I hope all is well with you. I am writing to inform you that only seven days remain until it is no longer painful to listen to the President of the United States speak. We are all excited, and hope that you will join us in celebrating what will surely be a memorable and momentous occassion.
ok, my daylighting class is over – so one down. spent most of the night plugging values into a multi-page excel document in order to simulate daylighting conditions achieved through a lightwell in the parking deck of the new Austin City Hall. our class (there are only 4 of us) got a behind the scenes tour of the building saturday morning; it’s still in construction and shouldn’t open till november. it’s cool looking from the outside b/c of all the copper siding, which will eventually develop a nice patina, and there are lots of planters all over the place in the front, so a bunch of green should eventually cascade over the sides. the lightwell i speak of has a waterfall cascading down a limestone wall that runs up one side of the lightwell – which is 9m x 3m x 3m, pretty large. this probably means nothing to you, but the lightwell is nice – it provides natural lighting 40′ down below the surface where you park your car, and creates a very visible exit route from the deck.
we got all of our lighting measurements and then got a tour or the rest of the building, which SUCKS. granted, it has a very nice public atrium, and there are some really great spaces and moments, but as a whole, i’m surprised at what a deal people are making of this thing. they’re trying to get this building a silver LEED rating – for those that don’t know what that is, it’s the industry rating for making sustainable buildings, silver is third highest (then gold and platinum). the thing doesn’t even have operable windows! the architect who toured us claimed that all the design teams sat down and decided that operable windows weren’t worth it in the austin climate b/c it’s so humid. it’s only really humid in the summer! what about spring and fall and the random warm days during our mild winter? plus, the building is right on the water – it was almost 80degrees when we were there, and there was an incredible breeze that flowed right through the building b/c it didn’t have glass yet! what a load of bullshite! PLUS, there were these random columns in the middle of offices, which by the way, were laid out like a common office building, so the suckers w/o perimeter offices didn’t get any daylight. oh, my bad, the architect so thoughtfully put those vertical windows in next to the doors – she seriously claimed that was a method for them to get daylighting inside the building. oh..my..god.
my disbelief at the simple things missed is not a symptom of my naivety or lack of experience. one of the students, getting his second masters, had been a practicing architect for 20 years all over the world for big firms, and said the same things. this building is the epitome of the LEED certification – higher efficiency using energy intensive products, since the LEED certification itself is an industry set standard. the only incentive they have is to sell their products. granted, it’s a good starting point and is better than nothing, but this building had some glaring mistakes. especially as austin is positioning itself as one of the foremost ‘green’ cities (a new solar electricity plan was just rolled out w/ major incentives – we should be the most solar city in the country in a matter of years – UTSolarD is going to benefit from some of the incentives) the new city hall should be a landmark building that showcases serious sustainable building technology. efficient systems are not the way to being good, as william mcdonough so brilliantly stated in his lecture here last week, as well as in his revolutionary utopian manifesto cradle to cradle. being efficient, he says, is not the path to being good, it’s only being less bad. one of his standard lines is that an efficient nazi isn’t good – neither is an efficient building. it needs to effective. mcdonough just finished the renovation of the ford river rough manufacturing plant – THE manufacturing plant, which now sports over 2mil acres of green roof [the world’s largest]. apparently ford’s stormwater management system for that site cost $48mil. to install the green roof cost $13mil. the green roof acts as a stormwater management system by retaining runoff water (instead of letting it all drain off the roof and down the gutter, the soil absorbs it, feeding plants, and then eventually evaporating, helping to cool the building). that right there was a cost saving of $35mil, which was apparently the equivalent of a 900,000 car order of ford focus’. that’s how he frames the whole method of building green – frame it for the client, which in this case was focused on the bottom line.
anyway, back to CAD – need to finish drawing my house by this afternoon so i can start on the model tonight or tomorrow, i only have 2 days left.
wow, this article is amazing for anyone w/ a computer, so that means you. i have a lot of programs installed on my computer, so when i boot up my computer, it takes a while – a full minute and a half. that’s kind of ridiculous when you consider that every other electronic device is in a working state within ten seconds (at most) after _oot (my key for the letter that comes after ‘a’ in the alpha_et just stopped working, so every time you see a _ imagine it’s the letter that comes after ‘a’ in the alpha_et – yet another reason i hate sony computers). anyway, while searching for ways to get my computer to _oot faster, i came across this article on pcworld.com that explained the use of a microsoft tool to speed _oot times. according to microsoft, this tool was created for software developers to help optimize the way their programs’ drivers load when windows _oots. microsoft also states, in another article, that the goal of winxp was to get an operating system to boot to a useable state in 30 seconds. my computer takes 3 times as long to get to a useable state. the pcworld article merely mentioned how it got the author’s computer to _oot a full 25 seconds faster. so i tried it out according to the pcworld article’s directions, and lo and _ehold, it worked, and it worked in an amazing way! my computer _ooted a full 25 seconds faster – moving from 1min34sec to 1min03sec. that’s pretty awesome – it was apparent immediately – the _lue welcome screen on winxp was only visi_le for a_out 1 second, and then my wallpaper showed up. rock on.
pcworld article w/ link to program, called BootVis
apprently my ‘b’ key is working again. i can’t explain this.
ok, just a few things: 1. i guess my rant on eisner the other week has worked, since 43% of Disney shareholders voted to boot him out, and out he has gone. i guess other people shared my distaste for excessive dvd packaging.
2. despite having the segway for 2 weeks, i never posted any pictures. lord knows how many times i brought my camera w/ me during the day, then got caught up in work, and then it was dark outside. anyway, the segway was picked up monday nite, and, of course, i was sad. i cried. i pleaded. i begged. ‘PLEASE DON’T TAKE THE SEGWAY BACK! I’LL GIVE YOU MY FIRSTBORN CHILD!’ nothing worked. BUT, i did manage to get them to take a few pics of me on the segway before they took it away, so in case you don’t believe me, here i am in front of my house on the segway.
Posted by Hello
Posted by Hello
so now that the segway is gone, i’ve had to pull my bike out of the garage. the antiquated, outmoded, relic – the bicycle. honestly, the bike rocks. it’s got to be one of the most efficient machines ever. more people should ride bikes and ditch cars. but, man, are segways fun. the real use of, and defense for using, a segway is for commuting. they’ll pitch it to you that it’s a ‘human transporter’, which of course means absolutely nothing. it’s great for trips that would take too long when walking, but really shouldn’t require the bulk and pollution resulting from a car ride. like commuting to work. if you live relatively close to work, the segway is great. i rode 15 blocks to school every day, each way. i also used it for local errands, tho not for grocery shopping. you could even take it on the train if you had to. the segway is a great commuting tool – you don’t get sweaty riding it to work as you would a bike, and that is its greatest asset. the only problem i had w/ it was the battery. i live in austin, which is a hilly town. running hills chews the battery a lot quicker than the flat plains of the midwest would. a typical full charge could get me roughly 6 miles in austin, which isn’t very generous. of course, riding the segway at midspeed, like any electric motor, is more efficient, so i could probably get about 8 miles if i’m lucky, but really no more.
3. i’m going to NY for spring break on saturday. i’m not really all that excited. the weather here in austin is perfect – 70’s everyday now, the trees and flowers are blooming. i also have a lot of work to do, so it would be less stressful to stay in austin, maybe go camping for a few days, and get back to work. but i really wanted to go skiing this year, and a midwest trip was too expensive, so we decided to crash w/ my parents in NY and take a 2 day trip up to vermont or upstate NY as it’s a good winter in the northeast this year. unfortunately (from the view point of skiing, but fortunately for my bank account) i got pneumonia a few weeks ago, so skiing is no longer a smart option for spring break. instead we’ll go into the city, see museums, a show or two, get some nice dinners and just be in the chaos and excitement of the city. one of the highlights i’m planning on is visiting the ghostbusters firehouse in tribeca, a pilgrimage of sorts.
4. additionally, i should tell you that craigslist.com (select your city from the list on the right) is the most amazing selling forum ever. i posted my old desktop computer and sold it within a day for money cash. i’m a craigslist fiend now, and am trying to sell everything i don’t use. check it out, there are great finds to buy, or it’s just a great way to sell. it’s a free online classified section – no auctions, and it’s local. rock on.
the minimalist website project
current favorite music: interpol and the beta band.
now, i’m not sure why this woman is being sued for manslaughter at all. as far as i can tell, and i’m sure there are more details to the story than what CNN tells us, a man and a woman were in a car accident. the car veered off the road, hit a few trees, the man was ejected from the car, he died; she survived. she has been prosecuted as being the driver that resulted in the man’s death. her defense is that she could not have been driving b/c she was performing oral sex on the guy at the time. i’m sure that had nothing to do w/ the crash. but regardless, how could she ever have been prosecuted as the driver and therefore responsible for the crash and the resultant death? if he was ejected from the car, it should be pretty clear where he was sitting – blood on the steering wheel, maybe a hole in the windshield, hair or other physical specimens (perhaps semen if oral sex was being performed? unless of course she swallows) – linking him to a specific location in the car.
but the best part of this story is that the prosecution is all flummoxed w/ the defense’s theory of oral sex as proof that the defendant could not have been driving. apparently, the dead man was found ejected from the car w/ his pants around his ankles. replied the prosecution, “[the defense is flawed.]. “His pants could have been down because he was mooning a car he was drag racing,” Platt said. “His pants could have been down because he was urinating out of a window. His pants could have been down because he wasn’t feeling well.” hmmmm. i’d have to say, no, no, and no. doesn’t anybody here watch CSI or law&order CI? for crying out, get some labrats on the case and they’ll tell you what day this guy lost his virginity, how much he was making per year, and what he was thinking when he died! what kind of bullshit prosecution is this?!
Woman uses sex act as manslaughter defense