20 December 2015

Bad Urban Design


American urban design is still putting the car[t] before the ho[u]se.


26 September 2015


Enough with the envy!  Bring on the jealousy!

03 May 2015

Note the phrase: "______ will hurt the economy"


Those who say "________ will hurt the economy" are actually saying "________ will hurt MY economy."


Economies are sprouting and dying every second. This morning when I bought a coffee from the local coffee shop I started and ended an economy between me and the coffee shop.  You could say I hurt the economy of another coffee shop by not buying there but yet the economy of coffee buying remains the same regardless of which shop I went to.

So, in the context of all this hurting, how does one define The Economy?  Where does one draw a circle around transactions and call it The Economy?  The Earth?  The USA?  The local coffee shop?

When the statement "________ will hurt the economy"  is used, it is being drawn by the speaker around his or her own interests. 

Economy is just like Mother Nature.  Both will continue to push out and adapt until there is no more Earth.  And neither really needs humans necessarily.  Mother Nature could care less what happens to humans.

The irony of trying to save humans through acts that will "hurt the economy."

21 April 2015


Hypocrites are wise people.  Listen to them.

16 March 2015


From the Department of "Being Like Frank Luntz Except Not Evil:"

Ok kids, from now on, use the term "Science Deniers."

Plain and simple.

03 March 2015

Dear Mr. Buffet,


It's sad that even the most successful corporations are ultimately just followers and not leaders.  They are simply followers of future trends.  They are in a sense slaves of themselves.  Why can't a corporation truly be a leader.  Is it by definition, impossible?  Is it by definition - via U.S. Shareholder laws - illegal? 

Why can't a corporation lead people to a greater Good?

21 February 2015

Key and Michael Peele are two rather talented fellas.

17 February 2015

Tango

There are two kinds of Tango dancers: those who love to Tango and those who love to dance.

14 February 2015

4th Party

"4th Party" - A political party with a limited but targeted agenda focusing on amending the methods of representation of the United States of America at the federal level. 

The desires of the Founding Fathers was to create a democratically elected representative government that was free of political parties and relied on the individual to have a direct say through representation on the stewardship of our collective pursuits.  This goal has obviously and egregiously failed now that two parties dominate the federal (and state) government and work at maintaining their control as much as working on issues of the people.  The members of 4th Party believe that while the two party system is detrimental to democracy, a no party system is unrealistic.  It is the goal of 4th party to reform the mechanisms of the federal government to ensure there are always 4 distinct parties participating at the federal level.  4th Party also limits its goal to this issue in order to be accessible to individuals of divergent opinions who agree on the need for reform.  The 4th party platform is limited to the following three platform items:

1) An individual elected to a federal office may be re-elected to the same office only once consecutively.  I.e., the individual can return for election to the same office after not participating in at least one election cycle of said office.

2) The President will be elected by popular national vote.  The individual receiving the highest vote will become President.  The second individual will become President of the Senate and a Senator-at-Large.  The third and fourth place individuals will become Senators-at-Large.  All three Senators-at-Large will have full Senatorial powers for four year terms.  The President will designate his Vice-President who will also take on the role of Secretary of State.

3) The House of Representatives will be divided into four different groups by a method of voting.  A minimum of four Representatives will volunteer their names for position of Speaker of the House or, if the list is greater than four, the House will vote until the top four most popular Representatives are explicit.  The House will vote for one of the four to become Speaker of the House.  The remaining three will join a Representative chosen by the Speaker to take the "four corners" of the House.  The remaining Representatives will designate the corner of their choice.  The voting power of each corner is determined by the number of its members.  Each corner will have the power to produce legislation for the entire House to vote on.

4) Really should be four, for composition...

06 February 2015


There is no such thing as 'bad art.'

There is only good art and art that is not good yet.

04 February 2015


I 'used to' believe that making money and doing good were mutually exclusive.  Now I believe that in the field of architecture making money is the only way to do good.  If only because those who need to listen only listen to those with money.  From which, collectively, good will be done.

03 January 2015


Potential political platform concept:

CITY-states NOT city-STATES!

20 December 2014


If you would just give me a moment, I can write about it.

14 December 2014

Red Hot Blues blues

Red Hot Blues blues

[red hot blooz blooz] noun
1. (used with a plural verb) the despondency acquired from opening a bag of Garden of Eatin' Red Hot Blues and then discovering the lack of the spicy red powder on nearly all the chips!

e.g. "I might as well have bought the regular flavor blue chips.... f' it"

08 December 2014

The Dream of the 90s is alive in...

The dream of the 90s is alive in Uruguay.

  

MUJICA !!!

15 June 2014

Cogitamus ergo sum


Summarizing David Eagleman's work in neuroscience and his discovery of how the human brain is simply multiplex.

06 May 2014

Infinite v. Finite

Infinite vs Finite.  A free market with an infinite mindset versus a planet with finite resources.  Infinity versus Finity?  And to top it off, to simply ask the question is some form of Communism.

TMGT

Too Much of a Good Thing.

This maybe why architecture is doomed.  Even good architects get swept up in their superior quality and make too much of the same thing with complete disregard to scale.

06 April 2014

01 April 2014

Immigration Reform



It would require 1) a constitutional amendment (yeah, I know.), 2) amnesty, permanent residency, or some similar status granted to all current undocumented residents with no criminal record. 3) and an NGO to register all current undocumented residents.

The amendment and amnesty would be a quid pro quo to get broad support.  Specifically, the 14th amendment would be amended to no longer provide citizenship to "all persons born or naturalized in the United States," starting the moment the new amendment is passed, in exchange for an amnesty or similar status for all current residents violating current immigration law.

Since the current law gives citizenship to anyone born on US soil, eliminating that should give the "conservatives" something they like while the "liberals" should like the amnesty or residency status.

Considering the time frame required of constitutional amendments, an NGO would be charged with registering and creating a database of all current "undocumented migrants" up to a certain date.  After the passage of the amendment, those names would be submitted to U.S. government for amnesty.



08 March 2014

*Sigh*

"I work with heavy Rhino models a lot. I've noticed no significant slow down- I guess it depends how you bring it into Max though. After a lot of testing different formats etc, I use a Rhinoscript to export each layer as an obj file (highest geometry settings). I use a Maxscript to batch import all these into Max because I find it works best with "import as single mesh" ticked. Add an Edit Mesh and Auto Edge Visibility everything, add a Map Scaler OSM modifier set to 1m and it's all good to go. There's a couple of extra steps I do, but that's the basics, works great."

05 March 2014

Post Traumatic Stress Injury (PTSI)


From my letter to Elizabeth Danze and John Blood, Architects (of the memorial to wounded warriors)

"... I'd like to discuss the terminology of “PTSD.” To label the wounded warriors as having a 'disorder' misses the target, I feel. Would it not really be more correct to call it “Post-Traumatic Stress Reaction” or “Post-Traumatic Stress Injury?” To explain, I find it more fitting if we consider such results of the last 12 years as more of an affliction thrust upon those who stood up to serve rather than an affliction for those who couldn't quite 'cut it'. To label the wounded warriors as having a disorder I think makes it seem that they are “in the wrong” when it is obvious that the real disorder was sitting in the White House for 8 years." 

- 15 Sept 2013

26 February 2014

|| universes


I'm grateful to be in the same parallel universe as Christopher Walken but I wish I was in the one where, also, Jerry Bruckheimer only produced documentaries.

09 February 2014

Market Forces

Fear vs. Boredom

There really isn't much else to dynamics of the markets.  Fear of loss causes the drops and Boredom (or the fear of missing out) causes them to go up.  That's why talk of 'hurting' or 'destroying' economies is BS.  There will always be an economy of some sort as long as people fear or get bored.

Architecture is Bliss


Forgive me for putting your words on my web-log, Mr. Orwell, but I couldn't help but think "architect" where is written "writer:"

"To suggest that a creative writer, in a time of conflict, must split his life into two compartments, may seem defeatist or frivolous: yet in practice I do not see what else he can do. To lock yourself up in an ivory tower is impossible and undesirable. To yield subjectively, not merely to a party machine, but even to a group ideology, is to destroy yourself as a writer. We feel this dilemma to be a painful one, because we see the need of engaging in politics while also seeing what a dirty, degrading business it is. And most of us still have a lingering belief that every choice, even every political choice, is between good and evil, and that if a thing is necessary it is also right. We should, I think, get rid of this belief, which belongs to the nursery. In politics one can never do more than decide which of two evils is the lesser, and there are some situations from which one can only escape by acting like a devil or a lunatic." ―
George Orwell, Writers and the Leviathan

Alas, it is the paradox of Life: the Imperfect.  It was going since the Beginning and we would not be here without it, yet it frustrates us at the same time.  Anything more would be hubris, or Nothing.

19 May 2013

The Four Corners of the Room

Since the one party (a.k.a. "two party" system) of the US is a problem, efforts to encourage diversity is the only solution.  Here's the plan:  Instead of ignoring the existence of political parties on teh Constitutional level, officially acknowledging a minimum of four so to at least double the ideological representation, and move beyond the 1 dimensional left - right spectrum.

In my crude suggestion, House members would vote for four leaders of each "corner of the room" or four camps. With a quasi-run-off voting method, members would vote until only four designated representatives remained.  Those four would be "leaders" of some sort with certain powers that would make it of valuable interest for participation and delineation of the complexity of thinking representing a large populace.




Non-Binding Anonymous Conscience Vote


A story from This American Life implied that there are several Republican House members that are secretly supporters of efforts to tackle Climate Change.....  What about a Non-Binding Anonymous Conscience Vote then?  Would it help move the issue forward if everyone voted their conscience on issue without fear of reprisal or commitment?

Preliminary Rules:

1) The House Minority Leader or official equivalent may call for a Non-Binding Anonymous Conscience Vote on any issue once per legislative year.

2) No House member may be allowed to indicate or convey in any manner how they voted.

10 February 2013

Poetry for Urban Designers


Overpass

When in a hurry to a meeting I will never remember, were
the moments from lives just unparralleled, unforgetable:
The first time I heard your laugh.
The first time I saw your coat.
The first time I saw your scarf.
The first time I saw your face.
The first time I looked into your eyes.
The first time you smiled at me.
I will never know your name
but I do know the overpass
where none of these moments will ever happen.

Trees

If a genius fell in a forest but no one was around to hear, was he or she really a genius?

03 February 2012

Into The Least Crowded Space

Considering 'Into The Least Crowded Space' must be an algorithm of biology and nature, could it be a more basic universal law, as simple as being the opposite of gravity?

29 January 2012

UNDER-EMPLOYMENT

Under-employment... Isn't that really the great promise of technology?

23 January 2012

The useful Mormon

It's nothing if not entertaining to watch evangelical Republicans find euphemisms for not supporting Mitt Romney. From "Romney Care" to "Flip-Flopper" to "Too Rich???" Rich. Evangelicals cannot allow a Mormon to become president because to them it would legitimize the religion and much worse make it a step closer to becoming considered a "true" sect of Christianity.

If Romney were not a Mormon he would have won the nomination by now and possibly even the 2008 nomination, previously. All the other issues would have been spun and justified by the NeoCon media machine.

Evangelical Republicans want your votes not your people, Mormons. Jesus.

17 January 2012

Never start a rock set with a 6/8.

13 November 2011

Plastistan


They call it the "Great Pacific Garbage Patch" but I think "Plastistan" would be a better name to use in an advocacy/publicity campaign.

14 October 2011

Wang Shu

Are you optimistic?

I asked that question of Wang Shu today. If you told me he is the greatest living architect of China at this time I would not argue.

He said no.

I couldn't think of a better question to ask someone from the heart of a world that will be more and more the heart of the entire world. I would not have been surprised by either answer. His presentation was amazing. He was happy to share his vision, sincerity, background, and work with everyone. Together all four told a clear story that confirmed what I could only gather from various anecdotes about the recent history of China. He is a man with such foresight that he left architecture in 1989, after finishing an 80 story building, after seeing what kind of future that meant. Only returning to architecture after many years of philosophy to question what it truly means to be an architect. He made the presentation with such warm and avuncular humor that to hear him say he is optimistic would have been just as believable. The only benefit to his answer was that it saved me the time of asking my follow up questions, now moot. (How would he counter international downward forces on architecture and humanity? With an international counter? An alliance of architects across the globe? Would fighting fire with fire be paradoxical?)

To be serious, briefly, there is one other benefit to his response. After an initial sadness to hear it, I feel a sense of kinship with him and more importantly a pleasant resignation (and confirmation) that the Arts is truly all we have left and whether we want to lead by example or not it ends up on the same path.

16 September 2011

Orbit Pollution

It's inevitable. Man's destiny is to discover new frontiers to leave crap around.

10 August 2011

Amtrak Website

The website for Amtrak is way better than it used to be but I'd still add another feature.  People are complaining about Amtrak not being that affordable compared to alternatives. I am now realizing these first-timers are just plugging in trip locations and using the default time setting. Of course that is going to be expensive. Like airlines the closer to departure the higher the ticket. Amtrak should always say: If you were to buy this ticket a week or two in advance it would cost X amount of dollars (less than what you see above.)

20 July 2011

Dumbest ideas

1. Automatic transmission motorcycles
2. Automatic seatbelts
3. Putting gelatin in yogurt
4. The little pocket in a pocket in men's pants
5. Reviving the button fly.
6. GE's refrigerator water/ice dispenser button

27 June 2011

Graffiti

Graffiti is the antithesis of homogeneity. - 1998

I came back to this thought recently because of noticing the variety in quality of graffiti and its effect on the urban landscape AND vice versa. Graffiti is not necessarily a negative or positive value but a multiplier.
It reflects and magnifies the urban landscape and its qualities, good or bad, for better or worse. And even in the worst cases, graffiti simply calls attention to where urban design has been neglected or abused.

18 June 2011

The Pyramids, Giza, Egypt

And the greatest work of modern architecture is (drumroll)... the Great Pyramid of Giza.

Striking, minimal, sustainable at 5000+ years and counting.
We've been trying to design the next closest thing without admitting it.

28 May 2011

The Sweet Spot

For me, making a successful film is when EXACTLY half the audience gets it and is explaining it to the other half on the way out of the theater.

22 May 2011

Craigslist

Craigslist is being so blatantly abused. Craig, what about this?:

1. Keep posts simple.
a. Block use of large fancy images.
b. Block the manipulation of html like text and background colors.

Essentially make a simple template that doesn't vary greatly between posts, just gives the pertinent information. Short, succinct, and fair.

21 May 2011

Block Development

I would like to see a hypothetical outcome of a law making it impossible for one person or developer to own adjacent properties in a city block. Would we get the classical beauty of Amsterdam with alternating variety of modern and/or classical designs?

20 May 2011

'Ground Transportation' at Newark

On my return flight to the US of A, I made a stop in NYC. I went via Newark airport. From previous experience I knew that the rail line into Manhattan was a convenient one. But had I not known that from before, I would have ended up seeing buses as my only option. At the exit of Newark International, where you see the sign for 'Ground Transportation' the arrow points to the left - THE EXACT OPPOSITE DIRECTION of the rail line station to Manhattan which has no sign at that juncture. The bus ride costs $5 more than the train and is far less comfortable. Does NJTransit know people get funneled into the bus services like that?

19 May 2011

Tovo Signs



I'm a Tovo supporter... but... I can't get over those signs. Is it just me or does that ovoid shape look like the Pork logo?


It's always too easy to criticize and I'm no stranger to the pitfalls of attempting novel graphic design. Maybe it's successful in the category of getting any attention is good attention. Maybe it's even a winning idea. It's eye catching, right?

Or hell, maybe the fella who designed her sign is the same one working for the Pork Council and he just got his project files mixed up. That would explain this:

16 May 2011

Is Healthcare A Right?

This seems to be the pivotal question for the healthcare debate today which is dumb.

I DON'T believe universal healthcare is a right, I just think it's a GOOD IDEA.

The whole point of insurance is to have as large a population as possible participating so as to blunt the impact of a tragedy to any one individual. What could be a larger population than all of the United States?

Moreover I would ask: Isn't making a profit on the failing health of others immoral? Especially in a gambling format?

A universal healthcare system would not only save lives it would save some souls as well.

14 May 2011

Tariffs

Tariffs define national borders. Stopping global homogenization would require cancelling all "free" trade agreements and implementing a universal 5% import tariff on all products from all foreign states. Other countries should do likewise.

08 March 2011

Energy Economy

At some point we will switch from a growth economy to an energy economy, willingly or not.

02 February 2011

150%

When it comes to production design, you have to give 150% because you never know which third the director is going to leave out.

12 June 2009

Color is contrast. Art is contrast. Art is color. No it's not.

17 October 2008

Economics

Economics is the study of all the middle men between the sun and the food on your table.

14 September 2008

The Corporate Hinge

There are SEVEN simple machines now!!!

We all know the six simple machines as defined in the classical era. I just discovered the existence of a seventh. I was trying to repair my trash can with mechanical top and foot lever. What I found was amazing: the hinge broke because it was a thinned out piece of plastic attached to two struts. That is, the plastic was thinned out at the middle so it could bend. That's it. It acts as a hinge. Bending thin plastic is how I used to intentionally break pieces of model kits off the sprues. I can do nothing but salute the inventors of this new machine, the Seventh Simple, designed to work until it breaks!! Awe!

12 September 2008

Why Are the Democrats So Dumb? (Sadly, A Multi-Part Series) 4

ANWR
According to USGS estimates the Artic National Wildlife Refuge contains no more than 16 billion barrels of oil. The United States consumes 21 million barrels per day. That means at best ANWR can provide America's need for two years. The Democrats should talk about a 100 year oil plan. Any idiot can accept that we'll be needing oil 100, 200, even 500 years from now. So if neo-cons are really fiscally responsible conservatives shouldn't ANWR be America's PIGGY BANK? "If you think things are bad now what will the future hold?" we should ask. One day oil will be worth $500 a barrel. That's the time to break the piggy.

22 February 2008

Single Payer

If the Democratic presidential candidates are going to run on a platform with a national health care system they should go with "Single Payer." Not necessarily because it may be the best of the various national systems but because it would be the easiest to sell, politically.



- Single Payer just sounds streamlined and efficient. Something the lowest common denominator can comprehend.



- I'm not an expert but I think Single Payer would end the custom of getting health insurance through employers. I think this could be sold as fewer things employers and employees have to worry about.



- This is also the system employed by Canada. It doesn't seem so scary if the quiet neighbor to the north isn't complaining.



(22 Feb. 2008)

Single Payer

If the Democratic presidential candidates are going to run on a platform with a national health care system they should go with "Single Payer." Not necessarily because it may be the best of the various national systems but because it would be the easiest to sell, politically.

- Single Payer just sounds streamlined and efficient. Something the lowest common denominator can comprehend.

- I'm not an expert but I think Single Payer would end the custom of getting health insurance through employers. I think this could be sold as fewer things employers and employees have to worry about.

- This is also the system employed by Canada. It doesn't seem so scary if the quiet neighbor to the north isn't complaining.

22 October 2007

My Favorite Female Vocalists

Chet Baker
Getty Lee
Jay Kay
Cheb Mami
Chris Denny
Alice Cooper

10 November 2006

Erfolgfreudeneidhaßschuld

Erfolgfreudeneidhaßschuld

The opposite of Schadefruede.

(Success-joy-envy-hate-guilt)

But what is the "opposite" of German?