Vermicomposting.

I am composting. And you are too.

com·post
ˈkämˌpōst/
verb • make (vegetable matter or manure) into compost.

Can one write about a topic without providing the definition/etymology of said topic? Perhaps. But I am not that one.

 

Moving on.

I have begun that adventure descent from stand-up, model citizen to rogue, counter-cultural dissenter.  This is the first step, le compost bin in le apartment.

dirty worm bin!

dirty worm bin!

 

The particular sect of composting that I adhere to is known as vermicomposting, as it uses vermis (worms) to turn organic waste into compost.  The advantage of composting with worms, other than the fact they are charming little fellers, is that is does not smell of sewer.  Traditional compost piles have a tendency to smell worse as there is less aeration.  The bacteria that hang out in anaerobic environments smell.  It is possible to use a pile and have little odor, but the unwashed apartment dwelling masses ( I count myself as one ) will have difficulty finding the appropriate space for this.

 

Partial Disconnect

In an effort to assuage my mind, I am choosing to limit my social media exposure to only Twitter for the remainder of November. [ -Facebook, -Instagram, -Various Online Dating Apps]  This article about phone usage catalyzed my decision, but I feel this was a long time coming.  I admit, this is not a unique idea; I plan to utilize time away from incessant screen time towards other – read, more rewarding – pursuits.

What are these pursuits?

  • Reading [ books and articles ]
  • Learning [ piano, code, investing and whatever else comes my way ]
  • Moving [ biking, lifting, yoga and/or exercise at large ]
  • Writing [ album reviews, playlist write-ups, maybe more! ]

Are they more rewarding?

It is likely that they are.  And even if they are empty in their own way (they aren’t) I will achieve greater control over my attention.  Control of attention is the greatest skill no one talks about.

 

Planning to check in about this either at the end of the month or at weekly intervals.

Donate / Charity

“If you give money, spend yourself with it, and do not merely abandon it to them.”

Henry David Thoreau, Walden.

I am quite partial to Henry’s ideal for charity above; it is important that donation is made in tangible and effectual ways. In this fashion, it is best to donate one’s time in service, whether it be Habitat for Humanity, volunteering at a soup kitchen or any other avenue. The point here is that throwing money at a problem is in no way a cure. In fact, doing that tends to spawn corruption.
 
After making this point, I will clumsily make the call for throwing money to aid others.
 
Consider donating to MAPS. [Multidisciplinary Association for Psychadelic Studies] This foundation is working on clinical trials of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy clinical studies for the treatment of
PTSD. The study is in need of funds to create the medicine. There is promise in this therapy to provide relief and an avenue of recovery for many.
 Roughly 20 veterans a day commit suicide nationwide.‘ It’s clear the current therapies are not working for these men and women.
 
Here is helpful information from Rick about how the MDMA therapy works: Rick Doblin on the Joe Rogan Experience

 
Also, donate your time.
 

 
Reference:
 

MAPS  {online home of MAPS} 
Military Times  {source on veteran suicide rate} 
Walden  {excerpt from Thoreau's Walden} 

NASA

“The future was so much cooler in the past.”

File that under, Quotes I like, but have no one to attribute to.

Perspectival Rendering of Stanford Torus

Perspectival Rendering of Stanford Torus

 

Holy shit!

Where are the projects like this today?

 

Look at that project developed by NASA.  It is known as The Standford Torus.  Most of the information for it is on wikipedia — the image above will link you to that page.  A few quick facts:

  • Proposed in 1975
  • Designed to house 10,000-140,000 permanent residents
  • The torus itself is 1.8 kilometers in diameter
  • It completes a full rotation each minute to generate artificial gravity
  • Master Chief was born there

More incredible is the project of NASA.  A government funded space exploration initiative, that has made great advances in technology and imagination.  The world is in dire need of the spirit behind NASA.

Science, fiction, science-fiction?  The dividing line between these is vanishing.  It is wondrous.  The human imagination (and ingenuity) has allowed us to reach further than anyone could have predict.   Its ability to stretch our ideas of potential futures is compounding; as discoveries and advances are made they pave the way for bigger ideas, wilder dreams.

 

The purpose and beauty of ‘visionary’ work.

Another view.

 


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stanford_torus

 

Priority.

priority noun pri·or·i·ty \prī-ˈȯr-ə-tē, -ˈär-\  : something that is more important than other things and that needs to be done or dealt with first.

 

Historically, there was but one priority.  No priorities.  Singular, solamente, the priority.

That is how the word should still be used, unfortunately it is not so.  Many are convinced that multi-tasking ( the word multi-tasking was invented in 1965 by IBM to describe computer processes ) increases productivity.  This is not true, rather it fractures one’s focus; both rate of productivity and quality of work suffer as attention is fragmented.

 

The mantra for many militaries is and has been ‘prioritize and execute.’  This is a simple phrase that can ground you if you feel overwhelmed.  Pause.  Look at your situation.  Determine what is most pertinent.  Take action.

“Stop spinning: Prioritize and Execute. Pick the highest impact idea and do it. Then move onto the next. Then the next…”

-Words from Jocko Willink

 
This strikes a zen chord.  And who else, but Alan Watts should ruminate one this:

 

 

 

“The art of washing dishes is that you only have to wash one at a time. If you’re doing it day after day, you have in your mind’s eye an enormous stack of filthy dishes that you have washed up in years past and an enormous stack of filthy dishes which you will wash up in years future. But if you bring in your mind to the state of reality which just is – as I have pointed out to you – only Now. This is where we are. There is only Now. You only have to wash one dish! It’s the only dish you ever have to wash! This one!”

 

What is your priority?

 

“Zen is not some kind of excitement, but concentration on our usual everyday routine.”

-Shunryu Suzuki

Chair Therapy, pt. 2

Cycling.
When the weather is fair, I really enjoy biking into work.  The ride is 3.3 miles ( one-way) and takes about 20 minutes.  It’s  wonderful.  Saves me money, incorporates more movement into my daily life, helps me wake up in the mornings and it is better to be using a mode of transport that doesn’t rely on fossil fuel, but rather — on yogurt, spinach and the occasional pizza.

 

StrongLifts 5×5.
This is a really simple barbell full body workout system.  Closely related to Mark Rippetoe’s Starting Strenght and Madcows 5×5. The system has an app for iOS and Andriod. The app allows one to log workouts, and is helpful in tracking progress — the interface is quite painless.

The core movements in this program are, the back squat, the press, the bench press, the deadlift, and finally the barbell row. All solid movements that recruit large amounts muscle across the body. I supplement these movements from time to time with pull-ups, dumbbell work, dips, and romanian deadlifts.

http://stronglifts.com/

 

Tabata.
This is a style of high intensity workout that is somewhat trendy. Its strength is that is designed to create maximum caloric expenditure with minimum time spent. So what is it? Why is it called Tabata? My guess is some Doctor Tabata guy did research on exercise at a university somewhere in Asia, most likely Japan (Yay Japan!) and through his or her study developed this method of exercise.

The way it works is simple:

20 seconds of intense movement.
10 seconds rest.
Do this 8 times, for a total of 4 minutes.

 

I tend to go with a combination of jumping jacks, burpees, push-ups, squats or sit-ups for a quick tabata workout. I am certain the sound of me doing burpees is delightful to the apartment below me, especially at 06:30.

 

Mobility Work.
I purchased the holy triumvirate of system maintenance: foam roller/lacrosse ball/resistance bands. These objects illuminate the crepuscular world that is human mobility. Countless times I read about the importance of elongating muscle tissue, and the perils of repeated contracting movements without the appropriate eccentric counter-movements. Did these words push me to stretch more? No. I take responsibility for my lack of will here, but something about the use of a tool for stretching has propelled me into a routine of stretching that I strive to do daily or twice daily.

Sacred Space

Religious Architecture has demanded the collective efforts of countless humans for centuries. Here, architecture joins people in pursuit of transcendence;   immense structures are raised as symbols of devotion and places for worship. Normal limitations are breached by countless religious spaces: the great span of Agrippa’s Pantheon in Rome, the incredible space of Istanbul’s Blue Mosque, the sheer enormity of Sagrada Familia and how the light filters through her, the list is long.

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Slomo, or Operaman.

Wanted to share this after revisiting it today.

 

SLOMO from Josh Izenberg on Vimeo.

Here is a link to the New York Times piece on him.

This guy is incredible.

My uncle used to live in San Diego, and while he did my family and I would visit about once a year. We would see him gliding on the boardwalk long before the NYTimes piece came about. He was always playing opera music loud enough for all to hear. Naturally, we referred to him as Operaman. Quite a sight to see him ease his was on one leg through the congested boardwalk; he was like the large fish that swims through a school of smaller ones — steady ahead, slowly but with grace.

Long live Operaman!

—-

Here’s a little more on him:

https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-athletes-way/201404/slomo-and-the-neuroscience-being-in-the-zone

Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is the best holiday we have left, its commodification is centered around food and otherwise neatly portioned onto the following day. It remains a time to express gratitude. That being said, I am embracing the internet and sharing simple things I am grateful for.

 

I am grateful for bicycles.

“…and somehow the bike seemed to whisper to me “You can take your hands off the bars now, do it…” – so I did.  It was a very nice feeling, as if it was a second degree of freedom (the first one being riding a bike).”

What I really appreciate about biking, is the freedom it affords me.  Financially, ethically, physically or otherwise.  The bicycle is one of the best inventions by man.  Let me explain.  The bicycle is a champion of simplicity; ‘a triangulated structure with two matched pneumatic wheels driven by a chain and cogs.’ That’s it.  And what does it get you?  It gets you from place to place using a meager amount of your kinetic energy!

What else is great about brilliant simplicity? Reproducibility.  A bike empowers a person to travel further, and consistently.  Just a one-time purchase of a bike will last for many years.  Maintenance is easily learned and does not require expensive equipment.  Bicycles offer people a way to get to and from a job (and more) for a bargain.

 

No pollution too.  Except farts, but those happen anyway.

 

Happy Thanksgiving!

2015-11-20 15.00.56

 

PSA: If you hate Black Friday and Cyber Monday, then please open your heart, mind and wallet to Giving Tuesday.

 


I grabbed the quote above from a comment on the Lovely Bike blog.

This supplied me with the ammunition that supports the ingenuity of the bicycle.

Tattoo

I am in the midst of designing a tattoo for myself.  The idea is to both modernize and personalize The Buckley Family Crest to better suit contemporary times, and of course to then permanently etch this wonderful work into my skin with only the blackest of ink.

 

There are various versions of The Buckley Family Crest that I have found online, here is one for example:

Image of Original Family Crest

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Nec temere, nec timide”

The family motto is a latin phrase that means, ‘neither rashly nor timidly’ or  roughly, ‘never too timid, never too bold’

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Chair Therapy, pt. 1

Sitting at a desk, staring at a screen. All day.
It isn’t great.

I am waging a war against atrophy.

A multi-pronged attach — think divide and conquer, but without the failure, sorry Brits.

I could write about why sitting down all day sucks physiologically and psychologically, but I will resist my urge to do so. Instead I will use a simple image to depict this — how architect-y of me.

Image sourced from GMB Fitness.

What follows are my methods for counteracting the evils of the dreaded chair:

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_Other Places

This is my output from an introductory class for digital photography.  Assembled images reveal what is unperceived.

 

Human vision can only capture a small gambit of electromagnetic radiation.  What exists beyond this visible spectrum is unknown.  The contents within display imagery documenting the worlds beyond human perception: other places — forgotten places and hidden places.

 

 

I had a lot of fun with this project, and am rather interested in archiving more of my photographs perhaps they may find their home in another photo booklet.

Blips

Radiohead’s Kid A

the blips //

 

 

 

 

[ hyper ]

We were asked to produce a book for the research we have conducted in this semester.  Our investigation has been focused on higher dimensions.  This has led to prolific writing of computer code [python] in order to devise a platform that allows for visualization of projections of hyperdimensional geometry.  The book elucidates upon not only the methods and results of our work, but also the questions raised by inhabiting higher dimensions.

 

Topic of book:  Hyperdimensional Space

No. of pages:  222

Authors: Myself and Alex D’Aversa

Digital Publication

 

_02_hyper-cover

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6-packer

With the proliferation of digital fabrication and the rise of open source movements across the internet has come many websites that are hubs for making.  One of the more prominent ones is The Thingiverse, which is driven by the people behind MakerBots.

2014-04-21 12.44.25

 

I recently set out to brew a Rye IPA with a friend of mine, and we were hoping to make some labels/logos for the beer when we came across the 6-packer on The Thingiverse.  Someone with the username Tim G from Rochester, NY has been so  kind to share his drawings to make a wooden 6-pack carrier.  The original files provided a 3/16″ thickness of birch plywood, but I have edited the files to use 1/8″ MDF.

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Aesthetic Arrest

“The aesthetic experience is a simple beholding of the object….you experience a radiance. You are held in aesthetic arrest.” 

– Joseph Campbell. 

 

An offered explanation of beauty.

 
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Music / / Listening / Doing

Imagine a movie without a soundtrack.

 

I find the capacity that background sound/noise contains to elevate my focus to be tremendous and fascinating.  Whether the focus is applied to execution of work, exploration of topics, creative developments, et cetera.  One of my favorite tracks to have on in the background is Nicolas Jaar’s set from the boiler room.  It is powerfully unique mix of sounds that challenges conventional music.  Click ‘play’ below to hear it yourself.

 

This is my go-to on days when I need to be productive — emphasis on need.  Something about hearing this triggers me to shift into a mindset where my workflow is seamless.  With this said, there are many other sounds that I utilize for specific circumstances: relaxation, creative thought, reading, sleeping, the list goes on…
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My Penultimate Semester

At long last…

I enter the final segment of this wondrous journey that is known as secondary education.  I begin each morning, rousing to a cold sweat onset by the nightmares of post-college life.  What will I do?  What will I become?  Might I get fat? Anywho, all talk of the distant future can wait, for now, I will outline the upcoming semester.

 
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Fall ’13 — wrap up

The last few weeks of the falls semester left me burning the candle at both ends.  After spending a majority of my winter break time hibernating in order regaining the necessary strength and energy to begin my penultimate semester I have found myself recounting what was learned/produced from the previous semester.  I will recount this by dividing each course into inputs/outputs.  

 

Inputs

640 — References to many photographers, some of my favorites include Jill Greenburg, Garry Winogrand, William Eggleston and Helmut Newton.   First, the class built fundamental knowledge of photography through a comprehensive understanding of the main parameters that affect exposure: aperture, ISO, and shutter speed.

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Image of Vacancy

A current project/effort of mine:

Vacancy is a word that can be traced back to the the latin vaco.  Vaco meant to be empty, to have leisure.  What then, can be said of our contemporary issue of vacant lots/spaces? 

va·cant

adj.ˈvā-kənt  1: not filled or used; empty.  2: freedom from job or responsibility; time off. 

Shots of Awe

Jason Silva, Filmmaker / Futurist / Epiphany Addict, is an individual I have been following since he was a guest on The Joe Rogan Experience.  He is emphatic, energy, and just plain awesome.  Recently, he has begun a YouTube series called, Shots of Awe, which is comprised of short, 2-3 minutes videos which he calls, “Philosophical shots of espresso.”

They really are remarkable.  In a couple short minutes of watching one I find myself encapsulated with thought and wonder.  It is a great resource for me on days when I feel malaise setting in.

Shots of Awe

Fall Semester 2013

An overview of the four courses I am participating in this fall semester:

 

ARCH 701 — Architecture Design Studio // Peter Trummer

A studio focused on ‘Megaform’ as city.  The project is to think of urbanism as being comprised strictly by architecture.  In this investigation it is important to understand the relationship between FIGURE (building) and GROUND (“ground”).

Blog: http://mikeandalexd.blogspot.com/

ARCH 737 — Practicing Influence // Julie Beckman + Keith Kaseman

This course is an experimenting with what an architect’s mind can do other than architecture, especially in the community.  The idea is to create a campaign that will infect others with thought that they would not have had.

Blog: http://practicinginfluence2013.blogspot.com/

ARCH 741 — The Radical Project of Today // David Ruy

What is the radicalpProject in today’s world?  The seminar consists of two parts: lecture + individual project.  The lecture serves to frame radical project making within historical context, by looking at significant events/figures in architecture history since 1968.  People such as Bernard Tschumi, Rem Koolhaas, Zaha Hadid, Peter Eisenman, etc.  The project is to produce 5 images that take a radical stance towards representation in architecture.

FNAR 640 — Intro to Digital Photography  // Karen Rodewald

This course is meant, you guessed it, to introduce students to the basics of digital photography.  I am hopeful that this class will help me hone my compositional skills as well as my technical knowledge of images in the digital realm.