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Image of Neptune by NASA

August 24, 2014




When we first started to chat with National Geographic about doing a piece on the historic Voyager mission, we kept circling back to the idea of communication: between Voyager, humans and whatever or whoever the spacecraft discovered on its journey. Voyager has been exploring our solar system and the space beyond for almost 40 years and throughout this time has transmitted what it finds back to us. It carries with it The Golden Record, a storehouse of visual and audible artifacts that is meant to explain our existence in the event that it encounters other beings. And while it hasn't yet sent a sure sign of extraterrestrial life, it's still a possibility as the Voyager's battery won't die out until 2025.

As space geeks, we loved working on this project. And what made it even more fun was collaborating with the likes of Dan Vergano,
Vincent Diga and Tyler Strickland. We hope our nerdy enthusiasm was transmitted in the final story experience.

Let Me Tell You My Story

Writer Alan Trotter knows something about finding creative ways to connect with an audience. He has acknowledged that writing is an isolating task, and we wonder if it's this reality that compelled him to make a personal site whose UX is so simple and whose tone is so precisely conversational, that you can't help but want to reveal more of his story. His latest ebook is a pay-what-you-want and he wants you to know that he doesn't mind if you choose nothing. Perhaps like most of us, he just wants to be heard.

The Loneliest Whale

A single rare whale with an unusual sonic signature of 52 hertz was first detected in the 1980s. The solitary animal emits mating songs at a frequency unlike any other whale in the ocean and he doesn't follow any regular migration pattern. Nobody has ever seen him, although there are many theories around why he exists. He is known as the loneliest whale in the world.

Director Joshua Zeman is working on a feature length documentary around this mystical whale called "52: The Search for the Loneliest Whale in the World." We were completely drawn into this simple story. Everyone can relate to the feeling of not fitting in or being on different wave lengths than the people around them. However we wonder if there are other modes of connection and companionship that this elusive whale has learned since he is continuing to mature and remain healthy. Our hope is that Zeman finds the 52 whale and discovers that it is actually not lonely at all but surrounded by kindred spirits, whatever species they may be.

It's easy to get into somebody's pants. It's a lot harder to get into somebody's head.


This is a lovely little video interview between outspoken fashion icon Iris Apfel and fashion designer Duro Olowu. As they roam a local zoo mingling with the animals Olowu asks Apfel questions about her philosophy and world view. Don't be fooled by the casual setting: You walk away feeling enlightened by Apfel's pearls of wisdom and specks of humor on everything from life, love and relationships to why animals are more honest than people.
Watch the interview


The Sound of Change 

Imagine if every one of your actions had a sound attached to it. This is sort of what "Listen to Wikipedia" tries to do. Bells signify additions, strings are subtractions. You can hear users changing the Wikipedia landscape in real time. There is something mesmerizing and wonderful about the connection between the visuals and the audio all signaling deliberate actions of an invisible group of people somewhere in the world. Change creates quite a beautiful cacophony.

An Unlikely Friendship

"We've got to see each other often, because when one of us goes, there are things the other will no longer be able to say to anyone." Matisse said this about his relationship with Picasso, one based both in mutual respect and rivalry. They influenced each other, insulted each other, and ultimately admired each other. All good ingredients for the best of friends.

In honor of the
Matisse cut-outs exhibition going on at the Tate Museum, Flavia Frigeri, assistant curator, talks about the friendship between Picasso and Matisse and how it shaped who they both became.



"Thoughts that lead to action can be dangerous. Thoughts that do not, mean less than nothing."

Ann Leckie
Ancillary Justice


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