Archive for February, 2019

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Quote of the Day

February 16, 2019

“I saw Activision’s statement about why they “broke up” with Bungie over at GameSpot, but it’s like…  more than seven billion wasn’t “enough” according to the onyx spire they worship.  I don’t think they can be trusted to determine what constitutes enough.

I own a company, I understand that they have to make money, but the top of that organization is completely divorced from every other part of it.  It’s sick in the particular, unaccountable way that is an accelerant to revolution.  The people who generate the wealth they bathe in are so abstract as to be inconceivable.  I have some experience with this; there are people who will pulp you to get a “good year.”  One hesitates to suggest that they serve Evil Gods, you know, far be it from me to make a moral pronouncement, but their purposes are inimical to human flourishing.  The human being, essentially considered fungible and endlessly replaceable in its capacity to generate value, exists nowhere in their calculus.

The parable of the golden goose has endured for a reason, and that is because none of these motherf’rs ever seems to learn it.”

Tycho (from Penny Arcade)

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Wonder Wednesday

February 13, 2019

Joe Hisaishi playing the main theme from the film Spirited Away.  A beautiful tune played with passion and elegant feeling.  Chill inducing.

(Hisaishi is also the composer of the piece)

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Philosophy Tuesday

February 12, 2019

Ever gain an insight, create some new possibilities, choose to take a different path… and no one seems to notice?  Or care?  Or they seem “determined” to keep you hemmed in?  Or even if you’re fine for a while, one little slip and it all comes back?

Not surprising, really.  After all, we’d trained all those people to relate to us in a certain way, trained them on who we “are”.  Even inadvertently – our identities sure are sneaky in that way.  And so we’re trying to express something into a space that’s already filled.  They already “know” us.  (And maybe they already know of all the times previously that we tried to change things up, or made noises about shifting, that, like so many New Years Resolutions, survived for about 2.2 weeks before slipping right back…)

One of the least noted yet most powerful steps in possibility is in sharing.  Letting those around us that hey, we’ve noticed something about ourselves!  And it doesn’t work for us!  And probably hasn’t been working for you!  We need to clean up our past, step up and make those deep apologies, acknowledge what’s been so, how we’ve been, and then share what we’ve gotten.  The realization, the insight, the rough stuff.  And our new commitment.  Because when we do so, we go from trying to inject our new self into an environment that is set up and expecting the same old same old and instead create an environment of people who are at least open to seeing something new and are more likely ready and even pulling for your new ways of being and acting.  Instead of resistance, there is support.

And to further tie this into last week’s post, the “bad news” nature that accompanies so many of our insights totally can hamper us from sharing them.  We look bad!  Who wants to tell others about that?  Wouldn’t it be better to just step into the new me and try to sweep it under the rug and hope no one noticed how things were before?  Well, for one, spoiler alert… they noticed.  They ALL noticed.  For two, alas, it doesn’t work that way.  We need to do the work.

We need to step up, own our lives and own our foibles, because only then can we also own our insight, own the transformation, and clear away a space into which we can express that something new.

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Architecture Monday

February 11, 2019

This one is a bit aspirational, but I’m liking the gusto and what I see.  A 70 story tall high rise building in Japan made almost entirely out of wood.

 

While there’s plenty to talk about on a technical level (I’ll keep it brief and really only cover the one most likely sticking out in your mind, that of, of course, fire:  Thick members of wood are surprisingly fire resistant, which is why you can’t just use a match or even a torch to directly light up a big log), it’s the expressive design that I’m loving the most.  It’s wood as far as the eye can see with that lattice-like design that wraps around the building.  Very fun to look at, and as a bonus the lattice work creates a sort of double skin, shading the building and providing plenty of space for walkways, balconies, circulation, and a whole bunch of gardens.

I’m excited to see this come to fruition.  Built right with the materials properly sourced (from FSC forestry) this is great in all sorts of ways, and it’d be a lovely addition to any city skyline.

Designed by Nikken Sekkei for Sumitomo Forestry.

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Wonder Wednesday

February 6, 2019

Amazing pillars of rock and lush greenery from the Zhangjiajie National Forest Park…

by Zhu Xiao

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Philosophy Tuesday

February 5, 2019

Transformational insights are rarely as awesome looking in reality as they are in our heads.  In our imaginations, they are all filled with radiant light shining from above, accompanied by an angelic choir as we hover gloriously in mystical comprehension.

Alas, not so much.  More often, transformation comes in the form most commonly labelled as “bad news insights.”  Bad news, as in, “Wait, I’m the one who put that barrier in front of myself?” or “So I’m the one who sentenced myself to all those years of torment?” or “Nuts, I did that, didn’t I?” or, even worse, “Crud.  I’m the one who is the jerk.  Not them.  Damn.”

This is usually accompanied by some not so great feelings.  And plenty of self-recrimination:  stupid, ass, bad, wrong, moron, fool…  all leading to a whole bevy of downward thought spirals.

I have been wrong.  I have been in the wrong.  That’s bad news!

And – it’s also quite the good news.

Because, if we were and are the cause of it, then we are the cause of the end of it as well.  We have the power.  And we know we have the power, because we’ve already done it.  Which means we also know we can undo it.  We can complete what’s there, create new contexts, clean up the messes we made with others, apologize, and lay the foundation for a different path forward.

Sure, it sucks that we spent so long in a world of poo, but here we are.  We get it now. 

And from here, now, we get to choose new futures of joy, peace of mind, and love for ourselves, our lives, and for those around us.

 

 

 

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Architecture Monday

February 4, 2019

Another building tonight by one of my favs, BIG Architects… but something decidedly different in scale, scope, and form from much of their other work.  It is a restaurant that becomes a village.

The starting point for the project is itself quite nifty, the adaptive reuse of a protected warehouse that once stored mines (explosives!) for the Royal Danish Army (that is also, humorously, across the river from and affords a great view of BIG’s power plant and ski slope (I am not making that up… this is an actual thing!)).  Due to the landmarked status of the building, the buildable area was very limited, only being allowed in the small areas where small extensions had been erected in times past.  The client was an avant-garde restaurant serving reinvention of Nordic cuisine.  Oh, and they wanted greenhouses to supply their kitchen.  Ready?  Go!

The result is quite glorious.  BIG settled on three main starting points:  filling the existing landmarked structure with the “back of house” functions, off of which hangs a kitchen that in turn off of which radiates a number of small pavilions to form a village of architectural forms.  Each one of these pavilions has its own character both inside and out, and each have their privileged views both outwards towards the nature preserve, water, or the city, while each also have a view to the central and open service kitchen.

There’s a lot of beauty to be found here in the meticulous detailing of all the seemingly disparate buildings.  Brick roofs!  Highly articulated ceilings with glowing skylights!  Striated stone walls!  Rough brick and sensual wood!  A feeling of old and new dancing together!  Cozy enclosure and expansive windows!  And to literally top it all off, an amazing glass roof that connects everything together.

And while it might be considered “dead simple”, the entry way is what entices me the most for the way it serenely presents itself, a lovely mass of steel and wood, seemingly-symmetrical-but-in-actuality nestled between two differently crafted pavilions.  The proportions, the combination of materials, the way the overhang invites and calls forward, it’s all so very well done.

Yeah, gotta add this one to my list of places to visit (even if I can’t get a reservation within).  There’s something magical in this assemblage, and I want to experience it in person.

NOMA 2.0 by BIG Architects