3D Printing Against Daesh: “We Will Recreate What ISIS Destroyed”

digital archaeology
Share this

3D technology comes to the rescue after the destruction of several world cultural treasures by the militant group Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS).

According to the United Nations, ISIS has destroyed and damaged 200 world heritage sites along with hundreds of statues and artefacts since 2014.

ISIS’ plan is simple. It is about erasing all traces of previous cultures to establish their own and take advantage of the media coverage following massing destructions of historic sites to grab the world’s attention. In addition, this cultural cleaning is a way for Daesh to finance their activities by selling to dealers and private collectors.

Yet those lost treasures that some call “blood artifacts” may not be lost forever.

Through her digital fabrication and 3D printing project “Material Speculation : ISIS”, Iranian artist and activist Morehshin Allahyari chose to focus on the reconstruction of selected artifacts and statues destroyed by ISIS in Iraq in 2015.

In addition, to repair history and memory, each 3D printed object comprises a flash drive and a memory card. The data in these flash drives contain materials: maps, images, videos and pdf files on the destroyed artifacts and sites. They were gathered thanks to a collaboration with different archeologists and historians, including and museum staff.

“Like time capsules, each object is sealed and kept for future civilizations.”
– Morehshin Allahyari

Just like Murehshin Allahyari artifacts, Palmyra has suffered numerous act of vandalism. The Syrian desert city known as the Venice of the Sands lost the triumphal arch from 2,000-year-old Temple of Bel.

Devastated, many archaeologists talked restoration and reconstruction such as American lawyer/archaeologist Roger Michel. Indeed, as the founder of Oxford’s Institute for Digital Archaeology, Michel has built a 3D facsimile arch from Palmyra’s destroyed Temple of Bel.

Thanks to 3D technology, Pamlyra’s rose again in London’s Trafalgar Square last April to coincide with world heritage week. It should then travel on to Times Square in New York City.

London, Trafalgar Square

This 3D replica of the 15-meters arch that formed the temple’s entrance is a gesture of defiance against ISIS’ desire to erase cultural and historical evidence.

“My intention is to show Islamic State that anything they can blow up we can rebuild exactly as it was before, and rebuild it again and again. We will use technology to disempower ISIS.” Roger Michel

Moving for some or uncanny for others, this incredible public display of 3D reconstruction is the proof that new technology can restore entire parts of 20th-century historical sites. Although out of their original context and site, 3D monuments or artefacts might still conserve their precious sense of place and craftsmanship, thus preserving everybody’s heritage.

By Pauline Schnoebelen

How to Incorporate a Business in Canada

Share this

Incorporating is fairly simple in Canada. It requires that you fill out a form and pay $200.

If you want a numbered company (a company that doesn’t have a name — they just give you a number) it’s easier.

If you want a corporate name, it’s more difficult because you can’t have the same name as someone else.

If you want a name:

  1. File a NUANS name search (costs $20). NUANS will email you their results for the name you esquire about.
  2. Use your NUANS search email to file a form with Corporations Canada for pre-approval of a corporate name (they’ll say the name is Ok to use before you pay $200 with your application to incorporate.
  3. If they reject your pre-approval, you can do some research by searching the internet for the websites of the similar names that came up on their check and by calling the provincial registrars for these names to ask them what those companies are doing (and if they even exist still). You just submit another application for pre-approval (the same form you just submitted) but with a letter (a regular text file from your computer — or is it a pdf of your text file? I forget) explaining the research you did and why they should let you use the name.
  4. Once Corporations Canada emails you saying your name is pre-approved, you can submit your application to incorporate and they won’t reject your application based on the name.

Now you’re back at the step you would be at if you didn’t want to check your name for pre-approval (and risk them rejecting your $200 application because the name isn’t acceptable) or if you just want a numbered company.

This is the step where you incorporate: Go to the Corporations Canada website (this page – click here) and select “Incorporate a business.” Fill out the fields — they ask for your address and phone number, and (if you have one) the two numbers Corporations Canada emailed you in your name pre-approval email. The final step is to give them the credit card / interact information so they can take payment. Now you wait for them to approve or reject your application.


NOTE: Rejection of a name for pre-approval doesn’t mean you can’t get the name. They rejected mine initially because there were three names that were somewhat similar. I searched the companies out online and called the provincial registrars in two provinces where the names were registered (the rejection letter has the information about the provinces) and just asked them what sort of business the companies were doing. The three companies were distinct in how people would understand their names and they did different business, I thought. One was no longer active, it seemed, according to the registrar. One wasn’t doing any public business (just a general holding company), it seemed. I reapplied with a short letter explaining my research and Corporations Canada approved the new application.

Watch A Visual Representation Of The Earth Rotating In Space

Eric J Nesser javascript
Share this

This javascript-based visual representation of the Earth spinning in space was developed and shared on the website CodePen by programmer Eric J Nesser.

Holding down the mouse left-click button while scrolling will zoom or change the viewing angle of the representation of the Earth.

See the Pen Earth WebGL Demo by Eric J Nesser (@enesser) on CodePen.

Canada From Space

canada from space
Share this

From the International Space Station’s 400 km perch, astronauts like New Jerseyite Scott Kelly have been taking impressive photos of the world over the past almost two decades of the ISS’s use.

Kelly, the current Commander of the Year Long Mission aboard the ISS, has been tweeting his photos to his followers for the duration.

Here are some of the best shots from the space above the Great White North, Canada:

Want to try to guess them? The photographs show:

1. North Vancouver Island and Rocky Mountains
2. Vancouver from above
3. Aurora over Calgary
4. Aurora over Saskatchewan
5. Great Lakes near Salte Ste. Marie
6. North of Georgian Bay, Ontario
7. Montreal from above
8. Quebec City from above

All images NASA

Watch Earth Live From The International Space Station

view from iss
Share this

This is ISS’s HDEV (High Definition Earth Viewing) experiment —  a live HD stream from several cameras mounted to the External Payload Facility of the European Space Agency’s Columbus module, and has been broadcasting since April 30, 2014.

To protect the cameras, they are encased in pressurized, temperature-controlled housing.

Viewing notes: A black screen is normal when the ISS is flying above parts of the Earth with no lights on the night side of the Earth (it orbits every 92 minutes, so in 30 minutes it will likely be over day again), and there is no sound to the stream. Although the black night view might not be interesting, I recommend you wait — when you see the crescent of the Earth and the red glow of the Sun appear, it is spectacular.

There is also (rare) down-time — meaning there has been a loss of signal with the Earth or that HDEV is not operating: at these times, viewers will see a gray slate or previously recorded video. The live stream frequently switches between cameras — while the cameras switch, viewers will see a grey slate, then a black slate, before seeing the new camera angle.

In the meantime — and relatedly — you can watch the course of ISS live on this other page. It will show you where the ISS is right now, superimposed over the Google Earth map, and you can watch it’s trail accumulate (it travels at 27,600 km/h [17,100 mp/h]).

If you see something great on the live stream, take a screenshot and post it in the comments!

Share this?

What The World’s Capital Cities Look Like From Space, Part 1

Brasilia, Brazil from space
Share this

This collection of photographs was taken by the cameras of the International Space Station from it’s orbit at 319 nautical kilometers (172 miles) from the Earth’s surface. Can you guess what some of these cities are, or even the countries they belong to?

We’ll make it more interesting: This first set of cities are all from the Americas, and they progress from northernmost southwards.


Did you guess any of them? You’ll have to click through to the next set of cities to find out the answers to this set!

Continue: What The World’s Capital Cities Look Like From Space, Part 2