Futuristic Design: Banff Extraterrestrial Park By Yongwook Seong (2022)

Yongwook Seong created a Sci-Fi themed architecture series (Title: Banff Extraterrestrial Park) by experimenting AI-generated images via Midjourney. The project unfolds from Extraterrestrial 006 visiting Banff and terraforming it to construct a tourist park as part of the Earth revitalization project.
During research, 006 saw Mycelium fungi as an ideal local building material, experimenting it with their stardusts. Sky lounges grow themselves at the extraterrestrial-level strength and stability.

During research, 006 saw Mycelium fungi as an ideal local building material, experimenting it with their stardusts. Sky lounges grow themselves at the extraterrestrial-level strength and stability.

High-Rise Hoodoos became one of the main attractions at Banff Extraterrestrial Park.

High-Rise Hoodoos became one of the main attractions at Banff Extraterrestrial Park.

Stardust drones are constructing (Ex) terrestrial town. These drones are autonomous builders under the direction of Extraterrestrial Architect.

Stardust drones are constructing (Ex) terrestrial town. These drones are autonomous builders under the direction of Extraterrestrial Architect.

Yongwook Seong [ joŋuk sʌŋ ] is a designer, holding a Master of Architecture degree from University of British Columbia, Vancouver. His interest lies in various fields including architecture, furniture design, lighting design, visual arts and etc. He lives in Banff, AB, Canada.


Ecosystems: Plastic Waste Spoils Galapagos Islands

The Galapagos Islands are home to some of the most unspoiled nature in the world. But even here plastic waste is a problem, and biodiversity is under threat. Marine biologists and conservationists are campaigning for the expansion of protected zones. The fauna and flora of the Galapagos Islands in the Pacific Ocean is a treasure trove for marine biologists.

They still know very little about many of the fish, rays and sea turtles that can be found here. But these days, their work is focused primarily on conservation, because many of these species are endangered due to threats such as overfishing and boat strikes. Efforts to protect local wildlife include attaching tracking devices to juvenile hammerhead sharks to determine their migration routes, which can then be designated as protected areas.

Other research teams are focused on the problem of plastic waste in the Pacific – identifying where it comes from and exploring its impact on marine life. Meanwhile, local fishermen are under pressure: Large fishing fleets from China and elsewhere ply the waters near the Galapagos Islands, severely depleting fish stocks. As a result, local fishing boats are forced to move into designated conservation zones. If the delicate marine environment surrounding the Galapagos Islands is to survive, fishing needs to become more sustainable.

Aging: How Regenerative Medicine Slows The Clock

“Diverse aging populations, vulnerable to chronic disease, are at the cusp of a promising future. Indeed, growing regenerative options offer opportunities to boost innate healing, and address aging-associated decline. The outlook for an extended well-being strives to achieve health for all,”

Andre Terzic, M.D., Ph.D., a Mayo Clinic cardiologist

Regenerative medicine could slow the clock on degenerative diseases that often ravage the golden years, a Mayo Clinic study finds. Life span has nearly doubled since the 1950s, but health span — the number of disease-free years — has not kept pace. According to a paper published in NPJ Regenerative Medicine., people are generally living longer, but the last decade of life is often racked with chronic, age-related diseases that diminish quality of life. These final years come with a great cost burden to society.

Researchers contend that new solutions for increasing health span lie at the intersection of regenerative medicine research, anti-senescent investigation, clinical care and societal supports. A regenerative approach offers hope of extending the longevity of good health, so a person’s final years can be lived to the fullest.

Read more

Cover Preview: Scientific American – November 2022


Antarctica’s Collapse Could Begin Even Sooner Than Anticipated

Two expeditions to the Thwaites Ice Shelf have revealed that it could splinter apart in less than a decade, hastening sea-level rise worldwide

Engineered Metamaterials Can Trick Light and Sound into Mind-Bending Behavior

Advanced materials can modify waves, creating optical illusions and useful technologies

Fossils Upend Conventional Wisdom about Evolution of Human Bipedalism

For most of human evolution, multiple species with different ways of walking upright coexisted

Photography: National Geographic – NOV 2022


How an obscure statue became our face of a King Tut anniversary

Photographer Sandro Vannini used his decades-long knowledge of Tut’s antiquities to stitch together a stunning image of a guardian statue from 48 perfectly lit pictures.

How was King Tut’s tomb discovered 100 years ago? Grit and luck

King Tut’s mummy hid many treasures. This graphic unwraps them

Egypt’s new billion-dollar museum is fit for a pharaoh

Tours: Fisherman’s House, Parramatta River, Sydney

Sitting on the edge of Parramatta River, Fisherman’s House is a unique underground home with a sense of the unexpected. Without revealing all at once, the waterfront house is a unique underground home by Studio Prineas that instils moments of awe within every level.

Video Timeline: 00:00 – Introduction to the Underground Home 00:30 – The Waterfront Location of the Home 00:45 – The Original Timber Cottage 01:04 – A Minimalistic View On Arrival 01:35 – A Longstanding Friendship Between Architect and Client 02:05 – Working with an Open Design Brief for the Home 02:33 – The Original Steel Cladding 02:46 – Restoring and Reusing Original Materials from the House 03:28 – Careful Contrast of the New Wing to The Cottage 04:08 – Taking Pride in Preservation and Creation 04:30 – The Swimming Pool

Fisherman’s House is one of the last remaining timber cottages in the area that sits nine metres below the road, hidden from the public eye and offering a serene escape from the city. The client – an engineer and family friend of the architects – delivered an open design brief and sense of freedom for Studio Prineas to organically explore what the unique underground home could become.

The main desire for the client was to have the living spaces facing the water; while there was no desire to keep the original cottage, this was something that Studio Prineas knew they needed to maintain. Throughout the restoration process, removing previous cladding revealed the original weather boards underneath; inside the home, the original timber flooring and lining boards were saved to bring back the lightness of the architecture. With waterfront views from the kitchen, living and dining spaces and entertainment deck, the interior design of the original cottage defers from the new wing.

Additionally, the glazed link is a vertical connection from the original cottage to the private living spaces above. From the lightness of the timber cottage below, the upper levels speak to the rockface behind whilst offering a more grounded appearance with darker timbers. Employing concrete ceilings with rough sawn Oregon formworks that brought a timber look and imprint on the concrete, Studio Prineas established a differentiating space that still feels connected through minute details.

Conserving the history of the cottage whilst creating a contemporary unique underground home for the clients, Studio Prineas were able to embody many design ideas that they have been establishing over many years. As one of the more memorable aspects, the pool acts as one of the last additions of the unique underground home. Unexpected and holding much of the original cottage’s history, the pool offers an enchanting place to sit and watch as the sun sets over the home.

Nature Reviews: Top New Science Books (Oct 2022)

Book cover artwork for Geopedia: A Brief Compendium of Geologic Curiosities


Marcia Bjornerud Princeton Univ. Press (2022)

This is a garnet of a geology book: rooted in the planet, jewel-like and multicoloured. “To geoscientists, rocks are not nouns but verbs — far more than inert curios, they are evidence of Earth’s ebullient creativity,” writes geoscientist Marcia Bjornerud. Her brief A–Z ranges idiosyncratically through landforms, rocks and minerals, geologists, geological terms and time periods, including the Anthropocene, the epoch of human influence. Oddly, it omits the Gaia hypothesis that the planet is a self-regulating system.

Book cover artwork for The Facemaker: A Visionary Surgeon’s Battle to Mend the Disfigured Soldiers of World War I

The Facemaker

Lindsey Fitzharris Farrar, Straus and Giroux (2022)

Following her award-winning 2017 biography of surgeon Joseph Lister, medical historian Lindsey Fitzharris tackles Harold Gillies, a pioneer of plastic surgery. She focuses on his First World War attempts to reconstruct the bullet-butchered faces of British soldiers who had become “strangers even to themselves”. From French battlefields, Fitzharris’s vividly thrilling account moves to the Queen’s Hospital in Sidcup, UK, which Gillies founded in 1917. An epilogue notes that he was knighted only in 1930, long after the war’s military generals.

Book cover artwork for Security and Conservation: The Politics of the Illegal Wildlife Trade

Security and Conservation

Rosaleen Duffy Yale Univ. Press (2022)

The military, intelligence services and tech companies were barely visible at the 2014 London Conference on the Illegal Wildlife Trade, recalls scholar of international politics Rosaleen Duffy. By the 2018 conference, they were prominent. This “security turn” in conservation — since intensified by the COVID-19 pandemic’s links to a Chinese wildlife market — drives her timely analysis of a complex phenomenon. A violent approach to tackling poaching might boost elephant numbers, for example, but could also cause human-rights abuses.

Book cover artwork for The Illusionist Brain: The Neuroscience of Magic

The Illusionist Brain

Jordi Camí & Luis M. Martínez (transl. Eduardo Aparcico) Princeton Univ. Press (2022)

The science behind audience perception of magic tricks intrigued late-nineteenth-century researchers. But since then, there have been fewer than 100 research papers on the subject, note pharmacologist Jordi Camí and neuroscientist Luis Martínez in their tantalizing study. Rather than using the brain to explain conjuring tricks, they focus on using illusions to elucidate the brain and behaviour. “When magicians trick us, they are interfering with all of the brain’s strategies for inferring reality.”

Book cover artwork for Plantation Crisis: Ruptures of Dalit Life in the Indian Tea Belt

Plantation Crisis

Jayaseelan Raj UCL Press (2022)

Kerala in India has a reputation for egalitarianism, literacy and high life expectancy. Yet Tamil-speaking Dalit communities are oppressed and marginalized on tea plantations in the state, following a 1990s collapse in the international price of the crop. Jayaseelan Raj, who works in development studies, was born and raised in a Tamil Dalit plantation household. Plantation workers share with him “stories of poverty that they would not share even with their close relatives or neighbours”, as described in his academic study.


Perspectives: Harper’s Magazine – November 2022

In the Running

The trials of an almost candidate – In January 2019, when I found myself sitting across from Mindy Myers in a cramped D.C. coffee shop, the new resistance was riding high. A diverse lot of Democrats had just taken control of the House of Representatives, positioning themselves to curtail Donald Trump’s devastating abuse of the presidency…

Some Like It Hot

Notes from the Marilyn Appreciation Society

Village Walks: Brienz In Western Switzerland (4K)

Brienz is a village on the northeast shore of Lake Brienz, in Switzerland’s Bernese Oberland region. The village’s 18th-century wooden chalets and the sculptures dotted throughout the village are testimonials to a woodcarving tradition. North, a steam train runs up Brienzer Rothorn Mountain, with views of the lake and surrounding Alps. East of Brienz, the Ballenberg Open Air Museum offers glimpses of rural life.

The most romantic part of Brienz is the Brunngasse which, having once been awarded the title «most beautiful street in Europe», is well-known abroad. Most of the houses in the street date from the 18th century and are decorated with wood carvings. Brienz, which is well-known as the “village of carving” has a long tradition in wood processing and to this day has a school for carving and violin-making.

Filmed and edited by: Jeka Kiriloff

Headlines: Iranian Drones Attack Ukraine, Liz Truss Woes, U.S.-Canada Aid Haiti

Russia launches a fresh offensive on Ukraine’s cities, the British public is reassured that the prime minister “is not under a desk” as political turmoil continues, and Canada and the US send defence equipment to Haiti as the crisis deepens. Plus: the winner of the 2022 Booker Prize and the BBC marks 100 years.