Visions of the Future Presenting Themselves

Location: Atlanta, GA, USA (central park in At...
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Architecture.  Urban sprawl.
We’ve all gotta go some where. Fortunately there are some true visionaries, like Vincent Callebaut, around  thinking about what to do with all of us people.

If we leave it up to us (and the Walton’s) we just might be in trouble or find ourselves camping out and off the grid because there won’t be one!  {Settle down… you’re scaring the kids.}

Popular Science‘s Gallery of the cities of the future is a fun romp with the kids. Still no flying cars, but we have the moving sidewalks.

The link that inspires this post:
Archive Gallery: Cities of the Future | Popular Science

Red2 (6 years) OOO! Flying cars! Moving sidewalks! They look like the Sims! Can we play Sims?

Love looking at the urban planning books in the book store. Epcot’s Future World was complete when it had Horizons. Loved flying through the ocean dwellings and the orange groves in the desert. Neat stuff. I spent lots of time Arcology doodling when I was a kid. Arcology still isn’t even in my word processor’s dictionary. But it’s a real thing. wouldn’t want you to think they are a just a doodle in a notebook.

Modern searching for these new visions reveals we’re still at it. And that’s a relief. My rain barrels, worm bins and rain gardens around my circa 1960’s ranch house will suffice for now, but hurry up with these plans, ladies and gentlemen. My retirement community needs to be out of your notebooks and on the drawing board soon. You have about 30 years. Go!

{Note to self: This post is quickly getting out of hand. It’s becoming its own theme link-park.  I’ll make it stop soon, but first…}

Part Two: What’s happening now?

It’s really cool to see some smart urban planning happening around me. In Atlanta, there are several instances of forward thinking, but is it enough?

Smyrna, GA’s city website is beautiful, they’ve recently redefined the entire city. Smyrna Market Place is pretty amazing, but they don’t have their site quite up, but you can ‘walk’ through town…

View Larger Map

What’s happening in your area that you’re proud of? 

Astronomy – a plea to amatuer astronomers

Listening to the NPR app this morning I heard a couple of pleas from a few different stories for all of us – the general public to help figure out space.

It was more specific than that, but the gist was that there are not enough professionals to handle mapping and understanding the universe. Now that’s a very tall order. I don’t expect to be able to contribute as much as I’d like to, but this is a huge wake up call.

I enjoy the documentaries and museums that chronicle our journeys in to space. Our thoughts on time, worm holes, living and working on the moon and Mars. But I’ve been assuming that there are plenty of people doing this work.

Moon Mapping

This actual call, in what feels like the next version of SETI at home, asks people to help map the surface of the moon. After a little training, a person is tasked to identify the craters. It sounds like a video game. If they turned it into a social networking game on Facebook, they’d probably have a hit and have it all mapped out in a month or two. Click click click. Sounds like Moonville to me.

Well, surprise. It is Moonville or actually Moon Zoo. Part of a hugely popular (300,000 or so of my dear close friends) social networking project called Zooniverse! 

Heads Up, Citizen Scientists: The Moon Needs You!

Enter Oxford astrophysicist Chris Lintott. He’s asking amateur astronomers to help review, measure and classify tens of thousands of moon photos streaming to Earth. He has set up the website, where anyone can log on, get trained and become a space explorer.
“We need anybody and everybody,” Lintott tells NPR’s Guy Raz on Weekend All Things Considered.

Jupiter’s Missing Belt

This article drove home the missing group of professionals. It encourages the amateur astronomers to continue to inspect the sky. The comment that the amateurs all very well equipped reminds me of the huge telescope my father used to have. He took a few astronomy classes when I was a kid and was able to show me the planets from my own driveway.

Lost: Planet-Sized Belt. If Found, Return To Jupiter

“There aren’t enough professionals to keep track of everything going on in the universe all the time,” Beatty says. “So in a sense, they rely on amateur astronomers — who have very good equipment, by the way — to actually keep an eye on things.”

“When they see something, they notify the professionals, and the big guns get swung over to take a look.”

LA Times photo essay on the oil spill.

Still alive but almost unrecognizable, a sea gull is paralyzed by oil on the beach at East Grand Terre Island in Barataria Bay, La.
(Carolyn Cole / Los Angeles Times / June 4, 2010)

The LA Times moves content around. Nine years later the images are difficult to keep links to.

This is why photography is so important. All the debate, all the prayers, all the plans, all the finger pointing, all the regret, all the best intentions. They all stop here. For this image. For all of Ms. Cole’s images and the other photographers documenting this epic event. Thank you.

I can see the impact we have on our world.