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⚡️The creative journey of Tony Bennett

PLUS: Farmers may soon be able to watch their crops... FROM SPACE

The Precap

Happy Friday, creatives!

We hope you’re feeling fueled to take on Friday, the Big Bad at the end of the week.

One more day, then you’ve got your weekend ahead — a magical time to tackle your creative projects and let the alchemy take place.

Till then, we’ve got some sad news to start out with — and that’s the passing of Tony Bennett.

Though we mourn his loss, we’re taking a look at his creative journey, with the aim of finding inspiration.

Additionally, we’ve got new rockets, new coding copilots, agriculture-monitoring from space…

Great stuff ahead!

—Clayton

💡Ready for next-level creativity?

Legacies

Legendary singer Tony Bennett, whose unwavering dedication to the Great American Songbook bridged the gap between generations and genres, has passed away at the age of 96. His management company confirmed the news on Friday.

Bennett, a master of the bel canto style, began his iconic recording career in 1950, spanning an impressive 64 years until 2014. With over 60 albums, 44 of which charted on the Billboard 200, and 16 Grammy Awards to his name, he solidified himself as a true musical legend.

In 2016, Bennett was diagnosed with Alzheimer's Disease, leading him to retire from touring in 2021 after a final memorable performance with Lady Gaga at Radio City Music Hall. Over the years, he collaborated with a diverse range of artists, including Elvis Costello, k.d. lang, and Amy Winehouse, demonstrating his timeless appeal to both contemporary and classic music lovers.

Bennett's journey to greatness began on New York's 52nd Street, where he immersed himself in jazz clubs, drawing inspiration from instrumentalists like Charlie Parker and Art Tatum. Unyielding in his commitment to his unique style, he even formed his own label, Improv Records, after leaving Columbia Records, proving that staying true to oneself can lead to long-lasting success.

Born Antonio Dominick Benedetto in Long Island City, Bennett's early life was marked by a passion for singing and the dream of becoming a commercial artist. However, destiny had other plans, and he found himself on stage, captivating audiences with his enchanting voice and magnetic presence.

Bennett's musical journey began in his teenage years when he worked as a singing waiter in Astoria, Long Island. His passion for music was deeply rooted in his family, with his father's enchanting opera performances back in Italy inspiring him. Having studied opera under the G.I. bill, Bennett found his distinctive voice by emulating the phrasing of instrumentalists.

Despite facing challenges and trends that veered away from his preferred style, Bennett persevered, always choosing the best songs and eschewing gimmicks. His perseverance paid off in the '90s when he paid homage to musical legends like Fred Astaire, Frank Sinatra, and Billie Holiday, introducing a new generation to the timeless tunes he cherished.

Throughout his illustrious career, Bennett gifted the world with over 70 albums, claiming an impressive collection of 20 Grammy Awards, two Emmys, and a host of other accolades.

Tony Bennett's legacy will forever be remembered as a beacon of musical excellence and an unwavering commitment to his craft. As we mourn the loss of a true musical icon, we can take away an invaluable lesson from his journey: stay dedicated to your talent, embrace authenticity, and let the music speak for itself. Rest in peace, Tony Bennett.

Trends & Changes

As if we weren’t overwhelmed with enough glamor and defeatism-fuel, we’ve entered on the era of the AI influencer.

These are folks that are completely conjured up out from AI images.

Oh — and get this — they’re renting out AI girlfriends now.

SpaceX's Falcon 9, a two-stage rocket, is revolutionizing space exploration for creative minds. Unlike traditional single-use equipment, Falcon 9 is partially reusable, marking a pivotal moment in spacefaring history.

Partnering with NASA since 2012, SpaceX crafted the Crew Dragon spaceship to succeed the retired Space Shuttle program. Aiming for reusability, the Falcon series of rockets emerged as trailblazers in the field. Previously, space missions meant replacing equipment after each launch, but Falcon 9 changed the game.

With 241 launches to its credit, Falcon 9 has encountered remarkably few failures, proving its reliability. The Block 5 variant, the latest in the family, has achieved an impressive 178 successful missions. As SpaceX proudly proclaims, it's the "world's first orbital class reusable rocket."

The Biz

Meet Jim Geach, the astrophysicist turned agricultural innovator. By day, he studies galaxies and their evolution, but he recently had a brilliant idea that's down-to-earth and sure to benefit farmers worldwide.

Geach co-founded Aspia Space, a startup based in Cornwall, UK, with a vision to harness the potential of Earth observation satellites for agricultural purposes. Drawing parallels between telescopes that observe distant galaxies and satellites pointed towards Earth, he realized that these satellites could provide valuable insights into vegetation growth. And so, Aspia Space was born.

The company's mission is clear: to help farmers optimize their land and maximize food production. Instead of laboriously monitoring crop growth, they leverage satellite data to infer information about crops, pastures, and natural resources.

So, how does it work? Aspia collects radar imagery from the European Space Agency's Sentinel-1 satellites. Then, their advanced artificial intelligence algorithm, ClearSky, converts this data into optical images, making interpretation much easier. The algorithm has been trained and calibrated using "ground truth" data collected by Origin Digital, where real grass heights were measured using a "rising plate meter."

21st Century Toolbox

GitHub, the leading platform for developers, has just introduced its game-changing Copilot Chat feature in a limited public beta for enterprise companies and organizations.

Copilot Chat is the focal point of GitHub's Copilot X initiative, an expansion of its original Copilot code completion tool, integrated with the powerful GPT-4 model from OpenAI. The goal is simple yet impactful: saving you valuable time by simplifying complex tasks with just a few prompts.

Newly Released

Starlings are known for their patterned flights.

But to see that play out in a time-lapsed photo?

That’s the new project from Kathryn Cooper.

She captures the birds in cloud-form.

She captures one of the amazing ways nature organizes itself.

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Breakthroughs Daily

In a groundbreaking study, researchers from renowned institutions, Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts Institute of Technology, have revealed significant progress towards reversing aging. The study, published in the journal Aging, unveils a cocktail of specialized chemicals that shows potential in restoring a youthful state to cells.

The team of scientists identified six chemical combinations that remarkably reversed aging effects within just four days of treatment. Unlike gene therapy, these treatments effectively restored a youthful genome-wide transcript profile without compromising cellular identity.