'ark nova', the world’s first inflatable concert hall, will soon tour areas of japan that were devastated in the 2011 earthquake and tsunami.
designed by british sculptor anish kapoor and japanese architect arata isozaki, the mobile structure will host world-class concerts, workshops, and both traditional and contemporary performance as part of the lucerne festival ark nova. the balloon-like architecture is stationed in matsushima city, which is still healing after being struck by the natural disaster, and the team behind its creation hopes to deliver encouragement and positivity in the form of music. the temporary structure holds about 500 people, whose luminescent purple walls create a billowing interior fitted with handcrafted benches and a stage.
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2844. “Ark Nova.” The world’s first inflatable concert hall debuts in Japan!
Long before the invention of agriculture or the domestication of animals, the Japanese already lived on villages and cooked their meals on pots. Ten thousand years before the Christian Era, possibly even earlier, the inhabitants of the eastern islands had already developed the art of ceramics, which would arise on the “Cradle of Civilization”, western Asia, three thousand years later. Reason for the Japanese to yell “Banzai!“, which actually means “ten thousand years”. Such ancient ceramics mark the so-called Jomon Jidai, a term from Japanese archeology: Jomon, meaning “rope pattern”, and Jidai meaning period or era. The word Jidai would become famousworldwide on a variation created by filmmaker George Lucas.
With his space knights with strict honor codes, Lucas was inspired by the “jidai geki”, Japanese period dramas with samurais. That’s where the Jedi knights come from. Our interest here is something that likewise links Japanese prehistory with the modern space fantasy. Beside pots, the Jomon Jidai ceramic artifacts include some figures, called Dogu. With an intriguing appearance, highly stylized, some of them were recently understood as “six thousand years-old space suits”, proof of ancient contacts with extraterrestrials. The idea of ancient astronauts antedates its most famous promoter, Erich von Däniken, in decades. And we can locate the association between the Japanese Dogu figures and“space suits” as early as an article by Russian scientist Viatcheslaw Zaitsev published on the soviet magazine Spoutnik in June 1967. This article was also the origin of the Fergana astronaut hoax — which was not Zaitsev’s fault — and also played a big role in the popularization of the legend of the Dropas. Curiously, though, real space suits were never exactly like Dogu figures.Granted, there’s a general resemblance, but made from flexible parts, like a clothe with many layers, real astronaut suits are not like the seemingly rigid round shapes that can be seen in the clay figures. The space suits we know have something very familiar: creases. More curious still is the fact that future space suits may become very similar to the thousands-years oldclay. …
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Whoa. All hail the Japanese?
Please note this picture of gaping chasms in a Japanese road demonstrated the power of the March 11, 2011 earthquake.
Now, the astonishing speed of reconstruction highlights Japan’s ability to get back on its feet.
Work began on March 17 and six days later, the cratered section of the Great Kanto Highway in Naka was as good as new.
It was totally ready to re-open to traffic!
10 things to learn from Japan:
1. THE CALM. Not a single visual of chest-beating or wild grief. Sorrow itself has been elevated.
2. THE DIGNITY. Disciplined queues for water and groceries. Not a rough word or a crude gesture.
3. THE ABILITY. The incredible architects, for instance. Buildings swayed but didn’t fall.
4. THE GRACE. People bought only what they needed for the present, so everybody could get something.
5. THE ORDER. No looting in shops. No honking and no overtaking on the roads: Just understanding.
6. THE SACRIFICE. Fifty workers stayed back to pump sea water in the N-reactors. How will they ever be repaid?
7. THE TENDERNESS. Restaurants cut prices. An unguarded ATM was left alone. The strong cared for the weak.
8. THE TRAINING. The old and the children, everyone knew exactly what to do. And they did just that.
9. THE MEDIA. They showed magnificent restraint in the bulletins. No silly reporters. Only calm reportage.
10. THE CONSCIENCE. When the power went off in a store, people put things back on the shelves and left quietly.
A growing psychiatric phenomenon in Japan known as hikikomori could be especially troublesome in the aftermath of the country’s massive earthquake and tsunami.