Future Culture

Futurist Writer Lei Kalina writes her tongue-in-cheek musings and ramblings on the growing worldwide phenomenon of the growth of the Future Culture in the 21st Century

Future Culture In The 21st Century

Future Culture In the 21st Century

Futures Studies, Foresight, or Futurology , according to Wikipedia, is the science, art and practice of postulating possible, probable, and preferable futures and the worldviews and myths that underlie them. Futures studies (colloquially called "Futures" by many of the field's practitioners) seeks to understand what is likely to continue, what is likely to change, and what is novel. Part of the discipline thus seeks a systematic and pattern-based understanding of past and present, and to determine the likelihood of future events and trends. Futures is an interdisciplinary field, studying yesterday's and today's changes, and aggregating and analyzing both lay and professional strategies, and opinions with respect to tomorrow.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Forget The Hybrid Auto

Hi Manila Futurists!

I took a peek at the TED TAlks (www.ted.com) , and chanced upon Shai Agassi and his views on mass production/ adoption of electric cars. In Makati City and Cubao, there are electric shuttles shuffling around in small distances, and I think that, yes, it's kinda cute.

I took a ride at this electric shuttle in Cubao ( free rides for all) bringing you from Gateway to Ali Mall, and it felt like riding those little toy automobiles ( either electric or pedal) for the little boys. Looks neat, zero emissions, and very very quiet.

Check out this TED video:

About this talk

"Forget about the hybrid auto -- Shai Agassi says it's electric cars or bust if we want to impact emissions. His company, Better Place, has a radical plan to take entire countries oil-free by 2020."

About Shai Agassi

"Shai Agassi wants to put you behind the wheel of an electric car -- but he doesn't want you to sacrifice convenience (or cash) to do it." Full bio and more links

Speaker Shai Agassi: Green auto pioneer

"Shai Agassi wants to put you behind the wheel of an electric car -- but he doesn't want you to sacrifice convenience (or cash) to do it."

Why you should listen to him:

"When horrific climate-change scenarios elicit little but endless chatter from governments and entrenched special interests, the difference between talk and action represent an embarrassing gulf. Meet Shai Agassi, who has stepped fearlessly into that gap. His approach to solving the puzzle of electric automobiles could spark nothing short of an automotive revolution."

"Agassi stunned the software industry in 2007 by resigning from SAP to focus on his vision for breaking the world's fossil-fuel habit, a cause he had championed since his fuse was lit at a Young Global Leaders conference in 2005. Through his enthusiastic persistence, Agassi's startup Better Place has signed up some impressive partners -- including Nissan-Renault and the countries of Israel and Denmark."

Friday, April 10, 2009

Here Come The FemBots!

800 Years of Fembots

PopSci's Sex Files columnist rounds up the borgs, bots and automata that give (mechanical) life to the ultimate geek fantasy

Svedka Vodka Spokesbot
Seven of Nine

Cylon Number Three

Why does Number Six seem to get all the attention? OK, we know why, but who wasn’t devastated when the whole line of Threes was boxed over for half a season? Not only is the Battlestar Galactica humanoid played by the stunning Lucy Lawless, of Xena: Warrior Princess fame, but she’s a pretty sultry Cylon in her own right.

Paramount Pictures and Dreamworks Pictures

Hanna Barbara

Musee d'Art, Neuchatel Switzerland

HRP-4C Gynoid

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Proudly Pinoy

You may have heard it in the news, and may have ignored it at some point. And then you hear it again, and again, and again.

Seems like there's no stopping them.

We're talking about these young kids from the Philippines, besting them all, bagging the plum awards in international competitions, making their mommas proud, and yes, making the Philippines proud.

Up close, these are veritably fresh-from-babyhood young whizzes , waddling away in their fresh gradeschool years of milk teeth and baby fat, blabbering what seems like juvenile gibberish, but harrumphing and wheezing their way into worldwide recognition in the field of science and technology.

Check out the videos:

RP students win at World Robotics Olympiad

RP students win in robotics competition

Last November, it was the Grace Christian High School gradeschool kids led by Grade 6 student Joseph Aldrin Chua and Grade 5 students Edrich Hans Chua and Dominique Hannah Sy
, young Filipino-Chinese geniuses who wowed them all in Yokohama, Japan , bagging the Silver Award in the 2008 World Robotics Olympiad, with the theme “Green Whiz Community and the G-Tech Robot Engineering a Better World."

Their winning entries:

"A lightweight hydrogen car, H2O Treatment Robot which is designed to filter waste water fr om a factory for safe disposal, E-Sorter, a robot that sorts biodegradable and non-biodegradable garbage using color coding of container ; Paper Recycling Area (PRA), a factory robot that recycles used paper into something usable; Iced Sub-Zero Robot, a robot that makes melted ice in the polar region back into ice form; and Forest Surveillance Robot, a robot with a built in camera that guards forests and waterfalls from illegal loggers and hunters."

Other Filipino high schoolers, this time from the Benigno Aquino High School and the International School of Manila in the Open Category of the High School and Primary Levels, bagged sixth place of the same international robotics event.

Science Education Institute (DOST-SEI) Director Dr. Ester B. Ogena said the Philippine team’s triumph is "proof that Filipino students could be at par with pupils around the world ... Our students have shown their best and given more opportunities like these, we could tap more potential in the field of robotics.”

And this April, hugging the headlines, once again, are young Filipino geniuses showing the whole world what they've got.

With their Pinoy-made robot Larry Labuyo ( Labuyo is Filipino for "wild rooster" ) created by the 43-man Philippine team Team Lagablab -- composed of Filipino high school students from the
Philippine Science High School Main Campus (PSHS), and mentors from the SEI (Science Education Institute of the Department of Science and Technology) , the De La Salle University and the University of the Philippines -- they proved to the international community that more and more Filipino talents are out to prove that there's more guts, chutzpah and resounding bravado to this very much underrated brown race.

Larry Labuyo and Team Lagablab ( Team Flame), the only Southeast Asian to compete in the
FIRST Robotics Competition held in Hawaii, bagged the “Rookie All Star Award" and the Highest Rookie Seed Award," besting 33 high schools from the United States and Mexico, according to the official FRC website and DOST. These Filipino kids won over their competitors from Brazil, the US, Canada, Germany, Great Britain, Israel, Mexico and Turkey.

FIRST stands for For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology , a US-based organization founded by inventor Dean Kamen in 1989 aimed at inspiring young people’s interest and participation in science and technology.

The Hawaii regional event – held from March 26 to 28 – is one of the 42 regional competitions participated in by high schools students from Brazil, the US, Canada, Germany, Great Britain, Israel, Mexico and Turkey. Winners for each regional event would advance to the final round to be held in Atlanta, Georgia from April 16 to 18.

Before leaving for Hawaii, PSHS Elmer Dadios explained during the launching of “Labuyo" at the PSHS campus in Quezon City in February that his team had shelled out P2 million to construct the robot.
Standing at exactly four-feet, Labuyo was programmed and designed by a group of third year PSHS students from materials available in hardware stores.

“We have found in Hawaii a treasure trove of talents and I am sure that there is more to tap in the Philippines. We have truly shown to the world that we can do it and we can make it big in international competitions, especially in robotics."

Sounds like a whopping slambang double whammy.

By 2010, the World Robotics Olympiad takes place in the Philippines, and so our young Pinoy geniuses are getting ready.

DOST-SEI's Ogena says:

“Preparations are underway for this grand event and we are very excited with the privilege that we would be hosting the WRO two year s from now... The WRO is a good training ground for future engineers who would to improve the way of living in the world through robotics. Our end goal in supporting the WRO is to entice our students to venture into science careers and beef up the critical mass of scientists and engineers our country needs."

Meantime, our Hawaii winning rookies, Team Lagablab, also gears up for the final round of the FIRST Robotics Competition Championship, set to compete with other regional event winners for the "final countdown" in Atlanta, Georgia this mid-April.

Go Team Lagablab! Go young Manila Futurists!