the material world in a matter of seconds, it also has the ability to isolate you from the 8 million people around you as well.

With this piece, I hope that you are able to engage in this contradiction. – Javin Lau, creator of this video.

Well done, Javin! I can’t help describe more about my fondness of your breath-taking, hyper-realistic depiction of the world’s most vertical metropolis. I am sure everybody will love peeping into these microcosms that you piece, that make this place a vibrantly living ‘organism’.

Please visit his website for more over-the-edge, picturesque depictions of skyline over the world’s metropolises.