Architects Transform 18th-Century Farmhouse Into Self-Sufficient Modern Home

Ruins Studio - Modern Farmhouse by Nathanael Dorent and Lily Jencks

Converting farmhouses into modern dwellings is a trend that is especially prominent in the UK, where historical farms are upgraded via modern barn conversions and updated farm structures. Architects Nathanael Dorent and Lily Jencks worked together to create Ruins Studio, an incredible 18th-century farmhouse overlooking the Scottish countryside. The result is a crisp, modern piece of residential architecture that successfully integrates the structure’s past.

It’s not surprising that Dorent and Jencks won several design awards for the farmhouse, and were shortlisted for the prestigious RIAS/RIBA Award in Scotland. The exterior combines elements of the existing stone structure with a modern pitched roof mimicking what one typically finds on historical Scottish farmhouses. “To build within the walls of a ruin enforces the idea that our contemporary occupation is just another layer to be added to the rich history that every site possesses,” writes Jencks’ studio.

In allowing history to run through the building, the modern touches don’t seem out of place. The interior is highlighted by a curvilinear “tube” system of walls that recall the stone walls of a cave and embrace the occupants of the residence. Original stone masonry breaks up the interior, accenting the different rooms and aiding in the creation of a historical palimpsest. “Openings in the existing ruins walls define the location for windows, which, in turn, form the curves of the interior shell,” explains Jencks. “Seen together these layers are like a geode, each one a surprising opposition to the layer that surrounds it, as if grown over time.”

Running on solar power, the home was designed to be self-sufficient due to its remote location. Large windows allow the homeowners to take in the sweeping views (over 50 miles of pasture) and enjoy living within a piece of history.

Architects Nathanael Dorent and Lily Jencks worked together to convert an 18th-century Scottish farmhouse into a modern dwelling.

Scottish Farmhouse Conversion by Nathanael Dorent and Lily JencksRuins Studio - Modern Farmhouse by Nathanael Dorent and Lily Jencks

They incorporated the structure’s original masonry seamlessly across the interior and exterior, pulling in the farm’s history.

Ruins Studio - Modern Farmhouse by Nathanael Dorent and Lily JencksModern Farmhouse Conversion in Scotland by Nathanael Dorent and Lily JencksScottish Farmhouse ConversionScottish Farmhouse Conversion by Nathanael Dorent and Lily Jencks

Large windows allow occupants to take in the beauty of the Scottish countryside from the comfort of the self-sufficient home.

Modern Farmhouse Conversion in Scotland by Nathanael Dorent and Lily JencksScottish Farmhouse Conversion by Nathanael Dorent and Lily JencksScottish Farmhouse Conversion by Nathanael Dorent and Lily JencksNathanael Dorent: Website | Facebook 
Lily Jencks: Website
h/t: [Colossal]

All images via Sergio Pirrone.

California Passes First Law in the Country to Require Solar Panels on New Homes


Photo: Stonel via Shutterstock

New homes in California are about to become a lot more energy efficient. By a vote of 5-0 from the California Energy Commission (CEC), all homes built from 2020 onward will be required to incorporate solar energy measures. The unanimous vote continues to position California as a leader of legislation to help protect the environment.

The new law will go a long way in helping California meet its lofty goal of cutting greenhouse gas emissions 40% below 1990 levels by 2030. It’s a measure embraced on all sides, supported by the California Building Industry Association. The law is the first of its kind in the nation and will require all single-family homes, as well as condos and apartments up to three stories, to include solar panels in order to receive a building permit. Exceptions may be issued for homes shaded by trees or with roofs too narrow to accommodate solar panels.

Safe California Energy estimates that the code change will save Californians $1.7 billion in energy costs over the next 30 years and save homeowners an average of $16,251 over the life of each building. Of course, the measures will add up-front costs to new building construction. CEC estimates an increase of $9,500 in building costs. With California having one of the most expensive housing markets in the United States—the median price of a single-family home reaching about $565,000—some are concerned this increased construction costs will push people out of state.

But, if homeowners and developers are willing to look long-term, the positives appear to outweigh the negatives. “I know from experience that energy-efficient homes sell faster and bring a better price, and data from the Department of Energy backs me up on that,” shares Brandon De Young, executive vice president of De Young Properties, which specializes in energy-efficient construction. “People don’t want to throw money away on wasted energy when they can move into a more efficient, comfortable, and healthy house instead.”

California Energy Efficiency Code

Photo: Climber 1959 via Shutterstock

The code also allows for solar panel installation in communal areas, as well as batteries such as the Tesla Powerwall, for energy storage. Additionally, the law instates new requirements for ventilation and lighting updates for commercial buildings—both measures with an aim to increase energy efficiency.

As the law does not require approval by the Legislature, an updated building code is almost surely on the horizon. It needs final approval by the California Building Standards Commission, but they almost always follow the recommendations of CEC. Other states across the US will undoubtedly be looking to see how the new code performs. Some are skeptical, believing that it would be wiser to invest in large-scale solar farms rather than single homes.

“It is a pretty big stretch to imagine certainly any Southeastern state following suit in the near term, but the technology is getting cheaper and cheaper and the public is starting to clamor for it,” Steve Kalland, executive director of the North Carolina Clean Energy Technology Center at North Carolina State University told The Wall Street Journal. “In North Carolina, the market is much more oriented toward larger scale solar farms.”

Still, there’s no doubt that all eyes will be on California as it continues to lead the nation in energy efficiency.

France Is Going to Ban Stores From Throwing Away Unsold Clothing

France Clothing Waste Law Sustainability

France has been ahead of the eco-friendly curve for years. From a solar-powered road to upcycled installations, the country has continuously found creative ways to make environmentalism its mission. Following in the footsteps of a 2015 food waste law, the French government has turned its attention to textiles, making it illegal for retailers to throw away unsold clothing.

In the past, French clothing stores would typically discard any leftover apparel. Before being thrown away, these perfectly good pieces of clothing were often defaced in an attempt to deter dumpster scavenging, culminating in four million tons of unwearable, wasted clothes. Thanks to this new law, however, stores will now be required to donate any unsold articles of clothing to charity—a move that will eliminate unnecessary refuse while also helping those in need.

For months, this initiative has been a priority for Emmaus—a Paris-based organization focused on ending homelessness. In February, a Facebook photo depicting destroyed clothing went viral, causing public outcry and bringing the issue to Emmaus’ attention. Since then, the charity has worked tirelessly to fix the problem, which French Prime Minister Édouard Philippe has vowed to tackle with this new law in 2019. “For the time being, there are no specific indications,” Emmaus’ Deputy Director Valérie Fayard explains. “It’s a preliminary road map, but it’s good news.”

In an effort to prevent clothing waste, France will ban retailers from throwing away unsold apparel next year.

France Clothing Waste Law Sustainability

h/t: [Green Matters]

Burst Of Light In Beautiful Palouse Region, In The Northwestern United States. Photo by kevin mcneal on Flickr

Burst Of Light In Beautiful Palouse Region, In The Northwestern United States. Photo by kevin mcneal on Flickr

Interview: Photographer Turns Travels Into a Visual Love Letter to South America

Peru Travel Photography by Kevin Faingnaert


Belgian travel photographer Kevin Faingnaert spent three months traversing Bolivia, Argentina, and Peru, forgoing winter in his home country for an exploration of South America. The resulting travelogue is an incredible visual diary that pays homage to the people and places of the countries he visited.

From breathtaking landscapes to nuanced portraits, Faingnaert captures the spirit of each location in his desaturated, timeless photographs. Faingnaert’s past clients include National Geographic, VICE, AFAR, and Outside Magazine, each of whom have called upon his skills as a gifted storyteller. While his South America voyage was personal, that didn’t stop him from weaving an incredible tale that immediately draws viewers in.

Photographing all that he experienced, from Lake Titicaca to the snowcapped peaks of Patagonia, Faingnaert brings us along on his travels. By photographing the small, quiet moments in this trio of countries, he moves well beyond the typical tourist vision and settles into a peaceful, loving reportage of the place he called home for a season. We had to chance to speak with him about his memories of the trip and what he’s up to next. Read on for our exclusive interview.

Peru Travel Photography by Kevin Faingnaert


Argentina Travel Photography by Kevin Faingnaert


What sparked your trip to South America and how long were you in each location?

I spent October to December 2016 escaping the cold of Brussels’ winter into the heart of South America: the Andes. I photographed my way across the South American landscape—from the rugged extremes of the Andes in Peru, over the world’s largest salt flats in Bolivia, to the genuine Patagonian wilderness in Argentina. For 3 months I traveled through Peru, Bolivia, and Argentina. I had long dreamt about this trip, but never found the time for it until the winter of 2016.

Bolivia Photo Kevin Faingnaert


Peru Travel Photography by Kevin Faingnaert


What were the most memorable locations you visited during your travels?

In Bolivia, far off the tourist trail, south of the large lagoon Colorado and giant Uyuni salt flats, there is a beautiful place, Eduardo Avaroa NP, where several beautiful lagoons surrounded by a number of high volcanoes and geysers stretch over a relatively small area.

Buenos Aires in Argentina. Argentines love to dance and Buenos Aires is famous for its tango, the symbol of passion and tragedy. Tango is being practiced at almost every street corner of the San Telmo and La Boca neighborhood. I loved the dark, moody but warm atmosphere of the tango houses I visited. I took some classes and they are some of my best memories of my trip.

And to give each country credit, the Ausangate trek in the sacred valley in Peru. The trek is a 43-mile backpacking trip that runs through one of the most beautiful landscapes in the Andes. Reaching high passes close to 17,000 feet, the Ausangate Trek reaches some seriously high elevations. Along the way, I passed by small villages, glacial lakes, towering snow-capped peaks and herds of alpacas.

Bolivia Photo Kevin Faingnaert


Argentina Travel Photography by Kevin Faingnaert


What type of story were you hoping to tell through these images?

I didn’t plan on telling a particular story. That only came afterward when I was home. There was no roadmap. The hope was simply to watch, listen, and record life in the balmy desert, the lush forest, the highest altitudes and vibrant cities. With this series, I hoped to combine vast natural wonders with portraits and tiny flashes of everyday life. It’s my love letter to Peru, Bolivia, and Argentina.

Argentina Photo Kevin Faingnaert


Bolivia Travel Photography by Kevin Faingnaert


What was the most surprising encounter you had during your trip?

All the cholitas I got to talk to and photograph near La Paz in Bolivia. It’s the first thing that will strike you when visiting Bolivia—the cholita women with their bowler hats. They are everywhere, and most of the women wear them perched atop their long black braids. This cholita fashion is a source of pride. It’s this kind of tradition and sense of pride which I hadn’t felt anywhere else and which intrigued me about Bolivian culture. It is definitely the most traditional country in South America.

Peru Photo Kevin Faingnaert


Bolivia Travel Photography by Kevin Faingnaert


Your images have a timeless quality to them, how do you go about deciding what to photograph as part of your travelogue?

I always pay attention to the weather, the story, and the color palette while traveling and photographing. If the light isn’t right, I leave my camera in its bag. When the colors of a scene aren’t my thing, I turn around. Compared to other photographers I know, I don’t shoot much. I don’t try to shoot everything while traveling. I spend 80% of my time hanging around and talking to people with my camera in its bag. At times, I even leave it at the hotel, explore the area and only come back later when the light is right. I also don’t like things which are too obvious, too vibrant, too much in your face. I like my images to be poetic. There’s not much happening in my images. As you pointed out, I aim to give them a timeless quality.

Bolivia Travel Photography by Kevin Faingnaert


Argentina Travel Photography by Kevin Faingnaert


What were some of the commonalities you found throughout the three countries you visited?

South America is a continent full of big contrasts in somewhat everything—in nature and politics, poor and rich. South America, from the Amazons to the Andes mountains, offers an infinite scale of landscapes, climates, flora and fauna: high mountain chains, the endless plains of the Altiplano, the Amazons with muddy rivers and tropical valleys, the mesmerizing salt flats, high altitude colored lagoons crowded with flamingos, the highest navigable lake in the world and then there’s the beauty of Patagonia. It is also striking in contrast between its small villages with mud houses, the giant metropole Buenos Aires, colonial charming cities like Sucre….

Argentina is definitely a lot more different than Bolivia and Peru. While Peru and Bolivia are countries with incredibly bad roads, the Argentinian roads are better than in Belgium. The weather differences are also very extreme. Not to mention the height differences. La Paz, for example, rests 3660 meters (12,000 feet) above sea level. It means you have to get used to the altitude, which takes some time. But it’s these extremes which make South America all the great for adventurous travelers

Argentina Photo Kevin Faingnaert


Bolivia Travel Photography by Kevin Faingnaert


What photo equipment did you bring with you during your trip?

I shoot part film and part digital. I brought a Mamiya 7II camera with only one lens and a Canon 5D Mark III with two lenses.

It’s been a few years since your trip, do you plan to return?

At the moment, I don’t plan to return to Bolivia, Peru, or Argentina. I’m looking to travel to other countries in South America though. Columbia is high on my list. Just need to find time for it.

What’s next for you?

I have some travel assignments for different magazines planned this year—Senegal, Vietnam, Spain… And I’ll be in Finnish Lapland this summer, working on a new personal documentary project.

Peru Photo Kevin Faingnaert


Bolivia Photo Kevin Faingnaert


Argentina Photo Kevin Faingnaert


Peru Photo Kevin Faingnaert


Argentina Travel Photography by Kevin Faingnaert


Peru Photo Kevin Faingnaert


Kevin Faingnaert: Website | Instagram

My Modern Met granted permission to use photos by Kevin Faingnaert.

Related Articles:

Photographer Unearths a Rare Community of People Living in Harmony with Nature

Architect Is Reinvigorating Bolivia with Colorful Architecture Inspired by Indigenous Cultures

Breathtaking Photos Celebrate the Wild Beauty of Patagonia’s Untouched Landscapes

Photographer Creates Visual Love Letter to the Welcoming Land and People of Peru

Interview: Nomadic Couple Captures the Timeless Natural Beauty of Peru

The post Interview: Photographer Turns Travels Into a Visual Love Letter to South America appeared first on My Modern Met.

10 Easy Tips to Learn How to Negotiate Like a Pro

Tips for Improving Negotiation Skills

For many creatives, talking about money can be uncomfortable. Yet, the more skilled you are at knowing your value and fighting for it, the more you’ll see your business grow. And while there are some who think that negotiating should never be a factor when buying art, the reality is that it’s commonplace. Buyers like to feel like they are getting a deal, and so it’s up to the individual freelancer to come prepared with a good set of negotiation skills whether you are selling individual artworks or trying to close a deal for a job with a client.

Gone are the days when good negotiators conjured up images of large egos battling over who could stiff the other. Once you’ve created a good basis for your pricing and you know your market, you can begin to think about what leeway you have to negotiate. And it doesn’t have to be combative, in reality, respect and a willingness to work with the other party will often breed better results—and long-term relationships.

10 Tips to Improve Your Negotiation Skills

Let’s look at 10 tips for improving your negotiating skills, whether you are selling a piece of art or negotiating a commission with a large corporation.

Aim High

Often, in a move to make sure you get the job, it’s easy to undersell yourself and put in a bid just to close the deal immediately. But in doing so, you risk being woefully underpaid and set a precedent, if the client returns for future work. It’s crucial to get your ideal pricing correct at the beginning and aim high knowing that you may have to come down in price during the negotiations.

Know Your Bottom Line

Just as you should start with your ideal price, you’ll also want to know—in advance—what you’re happy settling with. Understanding what you’ll be satisfied with monetarily will let you go into the negotiations relaxed. The worst thing is to panic and blurt out a number to close the deal, only to feel as though it’s worked out unfavorably once you walk out the door.

Don’t Panic

The best negotiators have a poker face and never let you see them sweat. They come prepared with their reasoning and the logic behind the pricing they can offer and stay confident in their delivery. By panicking, you’re giving the other party power, and leave the impression that you are unsure of yourself. If you’re negotiating with someone who is skilled, they’ll capitalize on this to perhaps pull you into a deal you’re uncomfortable with.

Negotiation Tips

Put Yourself in a Position of Power

Aside from staying calm and confident, one way to leverage the negotiations is by getting the other party to throw out the first offer. It’s not always possible, but by getting the other party to toss out the budget for the project or what they were hoping to spend, you’ll quickly be able to adapt and see if you are way over or under their line of thinking. This will give you the upper hand to counter.

Find Creative Ways to Close the Deal

Sometimes, thinking outside the box can help close the deal in your favor. Knowing your numbers is essential to making things work, but often it’s just about letting the other party feel like they got something out of the negotiations. Whether it’s free shipping on an artwork or bundling together multiple services or paintings together at a discounted price, there are many ways to make a deal happen.

Think “We” Not “I”

We often think of negotiations as adversarial, but if you think about it as a team effort to leave both parties satisfied, you can change that dynamic. Instead of working against each other, use “we” statements that evoke the feeling that you are a team and want the negotiations to end successfully for all involved. This will naturally make the other party more willing to meet you halfway.

Sell the Value

Don’t assume that everyone knows exactly why the service or piece of art has a specific price placed on it. You should know better than anyone the market you’re working in and what makes your prices competitive and worth paying, so lay the cards out on the table. It’s harder for someone to argue against facts, and will also help them understand why the deal is worth the investment.

How to Become a Better Negotiator


One of the biggest mistakes people make in negotiations is not listening to the other person. When you sit back and truly listen, the other party will often give away subtle clues about what they will be happy with or what might make the negotiations move forward. For instance, did you notice them eyeing a screenprint at your studio? That could be incorporated into the deal as a “gift.” Or, in past conversations, did the client mention how much they love their dog? Offer to throw in some extra shots at their wedding reception with their prized pooch, no extra charge. Listening will also give you an idea of whether or not they’ve reached their maximum or if there’s still room to get them up to your ideal price.

Watch Your Body Language

Body language is important in general for clear communication, but even more so in negotiations when you’ll want to keep the dynamic warm and nonadversarial. Lean in and don’t keep yourself closed off, which will keep engagement high and the other party motivated to work with you.

Take Your Ego Off the Table

Remember, it’s just business, not personal. This can be a difficult concept when talking about something as personal as your artwork or your business, but it’s critical to keep your eye on the end goal and not be offended during the negotiations. By taking your ego out of it and focusing strictly on results, it’s less likely that the negotiations will escalate and get hostile. This doesn’t mean you can’t express concerns if you have them, but remember to be objective and respectful. In the long run, it will help you get things done.


Now get out there, practice, and take your business to the next level with your negotiating skills!


Related Articles:

8 Innovative Ways to Make Money From Your Art

6 Tips for How to Accept Art Commissions and Stay Successful

How to Successfully Find Gallery Representation as an Artist

5 Mistakes to Avoid When Starting a Freelance Business

The post 10 Easy Tips to Learn How to Negotiate Like a Pro appeared first on My Modern Met.

Aerial Drone Photos Immortalize the Dynamic Beauty of a Fast-Changing Shanghai

Shanghai Cityscape Photography by Mark Siegemund

German photographer, digital artist, design director, and adventurer Mark Siegemund captured the incredible cityscape of Shanghai with a drone camera. Now living and working in the Chinese metropolis, his growing portfolio showcases the city’s dynamic, urban landscape from hard-to-reach angles, just like views from a bird’s perspective, above winding streets and between skyscrapers.

A city that is essentially divided into two parts by the Huangpu River, Shanghai separates the future from the past. On one side is the Financial District, also known as Pudong, and on the other is the old sector, called Puxi. Siegemund’s images capture this strange juxtaposition, showing the contrast between tradition and modernity. Images of the sprawling Financial District reveal it’s vast scale, swirling neon lights, and skyscrapers bathed in sunlight. As a design director for an architectural firm, Siegemund is often drawn to Shanghai’s most majestic structures. A focal point is often the needle-like Oriental Pearl Tower which is the second tallest structure in China (the first being the Shanghai World Financial Center).

In contrast, old town scenes include ancient villages, crowded spring festivals, and the flag-filled streets of temple towns, in celebration of the Chinese New Year. Recently though, there’s been ongoing demolition projects with plans to replace traditional neighborhoods with low-rise housing developments. Siegemund reveals on Instagram that sadly, some of the “ancient winding streets that have housed Shanghainese communities for generations” will cease to exist. “Residents welcome visitors, saying, ‘You’d better look now, it’s not going to be here for long.’” He continues, “Living in a mega city like Shanghai it is not always easy to calm down and find peace!” It is only when he looks behind a wall or discovers hidden paths, that he might find communities living the “slow life.” “I hope they will prevail forever and overcome the endless urbanization process!”

Find more of Siegemund’s incredible images on Instagram.

German photographer, digital artist, design director, and adventurer Mark Siegemund captures Shanghai’s incredible cityscape with a drone camera.

Shanghai Cityscape Photography by Mark Siegemund Shanghai Cityscape Photography by Mark Siegemund Shanghai Cityscape Photography by Mark Siegemund

His growing portfolio of drone photography showcases the city’s dynamic landscape from hard-to-reach angles…

Shanghai Cityscape Photography by Mark Siegemund Shanghai Cityscape Photography by Mark Siegemund

…just like views from a bird’s perspective, above winding streets and between skyscrapers.

Shanghai Cityscape Photography by Mark Siegemund Shanghai Cityscape Photography by Mark Siegemund Shanghai Cityscape Photography by Mark Siegemund Shanghai Cityscape Photography by Mark Siegemund Shanghai Cityscape Photography by Mark Siegemund Shanghai Cityscape Photography by Mark Siegemund

From the vast Financial District…

Shanghai Cityscape Photography by Mark Siegemund Shanghai Cityscape Photography by Mark Siegemund Shanghai Cityscape Photography by Mark Siegemund Shanghai Cityscape Photography by Mark Siegemund Shanghai Cityscape Photography by Mark Siegemund Shanghai Cityscape Photography by Mark Siegemund the backstreets of old temple towns…

Shanghai Cityscape Photography by Mark Siegemund Shanghai Cityscape Photography by Mark Siegemund Shanghai Cityscape Photography by Mark Siegemund


…his stunning images capture the city’s unique mix of old and new.

Shanghai Cityscape Photography by Mark Siegemund Shanghai Cityscape Photography by Mark Siegemund Shanghai Cityscape Photography by Mark Siegemund Shanghai Cityscape Photography by Mark Siegemund Shanghai Cityscape Photography by Mark Siegemund Shanghai Cityscape Photography by Mark Siegemund Shanghai Cityscape Photography by Mark Siegemund

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Man’s DIY Maple Tree Tapping System Collects 100 Gallons of Sap

Maple Tapping

Tapping maple trees is a tradition spanning hundreds of years. Dating back to the 17th century, early settlers in the Northeast US and Canada learned about sugar maples from the Native Americans. For a brief period of time between winter and spring, holes drilled into the tree yield the sap we’ve come to love on pancake and waffles. This still exists today, but technology has helped tweak the process—one that Redditor HDC3 shares in an epic DIY maple syrup tree tap.

In a post on Imgur, HDC3 showed the extensive prep that went into the tree tap. The savvy DIYer readied 200 reusable drop rigs, which “combine a spile or spigot or tap with a one meter (three foot) 5/16″ hose and a tee with a cap on it.” The taps were then drilled about two inches deep into the tree. Those 200 drop lines connected to “lateral lines” using the tree, which further connected to a larger mainline and collected the sap—almost 100 gallons of it.

This system also allowed HDC3 and crew to tweak the sap itself. “The sap comes out of the trees at around two percent sugar,” they explained. “This year (yesterday) I added this four-stage reverse osmosis system that I assembled from parts I found on eBay and stuff I bought at Lowes. It brings the sugar content up to eight percent which means that it’s saving us 75% of the work boiling out the water and increasing our yield by a factor of four.”

After collecting the sap, half of an oil tank helped to evaporate the water in it. “It isn’t pretty but it makes delicious maple syrup,” HDC3 recalled. Once that was complete, it was time to boil. “We bring the sap to around 60% sugar on the evaporator then filter it and take it into the house to finish on the stove. We filter it again when it reaches 66% sugar then bottle it.”

After all that work, the first production run of 2018 yielded about 2.5 liters after eight hours of evaporation. HDC3 is hopeful that their future batches will make even more syrup to enjoy. Learn more about this DIY in HDC3’s Imgur post.

Redditor HDC3 showed off an impressive DIY project for tapping maple trees. It started with 200 drop rigs.

How to Tap a Maple Tree

Then, the group drilled a 5/16″ hole about two inches deep into the tree and inserted the tap.

How to Tap a Maple Tree

The drop lines were connected to the lateral lines…

How to Tap a Maple Tree

… that ran to a mainline.

How to Tap a Maple TreeHow to Tap a Maple Tree

The lateral line serves four trees and a total of 10 taps.

How to Tap a Maple TreeHow to Tap a Maple TreeHow to Tap a Maple Tree

They collected almost 100 gallons of sap!

How to Tap a Maple Tree

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Charming Animation Illustrates the Different Gaits of Four Legged Animals

GIF via Laughing Squid

Can’t get enough of the funny way your dog or cat trots around? Animator Stephen Cunnane breaks things down with his mesmerizing animal gait animation. Focusing on four-legged animals (quadrupeds) Cunnane’s animation moves from walk to sprint, giving a close-up detail on how the paws’ movement makes the body gently sway.

“Animals walk weird…who knew?! This animated video helps break down animal gaits for animators, artists, or any old fan of studying creatures,” Cunnane writes. And clearly, his work has been a hit, with over 60,000 views of the clever clip. If you think looking at the gaits of animals is all fun and games, it’s actually serious business.

Animals not only change their gait depending on the type of terrain, but some—like lizards—even use it to help with respiration. Interestingly, humans were unable to fully understand and define the gaits of animals until photography made it possible to create still images of animals in motion. English photographer Eadweard Muybridge’s 1878 images of The Horse in Motion was even taken to help settle the idea that at some point, all four of a horse’s hooves leave the ground when trotting.

Across six different gaits—walk, amble, pace, trot, canter, and gallop—Cunnane uses a canine to demonstrate a type quadruped gait. The well-designed animation will bring a smile and any pet owner or animal lover who can’t get enough of watching mammals move. And, if you prefer insects, Cunnane has another animation for you.

Animal Gait Anitmation by Stephen Cunnane

GIF via Laughing Squid

Stephen Cunnane created a charming animation detailing the gait of four-legged animals.

Interested in the way insects move instead? Don’t worry, Cunnane’s got you covered.

Stephen Cunnane: Website | Facebook | Instagram | Vimeo 
h/t: [Laughing Squid]

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The post Charming Animation Illustrates the Different Gaits of Four Legged Animals appeared first on My Modern Met.

Futurologist Predicts Human Immortality Might Be Closer Than You Think

Human Immortality Prediction

If someone told you that the human race is very close to living forever, what would you say? According to futurologist Dr. Ian Pearson, by 2050 we’ll have the capability to become “immortal.” Pearson, a former sound engineer and inventor, claims to have “85% accuracy when looking 10-15 years ahead,” and lists several technological advances as reasons for his prediction.

“There are quite a lot of people interested in living forever,” Dr. Pearson tells The Sun. “There always has been, but the difference now is tech is improving so quickly, lots of people believe they can actually do it.” One technique for extending our lifespan? Pearson points to advances in genetic engineering to prevent cell aging and scientists attempting to create 3D printed organs. This would allow us to simply replace “old parts” when necessary. While it might sound crazy, IFL Science points out that he may be alluding to factual studies, such as the gene editing tool, CRISPR-Cas 9.

Human Immortality Prediction

But Pearson is really banking on android bodies as our pathway to immortality. Equating it to “renting a car,” he theorizes that “the mind will basically be in the cloud, and be able to use any android that you feel like to inhabit the real world.” Brain interfaces are already a reality, though they are primarily used by people with extreme paralysis. These chips, implanted directly in the brain, allow people to operate prosthetics or computers with their thoughts. And with increasingly realistic dolls being pushed by the sex industry, Pearson’s idea may not be so farfetched.

One final theory by Pearson eschews a physical body altogether, in lieu of the virtual world. “You could make as much fun as you could possibly imagine online. You might still want to come into the real world,” he predicts. “You could link your mind to millions of other minds, and have unlimited intelligence, and be in multiple places at once.” But alas, if you are getting ready for 2050, you better start saving your cash. Pearson predicts the first wave of technology will only be available to the ultra-rich, with it taking about 10 to 15 years to trickle down to the rest of us.

Human Immortality Prediction

h/t: [IFL Science!]

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