"Today I'm Dressed in C Major" -- A Cyborg Artist

Neil Harbisson is an artist who was born with a rare form of colorblindness called achromatopsia -- he sees everything in grayscale. The typical "colorblindness" we talk about is more of a color confusion in which some colors blend with others, or it's hard to distinguish between certain similar colors. So Harbisson's condition is unusual to start with. What makes it rad is that he wears an "eyeborg," an assistive device that reads colors in front of his face and plays musical tones in his ear. This technology gives him a way to experience color, and after many years of using the device full-time, it has become like a native sense to him. He also uses it in his art, and he shows some examples in this talk. He has even extended the device to go beyond the typical human visual color spectrum, so now he perceives infrared and ultraviolet.

Harbisson is one of a growing group of cyborgs. (Amber Case is another.) What's it like being a cyborg? Apparently pretty cool. Here's a brief, fun TED Talk in which Harbisson explains the situation:

And here's a Discovery clip about Harbisson from 2007, with a bit more detail about the eyeborg and its development:

Finally, Harbisson has an extensive Wikipedia page, including detailed explanations of the eyeborg and his Cyborg Foundation. Well worth a look if you're interested in the specifics of how the system works, and/or want to become a cyborg.

Also relevant is DanKam, a smartphone app that helps colorblind people discern colors. DanKam has helped me lots of times -- I don't see dark greens well, so I use DanKam to pump up the visual volume.

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WASProject via Flickr
The World’s First 3D-Printed Opera Set Is Coming to Rome
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WASProject via Flickr

In October, the Opera Theater in Rome will become the first theater to play host to a 3D-printed set in one of its operas. The theater’s performance of the 19th-century opera Fra Diavolo by French composer Daniel Auber, opening on October 8, will feature set pieces printed by the Italian 3D-printing company WASP, as TREND HUNTER reports.

Set designers have been using 3D printers to make small-scale set models for years, but WASP says this seems to be the first full 3D-printed set. (The company is also building a 3D-printed town elsewhere in Italy, to give you a sense of its ambitions for its technology.)

Designers stand around a white 3D-printed model of a theater set featuring warped buildings.

The Fra Diavolo set consists of what looks like two warped historic buildings, which WASP likens to a Dalí painting. These buildings are made of 223 smaller pieces. It took five printers working full-time for three months to complete the job. The pieces were sent to Rome in mid-July in preparation for the opera.

Recently, 3D printing is taking over everything from housing construction to breakfast. If you can make an office building with a printer, why not a theater set? (Though it should be noted that the labor unions that represent scenic artists might disagree.)


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Live Smarter
A Simple Way to Charge Your iPhone in 5 Minutes
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Spotting the “low battery” notification on your phone is usually followed by a frantic search for an outlet and further stress over the fact that you may not have time for a full charge. On iPhones, plugging your device into the wall for five minutes might result in only a modest increase of about three percent or so. But this tip from Business Insider Tech may allow you to squeeze out a little more juice.

The trick? Before charging, put your phone in Airplane Mode so that you reduce the number of energy-sucking tasks (signal searching, fielding incoming communications) your device will try and perform.

Next, take the cover off if you have one (the phone might be generating extra heat as a result). Finally, try to use an iPad adapter, which has demonstrated a faster rate of charging than the adapter that comes with your iPhone.

Do that and you’ll likely double your battery boost, from about three to six percent. It may not sound like much, but that little bit of extra juice might keep you connected until you’re able to plug it in for a full charge.

[h/t Business Insider Tech]


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