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101 Current Projects

team meeting one. we spent all day tuesday to come up with this list of the 98 projects we were working on. since then i remembered 4 more

i’ve got 99 problems and… here they are. all spelled out on a white board.

Lovely article at Art Fag City,  on Google Street View’s incidentally captured moments.

Two years ago, Google sent out an army of hybrid electric automobiles, each one bearing nine cameras on a single pole. Armed with a GPS and three laser range scanners, this fleet of cars began an endless quest to photograph every highway and byway in the free world.

Art Fag City, Jon Rafman, Google Street View

Consistent with the company’s mission “to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful,” this enormous project, titled Google Street View, was created for the sole purpose of adding a new feature to Google Maps.

Art Fag City, Jon Rafman, Google Street View

Never hiding its presence, but never announcing its arrival, the Street View vehicle is a systematic pursuer of fleeting moments. continue…

On August 2nd, we held a workshop at the Spring Preserve in Las Vegas Nevada. We asked participants to write and talk about their weather experiences and hopes and fears for the future. Here are some of the responses:

50 years ago when we came to Las Vegas we had a definite weather change from the coast of Oregon. Here very little rain. Warm winters and the children wore shorts all winter for two years until their body became used to LV weather.
There was a population of approximately 12,000 people in the valley - very little pollution until progress with atomic experimentation at Mercury, and then very little as the wind sent the pollution to the east.
Now our weather has changed as it usually does every 7-8 years. We have dust pollution when the wind blows, when it rains it washes the pollution off roofs and trees
Unusual weather, perhaps to newcomers, but old timers realize our bodies also promote pollution from the extreme heat and occasionally extreme cold.

1] What has been your most frightening weather experience?

Driving in an Arizona rainstorm…like I was underwater
8 hour drive in a snowstorm when my mom was mad at my dad
Tornados in west texas

Hiking in a huge lightening storm down Mt. Washburn in Yellowstone National park
Brush fire behind my parent’s house in Burbank in 1971

While camping in Mt. Charleston it started to rain one summer. It started out with some clouds in the afternoon but we had no clue what was going to happen. More clouds started to build. Rain started first. Then lightning. Then more lightning. Lightning was a few miles away then close to within a mile. All of a sudden it was right here.

When we were camping on Mt. Charles it started to rain. It was scary. The clouds were really dark. It was raining hard. Lots of lightning struck.

Funnel cloud at an arts festival
Heavy rains and thunder and low lightning. Stuck in a car with my family. 10 years old.
Strong heavy winds and rains (monsoon) in Tucson. Downpour - stuck at work - happened very fast

Boiling sky
Cloud color - black/green

Hurricane Camille 1969
Category 5 dumped on central VA turning small creeks into raging torrents that almost drowned me

2 floods
1965 S. Platte River in Denver
1999 July 8 Las Vegas NV 3″ in 90 minutes
~1980s hiking on Mt Yale in Colorado when a lightning storm came up and the hairs on my body stood up

2] What has been your most pleasant weather experience?

Lived in Southern Cal near the beach, always nice
Beautiful skies in west Texas
Rain in sunlight

Dancing in a thunderstorm in Arizona
Santa Ana winds in LA in October

The morning after a snow is the best time. Especially a cold morning with light winds. Causes snow crystals to glitter from trees to the ground. It gives you a good feeling of calm and peace.

One day I woke up there was a little bit of snow. It was sunny.

Monsoon rain Tucson - sitting safe on my porch and watching the rain
Snow in Vegas

Clean air in valley

Irvine CA spring day like a dream

Hanging out at a cabin in Buena Vista, CO - light breeze rustling throuh the aspens - sunshine, blue sky, cottonwood creek streaming over the rocks
Blizzard of ‘82 24″ in 24 hours

3] What do you most fear for the future climate?

Family in tornado prone areas
Mistakes as to global warming cures…wrong moves could impoverish us all
Hijacking of conservation by socialistic groups
Abandonment of free enterprise

My son’s generation will not experience a good environment
It’s getting too close for comfort

Extreme weather changing the environment
Too much rain ruining crops

Water pollution from toxic rain

Perfect storm scenario where a combination of climate change, pollution, drought, famine, disease - global catastrophe

Too much water - flood
no water - desert drought

4] What is your greatest hope for the future of climate?

Green living that doesn’t destroy standard of living

We simplify our lives and the Earth corrects itself with or without us

People becoming more concerned about the environment and helping to make positive changes (consumers putting pressure on industry)

Reforestation to produce rain and diminish drought and deforestation

We all get off the grid and manage our resources realistically

We’ll beat pollution and global warming
‘Mostly sunny!’

From Self, the urban guide to almost self sufficiency (Urban Homesteading):

Paul Kingsnorth likens this plant to a major supermarket in his book real England. The following paragraph beautifully sums up how both knotweed and Tescos behavior.

“Just as Knotweed is all cloned from one single plant, so the big chains are all cloned from global corporations. Just as Knotweed makes it impossible for the local plant life at its roots, and thus kills off the local insects and the local birds, so the big chain shops kill off the local independent shops around them and thus destroys the local economy. Just as Knotweed will come back again several growing seasons in a row until those of us out there with mallets and rollers are exhausted, so a big supermarket, refused planning permission, will apply again and again until the Council and local people are worn down and give in.”

Knotweed shoots being harvested in spring

Knotweed shoots being harvested in spring

Something to look forward to next spring!

My friend Leda and I are partners in crime. We conspire to pick noxious weeds in a public park, which, technically, is against the law. I checked. The fine in New York City is $1,000 for removing plants from a park, although writing a ticket for picking an invasive plant like Japanese knotweed should make any self-respecting park ranger blush. When I weigh the tart, zesty taste of knotweed shoots against the threat of a hefty citation, the scales tip heavily in favor of the knotweed.

In the spring, Japanese knotweed sends up thick green spears mottled with red, like asparagus on steroids with a sunburn. Exactly when it muscles its way up through the earth depends on where you live. In New York City, the knotweed picking is best in April, so harvest earlier if you live farther south, later if farther north.

Knotweed stalks at prime harvest time.

Before it starts to branch, knotweed is very tender; after branching, the stems are so tough that you have to peel them to eat them. That’s too much work for me, so I harvest early. Knotweed grows fast; within a few days, it’s gone from tender to tough, so when I see the first spears poke up, I don’t dawdle.

Some people think knotweed is bamboo, because of its tall, woody, jointed stems. It’s not closely related, but it’s just as invasive; by the end of summer, knotweed can be six to eight feet tall. The tall, dead stalks from the previous year’s growth make excellent markers for new growth in the spring, with the young shoots poking up around the old stalks.

Since there are so many things you can make with knotweed, you’ll have no trouble using as much as you harvest. And if you clean and freeze the stems when you get home, you can cook with it at your leisure; it keeps for months in the freezer. Knotweed wine is one of my favorite home brews; it takes less time to finish fermenting than many other wines and tastes like a good sauterne with a tawny gold color. Knotweed can be substituted for rhubarb in pies, jams, and jellies; it combines well with strawberries, blueberries, and apples. And, yes, you can use knotweed as a vegetable; it’s tart and crunchy in stir-fries and lemony delicious under hollandaise. My favorite way to eat knotweed is in a creamy soup. Nothing like turning environmental activism into lunch.

Earlier this month, Nikon announced their CoolPix S1000pj camera, which has a built-in projector — the first camera to do this as of yet.

I’m not a gadget whore nor am I advocating buying this product, with its $430 price tag, but it does bring up some amazing social possibilities.

Imagine this: instead of 3 or 4 people huddled around a 3-inch LCD screen, you instead project your images from parties and travel against the walls of the local bar or restaurant. While some people don’t approve of this, I say why not? Cafes have become laptop opium dens, people gab on their cell phones on sidewalks, and I have been asked to move aside while looking at artwork for the sake of a quick photo.

Public space is replete with devices and this one will at least foster face-to-face social communication rather than isolation. I can’t wait.