Monday, January 29, 2007

Banana Over Texas

Look there, in the Texas sky!

It's a bird! It's a plane!

It's ... a banana?

In an art installation sure to launch a thousand UFO conspiracies, Montreal artist César Saez plans to send a 1,000-foot helium blimp in the shape of a banana into low Earth orbit over the Lone Star State.

If everything goes right, the fruity dirigible, known as the Geostationary Banana Over Texas, should launch in August 2008.

The astrofruit is an artistic commentary on the absurdity of American politics -- especially Texan-style kookiness, says Saez.

"I see Texas like a crossroads of important social and cultural happenings in the states and in the world," he says.

He estimates the project will cost $1 million, and so far he's raised one-eighth of that, including a $15,000 grant from the Canada Council for the Arts.

Read it all: Banana Over Texas

That's Right,


Hey Dude, Slow Down!

A sign in San Francisco, starting Monday, identifies approaching Mini Cooper drivers by using a signal from a radio chip embedded in their key fobs.

The boards, which usually carry typical advertising, are programmed to identify approaching Mini drivers through a coded signal from a radio chip embedded in their key fob.

The messages are personal, based on questionnaires that owners filled out: “Mary, moving at the speed of justice,” if Mary is a lawyer, or “Mike, the special of the day is speed,” if Mike is a chef.

RFID (radio frequency identification) technology is making the experiment possible. Researchers and entrepreneurs have labored for decades to extend the practical uses of wireless tracking using radio tags.


That's Right,