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Nuns Turn to Goldie the RSS Reader to Feed Prayer Sessions

Update: This post has been updated to reflect information provided to us by the actual designers of Goldie, The Interaction Research Studio.

The Poor Clares in York are about as archaic as a religious order can get, with roots dating back to the 13th century and a 145-year-old covenant in northern England. Though the Franciscan nuns have taken a vow of silence, and eat a strict vegetarian diet, the order has agreed to embrace one piece of modern technology: a 3-D printed news ticker called the Prayer Companion, dubbed 'Goldie' by the nuns, designed by art students researchers at the Interaction Research Studio at Goldsmiths, part of the University of London.

The burgundy, Tao cross-shaped Prayer Companion is tethered to a laptop, which pulls from 25 international RSS feeds (e.g. Reuters, CNN, BBC News and more). Goldie also grabs and displays emotions from wefeelfine.org, a site that aggregates blogs, LiveJournal, Flickr and other sites to react to users' feelings. The nuns admitted to the project's designers that they check the device "millions of times a day," and Goldie hasn't been shut off since being installed in early 2009. The nuns watch the news and social network updates scroll across the Arduino-powered LED screen, and pray for those in trouble -- hardly a Medieval practice. [From: The Guardian, York.ac.uk (PDF) and Lab 4 Living, via: Gizmodo]

The Prayer Companion


Tags: arduino, design, goldie, goldsmiths, nuns, PoorClares, prayer, religion, rss, RssFeeds, ThePrayerCompanion, top, wefeelfine

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