Feb 26, 2007

Maroon and Gold

Finally got my transcript straightened out, so I applied to graduate this morning. Got a receipt and my tassels. My GPA was above 3.8 last semester, so I'm going to be graduating Summa Cum Laude, so I'm very happy about that. Wow, I can't believe I'm graduating. Just wanted to share.

Feb 25, 2007

And now, for something completely different

Friday was a surreal day.
I began by going to bed at 3 and waking up at 6 for work. I left my house at 6:25 on my bike, and arrived at work at 7:15. I live less than a minute walk from a bus stop, and a ten minute walk from a bus stop on a line which goes directly to my destination. The distance between my house and my work is about ten miles. This was the fastest I've ever gotten to work without a car. I dare say there is something a bit off about this whole arrangement. I worked the morning, and then biked the ten miles back home. Actually going home was a lot better since I discovered I could bike along a trail along a canal which ran diagonally towards Tempe. The streets of Phoenix and its sidewalks are in terrible condition, occasionally not even fit for human use, let alone bikers. I try not to ride on the streets anyway as drivers in Phoenix pride themselves on being some of the worst in the country, and are about as observant and caring to bicyclists as a windshield is to flies on the autobahn. Especially in downtown phoenix, which is totally under construction at least until Sky Harbor Airport finishes buying all of it.

One of the studios in our semester went to New Orleans a few weeks ago. Saori's studio road tripped out to San Diego. Another studio went to LA to look at urban forms there.
Our studio took a trip across the parking lot to Gammage Auditorium.

In some strange tie-in to our studio, our professor wanted us to experience a show called "Guided Tour." This is put on by a British performance artist named Peter Reder in ASU's Gammage. From his website, it is described as

Guided Tour is a promenade performance sited in an historic building. It's a tourist experience for the disenchanted, a quiet interrogation of the notion of the authentic and our thirst for the original. Guided Tour was premiered at McEwan Hall at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2005, in association with the Traverse Theatre as part of the British Council Showcase, and has since been presented at the Tretyakov Gallery www.tretyakovgallery.ru/english/ Moscow and in Bucharest in 2006.

In this case, he was using Gammage. It was very surreal and pretty funny if you get British humor. He started the show by explaining that he played the role of the tour guide and asked us if there was anything in particular we wanted him to tell us, like if we wanted Gammage to be haunted, for example. There was a large group, about half of us students, and we followed him around. The first thing he pointed out was that his picture on the posters outside the box office was much bigger than Billy Crystal's and elaborated on the intense rivalry they had. We of course had been well warned that the facts on this tour were not necessarily true.

Then he led us outside up the ramp of the building to point out and discuss at length the significance of the Twin Palms hotel, and IHOP as its functioning breakfast room. The tour was a strange mix of guided tour of the spaces without really explaining them, and slides and video of people who "could have been" relatives and family members of his. My favorite moment of the 'tour' was when he brought us to the bust of Wright, and told us about the great and important works of Wright and how this wasn't one of them. He then said that since we were architecture student's he wouldn't talk about the design aspects which we already knew but would instead elaborate on the strange, lewd, and lurid personal life of FLW. We stopped in front of a glass case of old photos of women and he took on a guided tour of FLW's mistresses, wives, daughters, and other strange people in his life and the doom which seemed to follow all of them.

We finished the 'tour' watching a movie of his mother, very experiential absurdest non-speaking, non-explained piece, in the sub-basement workshop of the lyric opera theater, and getting let out from one of the loading bays. One of my friends from studio turned to me suddenly and asked "what the hell did I just do with the last hour and a half of my life?" I could only shrug. I got some of it, but the last ten minutes of video totally lost me.

Saturday Saori and I took the day off, mostly bicycling around Papago Park (I was surprisingly not sore from my 2o miles the day before) and taking photos of the canal system there for her studio. That night, we went to Janette's apartment for a reunion party with people from the Buenos Aires trip. We brought a bottle of Caxhaca 51, which Janette promptly hid from the other partygoers. There was sangria, there were tapas, and there were, miraculously, empanadas. I got the address of a store in Phoenix that has them and apparently they also have Mate and all of the good herb's paraphernalia.

Today was a work day. Lots of reading and sketching, and blogging.

Alec 2.2 is Solar Powered, made of Nontoxic Materials, and LEED compliant

To continue-

Sustainable design is a particularly hot topic in architecture because buildings consume nearly half of ALL energy produced in the US. Of that, most energy is spent on Heating and Cooling and Lighting

Wednesday was another "mandatory" lecture. I finally pieced together why the faculty are using such aggressive language: the faculty are getting into trouble with the administration because the student turn out at the lectures are low. Wednesday's lecture was actually quite interesting because it was webcast called The 2010 Imperative. Click here to see it. For those who don't know, a webcast is usually live digital video which is published on the internet at a specific time for anyone on the internet to log in and watch and comment. I was surprised at how realistic the speakers were, discussing the necessary moves by politicians, building material manufactures, colleges, etc. more importantly, setting specific timetables and goals. The Imperative of 2010 is that by then design schools will be teaching mainly ecological instead of architectonic design.

This whole thing is actually part of a larger program called the 2030 challenge issued to cities. The gist is that by 2030, all buildings will be carbon neutral to operate- i.e. need no outside energy. Possible, but difficult.

The tone of the speakers was really interesting to me. They talked very straight, very dry, but they seemed to have the manner of instructing the passengers of the Titanic to move to one side of try to tip the ship enough that it misses the iceberg. There was a palpable nervousness and desperation which seemed to come through which was the unnerving thing. Like Noah giving swimming lessons.

Interestingly, there was little talk about developing nations. We're still the number one emitter of carbon dioxide and pollution, but China and Russia will surpass us in less than 2 years I bet. China's already using more coal and fast gaining on oil consumption. The fires that slash and burn squatters set in Indonesia account for an obscenely huge slice of the global CO2 emissions, but we didn't discuss them either. I have a feeling we're going to arrive at a very Danish point in 2010-2020, when we've cleaned up our act mostly through legislation and pop demand/culture, and we're going to look around and realize that while we've struggled so hard to curb and diminish our emissions and pollution, China and Russia will be hitting their stride economically speaking. I have to tell you, there aren't many ecological lobbyists in those countries. To be blunt, it will have to be strictly economic, and short-term at that, imperatives for those countries to take note and change their power and consumption practices.

But I digress.

The "simple little box" I titled my earlier blog referred to a speaker who asked "why can't they just put a simple little box in the bottom of the screen in whatever design program you're using which will tell you how much carbon emissions your building would have. That way, whenever you made a design decision, it could show you if it increased the carbon emissions or reduced them." There are a few small problems with this little box.
It would have to be a massive program which could calculate not only heat gain depending on the position and location of windows AND shading by other structures AND taking all the materials of the structure into account working interdependently, but it would also have to account for the carbon cost of every quantity of material, AND take local weather and lighting into account in all of its calculations. Besides the heating and cooling, it would also have to be a light-rendering engine which could calculate wattage, lumens, AND required lighting levels for each state code applied to every space in the building. In short, you're talking about three or four stand alone programs along with some that don't even exist yet. This is hardly a little box.

OK! Enough with that day!

Feb 20, 2007

"Just a little simple box"

Had a pretty good weekend. After waking up friday morning at 5:45 AM for work, I decided to repeat the process the next day to meet for Habitat for Humanity. I met the group in the parking lot over by Gammage at 6:30 AM. The build coordinator, a radically conservative republican in design management, another guy in planning who knew all my friends in architecture but we'd just never met before since I don't go out much, and three young guys who SCREAMED freshman. What is it about freshman that make them seem so young? Their manic eagerness? Their desperate humor? Maybe its because they have something to prove. Anyway.

When I last left Valley of the Sun Habitat for Humanity, they had just opened their new store of donated fixtures and building materials. Since my return, they aquired the warehouse behind the warehouse the store is in and turned it into a materials storehouse and workshop. This was our destination this sunday. It turns out that the last few sundays they've been taking willing volunteers to the warehouses to prefabricate wall sections. These wall sections, once built, can be dragged out to the site and pushed into place by site volunteers, especially useful in so called "blitz builds" where volunteers rapidly construct a series of houses.

It was ok by me, despite the gorgeous day we were working in climate controlled comfort, and putting stuff togather by hammer and nail. I really do hammering together walls, theres something oddly satisfying about the whole thing, the solidity and reality of the nail, the hammer, and the wood. Where before there was blank wood, I have imposed order, enforced it upon the bare wood to make a skeleton of a home which will last a dozen years at least. The only thing was that my hands became really sore and tired after hammering nearly nonstop for 8 hours.

We took an hour for lunch and drove down a place nearby on 7th st. and Donovan (?) Durrango (?) whatever the street north of the I-10 is. It's a tiny Mexican counter restaurant called Carolina's and by the accolates on the wall, apparently they have the best tortillas in Arizona. Despite its small size, it was packed with people of all colors and socioeconomic levels. Small, dingy, hole in the wall kind of place. I knew it would be good. I got some tacos and they were decent, not the best Mexican I've ever had, but solid fare nonetheless.

After we finished building around 2, I biked home to grab my bag, and biked down to safeway, a trek of slightly less than three miles. Picked up as many groceries I could take in, and tied to, my backpack, and biked home. Also stopped by a little market I found near my apartment, something between a Food City and a Circle K. Sells tons of junk food and sodas, but also has a fruit and vegetable aisle. Made a welcome home spaghetti dinner for Saori with mixed salad and those easy Italian Parmesan turnover things one makes with store biscuits.

Monday in studio, we tore apart a road atlas of Phoenix metro area and pinned up all the squares on the wall to make a street map about ten feet wide. The focus of the studio is on the city itself, so it was an good start. It was interesting, because we stopped and talked about places on the map for about half an hour, just oddities and interesting points, etc. Once you get that kind of resolution, you can see exactly how places are related.

Our teacher was telling us about one big house in Chandler near the intersection of Warner and Kyrene. I was intriged so I looked it up. Its a huge Tudor mansion, 12,000 sq ft on a rolling green grass estate right off of Kyrene. Handcarved finishings, a little slice of northern Europe in southern Phoenix. Anyway, I found an interesting point, so I dug in and discovered, like all interesting houses, that this one also had an interesting owner. The original builder was a construction magnate, Phil Eckard (or something like that) who had it constructed in 1984. He sold it about ten years later to another guy, Cable Rosenberg, who was another self made businessman with a string of used-car dealerships. However, the house is currently for sale for the low price of twelve million dollars (no joke).

I wonder if every city has its strange history mansions. We can't forget either, the palatial mansion in PV belonging to Pierre Falcone, billionaire, politico, philanthropist, international arms dealer.

I'll tell you about today later. I've written enough and its time for bed. I have work tomorrow.

Feb 16, 2007

"Because Every Day Should Be an Adventure"

I've come up with a great slogan for ValleyMetro, the company which provides public transportation through the valley. Instead of "The Best Way to Get from A to B" which is thier current slogan, I propose "Every Day Should Be an Adventure." Riding the public bus, you never know just where you'll end up, and you'll certainly meet an interesting cast of characters along the way, ha ha!

In more seriousness, I have seen at least one person who is clearly deranged every time I've taken the bus, and at least four others whose sanity was debatable. The cultural breakdown of Phoenix is also radically skewed in favor of minorities which is very interesting to see on the bus.

Last night I biked to the new location of Gentle Strength Co-op on Southern and Mill. My neighborhood has railroad tracks which run through it, and so historically this area and the area south where I biked through developed as industrial with only minor commerical creeping in until you get to Mill Ave. Anyway, this place has reasonable prices and good quality food, but of course, as its name suggests, this is a kind of place where you don't casually order a pound of fresh whale. Or beef. Or anything with MSG.

I really enjoy walking through grocery stores just looking at the products. Especially special niche stores like these. The packaging, the product, the presentation, its like an open running dialogue between the manufacturers, the public, and each one's distorted view of the other. Sometimes its also just plain funny. One corny example was Paul Newman's brand of fig cookies, cleverly renamed Fig Newmans. The main thing that amused and repulsed me at the same time were the substitutes for meats and cheese. Provolone! No Milk Products! Now Melts! and all the various meat subsitute products. I couldn't stop cracking up reading the product titles, which were way too close to names The Onion satirized " Approximeat, Soystrami, I Can't Believe It's Not Dead Animal, Nausages, Prosciuttofu, Mockwrust," etc.

I did pick up some good strong local honey and some bagged mate for tea. They had a pound of looseleaf mate, the way they had in Buenos Aires for about 60 cents. Here, at the store, it cost a bit over ten dollars. I took a teabag with me to work this morning.

Today, I caught the bus to work, early again. I need to start eating breakfast and catch the bus that comes 15 minutes later. Work was pretty good. Went by quickly and then I was back waiting for the bus on central. I actually caught the same bus as a guy I knew from studio who was also coming back to ASU from his work.

I actually ended up hopping off the bus right downtown at ASU's downtown campus. This campus is actually spread out over the city a bit, so I walked a little ways to the PURL, Phoenix Urban Reaserch Laboratory. This occupies the top floor of a 1950's building in Phoenix, which stuck me as similiar in feel to our studio in Buenos Aires. I stopped in to talk to some of my friends there. The feeling was very professional, I assume because if you were going to schlepp all the way to downtown and find parking, you weren't going to be screwing around in studio. There was no mess, no clutter, no junk, nothing really pinned up on the walls, and I got in the impression that all the presentations were in powerpoint, or carefully arragned posters. The main part of the open plan floor was occupied by a massive scale model of downtown phoenix, which was about 20' feet by 20' square.

It was a pleasant part of town, the heart of downtown, at the intersection of Central and Van Buren, but the attempts to make it seem urban came across as cute. There was just too much space between buildings, too much grass, and too few stores and windows for every building facing the street. I bought a grilled portabella sandwich with REAL provolone cheese and sat outside to lunch.

I caught a different bus back to campus. This one was occupied by two deranged old women, both of whom had sunken bony faces and rasped at the driver incessantly. They screamed something at the giggling girls in the back as they went by. I got tired of the bus and hopped off early, so I ended up walking back about a mile through the borderlands of Tempe and Phoenix.

Tomorrow- habitat for humanity.

Feb 15, 2007

Valentines Voyages

The night before Valentine's day, Saori and I made Udon noodle soup at her place for our valentines day dinner. I've been learning a lot about Japanese soups, and especially about the many uses of miso. We had to have our valentines day dinner then, because the next day Saori went to San Diego with her studio on a field trip, and I had my first day of work back at DWL.

Saori's studio focuses on the redevelopment of Papago Park, and each person is part of a team covering a certain facet of the park. For design inspriation and a case study, they left for San Diego look at the giant park there. It sounds like a really fun road trip that they're driving there. The school is also paying for their trip, although technically, its just their money coming back to them. They'll be gone until late Saturday, so it was kind of sad spending valentines day alone.

Anyway, valentines day, I woke up at 5:20 AM to get ready for work. I've not been getting much sleep anyway, so I'm starting the day off wiped. I left my apartment at 6 AM, and caught a bus to central Phoenix. Took about fifteen minutes of waiting for the bus, and about forty minutes ride time. I arrived early, so I wandered over to the nearby Circle-K and got a donut and some coffee and watched the sun rise.

It staggers me when I think about the density of Buenos Aires compared to Phoenix. How much wasted space there is in parking lots, little ten foot swaths of lawn or dirt between the sidewalk and property walls, all the low buildings, and massive streets. Downtown central Phoenix has a density which would only be found on the farthest suburbs of Buenos Aires.

Anyway, work was good, people remembered me even though its been eight months since I worked there last. I was set to work on some graphics of a library layout, very similar to the work I did in one of my studios a few semesters ago when I had to design a library.

I left the office around noon, but caught the wrong bus home. It was still RED LINE, but it was the other one that I needed. This red line took me way south on central, all the way to Broadway. I was re-reading Venturi's Learning from Las Vegas, so I didn't realize where I was until we'd passed through downtown already. I hopped out on Broadway and Central, convienantly enough at a transit center ( look, here again the old adage holds true- when you are irrevocably commited to a situation, the world moves to help you) so the woman working there told me what busses to take to get back to ASU.

I ended up taking two more busses to get back to my apartment and from there I biked back to studio, ending up in class just shy of an hour late. This wasn't too bad, considering the laid back nature of the studio and the fact we always seem to start group meetings about half and hour after class begins anyway. So I was in studio until 5:00 PM, and right after that we had a guest lecture we all were supposed to attend which lasted for an hour. I was passing out during the lecture, trying to stay awake.

An interesting side note, I was staggered to find out that ASU's college of design pays guest lecturers $5,000 to speak, not including airfare. And most of these are people I've never even heard of, although they are relatively high in their fields. For designers I have heard of more frequently, $10,000. For the top architects in the world, ASU paid Shigeru-ban and Glenn Murcutt $50,000 each. I missed the Shigeru-ban lecture but the Glenn Murcutt lecture was probably worth it. That guy lectured for close to three hours and he was great.

After the lecture, I went up to the second floor of the bridge gallery where its dark and there are couches, and I passed out for an hour. Then I went back to my drawing class and we spent about an hour doing portrait sketches before calling an early end to the class. I went home, made some casadillas and went to bed.

Photo Above: View under Priest Drive crossing the Salt River

Feb 12, 2007


Today I bought a bicycle. It's an old used blue Schwinn Varsity road bike, with 26 inch tires. I am sick of Tempe's public transportation system (I call it a gross failure when I can WALK the mile and a half to school faster than the time it takes for me to get there taking the bus), and Saori's bike is way too small for me. Considering that the rest of my bikes have been stolen, I invested in the best lock I could buy. I also picked up a little LED headlamp which easily snaps to my handlebars so I'm more visible at night. Grand total $170. A tidy little sum of money to be sure, the bike itself was $110. Actually if I'd bought a cheaper used bike online or from the classfieds, odds are I'd make up the rest in repairs, new parts, shifters, brakes, etc. Everything on this bike works great. So I'm glad I got it. In terms of security, I'm storing it IN my apartment while its there. No more leaving it anywhere overnight.

Last weekend, Saori and I went to go see Pan's Labrynth, a movie by a Mexican director, and it was in Spanish with subtitles. Good movie, very surreal, very graphic, extremely bloody, and actually has the most terrifying scene I've seen in a long time. Not a movie to take the kids to. Very interesting though, the non-American director gave it a really fresh take. It's not what you're expecting.

To Whom it May Concern

Should I die some windy day,
wrap me up in sheets,
and billowingly bear me down
the gray and empty streets.

When if at sea I meet my end
bid the Capitan weep,
weight my shell with stone and steel,
and set me on the deep.

In arid desert, chance I go,
conserve, and do not cry,
but build me high a bed of wood
and bury me in the sky.

If I, while diving in sleepy cay,
a shark should strike and kill,
spear it quick and fresh fillet,
and mourn me as you grill.

Ere in violence I am slain,
and they find me cold and pale,
burn me with regretful silence,
and tell them all my tale.

If I on hot and sunny day
should happen to expire,
then dig and bury me by hand,
and tears of sweat perspire.

Should I drop quite suddenly
in the middle of life’s day,
then harvest all my organs
and give them all away.

Ere I go while watching TV
dull and fat with butter,
mourn me for only sixty minutes,
then go and do something other.

Polonium is nasty stuff-
If I eat some in my bread
then mark me radioactive
and make my casket lead.

And should I pass in jungle,
Keep all the men awake,
until I lay in earthen pit,
the deepest they can make.

When stranded in some plane disaster,
where death my hunger takes,
if you too, soul blind with madness,
must eat to live, partake.

Or swallowed by some evil swamp
in places maps won’t show,
stack me a rough pillar of stone,
and from that cursed place go.

In deepest hour of darkest night,
If a nameless horror with a grin
should drag me screaming from my bed,
never speak my name again.

But if I die at home asleep,
and old and wise as well,
then lift your head and smile
at the tolling of the bell.

Feb 9, 2007

more photos from my new old life

Mixed in with old, so be patient, or follow the link to the album with the full photos. The only thing I dislike about the slideshow is that it cuts off so much of the photos sometimes. This set includes sunset on A mountain, studio, and around home.

My New Old Life

Feb 7, 2007

Sustainability (!)

Our lighting class is rolling along interestingly. It's a lot of data we need to know for the workforce, and better, its what's contemporary. Our teacher one day explained to us that it was his job to teach us what the latest softwares, technologies, and lamps are in the field, so that we leave, we can find jobs at firms and show them how to do it. One of those things he's teaching us is a new type of CAD software called AGi32. Its user interface is clunky but logical, but its not really designed for building complex forms. For example, if I wanted to make a room, I would click the "Add" menu, go to "Room" and select "flat" for a flat-roofed room. Then you draw a box and it creates a room for you. At this point, I still don't know how to make a room of a specific entered size. I just "add" "object" "library" "chair" and use that chair as a scale to rough out the size. If I want to modify any of that stuff, I have to go back to "modify" "object"..etc. etc. This ain't autoCAD. On the plus side, this is the hottest, latest and cutting edge software used in the lighting design industry. This entire program is devoted to light calculations and hyperacurate raytrace rendering. In laymans terms, it lets you see how a light will really make a room look when you put it in.

Once you get past building the model, all you do is go to a lamp manufacturers website, download the photometric data sheet, and then you plug that back into the program and it generates that light for you. More importantly, it shows you how bright the room average is, at certain points, power usage, watts per foot which is vital for LEED certification and strict lighting code, amongst other functions. Basically once you have your space, it's plug and play from then on.

So that's lighting design. I was slightly disappointed that I didn't get to go see the US national soccer team play Mexico in a sold-out game here in Phoenix. However, considering that they filled the massive stadium, I don't think I would have been able to get tickets anyway. At least the US won 2-0, which was a huge letdown for my roommate Sal.

My human behavior and design class is still very stupid and ridiculous. Our "attendance question" was "who won the superbowl?" My roommate assured me that the teacher of the class is actually quite intelligent, but I can tell she hates the class and is only teaching it so ASU will waive her Doctorate tuition fees.

Today we went to a mandatory lecture. What, I thought, is mandatory about it? Our studio teachers were not there at the door, marking attendance, we were given no crucial bit of data to pass the class, and there was no other threat against us, so what makes it mandatory? I went anyway, since the language suggested that it was advisable to attend, and because it concerned Sustainability. This was the kick off lecture of the spring 07 lecture series. When a faculty member read off the list of who else was coming to talk, I had heard of none of them before- which, admittedly, could be the fault of my own, although I didn't hear any delight from anyone else recognizing a name. Last semester, for sake of comparison, were lectures by Teddy Cruz and Shigeru-ban. Shigeru-ban is probably the best known architect of Japan, in recognition second only Tado Ando. This whole semester lecture series centers on Sustainability.

I get the feeling that my posts have become somewhat fragmentary of late, it captures the feeling of this semester to an extent- my trying to piece everything in my current life together, taking freshman level classes along with a fragmented, self-guided studio, decisions on post-graduate life, the feeling of the temporarity of this apartment, etc.

Feb 3, 2007

Snow Day

Saori and I both had two studio professors who were going to conferences, so we decided to take friday off and go on a road trip up to Payson. We left around ten, getting to the Dairy Queen in Payson around lunchtime. I got a chili dog and a blizzard, and Saori ordered a salad. At first, I thought this was a strange decision, considering how rarely people would probably order salads from Dairy Queen, especially out in Payson. It took them a while to bring it out, but they actually brought out the best fast food salad I've ever seen. Reflecting on this, I realized I'd complelely had the whole thing wrong. Instead of a place like McDonalds which probably does a much more brisk trade in salads, Dairy Queen probably sells very little, so it doesnt make sense for them to have prepackaged salads ready to go like McDonalds does. Since it is ordered so rarely, they have to make it complelely fresh at Dairy Queen. At least, this is what they did at the DQ we visited.

Anyway, we continued on though on our way to Strawberry, but we passed a sign for the Tonto Natural Arch park, so we decided to take a detour. It was actually really cool and I'm glad we did because we were able to actually hike down into and through the arch which was a bouldering expedition over freezing pools of water, stalagtites, and geological formations. All the while, we were dripped on from the water seeping though the rock vault high above us. We spent about two hours at the arch before continuing on. We drove up past Strawberry, up on top of the rim, looking for the side roads to find an overlook, but they were all closed due to the heavy snow on the ground. We finally gave up, pulled over by one of the chained park entrances, and had a snowball fight in the two feet deep snow.

We got back into town around 8 PM and then Saori went to her friends house for do it yourself sushi, and I met Aldo for a beer at Four Peaks, which was really good since I've not really had a chance to catch up with him for awhile.

Today is a working day. We have a lot of sketches to do for monday and I have a lot of work for my studio presentation next friday.

Tonto National Bridge

Feb 1, 2007

Our Bright, LED future

Our lighting class is going pretty well. The teacher has a very clipped German accent, very monotone, but varying in volume especially when condemning incandescent bulbs, praising T8 fluorescents, or depicting our bright, LED lit future. The class is actually very good because the professor gives us what we need to know and how to apply it in the field of lighting design. It's a fairly technical class, we're learning about corresponding color temperatures, color rendering indices, lumins per watt, and a lot of optical stuff about illumination and intensity. He is adamant about telling us never to specify incandescents (regular light bulbs) because they use three to four times the amount of energy of an florescent, are only 10% efficient, and have a very short rated bulb life. The only things going for them which make them so attractive are their initial low cost, easy replacement, and the quality of light they produce is warm and renders colors beautifully. However, their high energy use, low efficiency, and short lifespan has led California to ban them in some regard, exactly which I can't recall. Our teacher predicts that within 3 years, several other states will follow suit. For now, he recommends standard fluorescent lights for almost everything, with an eye on LED lights which should soon surpass fluorescents on efficency, cheapness, and brightness.

Speaking of changing technology, I thought I had lost my old 1 gigabyte jumpdrive between Buenos Aires and Tempe, and I had been hurting for it already this semester, so I went out and picked up a new one to replace it when I heard of one on sale. My 1 gig jump drive I picked up about a year ago for about $80 which was a screaming deal at the time. The 2 gig jump drive on sale was a mere $30. Of course, a few days later I found my old jump drive in a shirt pocket that had been packed away, but its good to have the expanded portability. I have heard that the school print shop is now using the latest jump drive sticks which can hold 8 G of data. Its beyond my comprehension.

Studio is about the same. Our teacher will be gone to a conference tomorrow, so its another work on your own day. I'll upload some images when I have something interesting to show. Nothing too much else going on, still working on my major list of things to do. Paid my graduation fees yesterday. $18. I wonder what they want it for. Maybe its for the diploma and the cord? Who knows.

Medium is the message

I moved the blog again. I deleted the Tumblr account and moved everything to Medium.com, a more writing-centric website. medium.com/@wende...