Tag Archives: haiku

Interactive haiku from Canada’s National Film Board

This comes from an April 2, 2015 posting on Canada’s National Film Board blog,

Designed to surprise, move, and inspire thought, Interactive Haiku will be released throughout the month of April, with 4 stories launching today. The project will also be featured at this year’s Tribeca Film Festival, as part of Tribeca Film Institute Interactive’s “Interactive Playground.”

Recently, the NFB and ARTE [France, interactive platform] asked creators to experiment a new kind of short interactive work: the very short form, or digital equivalent of the haiku. The 12 winning proposals come from 6 different countries and were selected out of 162 submissions from 20 nations.

The projects are accessible online or via tablets.

All of the interactive haiku follow 10 creative rules. These include: a 60-second time limit; being accessible to an international audience, and creating an experience that nudges us to see the world differently.

Discover the first 4 of these bite-sized, mind-jolting experiences below, along with some creative footnoting, courtesy of their vanguard creators.

Don’t want to miss a haiku? Subscribe to receive an e-mail notification (top left corner)! A new haiku will be released every Monday and Thursday of April (except for Easter Monday.)

Here’s a description of the four haiku pieces released in the first batch (from the April 2, 2015 NFB posting),

Cat’s Cradle

by Thibaut Duverneix, David Drury, Jean-Maxime Couillard, Gentilhomme (Canada)


A game of strings, frequencies, stars, and distances. Elegantly explore the theory of everything! (Experience Cat’s Cradle)

Who knew theoretical physics’ Superstring theory was such child’s play?!

“What is fascinating about [Superstring] theory is that it is extremely hard to prove – it forces mathematics and physics to work in an imaginary and deeply complex sandbox. The theory and its implications give rise to a wealth of poetic, even romantic, imagery, which is where our treatment begins.

In our interactive haiku, we propose a novel conception of this topic, treating it metaphorically with one of the most playful, simple and naive of childhood games: cat’s cradle.”


Speech Success

by Roc Albalat, Pau Artigas, Jorge Caballero and Marcel Pié (Spain)


The crowd is huge, tightly packed, and merciless. All eyes are on you. Will you be cheered… or will you flame out? (Experience Speech Success)

“If the haiku is based on the poet’s amazement at the sight of nature, here we look at certain attitudes toward technology – our present environment.

[Our haiku] gives a parodic representation of online social relationships. The Internet works as a public screen through which we try to break our isolation and be recognized. Often, our public shows of vanity don’t find targets: that’s why we have created a virtual public. We’ve programmed this audience to react to mood: the spectators’ reaction varies according to the speaker’s emotional intensity. The aim is to be ironic about our attempts to be heard on the network: finally you find somebody on the other side of the screen that listens and understands you –  for 60 full seconds.”


Life is Short

by Florian Veltman and Baptiste Portefaix (France)


From first to last words, everything goes by too fast. Relive the key moments of your life in a few seconds. (Experience Life is Short)

“As time goes by, our lives begin to appear shorter and shorter. And yet, we rarely take the time to stop and contemplate everything we’ve lived through and are still experiencing in the moment. Our haiku offers a quick opportunity to stop and reflect on time, memory, and our own inexorable demise. But pay attention! Life is Short can be only be enjoyed once – like life itself.”


Music is the Key of Life

by Theodor Twetman and Viktor Lanneld (Sweden)


Everyday objects possess an innate melody. Scan the barcodes of the objects around you and let the music play! (Experience Music is the Key of Life)

“Our haiku takes something ever-present but seldom noticed – the barcode – and makes it the star of the show. Relying on the camera, a tool seldom used in web applications, it brings interactivity beyond what’s on the screen, forcing the user to interact with physical objects that aren’t usually perceived as valuable or interesting.

In normal life, the barcode announces its presence with a simple beep noise when scanned at the supermarket. With our haiku, each code is given the opportunity to be noticed for its uniqueness, perhaps helping people notice and appreciate their beauty and the hard work they do.”


Nano jobs, bits, and bobs

There’s a postdoctoral position at Penn State Center for Nanoscale Science (from the NISE [Nanoscale Informal Science Education] Net October newsletter),

Nano Employment Opportunity: Postdoctoral Position in Education and Outreach with Penn State MRSEC

The Penn State Center for Nanoscale Science, a NSF-supported Materials Research Science and Engineering Center (MRSEC), has a postdoctoral position available in education and outreach. The successful candidate will join a team developing and presenting education and outreach programs materials including nanoscience curriculum for K-12 students and teachers among other tasks. Interested applicants should go to the Penn State job opportunity site and scroll down to the Postdoctoral Position – Center for Nanoscale Science (MRSEC Center) listing for more details and application instructions.

The newsletter also features its monthly nano haiku,

Teeny-tiny stuff,
you act so different now.
Wish you were still big.

by Leigha Horton of the Science Museum of Minnesota.

Thanks to someone on Twitter (sorry, I don’t remember who) I found  Nature journalist Geoff Brumfiel’s interview (published Oct. 7, 2010) with one of the winners (Andre Geim) of the 2010 Nobel Prize for Physics. Given my interest in intellectual property, here’s Geim’s response to a question about patents,

You haven’t yet patented graphene. Why is that?

We considered patenting; we prepared a patent and it was nearly filed. Then I had an interaction with a big, multinational electronics company. I approached a guy at a conference and said, “We’ve got this patent coming up, would you be interested in sponsoring it over the years?” It’s quite expensive to keep a patent alive for 20 years. The guy told me, “We are looking at graphene, and it might have a future in the long term. If after ten years we find it’s really as good as it promises, we will put a hundred patent lawyers on it to write a hundred patents a day, and you will spend the rest of your life, and the gross domestic product of your little island, suing us.” That’s a direct quote.

I considered this arrogant comment, and I realized how useful it was. There was no point in patenting graphene at that stage. You need to be specific: you need to have a specific application and an industrial partner. Unfortunately, in many countries, including this one, people think that applying for a patent is an achievement. In my case it would have been a waste of taxpayers’ money.

This is a very engaging and funny (particularly Geim’s response to the final question: “Finally, are you one of those Nobel prizewinners who is going to go crazy now that you’ve won?” of the interview.

Nanotechnology dieting; snowflakes; nano haiku

It’s a bit disconcerting to read about a new drug delivery system using silicon, a substance I strongly associate with computers. From the news item on Azonano,

Different types of drug molecules can be bound to the porous structure of silicon, thereby making it possible to alter their properties and control their behaviour within the body.

Porous silicon can be produced as both micro- and nanoparticles, which facilitates the introduction of the material through different dosing routes – orally, as injections or subcutaneous applications. Furthermore, biodegradable nanoparticles can be used for drug targeting.

Scientists in Finland are working on this project and possible applications include dieting. Apparently peptides which control appetite can be targeted with this new delivery system. I suspect that if this is possible there will be a stampede to use silicon drug delivery systems and public concerns about risk will be left far behind as people chase the dream of dieting without effort.

The NISE (Nanoscale Informal Science Education) Network has included some timely information about snowflakes and nanotechnology it its latest newsletter. The downloadable  education programme is here. The snowflake images are supplied by Kenneth Libbrecht, Caltech and you can see more of those here. The haiku in this month’s newsletter is,

Nano, oh nano
With surface area so
Small, but big impact

This week will be short as I’m not sure if I’ll be posting after tomorrow. Changes are afoot.

Nano haiku and the Good Nano Guide

So hard to imagine
Tiny atoms one by one
Make new properties
Thank you to the folks at NISE (Nanoscale Informal Science Education) Network and, of course, Robin Marks. NISE Network has added a few items to their site that I think are really great. They have an image collection which includes copyright free and scientifically vetted images well worth checking out in their Viz Lab.  Here’s a sample image of a silicon nanomembrane from the collection,
Shelley Scott, University of Wisconsin-Madison

Shelley Scott, University of Wisconsin-Madison

NISE is also offering a nano play, Attack of the Nanoscientist, courtesy of the Science Museum of Minnesota. They have the script and instructions for anyone interested in mounting the play.
The Good Nano Guide (a wiki administered by ICON [International Council on Nanotechnology] at Rice University) which Victor Jones mentioned a few weeks ago in his comments here has been cited  in a commentary on regulating nanotechnology in Nature magazine. The commentary is behind a paywall but you can find an earlier version of the article on Andrrew Maynard’s (he’s one of the authors) 2020 Science blog here.
I finally took a few minutes to check the Good Nano Guide and find it quite interesting. They offer a glossary of terms and a search engine that I used for the term ‘titanium dioxide’ amongst other features. The search engine brought up the standards for using titanium dioxide. It includes current standards and standards being developed by every organization you can imagine (IEEE, BSI, ISO, ASTM, etc.) so it seems quite comprehensive.  I do not find the glossary definitions to be helpful to me (but I’m an amateur and this project is oriented to the science community). I checked out the term nanoparticle and variants and the definitions seem vague.
Finally and because it’s Friday, I couldn’t resist this
tidbit on Nanowerk News about nanotechnology used for cleansing the colon. It originated on Tim Harper’s TNT blog here in one of his June 30, 2009 postings. Harper is associated (I think he’s the principal/CEO/president) with Cientifica, a nanotechnology business consultancy.

Nano haiku, nano in Finland, and NanoTech BC ‘pauses’

A haiku from NISE Net News: The Nano Bite (Feb. 10, 2009)

Space Elevator
Take me up into the sky.
It’s a long way down.
by Anders Liljeholm of the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry

According to a news item on the Nanowerk website here, Finland has tripled the number of nanotechnology companies in four years. In 2004, there were 61 nanotechnology companies while in 2008, there were 202 active companies. I noticed the item particularly because I came across a notice about a presentation By Kaija-stina Magnusson) part of a series sponsored by Nature magazine) that’s going to be contrasting the social capital aspect of the R&D investments in UK and Finland. If you’re in London (England) on March 12, 2009 and want to attend, you can get the details here.

Sadly, NanoTech BC is curtailing some of its activities for the next while as they deal with funding issues. The Cascadia Symposium won’t take place this spring (April 2009 as originally planned) and the breakfast meetings are cancelled for now. They’re hoping to schedule these activities for Fall 2009. They will be continuing their safe practices project with ICON (International Council on Nanotechnology based at Rice University in Texas) and working on a nanotechnology asset map for Alberta. You can read more details here.