Cube Dweller

27 notes &

humanscalecities:

Smart Cities: Becoming a Gimmick?

In 21st Century urban planning, the term ‘Smart Cities’ is frequently bandied about. It’s the ultimate urban utopia of most urban planners and policy-makers in the UK and elsewhere in the World. Today “[h]ardly a week passes without a mayor somewhere in the world unveiling a “smart-city” project—often at one of the many conferences hailing the concept”. Although, city-scale experiments have already been designed and implemented the smart cities model has been largely criticised, contested and challenged by many because of its techno-centric approach to complex physical, social, environmental and economic urban systems. Directed and Produced by: Gynna Millan, Illiany Hamdan and Roderick Selfridge

4 notes &

Bike Lanes on Peachtree Road? Could it be?

Last night I attended an info session at a church a couple of miles up the road. I walked. Or I tried to. About 3 blocks south of the church the sidewalk is closed. Fortunately a MARTA bus was coming, so I caught a ride for the rest of the trip.

The info session was resplendent in maps and street cross-sections and other beautiful visions of the future. That future being as early as Spring of next year for my neck of the woods, that is, GDOT project ID 0012870, the Safety Project . It takes Peachtree Rd, the road that somehow grew to 6 lanes, down to 5 lanes, including a left-hand turn lane down the middle, or a median/pedestrian refuge, and bike lanes on each side.

Bike lanes! This would make my bike commute safe! I had two cyclists pass me on the sidewalk waking up there. That’s how friendly the road is now.

One of the urban planning people asked me if I had any questions. I had just one: what’s taking so long? :-)  He then asked me to please fill out a comment card, because there were a lot of people bashing the project on their comment sheets, and they needed some positive comments.

And I ask you, dear reader, to please support this worthy project as well. Even if you don’t live in Atlanta. Just tell them something like having these bike lanes would make the area much more attractive for business trips and vacations (there are a lot of hotels, restaurants, and shopping on this road). Applaud this progressive action, note that you are sure businesses will find the area much more attractive now, what with more commuting options, better quality of life, that kind of stuff.

Here’s the address: transformpeachtree@buckheadcid.com

Thanks!

Filed under Atlanta Bike lanes Buckhead miracle

2,731 notes &

theatlantic:

This Man Took 445 Photobooth Portraits of Himself Over 30 Years, and Nobody Knows Why

For three decades, starting in the 1930s, he did the same thing. He’d sit inside a photo booth. He’d smile. He’d pose. 
And then—pop! pop! pop!—out would pop a glossy self-portrait, in shades of black and white. There he was, staring back at himself … and grinning. And, sometimes, almost scowling. There he was, mirthful. And, sometimes, almost scornful.  
The man—nobody knows who he was—repeated this process 455 times, at least, and he did so well into the 1960s. Nobody knows for sure why he did it. Or where he did it. All we know is that he took nearly 500 self-portraits over the course of thirty years, at a time when taking self-portraits was significantly more difficult than it is today, creating a striking record of the passage of time. 
The man’s effort is now being shared with the public in the form of a collection being shown at Rutgers’ Zimmerli Art Museum in New Brunswick. “445 Portraits of a Man,” the exhibit is appropriately called, takes these early, earnest selfies and presents them as art. 
Read more. [Image courtesy Donald Lokuta]


Just like in Amelie?

theatlantic:

This Man Took 445 Photobooth Portraits of Himself Over 30 Years, and Nobody Knows Why

For three decades, starting in the 1930s, he did the same thing. He’d sit inside a photo booth. He’d smile. He’d pose. 

And then—pop! pop! pop!—out would pop a glossy self-portrait, in shades of black and white. There he was, staring back at himself … and grinning. And, sometimes, almost scowling. There he was, mirthful. And, sometimes, almost scornful.  

The man—nobody knows who he was—repeated this process 455 times, at least, and he did so well into the 1960s. Nobody knows for sure why he did it. Or where he did it. All we know is that he took nearly 500 self-portraits over the course of thirty years, at a time when taking self-portraits was significantly more difficult than it is today, creating a striking record of the passage of time. 

The man’s effort is now being shared with the public in the form of a collection being shown at Rutgers’ Zimmerli Art Museum in New Brunswick. “445 Portraits of a Man,” the exhibit is appropriately called, takes these early, earnest selfies and presents them as art.

Read more. [Image courtesy Donald Lokuta]

Just like in Amelie?

(via likeafieldmouse)

4 notes &

Cooling Tower Geek Out

Our condo is getting a new cooling tower. The old one, a galvanized unit from ~1994 is rusting away.

So I’m in geek nirvana!

As a condo board member, I’m working with the contractor re the specs. And having just this week attended the annual parks conference that focused on stormwater issues, and also being the guy who tests the water in our local creek, well, I couldn’t just sit around and let us buy just any old cooling tower.

So the one we are looking at has a 414 ton capacity. It can evaporate 9.94 gallons of water per minute. That got my attention.

That’s 596.4 gallons of purified drinking water, that we buy from the water department, every hour.

Atlanta has very expensive water, btw.

One of the speakers at the conference was Brad Lancaster (google him), who spoke of rainwater harvesting in Tucson. He also has a youtube video with a localized talk for Amman, Jordan, where he spoke of catching air conditioner condensate. So that got me thinking.

He is also a car-free bicyclist - very worth knowing.

We have about 600 fan-coil units in this building. The condensation (and there is a lot in humid Georgia) goes down the drain, and is sent to our local water treatment plant, even though it is clean water.

Still with me? So how about sending that water to our cooling tower instead? It’s free water, and it’s super pure.

I asked the contractor. Oh, and we also have 2,000 gallons of water tank storage capacity in our boiler room. I was saving it for a rainwater catchment system, but this is better.

So the contractor says, “sure! We do it all the time!”

Well that was easy. But if I hadn’t asked, it wouldn’t be happening.

So always ask. You might be surprised by the answer.

Good for the environment, good for the association’s budget.

Filed under cooling tower just ask a prepared mind... Brad Lancaster AC condensate no-brainer

4 notes &

My hood

I just walked down to 28th Street to score some organic goodies from the Farm Mobile. It is a great day for a walk, and it allowed me to stop and take photos, thawing frozen meat notwithstanding.

These are of the famous Peachtree Road, in the Buckhead region, just south of Lindbergh Dr. Yes, Atlanta got caught up in Lindbergh mania after he crossed the Atlantic. And like so many other cities, it named a road after him.

Unlike many other cities, it didn’t rename the road after Lindbergh became a big supporter of Fascism, Hitler, etc.

Atlanta is funny like that. But I digress.

Back to Peachtree.

This is the road I bicycle on. Yes, I’m crazy. But we might get bike lanes or cycle tracks or something. I’ll learn more next week at a public viewing of the plans.

Peachtree Creek runs under it just south of here, and the creek water we test flows into Peachtree Creek a little east of here.

We are all connected.

This section of the road, actually, most sections of this road, are pretty ugly, in spite of its bucolic name.
Somehow it became okay to put suburban style strip malls on this road. So across the street from the most expensive condos in Atlanta are a bunch of curb cuts leading to surface parking directly on the street.

Don’t get me wrong, we should have retail within an easy walk of homes. So walking on a sidewalk shouldn’t be dangerous, but with cars swooping in and out of parking lots, lots of parking lots, well, it is.

To make it even more interesting, most of these overly wide sidewalks are at grade with the road. So really the only way to tell is the sidewalks are concrete and may have bus shelters and utility poles, and the road is asphalt. Note in the first photo the road seems to be creeping up the apron/sidewalk.

Sneaky road.

We could pull the sidewalks away from the road (we don’t need 10’ wide sidewalks) and put in a buffer (grass, flowers, cycle track). And take away a bunch of these curb cuts.

Our building (the not-ugly photo) almost gets it right, but if I had my way I’d get rid of the entrance on Peachtree (in the foreground). And again, the sidewalks are way too wide. A 5 ’ sidewalk could handle the crowds of pedestrians in these photos.

And this concludes my mini critique of all that is wrong in my hood - urban planning-wise.

Filed under Peachtree Road sidewalks curb cuts road diet cycle tracks? no fun atlanta Buckhead

13 notes &

theplanetofsound:

Where’s Ringo?: The Story of The Beatles in 20 Visual Puzzles [Hardcover]
Ringo has got lost! You must find him.
An album-sized hide-and-seek seek caper through the story of the Beatles. 
It’s due for publication on 4th September 2014, but you can pre-order now, with the book priced at £9.99.
via

My birthday is In late October

theplanetofsound:

Where’s Ringo?: The Story of The Beatles in 20 Visual Puzzles [Hardcover]

Ringo has got lost! You must find him.

An album-sized hide-and-seek seek caper through the story of the Beatles. 

It’s due for publication on 4th September 2014, but you can pre-order now, with the book priced at £9.99.

via

My birthday is In late October

Filed under hint hint

19 notes &

IN THE BAG

yellowonesdontstop:

I’m in the market for a new bag that will be easier and better to carry in warm weather (whenever that decides to finally get here). I currently have and use daily a Chrome Citizen Night, which is big enough to hold a small child. I love this bag, but if I’m being honest, I got it more because of form than function. Chrome is often the de rigeur* bag of messengers and wannabe messengers and hipster wannabes and has a really cool seatbelt buckle that gets noticed a lot. But the size and the fact that I wish they had more organization in the cavernous pockets and the sheer heft of the damn thing and its Cordura makeup make me hate it as soon as the Fahrenheit rises above 50. Seriously, wearing this bag filled with any amount of crap in the summer will make you want to die (which will make the size come in handy because you’ll be able to be loaded into your bag and hauled away to the morgue).

That said, I don’t just want a Jansport or an L.L. Bean. No offense to those fine companies and products and the people who own them, but I do want a little more of a statement bag—something that doesn’t scream Back to School sale or soccer mom. My own personal style leaves me with mostly bags and sneakers with which to stand out so I like to take advantage of that.

Read More

Looking for a bike bag? Save yourself a lot of trouble and read this.

(Source: yellowbearsdontstop)

Filed under bike bags messenger bag alternatives