Sep 28, 2005

interesting read

Just a quick post. I came across an interesting book today working in the library called constant touch: a global history of the cell phone. It discusses the history of the radio and its transition to the consumer, and its facinating because it talks about all the political, economic, and social factors which were amazingly heavy in its developement.

What I found interesting was that so many modern cell phone companies started off as military technology contractor spin offs. Orange was an arm of British Aerospace, and Vodafone began from the defense electronics Racal group.

The book also talks about why the major cellphone providers are predominantly scandinavian: Ericsson, Nokia, Qualcomm, etc. The nordic countries were the first to collaborate and decide on a international protocol. They had a strong influence in bringing the EU to use GSM.

Back in America, the split of Bell had massive repurcussions in the the development of the cell phone, because all of a sudden all these little different firms had control over tiny zones. With the rise in the number of users, even as the smaller firms were swallowed up, the US split the bandwidth even smaller, and began cutting up the seconds people talk- so that only 1/30th of a second was a voice and the other 29/30ths went to a bunch of other people. Nobody notices, so things stay the same.

Makes me glad I've got GSM. Anyway, its an interesting read which really hightlights the changes in technology and consumer culture globablly within the last twenty years.

Also, I added about ten of the best pictures from my european trip in thier full resolution and size to my deviantart account. You can get to them by clicking here. You can click on the thumbnails to get a larger view, and click on teh medium size to get the full size (bigger than the computer screen!) enjoy!

"Every man is Above Average, Sometime"

It was the best of tests, and it was the worst of tests.

My architecture history test was set up as follows: four slide comparisons of 7 minutes each, and two, 20 minute essay questions. I knew all 8 images on the slides, who built them, when they were built and where they were. I had all the factual data and the analytical data. I did fine on those I'm sure. I ran into trouble with the two 20 minute essays. The questions were so complex and had so many parts, I wasn't able to write all I could about them. Just didn't have enough time. I think I got a high B to a low A overall. I talked to the professor after the test. He definately knows me by now. He said it was his intent that we wouldn't be able to finish. I asked him how he could separate those students who knew what they were talking about but didn't have enough time to go into detail versus those students who didn't study at all.
He said he would know by the content of the essays. Anyway, we won't know our grades for at least a few months.

The second test I took yesterday was in human factors. The professor who teaches it is a portly, friendly guy with a white mustache and a nasal voice. He's the kind of guy I would expect to see in florida watching football on TV. He worked for awhile for Mattel and Disney, then kind of migrated back to teaching. His exam was laughably easy. Most of the questions had at least one throwaway answer too ridiculous to consider. My favorite question was:

The fallacy of considering the 50th percentile person as an "average" person is called:
(a) Average man envy
(b) the Fallacy of the Average Man
(c) The Average Man fallacy (this is the correct answer, in case you were wondering)
(d) Every man is Above Average, Sometime

Anyway, should see those results sooner than later, as it was all multiple choice.

Sep 26, 2005

"We can Rock Acrylic"

This weekend, quick recap: Friday night, Jen, Ben, and I made chocolate dump-it cake from the new york times recipie. We created a huge mess in the kitchen, had to run back to Jen's place for a tube pan, and the grocery store for more sour cream, but it came out absolutely beautiful. Jen frosted it for us and so we caked it up friday night. Saturday night, we studied history. Sunday night, we went to see Tim Burton's Corpse Bride which had a surprising amount of humor and groaners. In the dia de los muertos inspired underworld, a frenchman's head comes out carried by scurrying roaches. He's the head waiter. There's a few "dying to get in" jokes. On the whole, the style and characters are the biggest draw. It's amazing what they can do with claymation. The parents of both bride and groom are hilariously charactuered, as well as a solomn looking minister voiced by Christopher Lee. I actually saw a lot of similarities to Sleepy Hollow, although a lot more lighthearted.

Today finished memorizing the dates for my architecture exam, and working now on remembering specific details about the sites and various images.

Also today, we took a shop tour. The shop in the archiecture building is strictly limited to upper division architecture, interior design, and industrial design students. They can do pretty much anything to anything down there, wood, plastic, aluminum, steel(except stainless steel), but especially acrylic. "We can rock acryclic" was how the shop supervisor put it. They have a sandblasting booth, a vaccum-from, a plasma cutter, every conceivable type of welding equipment, band saws, table saws, grinders and sanders, metal benders and rollers. One really cool cutter worked like a giant paper cutter, with a really long foot powered lever for cutting sixteen gauge steel. Just snips it right off. Safety proceedures and proper were the main reasons for the shop tour.

Sep 25, 2005

Essay 1: of Prince Assurnasirpal II or King Mycerinus, who had the goofier name?

We have a test coming up in history of architecture. We need to know dates down to the year for about a hundred images. The time span is from 15,000 BC to 159 BC. I think its going to be a bit of a challenge. Guess what I'm doing this weekend?

Making a candleholder. I took a break from studying and working in studio on the library project to cast a tealight candle holder out of concrete. It's actually pretty cool. It holds nine candles close togather in a square grid, set into an inch thick concrete block seven inches square. Concrete is such a versitile medium, I'm surprised its not used more in home products.

To help study for the test, I've resorted to making little rhymes to help myself remember dates. Like "seven-twenty one KhorsaBAD mutha(watch your mouth!)" or "Temple of Aphais at Ephisos in five-fifty-six" and "in 1473 was built hapshetsut's mortuary"

Anyway, it seems to help. Also on tuesday, I have a test on Human factors which will be pretty easy I think, mostly a vocab test.

Sep 21, 2005

Driving 'round with Ol' Bob

Last night, I was up until 3 am working on layout and printing my images (found in the previous blog) the problem is that the printer is wonderful, but prints really slowly, especailly for the 11x17s and it ran out of ink in both cartrages, so I had to replace them and start it again. I should note that nobody elese had borderless pages, either in 11x17 or 8.5x11. In the "sexier" building shots, the blue and blacks ran all the way to the edge of the page.

I got up again at 8:00 AM to take the minivan in to get the GPR systen fixed. Honda sent me a notice describing the exact symptoms and would cover all of it. Too bad I didn;t get the notice before they replaced the transmission. At least the warrenty covered it. Anyway, got down there in twenty minutes, handed off the van, and drove back in the courtesy van with Bob. Bob is over seventy years old with a big white beard and has lived in the valley for fourty years. The courtesy van was a granite green (gray) 2000 Honda Odessey. The same car I drove in with.

Bob drove me back, and I ate breakfast and checked emails while waiting for class at 1:15. I'm surprised to get another call an hour later that the valve was replaced and the van is ready for pickup. Would have just waited there if I'd known it'd be that quick. They sent Bob back for me, who enjoyed driving around because it helped pass the time better. I got the van back and it was running fine, no more surges or maintence service lights. One checkmark off on the van.

In studio today we pinned our images up and went around and talked. I was about falling off the stool. At least we got a 20 minute lunch break to wake ourselves up again before learning about our new project.

We're designing/remodeling a library, Arabian library in N. Scottsdale to be exact, which is located on the campus where Taylor went to school. I'm excited. I love libraries so much I'm working at one right now. The program is pretty involved and pretty complex. We got data sheets on each room detailing uses, size, furnature, technical specificiation, etc. For monday, we have to draw the rooms we divided up amongst ourselves.

At least we don't have to design a cemetery.

Project One Pictures

Here are some of the final documentation images from my last project. Our assignment was to create a box of certain dimentions, with half the walls made from concrete. My project was definately a crowd-pleaser.

Sep 20, 2005

Goethe and Chase's guardian angel

Moderately interesting Finding Purpose class today. We first talked about learning types: visual, auditory, and kinesthic. I am definately a visual learner. I unfocus my eyes when I'm talking and recalling information as an image, I notice textures, light, and colors first and foremost when entering a new space. Visual learners like to write stuff down and see it to understand it. According to his definitions, we talk quickly and with a higher voice. Many architecture people are visual learners. What I found interesting was that the instructor talked about working with construction crews, and how they are overwhelmingly made of Kinesthic learners. How they feel is very important to them, and they seldom hold back thier emotions. Kinesthic learners have to move, and learn by manipulation of phyiscal things. They build because they like building. It occured to me that this could be one of the root causes of the antagonism between architecture types and construction/contractor types. We process and work in completely different ways.

The other interesting thing was a quote he had at the end, mistakenly attributing it to Everest summiter Edmund Hillary and not the German philosopher Goethe.

Concerning all acts of initive and creation, there is one elementary truth the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splended plans: that the moment one definately commits oneself, then providence moves too. All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise would have occured.

I found this highly interesting for a number of reasons. The first thing I thought of was the absolutely fantastic luck we had in Europe traveling with Chase. My luck was ill before we met, and vastly improved with him around. We would make rail connections with minutes to spare, find places to stay when we really needed them, find interpreters and good samaritans at crucial junctions, make and even subverted the evil Russian embassy bureauocracy. We were never mugged, scammed (while togather), and we had nothing stolen from us. I would have sworn we had a guardian angel standing over us.

In these circumstances, where we just WENT to Gimmelvalt without calling to see if they had any space, the only hostel there, they had space available for us. It was there or nowhere. We HAD to make the train to scandinavia. We would have missed it if the one platform conductor hadn't found us again on a different stair and sent us on our way to the right station where it was delayed. When we arrived in Budapest, with no clue of where the hotel was, who did Chase find in our car but an english-speaking member of the department of tourism with good maps and directions?

What was behind this phenomenal luck? We were traveling all or nothing, and I was initially discomforted by our lack of fallback plans and insurance. We made bold moves, like going to Budapest. Was it the movement of Providence that bathed us in such great luck? Was it something more prosaic like if we had had a backup plan in place, we wouldn't have hung around the train station trying to figure out what to do when the conductor found us? Did we generate our own luck by sheer determination of acomplishing the task at hand? Whatever the effector, the cause of boldness and totally committing seemed to do the trick.

This runs counter-intuitive to me, who always has a backup plan, and always has a schedule, especially concerning travel. My travel experiance with my family is "plan and expect for the worst to happen, and something disasterous happens at least once on every trip." Chase's travel philosophy is "Everything will work out fine" and the more adventurous we were, the less we worried about things going bad. I literally felt lucky, like I was surrounded by a golden aura. I need to work on developing this, especially as I tend to procrastinate and have difficulty initiating things. Creativity and Initive. How far apart are they?

Sep 19, 2005

Alec In Narnia

As some of you might be aware, the movie adaptation of C.S. Lewis' The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe is coming out in december. I had never read the books, and not wishing to miss out on a childhood meme, I read the first two books in the Chronicles of Narnia series. These books are brilliantly written, not as textured and descriptive as the Harry Potter series, nor as breathlessly fantastic and boring as Tolkien. Lewis uses simple, powerful prose, which does a geat job for description without being overly descriptive. What I found really intersting was that these stories are plainly allegorical for major events and themes in the Bible.

The Magician's Nephew has Genesis re-enacted, with Aslan the Great Lion (God) literally singing the world of Narnia into existance and calling forth all life from the ground. The children (adressed as Sons-of-Adam and Daughters-of-Eve) who enter that world inadverantly bring the Witch, personification of timeless evil, thereby tainting the land. Thier penance must be to seek out The Apple tree, and bring a fruit back to Aslan. There is temptation, hardship, and moral dillemas in this children's book. In the end, of course, Aslan makes everything right again.

The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe is a take on the Passion. A child sibling defects to the Witch's side out of petty emotions. When she demands his blood on old magic grounds, Aslan sacrafices himself to save the boy. He is bound, shaved, and subjected to ridicule, torment, and then killed. At dawn, a stoke of lighting splits the massive sacraficial stone, and Aslan reappears to battle and destroy the Witch and drive evil from the land, returning animals and people back to life from the Witch's stone curse.

This is pretty heady stuff for young children's books. I'm interested to read the rest of the series. Other books I'm reading inlcude Blink, a book about developing the ultra-quick subconscious decision making which people call instinct.

I did get my hair cut, I got a $5 off coupon for a hairstylist place called Grooming Humans so I got a shampoo, cut, and style for 17 dollars, just five bucks more than having Laquisha do it over at CostCutters. It's shorter, but looks pretty good.

This weekend, I worked on various homework, and went salsa dancing sunday night. I'm surprised by how much I still remember. At least we dont have to go to that class.

Sep 14, 2005

A very special brick

Good, easygoing day today. Finished my paper comparing the architectural spaces, although I still need to sketch an image of the law library. In studio, I took pictures of my model. I'm really impresed with how it turned out and it still surprises me by the way sunlight hits it. Our "interim" project is pretty fun: we're photographing our models. First a series of plain elevations, then some "sexier" shots with interesting angles, details, connections, lighting, etc. The last part is the creation of a photomontage to see what further ideas can be pulled out.

When I came in to work at the library today, I found Jen working with white gloves on at the reserved collections room. The architecture library has absolutely tons of original material concerning the Arizona Biltmore, photos, menus, preliminary sketches, original correspondance between the architect Albert McArthur and Frank Lloyd Wright. Among more intersting items in the collection was a brick from the construction which had been carefully wrapped for preservation purposes. Jen was doing a report on the Biltmore for her interior design history class, and what she found when I told her about the library collection was so in depth and interesting, she kept reseraching and reading far beyond what she needed.

The interest comes from the dynamism between Albert McArthur, a student under Wright for two years, and Mr. Wright himself. Of Wright's proteges, only McArthur really suceeded independnatly. A controversy which has never been adequately closed is how much of the Biltmore did Wright actually design, and most of the material in the collection centers on this.

Basically, McArthur's enterprising brothers financed a massive resort in phoenix, and wanted him to design it. McArthur was up to the task but wanted to use a concrete block bulding system developed by Wright. He wrote Wright to ask if he could use the system. We have Wright's written response, in which he essentially invited himself over to "possiblly asist and supervise." Other documents we found talked about Wright's financial and design crisis just prior, when he was threatened with losing Taliesin, and he had been out of work for awhile. A few years before this, Wright's own prized resort, the Imperial Hotel in Tokyo, had just been destroyed, and I wonder if he saw this as a second chance, even if only subconsciously.
Wright claimed he had a patent on the building system and charged McArthur a good sum of money for the use of it. About the time when the resort opened, it became clear that Wright had never filed any kind of patent for it at all. In the time between this, Wright moved his family to Phoenix and, according to his wife's book, made a lot of sketches, drawings, and design decisions about the hotel. We do see these sketches in her book, but not in the collection, and we dont know if these were sketches he made based on McArthur's plans, or if it went the other way around. We have a written affadavit, signed by Wright, that he had nothing to do with the Hotel's design, but the nature of the note seems somewhat amiss.
McArthur, for that matter, never liked Wright that much (he only spent 2 years as a fellow), and though he took a lot from his designs and style, they seemed to be at odds, as the patent episode demonstrates. To make a long story short(er), The hotel, which had Wright's trademark style, opened to great fanfare and accolades. All of a sudden, Wright wasn't so eager to dispell the idea that he'd had nothing to do with it's construction. He contradicts himself in several places and never makes a really clear stand. To me, it seems like the classic Mentor-Mentee relationship at its ultimate culmination: the mentor views the mentee as not having what it really takes, and the mentee seeing himself as equal to the mentor.

The mentee in question, Albert McArthur, was a really brilliant guy. We have his detailed and immacualte notes, equations, and essays. He studied quantum and light physics in college, where he developed an independant color theory which he continued to develop and exploit for the rest of his career. His color theroy is really interesting as he associates and compares colors to musical notes. The brightest, most intense colors occur at certain wavelengths, i.e. octives of music, and he actually derived the trademark shape of the masonry block at the Biltmore from a musical composition which was converted first to color, then into sculpture. It's really interesting to see the his handwritten notes firsthand, and peice these things togather yourself. It's an adventure, a mystery. There's enough material here to develop a thesis on it.

In more mundane news, I need a haircut.

Sep 13, 2005


Short post today, just feeling whupped by tuesdays.

We scored our Myers-Briggs test today. The test was actually developed by a mother and daughter, based on the work of Carl Jung and his theories of introversion and extroversion.
I was an INTJ: Introvert, iNtuitive, Thinking, and Judging. There were about a dozen other INTJs in the class when he asked, everyone was an architecture major. The prof said that many architects are INTJs. It was interesting to see what personality types were most heavily represented in the design field.

We also learned a bit about our 'inferior' type, the one which fails when we're under stress. The sheet listed 'sensing' as INTJ's inferior type, and while it listed exactly things which put us under a lot of stress, the reaction, the failure of sensing, I wasn't too sure about. It said we overindulge in sensing without enjoyment, like turning on music or tv or a movie and not cognizently watching it. It also talked about feelings of being overwhelmed with sensory data, and viewing the world as an enemy. The list of things which help read like a self-manual for me: "space", quiet, natural surroundings, using thinking to find solutions, etc.

Current stress triggers: 5 page paper due thurs comparing two architecture spaces. I have 2.5 paragraphs done on it. At least I have the notes and photos. I'm more than 50 pages behind with my History of Architecture readings. We've just been really busy at the library. The arch library is slowly circulating in 5,000 new books which need to be processed, plated, and shelved.

Sep 12, 2005


Crit: short for critique in architecture, where projects are presented, discussed, and criticized.
We had our first crit of the year today. For once, I was done ahead of schedule. I finished my model saturday, finished the drawings sunday, and had all my presentation materials ready an hour before the crit at 2. And I never stayed in studio past midnight, either.
One of the things I love about studying architecture is the time right before review. It's an intense time. People are puting final touches on thier models and drawings, setting up thier presentation area, checking out each others' work. The Project is finally done, for good or ill. The end of the long and weary road has been reached, and whether it ends in failure or sucess, the end is a celebration in itself. People dress up more for critiques, they're jazzed, buzzing, and chatting. It's a bit like show-and-tell combined with art class; everyone wants to show what they've done. It's a culmination of a lot of work.

Our crit had an usual format. They crammed all 48 of us into one studio WITH our models and drawings (thereby tripling it's normal density) and the first thing we did was go around and give the basic idea of the project in one minute or less.

For an identical problem with harsh constraints, we had a dizzying array of different projects. There was a small group of maybe five projects which were very similiar, but most were completely different from each other. Out of 48 people, only a few other people had a roof that wasn't perfectly flat, and only one other person had a roof that wasn't made of horizontal planes.

I was also surprised by the high level of craft people had in thier models. There's definately an improvement since last year. I guess those with better craft got in because thier portfolios demonstrated thier commitment to quality craftsmanship. We had two outside reviewers who worked with architecture firms, but the one in my more intense crit group left right before getting to my project. The woman who critiqued my project teaches one of the other third year studios and is fanatically by the project. I overheard her say that there was supposed to be only ONE opening in the structure as only one opening was described in the program. I guess she doesn't like to think outside the box.

Anyway, she didn;t hate my project, but I got the impression that she thought I had squandered this assignment. From her perspective, this assignment was about developing real-world solutions using real world connections. My take on the assignment was that this was for material and form explorations. We're both right, in a sense; it's just the inherant problems of building without a real program or context. She, and some other students, thought my project was too sculptural and had too much going on. I can appreciate both these comments. When designing the roof, I thought more about the opportunities and challenges of working with the torqued surface rather than the space which it defines.
As to the too-much-going-on critique, I suppose I should take it as a compliement that I had a lot of really good ideas that dilute each other. For instance, an angle becomes much more pronounced when its next to a straight line or a right angle. Throw a bunch of angles togather and you lose context of what is supposed to be straight- the angles lose thier angularity.

At any rate, this was what my studio prof said last time I talked to him, although I disagreed with him at the time. I was just really excited about the torqued roof structure, and it does look really cool. All in all, it was a good crit, although I wish I had more people review it. A lot of students took pictures of it, and I took pictures of a lot of other student's models I thought were interesting. Jen and a bunch of interior girls dropped by to watch the crit in process, and even without knowing I'd designed it, they went straight to my project because everyone else had basically a box. From here, I go on to plus/delta my design and design process.

Media I'm Grokking: Chronicles of Narnia, starting with Magican's Nephew. The Gorillaz Demon Days.'s kind of poppy but extremely varied from electronic funk to dennis hopper reading a short story interspaced with melodic lyrical interludes. Also stuff by Cake is really cool.

Sep 9, 2005

Statics with Mike and Pete

My most challenging class so far has been Building systems 1. The teacher is a professional mechanical engineer with his own contracting firm. However, he has never taught a college class before. I have a nagging feeling he's doing this because the architects he deals with have no clue what he's talking about in structure. This sets up an interesting personality conflict in class. The teacher talks like a contractor and moves really quickly because its second nature to him, skipping the little steps in the problems. There's so much he's got to cover, he can only outline the reactions at this point. The class of architecture students is extremely detail oriented; we want to know exactly how everything works. One class he drew a framing diagram with a bunch of joists 4' on center (neglecting to explain what "on center" meant) spanning two beams. He started doing the math for one of the joists, and half the class became really flustered because he didn't explain which particular joist he describing. With his limited experiance, it took him five minutes to explain that it didn't matter which one he was describing becuase the forces and loading on them were the same. When one guy asked which end the reaction forces were occuring, he told him that it didn't matter, becaue it was an equally loaded beam and the forces were the same at either end. "You can call it x and y, a and b, or mike and pete as long as you're consistant". We all thought this was highly amusing. He also told us to return the textbook (which I didn't pick up yet ha-ha) because it was useless and spend the money on beer.

The last two weeks we covered the very basics of beams, loads, and construction materials in a really fast overview. This week, we started on the math. None of us have ever done anything remotely like this yet, so its really taking us awhile to get the hang of it. At this point, given a total load per square foot on a floor supported by a frame, we can calcualte the pounds/ft on any beam or joist, the total load on any beam, and the reaction loads at the ends of any span. Ultimately, this tells us how much loading is on the collumns and how strong the collumns need to be. This is actually pretty easy stuff once one understands the why and the units. Anyway, at the end of the class, we should be able to calculate loading on any part of a building, draw loading and moment diagrams, and calculate bending and shear forces.

First project is due monday! I've finished the two walls and most of the framing. Just need to work on the windows. Here's a computer model of it: click for larger view

Sep 7, 2005

Arizona State University of Tulane

My studio project is on track. Last night I worked till midnight finishing the formwork for my second wall. The second wall has a 4" wide round opening in it, so I used an old movie cup. I poured it this morning around 11, and it turned out pretty well. With both walls poured, I've begun work on the basswood frame structure.

A new guy came into our studio and was looking around at our projects. I got to talking to him and it turns out he's the first student from Tulane coming here. He was beginning their third year architecture program when they evacuated the school- apparently on freshmen move in day. He, and probably a quite a few classmates, will be joining us for the rest of the semester in our studios and other coursework. The current director of the college of design formerly taught at Tulane, and so encouraged thier architecture people to come over here. In fact, thier entire 5th year thesis students AND faculty will be taking up residence here. At any rate, ASU is set to become the new Tulane architecture campus.

The guy in our studio wansn't able to take anything from his studio with him, so now he has to go and restock everything! He said he spent about a hundred dollars on "small stuff" like pens, notebooks, and drafting supplies. He doesn't even have a board to work on, and the school is scrambling to find enough deskspace. Should be an exciting year.

Sep 6, 2005

Birthday Weekend

What a weekend! Friday night, Jen and a bunch of our friends from architecture went out to a college pizza joint, like Greasy Tony's, and then went on First Fridays in downtown Phoenix. Every first friday of the month, the galleries in downtown phoenix all open. There's a few particular areas along Roosevelt where there's a local art community. The galleries here range from very professional galleries to tiny homes people have converted the first floor of into their personal galleries. There's lots of live bands, a fair amount of drinking, and huge crowds. All types of people come out: matrons with baby buggies, I ran into a guy from Habitat down there, and tons of design students, artists, and artist/designer wannabes. This time, we spotted Dan Hoffman, one of the tenured professors taking in the artwork. One of the places, Monorchid, is an amazingly cool designers collective in a spectacular building of glass, concrete, and steel inside an old warehouse. It contains a huge gallery space, a private gallery/function space, library, and offices.

Saturday night I went to a party with some friends and afterwards, when I passed midnight, I made a mojito back at thier house. Everyone I talked to at the party couldn't beleive I wasn't going to do 21 shots of hard liquour or do the "Power Hour" where one goes and drinks for a solid hour at a bar. Such is the school I attend.

Sunday, I went over to Jen's and she made me french toast for breakfast. Then we went to see March of the Penguins. While I liked it, it wasn't exactly a billion dollar blockbuster. Afterwards, I bought a new pair of shoes to replace my sketchers, and a found a really good deal on some Bass leather sandals 60% off. That evening Jen took me out to AZ/88 a trendy American restaurant in Scottsdale.

Labor day, I spent working on my studio project, finally finishing the corrugated wall pour around nine pm. Today is long Tuesday. The human factors class is putting me to sleep, although the Finding Purpose class was theraputic as usual. It helps that the teacher is an acutal therapist. I'm looking more and more at architecture firms nearby. My top three local picks would be Will Bruder, Rick Joy, and Antoine Predock. It's really good working in the library because it exposes me to so much. We get new books in all the time, and I always take time to skim the books I'm shelving.

Speaking of which, I got my paycheck today which made me feel good. I can't beleive I'm being paid for this, especially after Ross and the bookstore. Granted, its not much, just $6 an hour, but for the actual time spent doing library "work" I think I'm actually making $18 an hour since I only do "work" about a third of the time.

Sep 3, 2005

Do you know what it means to miss New Orleans...

What has happened in New Orleans is so appalling its almost surreal. Images coming out of the area look like bangladesh, and not one of the cultural capitals of the south. The aftermath of the destruction of the storm is a powerful reminder of the fragility of society. I was listening to an NPR interview with the head of the National Emergency Response department concerning the New Orleans Convention Center, and it highlighted the entire issue. NPR's reporters on the site described utter scenes of horror and chaos, 12 year old girls being raped, a mob driving off a battalion of police officers, rampant looting, and geriatrics lying dead on the side of the road. Even more appalling was the the head guy's outright denial that there was an issue with the convention center. The NPR interviewer, a station which is notorious for its sedate interviews, was absolutely livid with the national department head because he was refusing to send aid to the 2,000 people in the convention center because he hadn't been alerted to them through the proper channels. These people have had no food, water, or medical supplies since the disaster struck. On the other line, the reporters, actually on the site, were even more livid at hearing the department head dismiss their reports as "anecdotal" and thier bitterness at how the situation was being handled came pouring out in their speech. A few hours later, the department head recieved the report about the convention center.
Apart from the governmental response, I've been dismayed by the actions of the people living in the city. I can understand people who dont want to leave because they have no car, nowhere to go, or no money to get themselves anywhere, and people who are just plain uneducated and stupid. What I can't understand is the looting, shooting, and lawlessness. I've heard stories about people looting wal-marts for food and distributing that out, but what's with the all the looting elsewhere? Do these people think the commerical market is going to come back to town next week? Do they think that rapes and murders are OK now since there's no one around to punish them? These people are savages, they don't understand what a society is, nor will they ever belong to one.
What a mess. I was really hoping to spend some time down there, getting back in touch with my birthplace, enjoying spicy cajun food and jazz. It's going to take at least a year to get New Orleans back on it's feet. At least the French had the good sense to found the French quarter on high ground. I was talking to the janitor back in the architecture building, and it turns out he's also from LaPlace. He was amazed to find someone who actaully knew where it was, let alone come from there. Small world. Oh, here's a computer model of my architecture project so far.

Medium is the message

I moved the blog again. I deleted the Tumblr account and moved everything to, a more writing-centric website.