Rabu, 31 Maret 2010

0 New World Order

[Image: Work by Shannon Rankin, taken from the artist's Flickr page].

Artist Shannon Rankin does amazing things with maps. Treating them as mere pieces of decorated paper to be manipulated—clipping out spirals, folding crevassed roses of ridges and faultlines, pinning up confetti-like clouds of circles and zigzags—she creates "new geographies, suggesting the potential for a broader landscape."

[Image: Work by Shannon Rankin, taken from the artist's Flickr page].

The maps thus become more like the terrains they originally referred to: textured, complex, and subject to eruption. Unexpected forms emerge from below—like geology, overlapping, igneous, and dynamic.

[Images: Shannon Rankin, taken from the artist's Flickr page].

Outlines of new island continents appear in the process, polar regions and archipelagoes that out-Dymaxion Buckminster Fuller in their collaged vortices and coasts.

[Image: By Shannon Rankin, taken from the artist's Flickr page].

All of the works you see here come from Rankin's Flickr page—specifically, the Uncharted, Bayside, ETA6, Maps, and Aggregate sets, where there are many other images to see.

[Images: All works by Shannon Rankin, taken from the artist's Flickr page].

But seeing these makes me want to feed full-color sheets of obscure maps through laser-cutting machines, slicing elaborate and random geometries to reveal the longest possible distance between two adjacent things, or to discover previously unknown proximities, the whole Earth cut-up and unspooled like a lemon rind.

[Image: By Shannon Rankin, taken from the artist's Flickr page].

There are a variety of distinct styles at work, as you can see, from tiling and tesselation to straight-ahead origami.

[Images: All works by Shannon Rankin, taken from the artist's Flickr page].

Another approach is to reduce every map to capillaries—pure roads. The geography is simply how you get somewhere.

[Image: Work by Shannon Rankin, taken from the artist's Flickr page].

And lest all of these look diminutive, or simply too tiny to see, the scale of execution is often surprising.

[Images: By Shannon Rankin, taken from the artist's Flickr page].

If you want to see some of these in person, meanwhile, work from Rankin's Convergence set are on display now through April 17 at the Craftland Gallery up in Providence, RI.

Consider supporting her work, as well, by purchasing a piece or two; you can contact the artist via her webpage.

(Originally spotted via Data is Nature).

0 Why and How You Should Find Time to Read

Reading
As a kid, I was exposed to a strong reading culture. Although my parents were not well educated, they clearly understood the importance of reading and our house was full of books. I remember visiting friends’ houses and being amazed at how little books they had around!

The benefits of reading are enormous, and we could probably come up with hundreds, but for me, there are a few benefits that really stand out. Let's talk about the benefits and then I'll discuss how to fit reading into your busy, non-stop life.
  1. Reading broadens your horizon – it gives you access to new perspectives and ideas. It can give you a whole new way of seeing things.

  2. Reading is an active mental process. You have to be intellectually engaged when you read, and this can keep your mind sharp and alert. Your brain, like a muscle, will develop with greater use. There is even research suggesting that people who are more mentally active have a lower chance of developing certain degenerative brain diseases in later life.

  3. Reading builds discipline. Like any habit, it can be hard to build the habit of reading. But by setting aside a time each day to read and sticking to it, you are disciplining yourself. This discipline will ripple out and affect other areas of you life – if you can read regularly, then you can also exercise, write, or do anything else you would like to do on a more regular basis.

  4. Reading builds focus. When you read, you have to concentrate. Reading, for me, is a form of meditation. If you read regularly, you are more likely to be able to focus on other things.

  5. Perhaps most importantly, you learn new things through reading. Of course, you need to put what you read into action, but reading the right things can give you amazing new ideas. You can tap into the minds of all kinds of people. Books are a way of communicating with the world. They can change your life.
I suppose most of us would agree that reading is a beneficial thing, but making time for reading can be a real challenge. Here are a few things I’ve found useful in trying to build this rewarding habit.
  • Switch off the computer
    Like so many other people, I spend a lot of time ‘reading’ on the Internet. The benefit of the Internet is that I have access to an enormous amount of information and can access it with an ease which would have been unthinkable just a few years ago. But there is a downside, of course – there is so much information that I easily get distracted, and end up flicking from one site to another, never really reading anything in detail.

    So the first bit of advice I would give for really getting into a serious reading habit is – switch off the computer! Pick up a real book, sit down and start to read.

  • Go to bed a little earlier
    I keep several books by my bedside and I usually read a chapter before I turn out the lights. This can be a really good way to end the day – it distracts you from any problems you might have had during the day so that your mind can settle down, and can make you feel sleepy.

  • Throw a book into your bag
    Carry a light paperback around with you. When you find yourself waiting for something, on the train or bus, or just bored, you can get the book out. Reading will alleviate your boredom and can make your journey fly.

  • Join a library
    Yes, they’re still out there! Libraries have changed a lot in recent years and are now hubs of information. But the main activity of the library is still to provide books, and there is little more enjoyable than spending a couple of hours perusing the shelves, delving into the pages and choosing a few really good reads.

  • Choose the right books
    It’s important that reading is not a chore: it should be a real pleasure – something to look forward to! I remember, as a teacher in the UK, witnessing the endless initiatives to get kids to read. They almost never met with much success. And then, suddenly, everyone was reading – kids, adults, old people – sitting in cafes and on railway stations and airports, sitting on benches and walls and even on the floor – just reading. Why? Harry Potter had somehow managed to inspire a huge chunk of the population. People found that reading the Harry Potter books was enjoyable, and so they were busily turning page after page while the world went by.
It’s a shame that our education systems so often turn kids off books, but if you’re enjoying reading, then you’re likely to keep doing it, so go and find a book you love!

Written on 3/31/2010 by Mark Harrison. Mark Harrison writes about personal growth, communication, and increasing personal wealth. Check out his new book, Thirty Days to Change Your Life.Photo Credit: Jayel Aheram

Selasa, 30 Maret 2010

0 Events in the Landscape and their Acoustic Shadows

While writing the previous post, about sound and warfare in Iraq, I came across a brief description of something called an acoustic shadow and its occurrence during the American Civil War.

[Image: Map via University of Maine Civil War Webquest].

An "acoustic shadow" is when the sounds of an event—here, a battle—cannot be heard by people nearby—say, in the neighboring valley or a parallel city street—but those same sounds can plainly be heard over much larger distances. This effect is caused by "a unique combination of factors such as wind, weather, temperature, land topography, forest or other vegetation, and elevation," we read. For example, "battle sounds from Gettysburg fought on July 1, 2, and 3, 1863 could be heard over one hundred miles away in Pittsburgh, but were not heard only ten miles from the battlefield."

Without my own access to contemporary accounts of these battles and their acoustic shadows—sonic phantom limbs haunting distant landscapes—I simply have to trust the accounts that I'm quoting from here; nonetheless, these stories are fascinating. "More than 91,000 men were engaged in battle at Gaines's Mill, Virginia on June 27, 1862," for instance. "Confederate commanders and troops were less than two miles from the battlefield and could plainly see the smoke and flashes from the guns and artillery, but not a sound could be heard of the battle for two hours. Strangely, the battle sounds from the Battle of Gaines's Mill were easily heard in Staunton, Virginia over one hundred miles away."

The unexpected atmospheric reflection of sound, and sound's complicated relationship with certain topographies, levels of humidity, climatic systems, and more presents an amazing—if impossibly complex—dimension to the future of urban design and landscape architecture. Could 5th Avenue be retrofitted to cultivate acoustic shadows—or might a neighborhood in eastern Brooklyn someday find itself overhearing distant traffic events and individual human conversations that have been carried on the winds from Midtown, acoustic effects soon traced back to the mirage-like venting of a new steam plant on the East River?

This also makes me wonder if instances of ghostlike visitation in ancient times—a king crazed by invisible whispers in his fortified tower bedroom, a city cursed by nocturnal voices, a village terrified by bodyless beasts unseen by any hunter—might actually have been examples of acoustic shadows. How could acoustic shadows be archaeologically and historically investigated without exactly reproducing the landscape topography and climatic conditions of the time?

(Vaguely related: a very old post about sound mirrors).

0 Warsound

[Image: U.S. helicopter over Baghdad, via (scroll down)].

I've mentioned The Forever War by Dexter Filkins before, but I was struck again the other day by a passage in which Filkins catalogs the mechanically unprecedented sounds of the American siege of Falluja, a collection of noises so alien and overpowering that he describes it as "an entire ecosystem" with its own hidden predators and prey.

Filkins writes that "rocket-propelled grenades whizzed out of the darkness, striking the M-1s and exploding but doing no harm. Whoosh-bang, like a fireworks show. Whoosh-bang." He quickly adds, however, that "the real weirdness was circling above."
    The night sky echoed with pops and pings, the invisible sounds of frantic action. Most were being made by the AC-130 gunships, whose propellers were putting out a reassuring hum. But over the droning came stranger sounds: the plane's Gatling gun let out long, deep burps at volumes that were symphonic. Its 105mm cannon made a popping sound, the same as you would hear from a machine that served tennis balls. A pop! followed by a boom! Pop-boom. And then there was the insect buzz of the ScanEagle, the pilotless airplane that hovered above us and beamed images back to base. It was as if we were witnessing the violent struggles of an entire ecosystem, a clash of airborne nocturnal beasts we could not see.
Of course, the unnatural acoustic ecology of humans at war is surely something you could find throughout history, from the fibrous zing of crossbow strings and the thunderous lurch of the catapult to endlessly irritating scrapings of metal on metal as swords and shields collide. What ancient Roman warfare actually sounded like is something for the acoustic archaeologists.

But, while an acoustic history of war has yet to be written—though some have treated sound itself as war—it would be a fascinating study to pursue.

0 The 7 Most Motivational Quotes Ever Spoken

Motivation
Today I want to talk about the seven most motivational quotes ever spoken (or written). Why? Because motivation is the key to success! I like what Zig Ziglar said about motivation, he said, “People often say that motivation doesn’t last. Well, neither does bathing – that’s why we recommend it daily.”

Motivation is something you need everyday. It's motivation that pushes you forward when you want to collapse; it's motivation that lights the end of the tunnel. If life is a road trip, then motivation is the engine that will take you to your destination. Nothing happens without motivation. Have you been motivated today?

Here are the seven most motivational quotes ever written or spoken, I’ve subtitled them, and given them some commentary, I hope you enjoy.

The 7 Most Motivational Quotes
  1. Our Deepest Fear

    “Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do” --Marianne Williamson, A Return To Love

    If not you, then who? We are taught as children that others are great, and that we are not, so I ask the question, “Where do the “great” come from?”

    I submit to you that the great arise from the most mundane of places; the great are those who refuse to remain as they are; the great are those who believe in their greatness.

  2. You Will Become What You Think About

    “The vision that you glorify in your mind, the ideal that you enthrone in your heart, this you will build your life by, and this you will become.” --James Allen, As a Man Thinketh

    The thoughts that you harbor in your mind, the ones that you continually give your attention to, those thoughts will eventually become your life.

    If you see yourself as a success, then you will become a success; whatever you consistently ponder, you will become.

  3. Your Life Should be an Adventure

    “Security is mostly a superstition. It does not exist in nature, nor do the children of men as a whole experience it. Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than outright exposure. Life is either a daring adventure, or nothing.”--Helen Keller

    Whatever your dream, go after it; never settle for a life of quiet desperation, never become a realist. John Eliot said, “As soon as anyone starts telling you to be “realistic,” cross that person off your invitation list.” Your life is either a daring adventure or nothing at all.

  4. You Should Never Overestimate the Competition

    “The fishing is best where the fewest go, and the collective insecurity of the world makes it easy for people to hit home runs while everyone else is aiming for base hits. There is just less competition for bigger goals. If you are insecure, guess what? The rest of the world is, too. Do not overestimate the competition and underestimate yourself. You are better than you think.”-- Timothy Ferris, The Four Hour Work Week

    Someone has to be successful, someone has to write the next bestseller, someone has to be number one, someone has to be on the best, why not you! As the famous poem goes, “You have all that the greatest of men have had, two hands, and two feet.”

  5. Just Keep on Working

    “I do not have superior intelligence or faultless looks. I do not captivate a room or run a mile under six minutes. I only succeeded because I was still working after everyone else went to sleep.”--Greg Evans

    Keep working, and keep working, and keep working towards your goal, eventually you will get there. The key is to remain focused on your goal! I like what J.C. Penny said, he said, “Give me a stock clerk with a goal, and I will give you a man who will make history. Give me a man without a goal, and I will give you a stock clerk.”

  6. If You Want It, Go Get It

    “You got a dream, you gotta protect it. People can’t do something themselves, they wanna tell you, you can’t do it. If you want something, go get it. Period.”--Will Smith in the Movie: Pursuit of Happyness

    There will always be “little men” telling you “how you can’t, why you can’t, and how you’re going to fail when you try.” But if you have a dream, go after it; never let someone tell you what you can’t do. You can do whatever you believe you can do.

  7. Remember: Success Always Starts Small

    “The greatest achievement was at first, and for a time, but a dream.” --Napoleon Hill

    The largest tree was once a tiny seed. There was a time when Microsoft wasn't on any computers; there was a time when Michael Jordan had never scored in a basketball game. Never despise small beginnings, every success starts small. So stay focused, if your focus is steady, you will succeed!
Thank you for reading and be sure to pass this article along.

Written on 3/30/2010 by Mr. Self Development who is a motivational author that offers a practical guide to success and wealth; support him by visiting his blog at mrselfdevelopment.com or by subscribing to his feed.Photo Credit: bluepointcom

Senin, 29 Maret 2010

0 Crazy April!

In another 12 hours' time I'd be flying off to San Francisco!!

Can't say why yet but it's HUGE!!!!!!!!! Well to me it is anyway!!

I'm going on a press junket for only 2 days and I'd be rushing back by April 3rd so I can go to the Canon Symposium... Where apparently there will be 300 people listening to me talk nonsense. Why, I cannot understand. The Nuffies suggested I should charge for conferences though, which sounds like a swell idea. Just kidding, I'm way too lazy.


(Touch down at 10am, have to reach Symposium by 12pm. The Nuffies are worried sick that my flight will be delayed/cancelled. Won't one lah where got so suay, right? Right?? *Crosses fingers)


Anyway April is a crazy crazy month for me!!

Here's the ding dong schedule:


30th to 3rd: San Francisco

6th to 8th: KL for Project Alpha press conference and *maybe* a FHM shoot

10th to 11th: Bintan for a friend's birthday

14th to 18th: Tbilisi, Georgia - to also talk at a conference with Gillian

23rd to 10th May: Dallas for our annual trip back to see Mike's family and also for his younger brother Paul's wedding! Omg I'm so excited!!

I'm excited about all the trips! Talk about living out of a suitcase man. Confirm don't need to unpack, maybe only transfer from big suitcase to small suitcase.

Ok I'm gonna curl my hair now see ya guys in 3 days!

0 Quick Links 9

Ten quick links for a Monday morning:

[Image: Photo by Richard Caplan for City Limits].

—An "African burial ground" lies beneath the floor of a bus depot in Harlem, City Limits reports, but "the only stone slab at the site [marking its historical importance] is the concrete floor of the Metropolitan Transit Authority bus garage sitting on top of tons of fill mingled with human remains." That is subject to change, however, as "the Harlem African Burial Ground Task Force—composed of church leaders, activists, historians and elected officials—seeks preservation and official recognition of the colonial-era cemetery." As DNAinfo.com adds, "Community members feared upcoming reconstruction of the bus depot, slated to begin in 2015, along with ongoing construction of the Willis Avenue Bridge, could disturb the remains of its former African burial ground located between 126th and 127th Streets along First Avenue."

[Image: Eleusis, Greece, courtesy of the UCLA Archaeology Field Program].

—If I had a spare $8,000, I'd sign up for the UCLA Archaeology Field Program's Eleusis 3D Archaeological Recording and Visualization Project: "Eleusis is world famous as the location of the Eleusinian Mysteries—a significant Athenian religious festival—and is located some 14 miles west of Athens opposite the island of Salamis. The students will record the site’s extensive architectural remains using terrestrial laser scanning, photogrammetry, GIS and GPS. 3D computer visualization and animation technologies will be used to re-create areas of the site."

[Image: Dubai's abandoned Arabian Canal project: "The Arabian Canal was meant to run for 75 kilometres through the desert," photographer Tom Gara explains, "surrounded by luxury villas and apartment towers, creating an entire new city and doubling the size of Dubai"].

—"It will require an army of 10,000 construction workers, hundreds of giant drills and bulldozers, and four years of digging to get the job done," we read courtesy of The National back in 2008. "A billion cubic metres of earth will be removed from the ground and turned into hills that rise as high as the Emirates Towers Hotel."
    The 75-kilometre-long Arabian Canal will join the ranks of the great civil engineering legends of the earth—like the Suez and Panama canals. Yet, unlike its predecessors, Dubai’s new US$11bn (Dh40.4bn) canal is being dug solely for its value to property development. On its banks a new city will rise with museums, hotels, apartment buildings, villas, shops—and a population of 1.5 million people.
Unfortunately, it is now a ruin—or, more properly speaking, an abandoned excavation cut through the Earth like a little-known desert work by Michael Heizer.

[Image: The shallow acidic lakes of desert Australia, courtesy of NASA-JSC].

—"Life not only survives but thrives in Australian lakes where conditions may be as harsh as those on ancient Mars," New Scientist reports. "The lakes are very shallow and periodically fill with rainwater before partially evaporating, which concentrates the salts within them. They may be the closest equivalents on Earth of the shallow pools thought to have once dotted Mars."

[Image: Cliffs of Mars, courtesy of NASA].

—Speaking of Mars, "the new Mars pictures are a confrontation with the sublime," Sam Leith opines in the Guardian. "Look at these photographs of Mars, and you often can't tell if you're looking at miles, or metres, or microns. It's a scale with nothing human to anchor it. It suggests an unsettling kinship between the alienness of both the very tiny and the very large."

[Image: "A floating container vessel used by the UK during the 1982 Falklands War," courtesy of Popular Science].

—The ever-awesome Popular Science—whose Twitter feed is well-worth following—explains that "a modular, self-assembling floating platform delivered by cargo ships could provide a cheaper naval base for military forces" in their battle against piracy. Making BLDGBLOG's long-stated comparisons between Archigram and DARPA seemingly explicit, the "Tactically Expandable Maritime Platform (TEMP)," as it's known, "would turn the standard ISO containers carried by cargo ships into modules that each serve a specific purpose, such as living quarters, command cells, comm shacks, or weapons stations. Once deployed by cargo ship, the self-propelling modules would use low-level computer brains to assemble themselves into a larger structure." Mobile, modular, military instant cities at sea. Read a bit more at The Register.

[Image: A glimpse of an Aquapod floating fish farm, courtesy of National Geographic].

—For a variety of reasons, that previous story reminds me of this report from National Geographic last summer: "In the future, giant, autonomous fish farms may whir through the open ocean, mimicking the movements of wild schools or even allowing fish to forage 'free range' before capturing them once again." See more images here—and, in the process, read Pruned's 2008 take on the Aquapod farm module.

[Images: From Atlas of the New Dutch Water Defense Line].

—I really want to read this book, but I have yet to find a copy: Atlas of the New Dutch Water Defense Line.
    This atlas addresses the New Dutch Water Defense Line (Nieuwe Hollandse Waterlinie) on a themed basis. Its position in the landscape, the forts, the inundation system, the geomorphology, the strategic system and recent developments can be read off in maps rendered so as to give an understanding of all aspects of the defense line landscape. The defense line reveals itself as a many-tentacled military defensive system of forts, group shelters and polders which can be flooded at the threat of war. The maps show the cohesion of the defense line as a landscape-strategic structure as well as the topographic composition of this structure in layers and components. The more detailed maps of the forts display the wealth of historic places, insertions in the landscape and defining elements.
It's beautifully designed, as well.

[Image: From a project by nARCHITECTS].

—"Abandoned neighborhoods. Boarded-up harbor facilities. An oil refinery submerged under several feet of brackish water. The Statue of Liberty slowly sinking into the sea. 'Rising Currents: Projects for New York’s Waterfront,' a new show at the Museum of Modern Art, reflects a level of apocalyptic thinking about this city that we haven’t seen since it was at the edge of financial collapse in the 1970s," writes the beleaguered architecture critic for the New York Times. The show—open now through October 11, 2010—includes work by ARO and dlandstudio, LTL Architects, Matthew Baird Architects, nARCHITECTS, and SCAPE.

[Image: Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty, courtesy of Geographical].

—Finally, "an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) is exactly what it says it is," Geographical magazine explains: "a precious landscape whose distinctive character and natural beauty are so outstanding that it is in the nation's interest to safeguard them." Check out Geographical's guide to the UK's 40 official sites of Outstanding Natural Beauty, including the Ring of Gullion, the Sperrins, the dams and ruins of Nidderdale, the abandoned mines of the Tamar Valley, and many more.

(Some links via Archaeology. Don't miss Quick Links 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, and 8).

Minggu, 28 Maret 2010

0 Supermodel

[Image: Thesis project by Vincenzo Reale, from a course taught by Alessio Erioli at the University of Bologna; photo by Alessio Erioli].

Here are two 3D-printed thesis projects from a course taught by Alessio Erioli at the University of Bologna; above you see work by Vincenzo Reale, below work by Riccardo La Magna. I have to admit to being utterly blown away by the formal possibilities of 3D printers, and these projects only make that obsession more extreme.

[Image: Thesis project by Riccardo La Magna, from a course taught by Alessio Erioli at the University of Bologna; photo by Alessio Erioli].

For one or two more images of these and other thesis projects, check out the Flickr stream of Alessio Erioli, where I originally saw these photos; for more on the future of (an admittedly different kind of) 3D printing, check out the recent, awesome article by Tim Abrahams in Blueprint Magazine: "In a small shed on an industrial park near Pisa is a machine that can print buildings," we read.
    The machine itself looks like a prototype for the automotive industry. Four columns independently support a frame with a single armature on it. Driven by CAD software installed on a dust-covered computer terminal, the armature moves just millimetres above a pile of sand, expressing a magnesium-based solution from hundreds of nozzles on its lower side. It makes four passes... The system deposits the sand and then inorganic binding ink. The exercise is repeated. The millennia-long process of laying down sedimentary rock is accelerated into a day. A building emerges. This machine could be used to construct anything.
Mimicking geology, we might forego architecture altogether and print new tectonic plates. Print earthquakes and mountain chains, archipelagoes at sea.

0 5 Effective Tips on Removing The Obstacles to Your Success

success
One of the fastest ways to success is to remove the obstacles in front of you. These obstacles can be anything from mental roadblocks to office politics and making them move in the direction you want is not always easy and it certainly isn't fast.

I am not here to tell you exactly what to do because that won't work; your world is much different than mine. I am, however, here to share my experiences with you so you can take what I have learned and apply portions of it where it makes sense in your life. Going in, understand that reading is never enough to achieve success. If you're going to skim this article and then do nothing, your life won't change. You have to take action and you have to fail an incredible amount of times until something happens. There are exceptions of course, but I think you catch my drift.

If you only learn one thing from this article, that alone is enough and it will have an impact on your life. With all that said, here are my five effective tips on removing obstacles to success:
  1. Buy a Course
    The simpler you can make something, the easier it will be for you to succeed. If you buy a course that has been proven to work for thousands of people, you will succeed, if you follow the instructions.

    I know I’m supposed to say you should break the rules and be remarkable, but I'm not going to do that. Following instructions when you have no clue what you’re doing is the fastest way to success, at least for me. You might be different, so don’t take what I say as gospel.

    First learn the rules, play by the rules and only break them once you understand them. In the end what I’m trying to say is to find your own way of doing things.

  2. Get A Coach
    Ever since I paid someone money to criticize my poker game, I’ve been in love with coaching. It’s just such an effective way to reduce your learning curve. If you’re not getting the results you want, you can ask your coach what he or she thinks is wrong and what you can do to improve.

    Not only did I use coaching to improve my poker game to such a stage that I was able to make a living at it for almost five years, but I’ve also used it to learn blogging. I knew what I wanted, so I went out and found someone who was already successful. I then joined their coaching program.

  3. Outsource
    If you want to get something done online, you’ll naturally run into a lot of hurdles especially when it comes to design and the technical side of things. I realize you may not always have the money to throw on outsourcing, but if you do, it’s an effective way to save time and eliminate possible frustration.

    Want to get a blog up but don’t know how? Outsource it. Want to edit an audio file but don’t have the tools? Outsource it. Some things you want to outsource, others not so much. Think about where it makes sense.

  4. Partner
    Don’t know how to do the technical stuff? Don’t have money to outsource? Still feel like you can provide? Partner with someone whose strengths are your weaknesses and split the profits.

    Another restricting belief you may have is sharing the profit with someone. I had that too. Still have it to some extent, but working with the right partner is a lot of fun. I’m not out to make millions of dollars.

    I live a simple life, so I don’t need a lot of money. I’ve realized that I can do what I want to do with a relatively small income. It’s a common trap we fall into. We think we need all this money to do something, when instead we can just do it right away.

  5. Examine Your Beliefs
    When you think about success, it’s easy to associate it with competition. We have been taught to believe that success means stomping on other people to get higher up on the ladder, but does it really have to be that way?

    What you believe determines your reality. But remember, you do not have to be perfect to be successful. It’s easy to put successful people on a pedestal and think that they are above you when they aren’t.

    They are human beings just like everyone else. They have feelings, fears and worries. Think about what’s holding you back and why. You may begin to uncover some uncomfortable stuff, but if you want to become successful and do what you love, that’s one of the fastest way to get there.
Written on 3/28/2010 by Henri Junttila. Henri blogs at, Wake Up Cloud, where he shows you how you can earn money online ethically. You can also get the Passion Blogging Guide, which is free, but really shouldn't be.Photo Credit: lululemon athletica

Sabtu, 27 Maret 2010

0 Table of Contents

[Image: From Table of Contents by LOOMstudio; photo by Don Vu].

LOOMstudio—whose work has been on BLDGBLOG before (and I'm also a fan of their Sheep Barn project)—produced what they called the Table of Contents for a group show at Minneapolis's Form+Content Gallery last summer.
    The Table of Contents is a machine to decipher the housing crisis; a hybrid of game board, dining table, and scale model. It records evocative and uncanny housing "values" within a neighborhood in North Minneapolis through interactive discovery and play.
That description isn't the most helpful text in the world, but you can see from the images re-posted here that the result is landscape, machine, stage-set, and exploded box by Joseph Cornell all in one.

[Image: From Table of Contents by LOOMstudio; photo by Don Vu].

Grass lawns with sawed-off tree trunks sit beside card games that have yet to begin, while copper pipes hold inexplicable rubber gloves full of marbles and a tea kettle (or is it a bedpan?) hangs nearby. Newspaper clippings like stars drift overhead in slowly moving constellations. Tiny ecosystems grow inside overturned Mason jars and the door of a safe sits sprung wide open, as if robbed.

[Images: From Table of Contents by LOOMstudio; top two photos by Don Vu].

The project is not available on the architects' own website, but you can check out the Flickr set here.

0 The Extra Room

The Extra Room is a project by Bernhard Hopfengärtner and TheGreenEyl; it went on display last year as part of the What If... show at the Science Gallery in Dublin.

[Image: From The Extra Room by Bernhard Hopfengärtner and TheGreenEyl].

The Extra Room proposed a secret space "built into the basement of a multi storey building where it is shared by the house’s inhabitants," and inside of which those inhabitants could spend time alone and practice "protective self discipline."

"Utilising effects of sensory deprivation and methods used by the military to break someone down," the artists explain, "the room enables subjects to adjust their thinking and beliefs." It is a sensory-deprivation chamber by another name, in other words, a "reversed disciplinary architecture" in which you can lose yourself in the facets of a silent, white geometry and temporarily go a bit nuts. Think of it as a room for Socratic self-interrogation in an era of waterboarding and Guantanamo Bay.

While the actual image, seen above, is by no means the most interesting illustration that could have been produced for this project, the basic idea behind it—that architects, sociologists, and even behavioral psychologists could someday team up to explore a new architecture with deliberately cultivated neurological side-effects—suggests a moral risk to the design of private space that deserves further exploration. In fact, the idea that we could build a kind of psychological sacrifice zone in the basement of a residential high-rise is a narratively compelling one. Perhaps an entire district of the city could be architecturally adapted for the needs of self-experimentation, testing your own limits in the face of strange ornament and topologically inconsistent space. You receive a prescription for a five-hour visit to the Extra Borough, and you walk in, alone, faced with odd, windowless buildings and empty squares on either side. It is an urban arena for a new breed of psychological X-Games.

0 L.A. on the Nile

[Image: From the Los Angeles Times photographic archive at UCLA Library; copyright Regents of the University of California, UCLA Library].

The above image, originally published by the L.A. Times in 1965 and now in a collection at UCLA, shows "electric streetcars that once carried passengers on Los Angeles streets" being loaded by crane onto "the Liberian ship Santa Helena at Long Beach Harbor." The boat soon thereafter set sail for Cairo, Egypt, as the streetcars had been purchased by that city's own Transportation Co. "The streetcars will be used," the caption adds, "in Alexandria, Egypt." So, like something out of a story by Ignacio Padilla, if you want to experience a lost chapter in Los Angeles public transportation history, perhaps you need to book a flight to Cairo and head north toward the Mediterranean Sea.

Jumat, 26 Maret 2010

0 Vivarium

[Image: Inside Vivarium].

Juan Azulay's Vivarium project opens to the public tonight, Friday, March 26, over at SCI-Arc. Vivarium "explores the relationship between technology, media, and environmental preservation/dereliction," we read, "[...] by placing itself in the midst of processes of intense transformation within the ecosystem it has isolated."

[Images: Cladding for Vivarium].

The bulk of the exhibition space will feature a "sunken pyramid" that houses the "vivarium"; the vivarium itself will contain "three types of organisms. Living microorganisms will transform the vivarium’s air-moisture into salt. Robotic-engineered organisms made for the installation will in turn generate heat. Virtual (digital) organisms will mimic the behavior of both the living and robotic microorganisms."

These living/semi-living/replicant/undead/digital organisms will thus transform "a freshwater ecosystem into a brackish one... creating a new hybrid ecology that will grow and self-stabilize throughout the exhibition period of three months."

[Images: Assembly diagrams for Vivarium].

I'm reminded of an Ecosphere I had in my work desk a year or two back, a glass sphere inside of which two little shrimp—barely perceptible to the naked eye—swam around living plantlife while I edited articles nearby, only Vivarium blows that up to the scale of installation architecture while simultaneously scattering an oddly post-mortem (or is it pre-?) collection of quasi-organisms into the mix. An aquarium left alone in a VR cave until it thinks it's dreaming.

Azulay will be discussing the project in a public event at SCI-Arc on April 9, so be sure to check that out if you have any questions.
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