Blood donors in Sweden get a text message whenever their blood saves someone’s life

With blood donation rates in decline all over the developed world, Sweden’s blood service is enlisting new technology to help push back against shortages.

One new initiative, where donors are sent automatic text messages telling them when their blood has actually been used, has caught the public eye.

People who donate initially receive a ‘thank you’ text when they give blood, but they get another message when their blood makes it into somebody else’s veins.

“We are constantly trying to develop ways to express [donors’] importance,” Karolina Blom Wiberg, a communications manager at the Stockholm blood service told The Independent.

“We want to give them feed back on their effort, and we find this is a good way to do that.”

The service says the messages give donors more positive feedback about how they’ve helped their fellow citizens – which encourages them to donate again.

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Back to the future: I’m in the Moog again

WWendy Carlos’s 1968 record Switched On Bach unleashed the Moog synthesiser on the general public in a spectacular way. She created her groundbreaking albums using a multitrack recorder in the studio, allowing one person to layer up all the parts, one at a time. I was listening to it recently, and found myself wondering if anyone had tried to recreate this orchestra-of-synths concept in real time by assembling a large group of keyboardists, synths and amplifiers in a room all together. Live

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Illustrator Chris Riddell named as UK children’s laureate

Illustrator and writer Chris Riddell, who has worked with classic authors Quentin Blake, Michael Rosen and Neil Gaiman and illustrated Russell Brand’s first kids’ book, has been named children’s laureate. He is the ninth author to hold the two-year post.

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Designing Women: Thoughts On a Life

I am a set designer. And as part of my process I make models—tons of them. Because I respond viscerally to space, I explore the potential of design ideas in three-dimensional model form; it’s where I am most methodical when I am designing scenery. Model making comes early in the process and I am prolific in showing multiple models. I am sensitive to the presence of the performer, as visual anchor on stage, and my designs take advantage of the compositional potential of a scene. Each rough white model always shows a proposal for a scene or scene shift.

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Hermann Zapf Dies at 96

Hermann Zapf, the designer of fonts such as Palatino, Optima, Zapfino, Melior, Aldus, and the bizarre but much beloved Zapf Dingbats, has died at age 96. The revered German typographer and calligrapher passed away on June 4. In his long and prolific career, Zapf worked on many fonts, but his personal favorite was the humanist sans serif typeface Optima, the lettering chosen for the Vietnam Veterans Memorial wall in Washington, DC.

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Warning: this article could radically alter the way you eat

Much of Spence and his colleagues’ findings make instinctive sense, such as that messily plated food doesn’t taste as good as if it’s neatly or artistically arranged. And much of this body of knowledge has been appropriated by Big Food to manipulate consumers since the 1930s, when 7-Up marketeers already knew that the more yellow on the can, the more citrus the drink would taste. Or that roundness (whether it’s the product or the logo) tastes sweeter while pointy is bitter.

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How map-master Max Gill became the saviour of the London Underground | Art and design | The Guardian

stripey serpent writhes up from the middle of Hyde Park, flicking its tongue towards fleeing crowds, as an exotic bird gobbles up a small child in London Zoo, poking its sharp beak through the cage. A hot-air balloon floats over Kennington, and a plane loops-the-loop above Kilburn, while the rest of the city busies itself below with an air of medieval festivity. As Europe was about to tear itself to shreds in 1914, this is how the London Underground chose to depict the city, with lavish “Wonderground” maps hung in every station. Packed with little jokes and mischievous details, it was a clear bid to cheer up commuters and distract them from the over-crowded, filthy carriages into which they were about to be squeezed.

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