First fluorescent frog in the world found in South America

March 16, 2017 by  
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Scientists found the first fluorescent frog in the world – by accident – in South America . Researchers at Buenos Aires’ Bernardino Rivadavia Natural Sciences Museum stumbled across the discovery while studying pigment in polka dot tree frogs, which are common in the continent. Beneath an ultraviolet (UV) light , the otherwise dull-colored frog glows bright blue and green. Fluorescence – or the ability to take in light at short wavelengths and re-emit it at longer wavelengths – is found in several ocean creatures but is incredibly rare on land. Only some scorpions and parrots were known to possess it until now, and this is the very first amphibian we’ve found that fluoresces. Scientists don’t really know why creatures are fluorescent; they could be communicating, attracting mates, or concealing themselves. Related: Biofluorescent sharks glow bright green in the depths of the sea The scientists initially thought the frog might glow a faint red because it contains the pigment biliverdin, which gives some some insects a slight red fluorescence. But when the researchers shone a UVA flashlight on polka dot tree frogs that came from the Santa Fe, Argentina area, they were amazed to see the brown-green frogs glow bright green and blue instead. The journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences published their research on March 13. Study co-author Maria Gabriella Lagoria told Chemistry World, “This is very different from fluorophores found in other vertebrates, which are usually proteins or polyenic chains.” And there could be even more fluorescent frogs that we haven’t discovered yet. Co-author Julián Faivovich told Nature, “I’m really hoping that other colleagues will be very interested in this phenomenon, and they will start carrying a UV flashlight to the field.” He plans to seek fluorescence in 250 other tree frog species that have translucent skin like the polka dot tree frog. Via Nature and The Guardian Images via Carlos Taboada et al

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First fluorescent frog in the world found in South America

Mark Twains personal library opens to aspiring writers

January 12, 2017 by  
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Mark Twain is one of America’s most revered writers – and his legacy is still influencing literature . Now, aspiring writers will be able to write in the author’s personal library thanks to a new initiative by the Mark Twain Museum . The museum recently announced they will open up a handful of slots this year for wordsmiths to work uninterrupted in Twain’s library for up to three hours at a time. Although writers cottages abound around the world, it’s quite rare for a museum to open historic spaces for public use. However, in this case, the museum is paying homage to Twain’s love for the Hartford house, where he wrote some of his most famous works, including The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and Adventures of Huckleberry Finn . Slots are limited, with only four nights available throughout 2017. Lest those participants think they can show up with a fifth of whiskey and a quill, those who reserve spaces will be held to some strict rules. The reservations will be for a maximum of three hours and there is no wifi. Plugs are “few and far between,” so laptops should be fully charged before entering. And about that quill? Sorry, no ink allowed, only pencils are permitted in the historic house . Despite the restrictions, the event is geared to the hope of inspiration, “Participants will have the house to yourselves,” a note on the library’s website states. “Feel inspired by the beautiful sounds of the fountain in the family conservatory; rest your eyes upon Twain’s bookshelves as you ponder your next word.” + Mark Twain Museum Via Huffington Post Images via John Groo/The Mark Twain House & Museum 

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Mark Twains personal library opens to aspiring writers

Chinese circus ties up endangered tiger so that visitors can take selfies

January 12, 2017 by  
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A horrifying video posted on Chinese video platform iQiyi shows circus trainers brutally binding a tiger to a metal table – all for the sake of selfie photographs. The animal is believed to be an endangered Siberian tiger, and it was cruelly lashed down so that children and adults could sit on its back for photos. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M4SDV_Xi3To The video’s description says the circus was performing in the Hunan province, and that the tiger was strapped down “to be safe for everyone to take pictures – but the expression of the tiger is very desperate.” When the tiger was finally freed, it bounded up and dashed away from the table. Related: Tigers punched for fun at horrifying “sanctuaries” in China Mashable reports that in China the God of Wealth is often portrayed sitting on tigers, and the act is associated with the deity. In the video a small child can be heard saying (as translated by Mashable), “I’m scared, I’m scared,” and one trainer responded, “Isn’t it cool to sit on a tiger? It can keep you away from the devil and earn you promotions and wealth.” Many commenters condemned the actions of the trainers and the parents who gleefully allowed their children to sit on the poor tiger. One iQiyi user said, “What kind of values are these parents teaching their children?” Another user wrote, “You can’t earn much from this, and instead you’ve brought so much pain to the animal, do you think it’s worth it?” Siberian tigers, also called Amur tigers, are found in the Russian Far East, China’s border areas, and possibly in North Korea, according to the World Wildlife Fund . There are only up to 540 of the endangered tigers left in the world. Via Mashable Images via screenshot

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Spectacular new shipping container museum nestles near China’s Great Wall

December 30, 2016 by  
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Nestled near China’s famous Great Wall rests a new cultural museum made with shipping containers . The Zhao Hua Xi Shi Living Museum designed by IAPA Design Consultants offers an opportunity to learn while appreciating glorious scenery. Locally sourced and recycled materials add to the peaceful museum’s sustainability. IAPA worked with The Mother Earth Happiness Group to design the Zhao Hua Xi Shi Living Museum in Beijing, China. The design statement said the architects emphasized art culture and environmental protection in their vision for the sleek center that includes offices and exhibit areas wrapped in patios, courtyards, and gardens. Trees and hills of the encircling Great Wall historic site root the museum in nature . Related: Rammed earth Palenque Cultural Tambillo is designed to celebrate Afro-ecuadorean arts Modular containers provide the museum’s main buildings, and recycled timber decking adds a natural touch. Details like woven reeds sourced locally for the outdoor corridor ceilings add to the museum’s beauty. Stone, steel, and hemp are among the other building materials utilized. Varying building heights allow the complex to blend in without blocking too much of the landscape; the design statement says courtyard house style inspired the architects. The Zhao Hua Xi Shi Living Museum is a place to relax; visitors can soak in the scenery via a roof garden, viewing platform, viewing tower, or from the bridges connecting the shipping container buildings. They can wander about the museum, dine in a restaurant, or seek refreshment in a teahouse. According to the design statement, “Zhao Hua Xi Shi Living Museum is a representation of the continuity of traditional cultural heritage.” IAPA’s goal as stated on their website is to use “modern design techniques to interpret traditional oriental philosophy.” It appears they accomplished that goal elegantly in the Zhao Hua Xi Shi Living Museum. + IAPA Design Consultants Via ArchDaily Images via ZENG Zhe/ArchDaily

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Spectacular new shipping container museum nestles near China’s Great Wall

Spectacular new shipping container museum nestles near China’s Great Wall

December 30, 2016 by  
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Nestled near China’s famous Great Wall rests a new cultural museum made with shipping containers . The Zhao Hua Xi Shi Living Museum designed by IAPA Design Consultants offers an opportunity to learn while appreciating glorious scenery. Locally sourced and recycled materials add to the peaceful museum’s sustainability. IAPA worked with The Mother Earth Happiness Group to design the Zhao Hua Xi Shi Living Museum in Beijing, China. The design statement said the architects emphasized art culture and environmental protection in their vision for the sleek center that includes offices and exhibit areas wrapped in patios, courtyards, and gardens. Trees and hills of the encircling Great Wall historic site root the museum in nature . Related: Rammed earth Palenque Cultural Tambillo is designed to celebrate Afro-ecuadorean arts Modular containers provide the museum’s main buildings, and recycled timber decking adds a natural touch. Details like woven reeds sourced locally for the outdoor corridor ceilings add to the museum’s beauty. Stone, steel, and hemp are among the other building materials utilized. Varying building heights allow the complex to blend in without blocking too much of the landscape; the design statement says courtyard house style inspired the architects. The Zhao Hua Xi Shi Living Museum is a place to relax; visitors can soak in the scenery via a roof garden, viewing platform, viewing tower, or from the bridges connecting the shipping container buildings. They can wander about the museum, dine in a restaurant, or seek refreshment in a teahouse. According to the design statement, “Zhao Hua Xi Shi Living Museum is a representation of the continuity of traditional cultural heritage.” IAPA’s goal as stated on their website is to use “modern design techniques to interpret traditional oriental philosophy.” It appears they accomplished that goal elegantly in the Zhao Hua Xi Shi Living Museum. + IAPA Design Consultants Via ArchDaily Images via ZENG Zhe/ArchDaily

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Spectacular new shipping container museum nestles near China’s Great Wall

Manetti Shrem Museum’s 50,000-square-foot canopy was inspired by the texture of the agrarian landscape

November 28, 2016 by  
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The light-filled, multi-use building was built to further the educational mission of the museum and become a new cultural destination for the entire community. It will offer spaces for exhibitions, classes, studios and communal activities, all nestled under a 50,000-square-foot floating ‘Grand Canopy’ made of perforated aluminum triangular beams. Related: The Smithsonian’s Vaulted Canopy Brings Nature and Light Inside Chosen from a design competition in 2013, Bohlin Cywinski Jackson and SO – IL, together with construction company Whiting-Turner, created a building that redefines the concept of a university museum and the way in which the campus community will experience art. Related: Brooklyn Children’s Museum Unveils Plans for New Eco-Friendly Rooftop Canopy “The museum’s design was inspired by the agrarian landscape of the Central Valley, which is rich in pattern, texture and color,” said Karl Backus, design principal from Bohlin Cywinski Jackson’s San Francisco office. “We incorporated these elements into the program of the building as a way to create smaller volumes and provide an approachable, human scale .” + Bohlin Cywinski Jackson + SO-IL Photos by Iwan Baan

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Manetti Shrem Museum’s 50,000-square-foot canopy was inspired by the texture of the agrarian landscape

Londons new Design Museum opens this week inside a renovated post-war modernist building

November 21, 2016 by  
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Topped with a sweeping paraboloid copper-clad concrete roof, the Design Museum’s new building features a double-glazed facade that was meticulously detailed with mullions and patterns to mimic the original blue exterior. The renovated facade is complemented by a new public plaza with fountains installed at the entrance and a West 8 -designed landscape. The most notable overhaul, however, is in the interior, which includes two major temporary gallery spaces, a free permanent collection display, a restaurant overlooking Holland Park, auditorium, studios, library, archive, and new learning facilities. Inside the museum, John Pawson led the redesign, ripping out the original concrete floors and laying down Italian terrazzo flooring on the basement and ground floors, while warm-toned Dinesen oak flooring was used for the upper floors. The galleries, learning spaces, cafe, events space, and shop are organized around an oak-lined central atrium that offer beautiful views up to the iconic hyperbolic paraboloid roof. The double-glazed facade and atrium let in copious amounts of natural light. At night, LEDs are used to illuminate the space. Related: Stone House Made from 99% Recycled Granite Debuts in Milan “There are ‘moments’ in the building that I relish every time I walk around, but I think it is really the way everything comes together – the new and the old – that gives me the greatest pleasure,” said John Pawson. “I hope the Design Museum shows people that you don’t have to tear down and start from scratch to make exciting new cultural spaces.” The Design Museum will open to the public on November 24, 2016 and is expected to attract 650,000 visitors in its first year. + Design Museum Images by Gareth Gardner and Gravity Road

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Londons new Design Museum opens this week inside a renovated post-war modernist building

Schmidt Hammer Lassen Architects unveil designs for ARoS Aarhus Art Museum extension

November 17, 2016 by  
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As the original designers of ARoS in 2014, Schmidt Hammer Lassen Architects sees Next Level as a continuation of their relationship with the museum. In 2011, Danish-Icelandic artist Olafur Eliasson added his “Your rainbow panorama,” a permanent ring-shaped installation that hovers above the museum roof. The new extension will add a 1,200-square-meter subterranean gallery and a gigantic semi-subterranean art installation named “The Dome” disguised as a nine-meter-tall grassy hill on street level. The architects describe the 40-diameter Dome, topped with a circular skylight, as “one of the most spectacular spaces ever built into an art museum.” Related: Twilight Epiphany Skyspace by James Turrell Suspends Time and Space With LEDs in Houston “The Next Level project will connect to the existing building developing the museum horizontally in contrast to the existing vertical movement and working with the natural flow of the city from the river to the square of the Aarhus Music Hall,” say the architects in a press release. “This references the main architectural concept of the museum building which created a public route through the museum that transforms the building into a bridge linking two of the city’s cultural centres.” The new extension will offer a new Turrell-designed experience of color and light to visitors as they make their way down into the galleries and exhibition spaces. The Next Level project will open to the public in 2020. + Schmidt Hammer Lassen Architects + James Turrell Images via Schmidt Hammer Lassen Architects

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Schmidt Hammer Lassen Architects unveil designs for ARoS Aarhus Art Museum extension

Visitors become hour hands in this temporary museum for luxury watchmaker Piguet

November 9, 2016 by  
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The architectural installation , which Mathieu Lehanneur refers to as The Ring, is nestled within the Yuz Museum of Contemporary Art in Shanghai . Exploring both the rich history of the Audemars Piguet brand and Lehanneur’s interest in combining nature and technology, the Ring aims to be emotionally engaging and informative. Its monolithic exterior is elegant and simple, while the interior is reminscent of the intricate inner mechanisms of Piguet watches. Related: Superstudio Più’s Temporary Museum Leaves a Permanent Impression at Milan Design Week The main entrance leads visitors to 12 open doors, separated by lush green walls, that evoke the hours of a watch dial. This layout converts visitors into imaginary needles that mark the different moments in the brand’s history and its technical innovation. Mathieu Lehanneur said, “This temporary museum is a reflection on time… a dreamy vision of time where each instant differs from the previous one. Here every door opens onto a new story.” + Mathieu Lehanneur

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Visitors become hour hands in this temporary museum for luxury watchmaker Piguet

Dinosaur egg museum in China is built from bamboo and concrete

October 26, 2016 by  
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Located in Qinglong Mountain National Geological Park, the dragon egg museum and its form was determined by the placement of the dinosaur eggs laid around 70 million years ago. The 70-meter-long building also pays homage to its more recent past with a roof made from reclaimed tiles left by local villagers and preservation of the natural site, including the undulating terrain and the 800-year-old trees. The double facade of tiles and concrete helps keep the museum naturally cool . Related: Jean Nouvel Unveils Plans for Nature-Filled National Art Museum of China Visitors tour the dinosaur egg exhibitions through a series of raised walkways that snake through the areas where the fossilized eggs are located and dimly illuminated by small lights. Grills punctuate the roof to let in natural ventilation, while blocking natural light . The architect’s minimalist design creates a mysterious atmosphere that aims to immerse visitors in the prehistoric world. The Qinglong Mountain National Geological Park also built a second building, the visitor reception center (not pictured), to accompany the museum that will offer magnificent panoramic views across the Geopark. + Huazhong University of Science and Technology Via Dezeen

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