Dec 22, 2013

Derek Pirozzi United States Polar Umbrella Buoyant Skyscraper Protects and Regenerates the Polar Ice Caps


During the last decades of global warming, the polar ice caps have experienced a severe rise in temperature causing the northern and southern ice shelves to become thin, fractured, and melt into the ocean. Rebuilding the arctic layers is the primary objective of this proposal which cools down the Earth’s surface by reducing heat gain in vulnerable arctic regions.
The Polar Umbrella’s buoyant super-structure becomes a statement for the prevention of future depletion of our protective arctic region. Through its desalinization and power facilities, this arctic skyscraper becomes a floating metropolis equipped with NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) research laboratories, renewable power stations, dormitory-style housing units, eco-tourist attractions, and ecological habitats for wildlife. A series of these structures would be strategically located in the most affected areas.
Salt water is used to produce a renewable source of energy through an osmotic (salinity gradient power) power facility housed within the building’s core. In addition, the structure’s immense canopy allows for the reduction of heat gain on the arctic surface while harvesting solar energy. The umbrella’s thermal skin boasts a series of modules that are composed of a polyethylene piping system that pumps brackish water. Finally, the Polar Umbrella also regenerates the ice caps using harvest chambers that freeze the ocean water.

Dec 18, 2013

A Photographic Tour Of Earth's Most Bizarre And Beautiful Creatures

Did you know that the most familiar categories of animals, like mammals, birds, and amphibians, account for just 4% of the roughly 1.5 million species on our planet? Animal Earth: The Amazing Diversity of Living Creatures, a new book by zoologist Ross Piper, focuses on that oft-forgotten 96% of species. In 540 full-color photographs, Piper documents the bizarre and beautiful creatures that inhabit our world but are often too tiny or obscure for us humans to see.
"The sea may as well be another planet, we know so little about it. It is home to a mind-boggling array of bizarre creatures," Piper tells Co.Design. From zombie worms and Christmas tree worms to whirligig beetles and sea angels, the creatures pictured in this volume are stranger and more exquisite than anything Dr. Seuss or Miyazaki or Terry Gilliam has yet invented. "Many animals look utterly alien, but, fundamentally, they are the same as you an I, just variations on a theme," Piper says.
There’s a toxic sea slug that resembles a cluster of fried eggs with purple horns. The eyes of whirligig beetles are divided into two, enabling them to see above and below the water simultaneously. Some varieties of the "Priapulids," or "penis worms," lie hidden in the sediment with spiny tentacles poking discreetly above the surface, which then snatch small prey animals to capture them. And the translucent sea angel is actually not so angelic: it has retractable tentacles and chitinous hooks for grasping its prey. Evolution is a designer with a twisted sense of humor.
"My own fascination with animals began with insects. They're the most diverse creatures on the planet--so far just over 1 million species have been identified and there are millions more species out there waiting to be discovered and described," Piper says. "We've only just scratched the surface of understanding the natural world and I hope this book inspires other people to take a better look at our planet and its amazing inhabitants."
The patterns, colors, and shapes found in the animal kingdom have influenced designers and artists for time immemorial, from Anton Gaudi’s seashell and skeleton-inspired architectural structures to Monet’s water lilies. The photographs here provide a fount of inspiration for both the creatively and scientifically inclined. Published by Thames and Hudson,Animal Earth is available for $45 here.

Dec 13, 2013

letter by annie choi



Once, a long time ago in the days of yore, I had a friend who was studying architecture to become, presumably, an architect.

This friend introduced me to other friends, who were also studying architecture. Then these friends had other friends who were architects - real architects doing real architecture like designing luxury condos that look a lot like glass dildos. And these real architects knew other real architects and now the only people I know are architects. And they all design glass dildos that I will never work or live in and serve only to obstruct my view of New Jersey.

Do not get me wrong, architects. I like you as a person. I think you are nice, smell good most of the time, and I like your glasses. You have crazy hair, and if you are lucky, most of it is on your head. But I do not care about architecture. It is true. This is what I do care about:

* burritos
* hedgehogs
* coffee

As you can see, architecture is not on the list. I believe that architecture falls somewhere between toenail fungus and invasive colonoscopy in the list of things that interest me.

Perhaps if you didn't talk about it so much, I would be more interested. When you point to a glass cylinder and say proudly, hey my office designed that, I giggle and say it looks like a bong. You turn your head in disgust and shame. You think, obviously she does not understand. What does she know? She is just a writer. She is no architect. She respects vowels, not glass cocks. And then you say now I am designing a lifestyle center, and I ask what is that, and you say it is a place that offers goods and services and retail opportunities and I say you mean like a mall and you say no. It is a lifestyle center. I say it sounds like a mall. I am from the Valley, bitch. I know malls.

Architects, I will not lie, you confuse me. You work sixty, eighty hours a week and yet you are always poor. Why aren't you buying me a drink? Where is your bounty of riches? Maybe you spent it on merlot. Maybe you spent it on hookers and blow. I cannot be sure. It is a mystery. I will leave that to the scientists to figure out.

Architects love to discuss how much sleep they have gotten. One will say how he was at the studio until five in the morning, only to return again two hours later. Then another will say, oh that is nothing. I haven't slept in a week. And then another will say, guess what, I have never slept ever. My dear architects, the measure of how hard you've worked and how much you've accomplished is not related to the number of hours you have not slept. Have you heard of Rem Koolhaas? He is a famous architect. I know this because you tell me he is a famous architect. I hear that Rem Koolhaas is always sleeping. He is, I presume, sleeping right now. And I hear he gets shit done. And I also hear that in a stunning move, he is making a building that looks not like a glass cock, but like a concrete vagina. When you sleep more, you get vagina. You can all take a lesson from Rem Koolhaas.

Life is hard for me, please understand. Architects are an important part of my existence. They call me at eleven at night and say they just got off work, am I hungry? Listen, it is practically midnight. I ate hours ago. So long ago that, in fact, I am hungry again. So yes, I will go. Then I will go and there will be other architects talking about AutoCAD shortcuts and something about electric panels and can you believe that is all I did today, what a drag. I look around the table at the poor, tired, and hungry, and think to myself, I have but only one bullet left in the gun. Who will I choose?

I have a friend who is a doctor. He gives me drugs. I enjoy them. I have a friend who is a lawyer. He helped me sue my landlord. My architect friends have given me nothing. No drugs, no medical advice, and they don’t know how to spell subpoena. One architect friend figured out that my apartment was one hundred and eighty seven square feet. That was nice. Thanks for that.

I suppose one could ask what someone like me brings to architects like yourselves. I bring cheer. I yell at architects when they start talking about architecture. I force them to discuss far more interesting topics, like turkey eggs. Why do we eat chicken eggs, but not turkey eggs? They are bigger. And people really like turkey. See? I am not afraid to ask the tough questions.

So, dear architects, I will stick around, for only a little while. I hope that one day some of you will become doctors and lawyers or will figure out my taxes. And we will laugh at the days when you spent the entire evening talking about some European you've never met who designed a building you will never see because you are too busy working on something that will never get built. But even if that day doesn't arrive, give me a call anyway, I am free.

Yours truly,
Annie Choi

Shooting the vaults of heaven: Breathtaking panoramic pictures of the exquisite ceilings of churches across the globe

Shooting the vaults of heaven: Breathtaking panoramic pictures of the exquisite ceilings of churches across the globe  


St Marys Poland
Iglesia DSanfrancisco Mexico City
View from below: Craning your neck up to admire the ornate roofs of churches and cathedrals can be back-breaking work. But one photographer has made the experience a whole lot easier by creating panoramic shots showcasing the rich religious architecture across the world
Santa Domingo Church Bolivia
Santiago Abierto Potosi
Sister Church of St Joseph Poland
Richard Silver, from Brooklyn, New York, has travelled around the world taking photos since he gave up his job as a stockbroker and pursued his hobby full-time. From left: Santa Domingo Church, Bolivia, Santiago Abierto Potosi and Sister Church of St Joseph, Poland
He has become an expert creating the awe-inspiring photos which features houses of worship including place such as New York, Mexico City, Budapest, Krakow, Cape Town and Goa.
 
Mr Silver told MailOnline that he first came up with the idea after being inspired by buildings in his home city. 
'The first time I photographed a church using my Vertical Panorama technique was in New York City,' he says.
'New York is filled with a number of iconic buildings to photograph but I decided to walk into and look at its local churches. When traveling the world I always walk into and seek out the churches when I am there, why not do it at home? 
Divina Providencia Mexico City
St Vincent De Paul California
He has become an expert creating the awe-inspiring photos which features places of worship in places including New York, Mexico City, Budapest, Krakow, Cape Town and Goa. Left, Divina Providencia, Mexico City and right, St Vincent De Paul California
Cathedral of the Holy Name Mumbai
Hallgrímskirkja Iceland
St. Catejan Goa India
Mr Silver told MailOnline that he first came up with the idea after being inspired by buildings in his home city.  Cathedral of the Holy Name, Mumbai, Hallgrímskirkja, Iceland and St. Catejan, Goa, India
Vertical Panorama technique
Augustiner Church Vienna
To create them he ensures that he finds the right spot to capture the building in all its glory for the 180 degree shot. Right: Augustiner Church Vienna
'Being fascinated with the amount of work taken to decorate the ceilings of a church I came up with the notion to try and capture the ceiling photographically. It took me a few tries to figure out mechanically how to take the shots but now I have it down to a science.'
To create them Mr Silver ensures that he finds the right spot to capture the building in all its glory for the 180 degree shot. 
It takes between six and 10 photographs to complete the masterpiece, which he expertly blends together in his studio using Photoshop. 
A programme called Lightroom allows him to bring out the vivid colours and detail of the stained glass windows. 
Mr Silver, who is not religious, often has to battle churchgoers and tourists in his quest to make sure the photos are not packed full of people. 
He says his favourite place to photograph was the Serbian Orthodox church in New York. 
'I pass by this amazing church almost every day and it is only open on Sunday's for worship,' he explained.
'The friar actually opened up the church just for me to photograph during the week. I felt honored to be able to photograph such a wonderful piece of architecture. I ended up printing the photos out for him to keep in his office.' 
Mr Silver views the project as ongoing saying: 'There are cities I have been to already that I wish I would have figured this method of photographing out before I went. I am looking to go back to Rome and London and shoot there as the churches are so colorful and exquisitely decorated. My goal is to do a book of my work.'
Visit Mr Silver's website at www.richardsilverphoto.com
Vertical Basilica of Bom Jesus Goa India
Vertical St Thomas Mumbai India
Vertical St Thomas Mumbai India
Mr Silver says his favourite place to photograph was the Serbian Orthodox church in New York. From left: Vertical Basilica of Bom Jesus, Goa India, Vertical St Thomas Mumbai India,  and Cathedral of Christ the King Johannesburg
Church of the Transfiguration Krakow
St Mathias Budapest
Mr Silver, who is not religious, often has to battle churchgoers and tourists in his quest to make sure the photos are not packed full of people.  Left:  Church of the Transfiguration Krakow and right, St Mathias, Budapest
Dominican Church Krakow
Vertical Panorama technique
Franciszkanska Church Krakow



















Mr Silver views the project as ongoing saying: I am looking to go back to Rome and London and shoot there as the churches are so colorful and exquisitely decorated.  Dominican Church Krakow, left, and Franciszkanska Church right, Krakow



Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2513848/Breathtaking-panoramic-pictures-exquisite-church-ceilings.html#ixzz2nLg7xCjR
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