February 21, 2008

Blog Prompt 3: It's Thursday afternoon and too late to blog about the millennium goals, but it's not too late to complain about them.

It's a joke.

My group is working on Millennium Goal No. 1- Eradicate extreme poverty and hunger.


The following picture represents my present knowledge about, my feelings toward, and my current ideas for eradicating extreme poverty and hunger around the world-
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Some tunes mostly related to the issue-at-hand-


Here's my problem- if most of the world is at or below poverty level, then why is it such a secret? The United Nations has deemed poverty and hunger to be the number one problem that needs attacking. Why isn't this plastered everywhere? Why am I not being bombarded with videos of factories in poor countries where my shoes are made? Why don't I know what exactly a dollar a day of wages actually buys in these places? There is a terrifying absence of publicity on this important topic. To solve this problem, it first needs to be brought from the outer edge of mainstream media, out of the fog, and to the dinner table.


One of the first results for a youtube search "dollar a day." A fantastic video, but only 928 views?


February 15, 2008

Blog Prompt 2: To hell with the individual- let's re-shape society around something... different.

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individualistic society

We live in a society of individuals. individual thought. individual movement. individual learning. and individual urination. let's break this mode of thought and rebuild it bigger, stronger, better, and altogether less... individualistic.






This week's blog prompt was something like: Find a social-design issue. Talk about it. Become an advocate for it.


While riding the bus one day, I realized that everyone was sitting alone. Nearly everyone in Minneapolis walks alone; everyone looks like they're on a mission. and they are.

From an early age, we've been led to believe that people are unpredictable; they're greedy, and they're dangerous. I think it's safe to say that it's been like this for thousands, if not millions of years, and for good reason. The society founded not-on-individualism was probably taken advantage of, pillaged and salted long, long ago.


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what sort of transportation would the non-individualistic society sport?

I propose pushing people out of their individual comfort zones. Let's design an environment that makes it easy- really easy (almost to the point of forcing) for people to trust, care and interact with each other. While waiting for the bus on the west bank, I noticed that the people around me were standing in the most-curiously organized-but-not-near-each-other pattern.

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the non-individualistic society has a lot to offer. including body heat.



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Individual urinals. Individual sinks. If everyone in the men's bathroom has one (a penis), and [almost] everyone does it (washes their hands), why are there separated urinals and sinks? Perpetuation of the individual norm. Let's break down these barriers; put in a half-moon multi-person sink from our youth and one long barrel for pissing. Not only would these modifications cut down on building and repair cost (e.g. one pipe vs two), but they would bring people closer together both physically and mentally.

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Building with the individual in mind perpetuates fear, tension and embarrassment. Let's break these barriers down and show the world that everyone's actually human.

Blog Prompt 2: Why it took so long-

Okay. I'm a little late on this prompt. I've been dreadfully sick; I'm quite sure the flu virus had its way with me while I waited for an hour outside during the black, icy heart of Minnesota winter to participate in the democratic process.




For my international readers- the democratic process in Minnesota is basically:

1. Freeze your ass off while waiting in line.
2. Scribble the name of the candidate of your choice on a scrap piece of notebook paper on a table next to a large group of people (make sure you move your eyes about 3 inches over to see who all of your friends are voting for)
3. Fold the scrap of notebook paper in half (this is very important.)
4. Place the scrap of notebook paper in the suspicious-looking recycled ice-cream bucket.
5. Walk home with a proud expression on your face.

some graffiti art. (a tribute to W-)

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xoooox- a german (?) graffiti artist. one of my favorites.

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more xoooox.


Check out the xoooox website. it's real swell. and thought-provoking.

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not xoooox- just amazing.

February 5, 2008

Blog Prompt 1: The City is filled with energy and is quite capable of devouring the children, the elderly, and yourself.

Disclaimer- The title of this entry is not the name of the arctic monkeys' newest song.

IMG_1927.JPG Does anyone REALLY know if this button actually does anything? No.

Earlier this weekend, I set out to find energy in the city, but before I set out, I contemplated (in a prostrate position facing the east) where...



to find this energy. While discussing the topic with my most knowledgeable and cultured housemate, I immediately brought up what I've always for the last three weeks thought of as The Pastel Towers®. Upon fierce argument with said housemate and serious wikipedia consultation, it turns out that:


A. I'm a newb.
B. My charming Pastel Towers® really are referred to as the Crack Stacks® by true minneapolis residents, but in most publications, my precious towers are eloquently named Riverside Plaza.


IMG_1919.JPGThe Pastel Towers Riverside Plaza (in all its glory)



After some fine dining at the Hard Times Cafe and also after drawing a nude old man for three hours straight, I set out towards the plaza on my quest for the elusive city energy.

I decided that the best way to be inspired was to pretend my eyes judge objectively rather than subjectively; it's harder than it sounds. Okay, it's actually impossible, but I won't go into the details. As I reached the outer ring of the Riverside Plaza, the first thing (this is the truth) my objectively-judging eyes saw was a man relieving his body and soul on the corner of the nearest building.

About-face! I turned around and swore under my breath and with the perspiration dripping down my forehead like a feverish, sick child, I realized that I had just transferred to the U. I had just moved to minneapolis from a small wisconsin town not even three weeks before. My eyes? Truly objective. Here ends the sermon.


As a newcomer to Minneapolis, and a complete newcomer to urban environment, I was able to observe the city from a unique and fresh perspective. was comparable to a man from 1954 being transplanted to 2007, but not so much a baby fresh from the... it wasn't quite that fresh. I present to my thoughts to you, reader-

The city is mostly a twisted reflection of [insert name of piece of pristine wilderness/nature here]. Upon first glance, Minneapolis seems to be nature conquered by man; it's a trophy of science and progress. The food chains (not of the McDonald's variety), the forests, the earth, the swamps, the beasts, the creeks, darkness, confusion, and the mysterious have all been plowed down and buried beneath a heavy layer of concrete. They've been replaced by something both spectacular and terrifying; it's something one measly blog entry will only scratch at.

IMG_1925.JPGspectacular and terrifying.


The streets constantly crackle and cackle and bend and dip as if they're singing some sort of harmony with the ground they cover. Snow covers ice patches. Watch your step. I won't even begin to discuss the havoc of transportation, intersections, crazy drivers, insane bicyclists.

Smells of nature have been transformed. Scents of delicious food, human excrement, pollution, and marijuana fill the air, and for many of these smells, it's impossible to tell where they're coming from. Catching a whiff of urine in the air while walking through a busy washington avenue intersection is quite puzzling.

Are humans one species? I see people finding niches at all sorts of points in some sort of man-dominated, proverbial food-chain. In the city, the different flavors of humans have replaced nature's order. The lions are perhaps living in the top of the skyscrapers, and yet there are people down at the bottom feeding off of... something. A lot of people in between. Everyone is important, and yet- no one is important here. There are also dangerous people.


The city is not a playplace. Man has, in my eyes, failed to create the densely populated, nature-conquered utopia. The city holds some kind of power, some natural energy that goes far beyond man. This energy is reflected in the city's daunting- yet beautiful complexity, and most-importantly, its ability to destroy. Destruction... death, is only seconds away for any urban dwellers, and it doesn't take a nerdy pre-architecture pre-professional pre-major from nowhere, wisconsin to point out this little tidbit of information.

February 4, 2008

chalk.

a fantastic DRAWING (it really isn't real. for reals.) by UK chalk artist Julian Beever.

February 3, 2008

a little about the creator (yours truly).

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Hello there!

If you're reading this, you're probably a professor, or a student, or maybe you've merely taken a liking to my ways and have chosen me as your next stalkee; In any case- I'm honored.


But as promised- a little about yours truly.

First of all, I just transferred to the U this semester. I'm from a small town in Wisconsin and for the last two years (minus last semester) I was a Russian language/literature and mathematics major at Lawrence University. Something inside of me broke (somewhere between my heart, but a little behind my soul and kiddy-corner to my passions) during the summer of 2007 and so I decided to leave it all behind and give architecture a real hard look. It's the kind of look one does during the kind of drawing where you stare at something for at least 20 minutes at a time while your hand follows along with a pencil. But you can't look at what you're doing on the paper.




So. Here I am- another student fighting for survival. Wish me luck?

Hello, world!

At approximately 1:21 AM central standard time, I discovered a way to remove the curse also known as a terrible looking css style sheet. It all began when I felt a burning desire to replace the standard light-blue movabletype template. During my first hour or two playing experimenting with MT, I somehow managed to edit the souls of all blogs within my user account. No matter how many times I deleted and remade my entire blog, the initial style template would look like a boat; obviously it was a template geared toward the 6-and-under crowd. Somehow, the mutant script I created prevented me from making any sort of alterations . After some serious internet searching, I discovered some default scripts on the MT site that ultimately cured my blog of its malady.

In celebration, I will go to bed.

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