Flying umbrella drones

The sight of flying umbrellas, changing altitude with a fluttering rhythm, looks more like an animated Disney scene than graduate work by a student engineer.

“I wanted to push the envelope of coordinating drones in the sky,” says the project’s creator Alan Kwan, a student in MIT’s “ACT” (Art, Culture and Technology) program. He wanted his drones to act almost alive, “not like things to be controlled by an algorithm,” he says, “but flying creatures that take on a synchronous life.”…

Digital synesthesia is not the only goal of Kwan’s project. “People have this perception of drones as weapons,” he says, “and I’m trying to push this work in the direction of the poetic. I think that contrast is interesting.”

RTFA for all the technical problems Alan Kwan encountered. Art ain’t always easy. Nor is powered flight.

Shameless plug – sort of – for a resort in our neck of the prairie


Wendi Gelfound

Opening on Aug. 17, Sunrise Springs Integrative Wellness Resort, a 52-room spa resort in Santa Fe, focuses on “nature bathing,” the opportunity to dwell in nature as a stress reducer and energy booster.Daily activities include yoga, meditation, Native American rituals, therapeutic gardening and animal interactions such as chicken therapy, which is presented as a soothing activity that involves stroking a bird’s feathers.

An on-site greenhouse and kitchen garden will serve as showcases for gardening lessons and food sources for the restaurant. Guests are encouraged to unplug from their digital devices. They can seek health consultations with staff doctors and specialists in both Eastern and Western medicine.

“At Sunrise Springs, we encourage our guests to unplug, tune-in and actively engage in their lives,” said David Hans, a psychologist and the resort’s executive director, in a news release. Rates start at $675 per person per day, single occupancy, with a two-night minimum stay, including meals and activities.

Sunrise Springs has been one or another kind of destination for the decades I’ve lived in New Mexico. My wife and I had some delightful meals there in previous incarnations.

We feel no urgency to visit a wellness resort. If anything, we kind of count Lot 4, here, as achieving most of the same functions – though I haven’t done any “nature bathing” or poultry petting since I spent summers on my grandparents’ farm when I was a kid.