PopTech Blog

Posts by Emily Qualey

Image-wise: An eye on the bygone days of Fat Tuesday

"Female Eye", costume design, Krewe of Comus, New Orleans Mardi Gras, 1869

It was Comus, who, in 1857, saved and transformed the dying flame of the old Creole Carnival with his enchanter's cup; it was Comus who introduced torch lit processions and thematic floats to Mardi Gras; and it was Comus who ritually closed, and still closes, the most cherished festivities of New Orleans with splendor and pomp. - Wiki

Image: The Public Doman Review

This week in PopTech: Diplomacy beats and photographic feats

There's always something brewing in the PopTech community. From the world-changing people, projects and ideas in our network, a handful of this week's highlights follows.

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Image: Kris Krug

This week in PopTech: The brain is one complicated piece of meat

There's always something brewing in the PopTech community. From the world-changing people, projects and ideas in our network, a handful of this week's highlights follows.

  • Earlier this week, YouTube sensation Zee Avi (PopTech 2009) released an EP of remixes for the song ‘Concrete Wall’ available on Amazon or iTunes. Our favorite? The RAC Remix.

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Image: Perrin Ireland

This week in PopTech: OK, here we Go

There's always something brewing in the PopTech community. From the world-changing people, projects and ideas in our network, a handful of this week's highlights follows.

  • PopTech is heading to Africa! This February 7-11, 2012, we will be hosting our Climate Resilience Lab in Nairobi, Kenya. The Lab will bring together a carefully chosen network of climate researchers, gender experts, social innovators, technologists, designers, and community champions, to explore new possibilities in this domain. Our goal is to move “beyond the white paper” to identify and collaborate on high-potential new approaches that can be tested, scaled, and implemented. Follow along with #poptechlabs.
  • Nominations are now open for our 2012 Class of Social Innovation Fellows. Check out the Call for Nominations to help spark your thinking. Our alumni from the classes of 200820092010 and 2011 also offer great examples of changemakers putting new ideas into action. If you or someone you know is a great fit, head to poptech.org/nominate and submit a nomination. Get it done soon: nominations close this year on April 3, 2012.
  • Enough about us! How about some pure, unadulterated entertainment for this Friday afternoon. For the kids (or kids at heart) watch OK Go (PopTech 2010), together with Sesame Street teach young viewers about primary colors in stop mo' OK Go style. For the rest of us, the boys have something up their sleeve for the Super Bowl as well; this teaser alludes to a giant car-powered, pianola-style music sequencer. Looks like fun.

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Image: Peter Durand

Image-wise: Fiber architecture

White matter fiber architecture of the brain. Measured from diffusion spectral imaging (DSI). The fibers are color-coded by direction: red = left-right, green = anterior-posterior, blue = through brain stem.

Navigate the brain in a way that was never before possible; fly through major brain pathways, compare essential circuits, zoom into a region to explore the cells that comprise it, and the functions that depend on it.

The Human Connectome Project aims to provide an unparalleled compilation of neural data, an interface to graphically navigate this data and the opportunity to achieve never before realized conclusions about the living human brain.

via The Human Connectome Project

This week in PopTech: Innovating the news and minding the mind

There's always something brewing in the PopTech community. From the world-changing people, projects and ideas in our network, a handful of this week's highlights follows.

  • Interested in exploring if and how mental training involving mindfulness exercises changes attention and emotion in the brain? Take a free, online course on The Cognitive Neuroscience of Mindfulness with 2010 Science Fellow and brain scientist Amishi Jha
  • Kevin Starr (PopTech 2010), Mulago Foundation director, looks for the best solutions to the biggest problems in the poorest countries. In an article published in the Stanford Social Innovation Review, Starr addresses the hype regarding impact investing.

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Image: Articulate Matter

The fungal fantastical

Can mushrooms save the world? In a manner of speaking, yes, according to renowned mycologist Paul Stamets. We must first come to understand the language through which fungal networks communicate with their ecosystem.

Mushroom mycelium represents rebirth, rejuvenation, regeneration. Fungi generate soil, that gives life. The task that we face today is to understand the language of nature. 

My mission is to discover the language of nature of the fungal networks that communicate with the ecosystem. And I, in particular believe nature is intelligent. The fact that we lack the language skills to communicate with nature does not impugn the concept that nature is intelligent, it speaks to our inadequacy of our skill-set for communication. 

We have now learned that there are these languages that are occurring in communication between each organism. If we don't get our act together and come in commonality and understanding with the organisms that sustain us today, not only will we destroy those organisms, but we will destroy ourselves. 

via Ecovative

This week in PopTech: Sounds of science and extinction

There's always something brewing in the PopTech community. From the world-changing people, projects and ideas in our network, a handful of this week's highlights follows.

  •  (PopTech 2010, PopTech 2011) contributed to the Los Angeles Times this week to address the question, is marriage going the way of the electric typewriter and the VHS tape? "Not exactly," says Coontz.
  • Alan Rabinowitz (PopTech 2010), defender of big cats, appeared on TreeHugger Radio this week. In the interview, Rabinowitz explained why the key to fighting extinction is for humans and predators to share land in peace.
  • Congratulations to PopTech 2012 Social Innovation Fellow Bryan Doerries, whose Outside the Wire and E-Line Media have received a Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) Award for the development of Online Graphic Novel/Sequential Art Authoring Tools for Use by Service Members and Veterans.

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Image: Nite_Owl

This week in PopTech: Design scholarships, material engineering, and saving the American Dream

There's always something brewing in the PopTech community. From the world-changing people, projects and ideas in our network, a handful of this week's highlights follows.

  • Architect Neri Oxman (PopTech 2009) is the founder of MATERIALECOLOGY, an interdisciplinary design initiative expanding the boundaries of computational form-generation and material engineering. Yesterday, Oxman's recent work creating 3D prints inspired by nature was featured on Mashable. 

If you'd like to receive a stream of these updates (and more) throughout the week in real time, follow us on TwitterTumblrFacebook, sign up for our newsletter, and subscribe to the PopTech blog.

Image: MIT Media Lab

This week in PopTech: Reality based games, science critics, and reforestation opportunities

There's always something brewing in the PopTech community. From the world-changing people, projects and ideas in our network, a handful of this week's highlights follows.

  • Yesterday the Wall Street Journal published an article on solar wunderkind Aidan Dwyer. The 12-year-old Dwyer talks about his critics, his solar panel discovery, and his latest research. Watch his PopTech 2011 talk here.
  • This week in The GuardianKen Banks (PopTech Social Innovation Faculty) outlines his hopes for the information and communication technologies for development (ICT4D) community over the next 12 months.
  • Finally, we've been following Pieter Hoff's efforts to combat desertification since his 2010 appearance on the PopTech stage. Most recently, Hoff's endeavors were explored in a recent New Yorker feature. If you missed our post earlier this week, here's the scoop.  

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Image: Spore