TED Talk: Making ears from apples

TED Talk. Andrew Pelling: Making ears from apples

7.11.2019

„My lab is not in the ear-making business. What I’m really curious about is if one day it will be possible to repair, rebuild and augment our own bodies with stuff we make in the kitchen,” says Andrew Pelling who leads a university-based biological research lab. Usually, he likes to rummage through garbage and often digs up discarded hardware he first dismantles and then reassembles into something completely new. Could that also work with a biological system? Creating human ears from apples may be far-fetched, but seems feasible: the lab removed apple cells and DNA and implanted human cells instead. The result was a cellulose scaffold with a structure that could be carved into a human ear!

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Reading time: about 1 minute
Lindau Puppet Opera: Swanlake Pas De Deux. Christian Flemming

Lindau/Germany: Why Opera-goers adore Puppets on Strings

1.11.2019

When shapely legs are swung high during the meticulously rehearsed Swan Lake performance, they are not made of flesh and blood. Nor, in fact, are any of the lissome corporal parts belonging to the remarkable cast exerting themselves on the miniature stage of the Lindau Marionette Opera (House): they are puppets on strings choreographed and directed with an expertise and finesse that leaves every audience open-mouthed with bafflement. And that doesn’t just account for the ballet troupe bobbing their tutus in tune with Tchaikovsky’s legendary piece of distinguished classical music: there’s Mozart, Verdi, Rossini, Strauss, Bizet and Humperdinck on the programme as well.

Yet, how is it accomplished that rigid images sculpted from wood seem to display credible emotions? Carving features adaptable enough to augment the illusion of changing mien is the craftsmanship their creators are excelling at.

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Reading time: about 3 minutes
Niagara Falls: Delicious horror beyond Halloween

Niagara Falls Canada: Halloween 24/7

28.10.2019

The Niagara Falls represent one of the most impressive wonders of nature of our day and rightfully enjoy their reputation as an untamed – and untamable – site of awesome beauty. Reason enough for Hollywood movie producers to make this dramatic setting their filming location for ‘Niagara‘. In her role as Rose, the creepy psycho-thriller puts screen goddess Marilyn Monroe through a bloodcurdling cinematic ordeal by evil husband Joseph Cotton alias George, who desperately wants to get rid of his unloved wife. George vanishes and is believed dead, but reappears. Shrouded in a misty waterfall spray and in the presumed privacy of the Rainbow Tower, he brutally strangles Rose to death. But there is a witness …

Fictional Hollywood stories aside: what comes now is REAL! The Nightmares Fear Factory is ‘the scariest and best haunted-house attraction in Niagara Falls Canada’.

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Reading time: about 2 minutes
Longevity in Blue Zones

Longevity: The Blue Zones Methusalem Enigma

7.10.2019

The quality of longevity is being discussed in controversial ways. Whereas the goal set by the ones optimistic of their (ever-)lasting physical and mental stamina is reaching an age of biblical extent, others would rather see themselves passing away at the height of their beauty, wit and grit – just in time, so to say. For them, the outlook on being left helplessly wilting in a forlorn nursery home or as an undead vegetable plugged to the wonders of life-prolonging contraptions, is utterly unbearable. Not to hope for heavenly conditions on earth seems the more realistic approach since, commonly, just-in-time rarely happens.

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Reading time: about 3 minutes
Abbey Road Studios in London

A groovy kind of place: The Abbey Road Studios

29.09.2019

The much-published image of a Liverpudlian boy-band cheerfully zebra-crossing Abbey Road, is one familiar the world over. Miraculously, it has never gone threadbare! In times when impatiently awaited new albums regularly catapulted the international fan base into a state of frenzy, the venue of recording stood a serious chance of attaining similarly excessive attention.

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Reading time: about 2 minutes