Philipp Aldrup — Alila Villas Uluwatu, Bali 2014
+ WOHA Architects, Singapore: www.woha.net
"Representative government is artifice, a political myth, designed to conceal from the masses the dominance of a self-selected, self-perpetuating, and self-serving traditional ruling class." ~ Giuseppe Prezzolini
The answer is never the answer. What’s really interesting is the mystery. If you seek the mystery instead of the answer, you’ll always be seeking. I’ve never seen anybody really find the answer. They think they have, so they stop thinking. But the job is to seek mystery, evoke mystery, plant a garden in which strange plants grow and mysteries bloom. The need for mystery is greater than the need for an answer.Ken Kesey (via caciazoo)
Today’s Google Doodle celebrates Percy Lavon Julian, a pioneer in chemistry. His work laid the foundation for the drug industry’s production of cortisone, other corticosteroids, and even birth control pills. He was also the first African-American inducted into the National Academy of Sciences and the second African-American inducted from any field, despite tremendous obstacles and personal setbacks.
Percy Julian grew up in the time of racist Jim Crow culture and legal regime in the Southern United States. Among his childhood memories was finding a lynched man hanged from a tree while walking in the woods near his home…
Julian attended DePauw University in Greencastle, Indiana. The college accepted few African-American students… Julian was not allowed to live in the college dormitories and first stayed in an off-campus boarding home, which refused to serve him meals. It took him days before Julian found an establishment where he could eat. He later found work firing the furnace, waiting tables, and doing other odd jobs in a fraternity house; in return, he was allowed to sleep in the attic and eat at the house. Julian graduated from DePauw in 1920 Phi Beta Kappa and valedictorian.
…In 1923 he received an Austin Fellowship in Chemistry, which allowed him to attend Harvard University to obtain his M.S. However, worried that white American students would resent being taught by an African-American, Harvard withdrew Julian’s teaching assistantship, making it impossible for him to complete his Ph.D. at Harvard.
In 1929, while an instructor at Howard University, Julian received a Rockefeller Foundation fellowship to continue his graduate work at the University of Vienna, where he earned his Ph.D. in 1931. He studied under Ernst Späth and was considered an impressive student. In Europe, he found freedom from the racial prejudices that had nearly stifled him in the States…
In 1936 Julian was denied a professorship at DePauw for racial reasons. DePauw had offered a job to fellow chemist Josef Pikl, but declined to hire Julian, despite his superlative qualifications as an organic chemist, apologizing that they were “unaware he was a Negro”. Julian next applied for a job at the Institute of Paper Chemistry (IPC) in Wisconsin. However, the Wisconsin city of Appleton, where the institute was located, was a sundown town, forbidding African-Americans from staying overnight, stating directly “No Negro should be bed or boarded overnight in Appleton.”
Meanwhile, Julian had written to the Glidden Company, a supplier of soybean oil products, to request a five-gallon sample of the oil to use as his starting point for the synthesis of human steroidal sex hormones (in part because his wife was suffering from infertility). After receiving the request, W.J. O’Brien, a vice-president at Glidden, made a telephone call to Julian, offering him the position of director of research at Glidden’s Soya Products Division in Chicago…
… He then designed and supervised construction of the world’s first plant for the production of industrial-grade, isolated soy protein from oil-free soybean meal. Isolated soy protein could replace the more expensive milk casein in industrial applications such as coating and sizing of paper, glue for making Douglas fir plywood, and in the manufacture of water-based paints.
Julian’s research at Glidden changed direction in 1940 when he began work on synthesizing progesterone, estrogen, and testosterone from the plant sterols stigmasterol and sitosterol, isolated from soybean oil by a foam technique he invented and patented. At that time clinicians were discovering many uses for the newly discovered hormones. However, only minute quantities could be extracted from hundreds of pounds of the spinal cords of animals.
His work made possible the production of these hormones on a larger industrial scale, with the potential of reducing the cost of treating hormonal deficiencies.
The prototype was built in 1978 by audio-division engineer Nobutoshi Kihara for Sony co-chairman Akio Morita, who wanted to be able to listen to operas during his frequent trans-Pacific plane trips. The original Walkman was marketed in 1979 as the Walkman in Japan and, from 1980, the Soundabout in many other countries including the US, Freestyle in Sweden and the Stowaway in the UK. Advertising, despite all the foreign languages, still attracted thousands of buyers in the US specifically. Morita hated the name “Walkman” and asked that it be changed, but relented after being told by junior executives that a promotion campaign had already begun using the brand name and that it would be too expensive to change.
The marketing of the Walkman introduced the idea of ‘Japanese-ness’ into global culture, synonymous with miniaturization and high-technology… The advertising of the Sony Walkman served to portray it as a possession that was not only fashionable but culturally definitive, implicitly one necessary to prove the owner was up to date and financially able to buying newly marketed commercial products, rather than waiting for them to become established and prices to fall.
A main component of Walkman advertising campaign was personalization of the device. Having the ability to customize a playlist was a new and exciting revolution in music technology.