« September 2006 | Main | November 2006 »

October 24, 2006

UNDERGROUND: NO LONGER A NEGATIVE CONOTATION

sun.jpgtornado1.jpg
snow.jpg


Growing up in Minnesota most my life, I have unconsciously accepted the fact that mother nature can be brutal. Extreme cold temperatures mid-winter and hot sticky summer days complete the yearly cycle of four seasons. Of course, you can't forget the occasional tornado that pops up now and again. More often than not, this varying climate elicites many aggravated responses from those who must endure its treachery. It's not unheard of to run the air conditioner one week and crank the heater up the next. But is this really the best response to such a strong opposition between our climate and the enclosures we occupy? Maybe not.

It seems ever the fad to build houses and commercial buildings higher and higher into the clouds. I wonder why this obsession with going up, when a more common sense approach to building could be found in building down. Building structures underground has many benefits, including controlling an otherwise variant climate and providing safety from the force of life threatening winds frequently found in this northern state of the U.S. True, underground building may not be for everyone or for every place, particularly in areas prone to earthquakes and flooding. But in other areas where these are not an issue, underground building may be a resolution to the oppositions of hot and cold temperatures and windy climates. As homes and buildings are destroyed in tornados each spring, and houses consume unreal amounts of gas, electricity, and petroleum, perhaps we re-evaluate which is really better, up or down?

A classical example of such architecture already in play can be found by the residence of
Bill Lishman. Photos below represent how any underground world may be uniquely aesthetically pleasing, yet functional in terms of resisting the forces of mother nature. Go to the following link for more pictures and information on his home: http://www.williamlishman.com/underground.htm
ug arch.gifug view.jpg

Additional photos used in this blog were taken from the following links:
www.photoshopsupport.com/.../14-photoshop-snow.html
http://www.espartha.com/blog?p=162
http://www.cstx.gov/home/index.asp?page=1984


October 8, 2006

HAIR KNOWS WHEN ENOUGH IS ENOUGH!

micro.jpg

Hair is a thing with frameworks and clockworks that make up a phenomena. What kind of phenomena? Well, lets take a look at what makes up the system first so we can get a better understanding what makes up the phenomena.

So what is this thing we call a hair? A hair is a fiber composed of protein called keratin. The texture of hair is determined by the shape in the follicle, round follicles produce straight hair, oval follicles produce wavy hair and flat follicles produce curly, kinky hair.

The framework of a hair are that hair grows on humans and other mammals. It grows only from the root which is embedded in a hair follicle. Therefore, a hair does not grow in length from the opposite end or in width along the hair shaft. Hair also has a limited range of natural colors. The shades range from black, reds, brown, and blonde. No color, or white, is often the case as people age. For humans and some animals, hair can change color. Humans see change of hues throughout their life as a natural process, sometimes hair is lightened in response to exposure to sunlight. For many people, hair changes to a white shade as they reach their older years. Stress can cause this process to happen prematurely. Humans and animals that have no pigment, thus have white hair their entire life, are called albinos.

The clockwork of hair would be the cycle of hair growth. Each follicle that produces a hair is on it's own independent cycle of growth and rest. This growth varies from person to person and also depends on the location of the body. The cycle of hair in the eyebrows, for example, is 28 days. Whereas on the scalp it is 1000 days.
The rate of hair growth can vary also depending on the location on the body.

So, now we can talk about the phenomena. We know what hair is, what the conditions are for a hair to grow and the cycle involved in growing hair. What we do not have a grasp on is how the hair knows when to stop growing at a particular lengths. Other than a few exceptions, the length of hair is similar from human to human in corresponding locations on the body. longest hair.bmp


References
http://www.derm.ubc.ca/hairnailsmucousmembranes/growth.htm
http://www.biologycorner.com/bio2/humangenetics.html
http://www.keratin.com/aa/aa012.shtml
http://www.fbi.gov/hq/lab/fsc/backissu/jan2004/research/2004_01_research01b.htm

October 1, 2006

GENIUS LOCI AT THE MILLENIUM GARDEN

100_0208 copy.resized.jpg

Hidden in the heart of Plymouth, Minnesota, the Millenium Garden is a treat for the senses. Whether you go alone or with a friend, the tranquility of the garden erases the anxiety of everyday life and brings one back into touch with nature and one's inner self.

millenium 4 squares copy.jpg

The genius loci , or "spirit of place" found at the Millenium Garden can be described as a peaceful retreat. It is a retreat because the garden is encircled by walking and biking trails that stem from local neighborhoods and unite at this oasis, located in the middle of a large wetland preservation area, enveloped in fields of tall grass. It is a stark contrast to the nearby neverending zoom of vehicles and people rushing here and there.

View image


The main entrance provides an axial view through the center of the garden. Numerous pathways, concrete, gravel, and wood chip, invite you to experience the garden from a variety of standpoints. This park is not one you want to briskly walk through. Benches and wide ledges dotted around the garden allow visitors the chance to take in the auditory and visual experience at the pace they desire.

Even though the atmosphere has a calming effect on its visitors it is still full of life. Melodies radiate from no obvious source, as speakers are hidden within retaining walls and under planters, leaves are heard rustling from the trees planted around the gardens, small ponds bubble to life with goldfish hiding amongst the lillypads, and fountains, both large and small, drown out the buzz of daily life.

The garden is unique, in that it reverses the tendency of humans to overtake nature. Visitors talk in whispers as a natural response to the tranquility of the garden. It is the sounds of nature that speak loudly.

The Millenium Gardens welcomes the playfullness we experienced in childhood. Statues of children emmersed in nature experiences are scattered throughout the garden. They capture children studying, playing and working in the natural environment. The "Butterfly Park" attracks the flightly creatures we all chased in our youth. Short bridges connecting one section of the garden to another invite people to hop across them.

The true genius loci of the Millenium Garden can not be experienced from the computer screen. If you'd like to really appreciate the spirit the garden contains, use the link below to get a map to the this secret haven.


[ Yahoo! Maps ]


Map of
14800 34th Ave N<