From the 2012 Concurs de Castells, a human tower-building competition in Tarragona, Spain, watch this video by photographer David Oliete. David also took photos.
A long tradition in the region, castells began at the end of the 18th century. The sport has rules, techniques, and team responsibilities to guard safety and success. The pinya or base is made of a few hundred people that can catch anyone who falls, and the tower itself has a variety of different formations. The top three levels are the pom de dalt, made up of children in helmets.
While the video above doesn’t show some of the more harrowing challenges, this video by Mike Randolph in 2010 captures why safety and teamwork are so important:
Turning light into heat 24 hours a day, Concentrated Solar Power plus molten salt storage technology (CSP+) works like a typical steam turbine/electrical power generator system on the inside, but on the outside, it is a phenomenal scene of massive mirrors and a brightly-lit tower right out of a sci-fi novel! There are a few different concentration systems, and new mirror designs continue to break ground.
Spain currently leads the way on operating stations and projects under construction, but solar thermal power stations are becoming a more popular energy solution in the United States, too, with over two dozen new plants announced! Take a tour:
Russell Beard of Earthrise goes on a tour of Gemasolar, near Seville, Spain - the first Concentrated Solar Thermal Power plus molten salt storage (CSP+) plant to produce energy 24 hours per day. This power tower plant produces 20MW, enough to power 25,000 homes but much bigger CSP+ plants are now being in the Middle East and the US that will produce 100MW and 150MW. Even larger CSP+ plants are possible.
24/7 solar! The kid should see this.
The spectacular Catalan street theater company, Sarruga, transforms the Millennium Park in Chicago into a fantasy world, bringing their giant ants, spiders and praying mantises to interact with the public in a larger-than-life show full of light, music and movement. In Insects, Sarruga turns these normally miniscule animals into giants, inverting roles and making humans ten times smaller than the insects.
And no, insects don’t shoot steam, nor do venus fly traps swirl around and bang into things in real life. But! It’s always fascinating to see a scale change — something so small to a larger than life size — especially when people become the smaller swarm in the scene!
From the archives (tho not an insect, but an Arachnid, and still a larger than life puppet of sorts): a massive UK spider puppet!
Waves by Daniel Palacios is a great example of where art and science can come together in a way that makes a huge impression. Made of two turbines and a piece of rope, the kinetic sculpture not only visualizes a harmonic series or sine-waves, but it also reacts and changes in the presence of people around it.
A long piece of rope represents three dimensionally a series of waves floating in space, as well as producing sounds from the physical action of their movement: the rope which creates the volume also simultaneously creates the sound by cutting through the air, making up a single element.
Depending on how we may act in front of it, according to the number of observers and their movements, it will pass from a steady line without sound to chaotic shapes of irregular sounds (the more movement there is around the installation) through the different phases of sinusoidal waves and harmonic sounds.
Beautiful stuff. Waves will be at the LABoral Centro de Arte y Creación Industrial in Gijón, Spain until June 25th.