The number of failed retail spaces is growing, and this filmmaker is digitally preserving these places before they are disappear. […]
Bleaching occurs when warm water causes stressed-out corals to expel symbiotic algae from their tissues; corals then lose their color and their chief source of food, making them more likely to die.
Last year’s El Niño–induced bleaching event was devastating, knocking out two-thirds of the corals in the northern section of the reef. We’d hoped that 2017 would bring cooler temperatures, giving the fragile ecosystem some much needed R&R.
Instead, temperatures on Australia’s east coast were still hotter than average in the early months of this year, and on top of that, the reef’s midsection took a hit from a big cyclone in March.
ARC Center of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies
This is the first time the reef has experienced back-to-back annual bleaching events. If this keeps happening, it’ll quash the reef’s chances for recovery and regrowth, a process that can take a decade or longer under normal conditions.
Under the abnormal conditions of climate change, though, there is little reprieve — unless we, y’know, address the root of the problem itself.
As a kid, Irving Fain started small neighborhood businesses (snow shoveling, leaf raking). He later tapped that entrepreneurial spirit to launch CrowdTwist, a marketing startup. Now, Fain wants to bring cooler technology to agriculture.
Fain’s company, Bowery Farming, uses artificial intelligence to streamline the growing process. (Full disclosure: Tom Colicchio, who nominated Fain for the Grist 50, isn’t just a fan; he’s an investor.)
Bowery’s indoor, vertical farm uses a huge network of sensors to measure crop health. This technology is “the central nervous system of the farm,” says Fain, and adjusts how much water, LED light, and nutrients plants get. With that level of precision, Bowery can grow a lot more food on a lot less land without using pesticides.
Bowery’s leafy greens are currently sold at three Whole Foods locations and to a handful of restaurants, all in the New York metro area. Although there are growing fears in the United States about robots stealing jobs, Fain points out that demand outpaces supply for organic greens, and then there’s, well, those booming city populations. Bowery hopes to expand across the country and world (having a certain Top Chef judge as an advocate and adviser certainly won’t hurt). And, at $3.49 a box, robot kale is surprisingly digestible.
Meet all the fixers on this year’s Grist 50.
According to the cover article in today’s issue of the journal Nature, the iconic reef off the coast of Australia suffered unprecedented coral die-off after last year’s record-breaking bleaching event. Now, as the Southern Hemisphere hits late summer temperatures, central and southern sections of the reef — areas which avoided the worst of last year’s bleaching — are in trouble.
“We didn’t expect to see this level of destruction to the Great Barrier Reef for another 30 years,” coral researcher Terry Hughes told the New York Times. Hughes led the team that conducted aerial surveys to document the bleaching last year, as well as subsequent surveys to assess just how much of that bleaching turned into dying.
Bleached corals don’t always turn into dead corals — some are able to recover when temperatures drop. Er, if temperatures drop. If water temperatures stay high and corals stay bleached, they will eventually starve to death. Without coral building reefs, whole ecosystems may disappear, along with the food, tourism, and jobs they support.
Hughes and his coauthors found that even corals in pristine, protected water were likely to be suffering from heat stress, meaning the only thing left to do to protect corals is, you know, address climate change.
The pair who paid SpaceX to take them on a historic trip around the moon can expect breathtaking views and a life-altering experience when they set out for space next year, according to Richard Garriott, a video game mogul and onetime space voyager. Garriott, who ventured into space in 2008 as the world’s sixth private space traveler, heralded SpaceX’s announcement this week as a major milestone for space exploration. He said the two passengers whom SpaceX has chosen for its 2018 mission, who have not been publicly identified, can buckle up for a “pinnacle life experience.” “Seeing the Earth from space is a profoundly life-changing event,” he told TIME on Wednesday. SpaceX on Monday said it plans to take two people, who paid a “significant deposit,” on a weeklong trip around the moon and back. It would be the first time in 45 years that humans will have returned to deep space. SpaceX said the pair will “travel faster and further into the Solar System than any before them.” Read More: Elon Musk’s Moon Mission Is Exciting, Audacious … and Iffy Garriott, a 55-year-old Texas computer game developer, said the feat would push human beings out of lower orbit and into new frontiers. “This proves that we are in a new golden age of space exploration,” he said. “This is a huge deal. It would be hard to overstate the importance. We’re beginning to push forward in the solar system again.” Garriott went to the Internal Space Station in 2008 aboard Russia’s Soyuz TMA-13. The journey to the Space Station — which is about 250 miles up, about the same as the distance from New York City to Washington, D.C. — was 12 days long and cost him $30 million, he said. “You’re traveling at 17,000 miles per hour. You go all the way around the Earth in 90 minutes. That means you see a sunrise or a sunset every 45 minutes. You cross entire continents in 15 minutes,” he said of his time in space. SpaceX’s guests can expect an even more dramatic experience since they’ll be flying away from Earth rather than around it. Garriott said he experienced what astronauts have called the “overview effect,” a cognitive shift in awareness about the world, when he looked out of the space station’s window. “It’s a feeling like, ‘I get it. I now understand the Earth at a much deeper level than I ever did,’” he said. “It was literally a physical moment. The hairs stand up on the back of your neck and arms.” “It’s a pinnacle life experience,” he added. “This journey is not one to underestimate.” […]
NASA has just announced the discovery of seven previously unknown earth-size planets orbiting a single dwarf star, which scientists believe could be the best place to look for life, and the Google team could hardly contain its excitement. Thursday’s animated Doodle shows earth peering through a telescope to find its seven friendly neighbors, just 235 trillion miles away. Scientists said the newly discovered solar system, Trappist-1, is significant because three of its seven planets orbit in the “habitable zone”; their proximity to the system’s star suggests the right conditions for holding liquid water. The other four could also potentially be hospitable to living organisms. Researchers don’t yet know whether any of the planets are habitable, but they believe it’s promising. “This discovery could be a significant piece in the puzzle of finding habitable environments, places that are conducive to life,” NASA administrator Thomas Zurbuchen said in a statement. “Answering the question ‘are we alone’ is a top science priority and finding so many planets like these for the first time in the habitable zone is a remarkable step forward toward that goal.” […]
“Cautious, yet mystified, Louise takes another bold action: She steps for the boundary. The light from that mist on the other side of that glass illuminates her face, showing her wonderment.” In the surprise hit movie Arrival, which is nominated for eight Academy Awards, linguistics professor Louise Banks (played by Amy Adams), is tasked with interpreting the language of a race of visiting aliens. In a dark, cavernous chamber aboard their spaceship, Louise moves from the shadows to the light – a dance that’s mirrored throughout the movie as the character slowly comes to terms with the true lessons the arrival brings. “I think that journey from darkness to light is her journey,” says Bradford Young, Arrival’s cinematographer. Born in Louisville, Ky., Young has made his reputation with like A Most Violent Year and Selma, in which his mastery of available light helped convey the stories’ intimate natures. And that’s what Arrival’s director Denis Villeneuve was looking for when he embarked on his first science-fiction film. “I was looking for a cinematographer with a very precise sensibility towards natural light,” Villeneuve tells TIME. “I wanted the movie to have strong roots in realism. I wanted a cinematographer who would not be afraid to deal with intimacy. It’s a very specific sensibility that I felt in Bradford’s previous work.” Nowhere else is this play on light more apparent then aboard the spaceship, in the gloomy chamber where Louise spends much of her time. Villeneuve says that the set was specifically designed to be ominous and dark, a place where light is absorbed rather than reflected, a place that subliminally represents death. “The main character is in a relationship with death,” says Villeneuve. “The more she learns about the Heptapod [alien] culture, the more it changes her perception of life, death and time.” Jan ThijsA scene inside the spaceship’s chamber from the film “Arrival” by Paramount PicturesThat’s where Patrice Vermette, the film’s production designer, comes in. “With any movies I do, my process is very similar,” Vermette tells TIME. “I start by creating mood boards and collections of images that are only emotional reactions to the script. It could be colors, lights, marbles, rocks.” Then, he and the director work out where to go with that inspiration. In this case, both men were deeply influenced by the artist James Turrell’s Shallow Space Constructions, a series of artworks that use light and space to question the nature of human perception. “When I saw hundreds of people being hypnotized by James Turrell’s light, I had an epiphany,” says Villeneuve. The cavernous chamber was born out of that experience. It is designed like a dark temple where the film’s characters come to see the light – in this case, the aliens who remain semi-hidden behind a blinding rectangular white screen. Instead of using green screens, Vermette and his team actually built the ship’s chamber. The physical space was humbling and also helped the director and cinematographer set up their shots, Villeneuve days, but the chamber’s bright screen was a challenge for Young. “We had to be fearless,” he says. “We had to accept the fact that when Louise’s very far from the screen she would be quite dark, and when she’s right up on the screen, we would, for lack of a better term, overexpose her.” But that was the point, he adds. “This movie is about Louise’s personal enlightenment. So you just submit to what the light offers and let that tell the story. It gave us the opportunity to let the lighting of the film mirror the journey of the character.” That concept is replicated in two other locations throughout the movie. In Louise’s home, a large wall-to-wall window opens up to a blinding, yet hazy, lake, contrasting with the deliberate darkness of her living room. And inside the brutalist, fortress-like architecture of Louise’s university, she faces a rectangular white board that opens up to a television announcing the aliens’ arrival. Again, light and darkness are at play, informing Louise’s journey. “The structure of all these places work together,” says Young. “Those places make the spaceship that much more important and the spaceship makes those places that much more important. They are in a conversation with one another. They remind us of where Louise came from and where she’s headed.” Outside of the spaceship, Young was inspired by the work of photographer Martina Hoogland Ivanow to create a sense of dread and chaos in direct opposition to the Zen-like nature of Louise’s safe and sacred zones. In her book, Speedway, Ivanow creates gloomy, ominous images from mundane situations: a simple landscape becomes a Twin Peaks-like world where the unknown could be lurking in the dark; a motorcycle pilot is transformed into a shadowy, threatening figure. Martina Hoogland IvanowFrom the series “Speedway”In Arrival, this is in play when we enter the military’s compound set up near the spaceship. “The calmness of the ship’s chamber is in contrast with the interior of the tents,” says Vermette. “We realize that it’s the human beings that are disturbing the peace and we can’t wait to get back inside the spaceship.” Toward the light – the one controlled by the aliens and the one under Young’s spell. “A light that brings a lot of intimacy, sensuality, fragility and humanity to the project,” says Villeneuve. Olivier Laurent is the editor of TIME LightBox. Follow him on Twitter and Instagram @olivierclaurent Follow TIME LightBox on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. […]
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