Key concepts: heat crisis in New York City, Burning Man Festival in Utah, dome architecture

Attention Conservation Notice: Viridian Commentary is ruthlessly edited, and may well be written by people you have never heard of.


Entries in the Viridian Summer Health Warning Contest:

This contest expires on September 1, 01999

From: Carol Cooper (^^^^^^^^^*)

"Summer Health Warning?" Yeah. You no doubt heard about New York City's July 4th episode of selective Con Ed Service. The Washington Heights/Inwood area == heavily populated by retired elderly, working-class blacks, and immigrant Dominicans == was first browned out, then blacked out for three days during that 100 degree heatwave.

You're talking rows and rows of four and six-floor walk-ups here, without light, water, phones or refrigeration for an average of 3 days. No subway service from 145th street to 200th street. The cops occupied those blocks for three days, store owners camped out in front of stores with shotguns. People slept on city benches when they could. It looked like Beirut. Despite the fact that Con Ed admitted to targeting that area to "save" the rest of the (more upwardly mobile) city grid, there were no riots. I guess people were too hot. Did the city provide ice water and fresh milk to the residents? No, just lots of cops. The media and the city have still not released any numbers about heat stroke deaths from that period, even though they will admit to 6000 residences being affected. (By 6000, they mean 6000 buildings, not people). This is what New York under Giuliani does in a heat crisis.

(((bruces remarks: it may help design contestants of the "Summer Health Warning" to envision slapping up their posters in the above-described circumstances.)))

And now a few oracular words from Cassandra, Viridian High Priestess of Burning Man:

From: Cassandra Thomas (^^^^^^^^^*****?)

A message to let people know what I have been working on for Burning Man as a Viridian art project. Thanks to the generosity of Intel (yes, Intel) we are trying to build a kiosk. Intel has already bought me a flatscreen. We are looking at designing a kiosk to house the touchscreen and the laptop. We hope to have the kiosk running continually off solar energy, with a past, present, and future (loosely) realtime 3-d simulation of the Utah desert, in which we will be for a week. Hopefully we will have a 3-d version of the cuddly Viridian Mascot "Big Mike" in all scenes, plus some scary scenes of green Sport Utility Vehicles. People will be able to fly around the scene with touch, an interface which is already working with the Virtual Hawaii project: (follow the links)

whose code we will probably use. NO MENTION OF INTEL IS REQUIRED. More announcements later.

(((Viridians who plan to attend Burning Man and want to "dominate the playa" are strongly urged to contact Cassandra directly.)))

From: Micky Shirley (^^^*):

Check out this site:

(((Domes are likely doomed by their inextricable 60s- commune vibe. As Stewart Brand pointed out when he became disenchanted with Fuller geodesic domes, their acoustics are wrong, and they leak all the time, and they have no straight walls and corners where you can park conventional furniture. Plus, domes can't "learn," in the sense that you can't hook new porches and second storeys on to them.

Yet here at http://www.wco.dom/~domes we have some guy who follows the suspiciously Viridian-sounding practice of blowing up huge balloons, and then walking inside them and spraying them with shot concrete. No leaks and no geodesics == just a monster permanent bubble shaped like a half-blimp. Apparently you can built a weird giant froth of interlocking soap-bubble structures, if you go after it with insulation and reinforcing rods. If these structures would only "embrace decay" and fall down into harmless mulch in five months, then we Viridians would have a tremendous housing technology for (a) desert culture festivals and (b) horrific weather disaster encampments. And that would be useful. Because in the future, it'll be harder and harder to tell the difference.