Friday, November 21, 2008
Thursday, November 13, 2008
Friday, September 26, 2008
Charlottesville News Through Google News Local
I like reading the news, but dead trees don't do it for me. Not searchable, for one thing. This is why I was excited to figure out how to get local news from my Google Home Page. I found out I could use Google News for local news from the Google News Blog, but hey, I'm lazy, why couldn't it come to me on my home page? So after generating the local news feed by putting my zip code in, I copied the web address of my local news feed. Then I went back to my Google Home Page, clicked "Add stuff", then "Add feed or gadget" and pasted the local news feed web address. And now I enjoy local news automagically delivered to me in real time. Very nice, I think. Sadly, it doesn't appear to have cvillenews.com, but perhaps some day it will.
Monday, August 18, 2008
Monday, August 11, 2008
Kerberized Printing in Leopard
Tuesday, June 17, 2008
Then hover your mouse pointer over an image and click the little blue play button that appears. That is of course, if you have already added the PicLens extension, which is amazing, and is available in other browsers.
Virtual Gallery Experiment
I am posting some images of my graduate work to see how well Blogger works with the Firefox PicLens plugin, which is amazing.This was a quick Andy Warhol homage I put together from an existing color photo of the Lawn at the University of Virginia. I removed the color information, then added translucent layers of color and cut them to fit the images. Used in the U.Va. School of Architecture photoshop tutorial.
This is an image from the Green Streets plan I worked on for the Ix site with Keyur Shah. This is the northern end facing Monticello Avenue. The concept for this section was to create a strong pedestrian connection to the Charlottesville Downtown Mall, increase tree cover, and store and treat water runoff. This includes a pedestrian island, curb extensions with cuts to allow water inside and plants to treat the water. The tree graphics were recycled from one of Keyur's previous projects. You should be hearing more about Green Streets in the near future.
Friday, March 21, 2008
Wednesday, March 19, 2008
For We the People to Vote for and Value the Environment
“We cannot solve the challenges of our time unless we solve them together,” Barack Obama stated this morning. I was stunned by what he had to say about our country and its disastrous divides that make We the People a difficult idea to grasp, holding too many disparate parts with contradictory and antagonistic beliefs and desires.
When the colonists sought independence, the
Our disastrous reliance on a way of life that our best science shows will make it difficult for our species and many others to survive is another wolf, what appears to be another ugly compromise between justice and self-preservation. Yet really, justice and self-preservation both call for change when we pause to examine the situation with a clear head. Yet clear heads are a luxury many cannot afford in
“We all want to move in the same direction – towards a better future for our children and our grandchildren,” stated Mr. Obama. This better future must be a bright green future where everyone contributes to the health and vitality of the human and greater biological community. Our science tells us this and our hearts tell us this. And yet no one on the national stage, including Barack Obama, will talk about climate disruption and the challenge of peak oil in anything more than half-steps and empty gestures.
I agree with Obama that we all want fundamentally the same thing, as Americans, as humans, and as living things on Earth: we want to live well and we want that better future for the next generations. This certainly includes dealing with threats like global warming, food scarcity, and other ills, but most individuals I know seem especially focused on taking care of themselves, managing their debt, getting or keeping a job, health care, making sure their children are safe, healthy, and educated. This is a lot of work, especially in a flattened world where the middle class are disappearing, pay is dropping, and costs are going up. And climate change is not the only large-scale threat we face. Obama again:
“We need to come together to solve a set of monumental problems – two wars, a terrorist threat, a falling economy, a chronic health care crisis and potentially devastating climate change; problems that are neither black or white or Latino or Asian, but rather problems that confront us all.”
The placement of climate change at the end and the complete omission of other pressing issues like peak oil are no accident. Real change towards a sustainable future requires much more than greater agreement and support between environmental stakeholders, or even between environmental stakeholders and industry or labor. What is required is a true effort towards unity and fairness, a recognizable We the People to act together in our own interest rather than the interest of one faction over another. I use this word faction in the sense that James Madison used it, as “a number of citizens, whether amounting to a majority or minority of the whole, who are united and actuated by some common impulse of passion, or of interest, adverse to the rights of other citizens or to the permanent and aggregate interests of the community.” The factionalization of
“Segregated schools were, and are, inferior schools; we still haven’t fixed them, fifty years after Brown v. Board of Education,” stated Mr. Obama. The divide in quality between schools and opportunities for Americans is staggering. Americans who didn’t go to the right school and didn’t have access to opportunities do not become involved in moving towards a bright green future. They try to survive. They live low on Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. People like Majora Carter from Sustainable South Bronx are rare and amazing. Ms. Carter has achieved in
”Most working- and middle-class white Americans don’t feel that they have been particularly privileged by their race. Their experience is the immigrant experience – as far as they’re concerned, no one’s handed them anything, they’ve built it from scratch. They’ve worked hard all their lives, many times only to see their jobs shipped overseas or their pension dumped after a lifetime of labor. They are anxious about their futures, and feel their dreams slipping away,” noted Barack Obama this morning. This hit me especially hard as the descendent of immigrants. I take enormous pride in the stories of my family’s struggle to come to America and succeed there, facing prejudice against Jews, Hispanics, and women in general, and finally achieving a measure of security in the middle class. I certainly feel that anxiety as I search for the job that will pay for my rent and other expenses. And though I understand as well as anyone the need for a bright green future, I will take a job that doesn’t help me work towards it if I can’t find one that will. Times may well get tougher and I feel like I should be paying off my debt as soon as I can.
Barack Obama argued that becoming We the People once more can be done “by investing in our schools and our communities; by enforcing our civil rights laws and ensuring fairness in our criminal justice system; by providing this generation with ladders of opportunity that were unavailable for previous generations. It requires all Americans to realize that your dreams do not have to come at the expense of my dreams; that investing in the health, welfare, and education of black and brown and white children will ultimately help all of
Friday, March 14, 2008
Monday, February 11, 2008
A Sustainability Gap
This semester, I'm taking two courses with Australian sustainability guru Peter Newman, who famously coined the phrase "automobile dependency." I've found out about a number of exciting developments internationally that show how much progress toward real sustainability has been made. It's wonderful, but it's also distressing to me that the U.S. has given up the lead on these issues. We invented solar and wind power, and yet we lag far behind in those industries now. The integration of Japan's transit and mobile phone technology is astonishing. Australia's innovations are equally amazing. The national political dialogue has moved far past the conflict between the environment and jobs, where the U.S. dwelled for years, and even past the opportunities of environmental economics which are only just now percolating into the American political consciousness, and into a serious exploration of how a nation can achieve true lasting sustainability, with all the social responsibilities that implies.
America has been left far behind.
We have far more nuclear weapons than any other nation, along with numerous other military gadgets, and we are still on the cutting edge in some technologies, but in the critical area of how we are to continue to thrive together on this planet, America is coming up short.
I'm not worried about Japan, Australia, Denmark, Switzerland, Brazil, the UK, Canada, or even China. They get it, they're making huge progress. I'm worried about us.