December 4, 2006

Kahn vs Gershenfeld

After reading these articles, the first thing that was evident from both of them was the technology theme. However both authors look at technology differently. Gershenfeld talks a lot about his "how to make (almost) Anything" class he teaches at MIT and the possibility of a world where people will be able to make anything they want or need whenever you wanted. Kahn's article talked about light as architecture and about how the brain creates all technology.
Gershenfeld talks a lot about personal fabricators and machines or printers that can create objects that the used designs. It seems that there is an infinite future for the creation of technology and what technology can create. Gershenfeld talks about the amazement he had at his students at MIT and their ability to develop the skills to make their desires realities.
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Kahn doesn't address technology in the same manner that Gershenfeld does, but his message is similair to his Gershenfelds. His first point is comparing light with architecture, and that without light (shadow) there is no architecture. He then goes on to discuss nature and how it can produce things on its own, while man can create things from nature, that nature cannot make on its own. Essentially he is trying to say that nature and man are co-dependant on each other. Mans desires create the need for and the creation of new technologies. We believe that these new technologies will try to take over our society, but our brains, the real technology, won't let that happen. Since brain is the true technology, it is the only tool that leads to new creations and new thought.
Both authors discuess technology in our world. Gershenfeld talks about the technology that is responsive to our desires and our creativity while Kahn discusses how the true technology is the human mind and technology itself is only a result of the brain.

November 29, 2006


It seems that now adays its impossible to go someplace without seeing or hreaing about some new fangled technology thats going to make our lives better. And well for the most part, these new gadgets do make our lives a little easier and make a lot of things less of a hastle. Neil Postman said that we are a "culture overwhelmed with technology." Which is very true. Every student on capmus has a shiny picture phone or a lap top with capabilities ten times that of a desktop of just a few ears ago.
nokia cell phone.jpg Technology is everywhere and its becoming such an integral part of society that without our computers and cell phones, most people wouldn't know how to do anything. Computers and machines seem to be replacing humans at an exponential rate these days and theres no end in site.
robot rickshaw.jpg People can't even pull their own rickshaws anymore. (But i personally thought a human pulling other humans in a rickshaw was a bad idea to begin with)
Even entertainment is becoming dominated by new technologies. Kids don't want to go outside and throw the football around anymore because they can do the same thing, and even the same motion with their Nintendo Wii or Playstation 3.
nintendo wii.jpg I mean we all remember the recent craze for the PS3 release. People camped out for days to get one just to sell it for 4 times the price, and people were buying. Technology has done an infinite amount of good simply in the advances in the medical field and the lives it has saved. This is a point where technology is working with, or against nature.
The human decay and illness is inevitable and in the past was irrevercible. But technology these days is working towards defeating aging and illness all together. Its possible in the future we could abolish disease all together and prolong death for decades. artificial-heart-ch.jpg But how much good would that do? Overpopulation? And then there are the technologies being developed to bend the rules of mother nature. Skyscrapers are being built higher and higher to defy gravity. Bridges are spanning bigger gaps with less support. We're making stronger materials with less in smaller packages. Earth quake proof buildings already exist. Whatever nature has thrown at us we have tried to invent some new technology so we won't have to deal with it. But mother nature is a constant on this Earth, and we will always have to work with it to stay here. Unless of course technology takes us to some other planet, but if thats the case count me out.

November 6, 2006


Math is undeniably involved in the design process of any structure. Whether it be the simple geometric shapes that go into the design of the building or the complex mathematical formulas that help determine the strength of a structure. The following images display the multiple facets of math in design.
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This picture shows a very basic geometric concept for a building. Using a simple grid and basic shapes, an outline for a building was created. Utilizing the strongest structural shapes, like arches and triangles.
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This government building is a great example of geometric pattern in building. All the windows are equally spaced and sized.
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The pattern is pretty obvious on this one . . . A huge triangle shaped building with about one million recatnagular windows

October 22, 2006

It's Coooold

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When beginning my search for an opposition i wasn't exactly sure where to find my inspiration so giving up for the time being i headed outside to clss where it hit me in the face. Cold. It was very cold out and i decided that the cold was a perfect opposition for Minnesota. When the deep freeze of a Minnesota winter sets in everything freezes. The water, the people, and even the ground. In particular the ground freezing can create some severe problems for home owners and some businesses. When the ground reaches a certain temperature water pipes running in and out of the house can freeze and burst. Even copper and plastic piping can crack. An 8 inch crack in a water pipe can unload up to 250 gallons of water in a day, which can completely ruin a home. This is a great opposition that architects and engineers have to consider before building a house in Minnesota. But instead of packing up your stuff and moving to the south, there are some things that you can do to avoid a frozen pipe.
Although a house in the tropics would be a very nice alternative, for most people its not a feasible option. But there are plenty of things you can do to the pipes that hold the water to prevent them from bursting. You can Insulate the pipes to keep the cold out or the warm in, the more insulation used the better. You can use heat wraps or heat cables to cover the pipes and battle the cold. In many situations there are small leaks in the insulation that lets in the cold and freezes the pipes, so by simply sealing any leaks you can keep your pipes from freezing. There are other precautionary steps that can be taken, and State Farm has a great outline on their website
Hopefully all of us can stay as warm as our pipes this winter

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October 9, 2006

Shooting Stars

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Shooting Stars are a beautiful spectacle that light up the night sky and fascinate us here on Earth. But most people know very little about how a shooting star happens. The funny thing about shooting stars is that they're not actually stars at all. Stars are clumps of glowing gases lightyears away and are for the most part stationary. Shooting stars are actually tiny bits of dust and rock called meteors that enter the Earth's atmosphere. These meteors begin moving at an incredible rate of speed and instantly begin burning up. The trail of fire that follows the meteor produces the tail that we see and interpret as a "shooting star" So the unfortunate end of an innocent clump of dust and gas produces the spectacle that we can marvel at.
Shooting Stars are not just a random occurnance. Most of the shooting stars that are seen here on Earth happen during meteor showers, which occur when the Earth's orbital path crosses the trail of dust and rock that follows a comit orbiting the sun. At this time thousands of meteor can fill the night sky, but most of the meteors are too small to make it into the atmosphere and burn up on immideatly. However there are cases where a random meteorite will enter te atmosphere, although it is pretty rare.
So if your looking to see a shooting star keep your eyes towards the skies or ask an astonomer because they can predict when meteor showers will occur. For a list of days when meteor showers occur you can visit this website

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October 2, 2006

My Favorite Basement

Every group of friends seems to have that one house or one place where they feel most comfortable at and generally spend majority of their time there. Just simply because of the amount of time spent their and the memories that were created within, that location carries a special meaning in our minds. For me this location was one of my best friends basements.
Now this wasn't just any ordinary basement, they had a good deal of money so it was a nice big finished, hang out area. It had exceptionally tall ceilings, which for some reason really appealed to me, and a bunch of windows because it was a partially exposed basement. The main area itself was bigger than the average living or family room so there was room for all of our friends, which was great because there was often times tons of people down there. There was plenty of seating in multiple locations, with a big floating counter top next to a refrigerator, over, and microwave. And on top of all that there was room for a pool table, ping pong table, and a bathroom, so we essentially had no reason to leave the basement once we were down there. It was a very welcoming and open space that just held inside it a fun atmosphere.
But it's not the size and shape of this basement that gives it the great importance to me. As I previously stated my friends and I spent a great deal of time down there and created plenty of memories in that basement. To erase that location from my memory, would honestly remove a huge part of my high school experience and a large amount of treasured times i have stored in my memory bank. Whenever i think of my friends and all of the great times we had in that basement it brings a smile to my face. It will always be a specila place to me and i will never forget it.

Continue reading "My Favorite Basement" »

September 24, 2006

Why do we need Parks?

Unless you are a total hermit and spend all of your n hours inside on a computer, you've probably visited a public park in your time. chances are you enjoyed the nice weather, enjoyed the scenary, or made use of the facilities. Parks are a beautiful thing to have and a privelage to enjoy. But it seems like parks are being overlooked these days. Either they're not getting built at all, they're not taken proper care of, or they're not safe for people to enjoy anymore. This is a definite problem. Withh the ever expanding urban America parks are being pushed out of the picture and the people are paying for it. An article by Richard J. Dolesh, Monica Hobbs Vinluan and Michael Phillips outlines ten reasons as to why we should have parks. These reasons include giving people a place to perform physical activity, a safe place for at-risk youth to play, and a preserved section of mother nature and the animals that inhabit it, among others. Here is a link to the page if you want to check out the article for yourself.
The fate of public parks falls into the hands of future designers. As they continue to erect buildings up and down the landscape, they musn't forget the importance of the park. Hopefully the designers of the future will value parks as much as i do. -Chris

September 18, 2006

The Midtown Market

I visted the Midtown Marketplace today in the Market Exchange Building. I must say it was quite an experience and i was very intruiged at the scene that lay before me. The image i always received of a market was the kind of bizarre like ones that you saw in movies (Like Aladin for example). I guess you could say this market was the same kind of thing except indoors and a lot cleaner, no snake charmers either (which actually is a disapointment). The place buzzed with an almost tangible energy. The energy i'm talkin about wasn't so much from the neon lights, ovens, or freezers, but from the people and the atmosphere of the market itself. The energy i sensed was created from the interaction of people of different shapes sizes and colors and the products that were being sold. The sales people spitting their sales pitch to the passer-byers and the displayed products highlighted with lights to catch any wandering eyes, emitted an energy. The interchange of ideas and currency acted like the mouse in the spinning wheel generating a contagious energy that pulled in anyone walking by the booth, which of course works in the favor of the vendor. The market was teeming with energy and although i only bought a caramel cappucino, which was average, i felt compelled to check out all the booths and get a feel for the market. But i've rambled on long enough, and i'm sure i've bored anyone whos read this. Until next time Go PACKERS! Go BRETT! -Chris

September 13, 2006

My hero

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First Blog

This is my first ever blog experience. I'm not sure what to think of it right now because i've only begun and its pretty uneventful thus far. I'm jut bloggin to justify my blog name. I'm from Milwaukee Wisconsin and am very proud of it. I love the Bucks, Packers, Brewers and almost everything else about Wisconsin. This may cause some problems but i guess thats the point of this whole blog thing. At least thats what i think. Thanks for reading and Keep on Keepin on. Chris