Chad Oliver on cities and the alien next door…

It was at a Boskone panel two years ago that Howard Waldrop and George Zebrowski turned me on to the works of Chad Oliver.  I’m just getting around to reading an old copy of Shadows in the Sun (Ballantine Edition, 1954) which is literally disintegrating page by page as I read it.  What an amazing […]

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Super-organism of the human hive

The topic of Skinner’s rural-urban continuum came up in a staff meeting today, where my colleague Sumeeta referred us to a recent column by Steven Strogatz in the NYTimes.   The idea is along the lines of Christaller’s central place theory, in which the demand for goods and services drives the spatial distribution of human settlements.   […]

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It Smells A Rat – America’s Collapsing Cities

Attending Antonio Di Mambro‘s lecture last night at Boston Public Library, it was amazing to see the giant crowd that packed Rabb Lecture Hall.  Who would have thought that an urban planning talk — stoked with dire warnings and gloomy facts — would bring out such a vibrant cross-section of the city?  It is almost […]

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Bust Out of Energy Addiction

Isn’t it about time we moved beyond the idiotic “central heating” concept and kicked our energy habit?   But how, you might ask, do we get this 100 quadrillion BTU monkey off our back?  The answer, as ridiculous as it sounds, is to simply build better homes, and used efficient heat exchange.   Really, that’s it! […]

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What’s in the Air Over Saturn?

Interesting images captured by Cassini show us the sky over Saturn’s north pole, spanned by a hexagon of clouds in fixed rotation with the gas giant.  The scientists at NASA aren’t quite sure what is causing this phenomenon, unknown on any other planet in our solar system.   Still, doesn’t it make you wonder what […]

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From Space Travelers to Scavengers

Although it is exciting to think about water and soil on Mars, and new horizons for human exploration of space, still we should bring our heads back out of the clouds and face facts: human civilization is a bloody mess! While people in the so-called “advanced” economies continue to suck energy likes pigs at the […]

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