The image above may look like something out of Star Wars, but it is anything but science fiction.
Prior to 1980, a dense forest covered the land around Washington’s Mount St. Helens, supporting a thriving ecosystem and a small logging village. But what looked, to the untrained eye, like a…
We’ve become accustomed to a world where furniture is always in our peripheral view, but the work of designer and woodworker Robby Cuthbert puts everyday furnishings at center stage.
Cuthbert crafted this ethos while in college. There, his interest in cross-country skiing and the way the body works eventually yielded a series of sculptures that examined the inner mechanics of human muscle. “[My art professor and I] ended up talking about how muscles work and how you might express that idea with a sculpture,” Cuthbert said.
“I ended up finding some steel cable laying around the studio and decided to try and wire a couple of pieces of curved wood together,” the designer said. “The idea was that the two pieces of wood, though never touching, would work to support each other through the counteracting forces provided by the cables.”
From this, Cuthbert developed the idea for tension furniture, which would be free from the traditional methods of adhesion. Instead, his designs rely solely on opposing forces of tension to achieve a surprising stability and sturdiness. The aesthetic and functional results are a fascinating juxtaposition of form and physics:
1.3 billion years ago, two enormous black holes — with masses of 29 and 36 times that of the Sun — crashed into each other, creating a burst of power 50 times greater than the output of all the stars in the universe. And finally, last September, that gargantuan force made a pair of antennas in Louisiana and Washington vibrate.
What those vibrators were detecting were gravitational waves, a phenomenon that does nothing short of reveal ripples in the fabric of spacetime, finally proving Einstein’s 100-year-old predictions about the nature of the universe and illuminating the mysteries of how the universe began.
Where did our current funeral rituals come from, and as they fall out of fashion, what will we replace them with?
Humankind has always been fascinated with death. Where faith helps answer the question of where our spirits go when we die, the funeral helps solve the problem of where our bodies go upon death. In the United States, we have a fairly strict and chaste relationship with death — specifically with regard to the funeral — though there are a few key voices calling for reform. One of those voices, both online and off, is Los Angeles mortician and author Caitlin Doughty, who weighed in with ATI on the history of burial practices in America and the problems it faces today.