Key concepts: Viridian Imaginary Products, home fuel cells, personal greenhouse, home furnishings, Amazon rain forest

Attention Conservation Notice: Viridian Imaginary Products don't actually exist.

Entries in the Viridian Summer Health Warning Contest:

This contest expires on September 1, 01999

Links: John Zero (***) remarks: With the announcement in Note 00082 that "Big Mike," our beloved microbial Viridian Mascot, might make an appearance at Burning Man, I realized that my Viridian Inactivism must end, and I should put up a downloadable version of Big Mike on the web.

Small, efficient, scalable vector-art versions of Big Mike are now available at: or

These are in the very Viridian Adobe Illustrator EPS format ("Less Mass, More Data"), so that anyone who wants to can (with the proper tools) easily change Mike's color, size, or appearance at will. He's bitmap-independent and ready to be placed and output. I can't stand the idea that others might be using crumply, scaled up bitmaps of Big Mike for their own purposes, when they could be getting it straight from the source, i.e. me. The clarity of our message is dependent on the clarity of our reproduction, I believe.

John Zero Ablative Research

The Botanisphere: a backyard fuel cell hothouse garden

Concept: Stefan Jones (^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^*****?) Ad copy: Stefan Jones

The Viridian Botanisphere offers a whimsical, aesthetically interesting application for the waste heat and carbon dioxide produced by a household fuel cell. The Botanisphere is a moist, warm, sheltered hothouse suitable for the cultivation of exotic flowers, herbs and even small fruit trees.

The Botanisphere is a tipi-shaped structure, constructed of sturdy carbon fiber spars and panels of flexible transparent plastic. Standing three to five meters high (depending on model), it nestles squarely over a fuel cell unit. Zippered slits in the plastic shell allow maintenance personnel easy access to the generator.

Mounted between the spars, in a rising spiral around the inside of the "sphere," are a series of trough-shaped planters fitted with trickle watering system. Slits in the walls of the Botanisphere allow plants to creep out into the open air.

Sprouting from the vertical spars are arched internal supports mounted with numerous hooks. An included gaff pole allows for easy placement and retrieval of potted plants hung on these. Most Botanispheres are large enough to shelter a potted tree or two on the ground next to the fuel cell.

The Botanisphere includes a system which regulates the hothouse through computer-controlled misters and ventilation slits. Reservoirs for fluid fertilizers are also available; these can be set to drip their contents into the watering system. Properly configured, the Botanisphere can run itself for months at a time. During some seasons it may be advisable to ask a neighbor to harvest all the fruits and vegetables.

While many would welcome the prospect of homegrown miniature bananas and orchids, the most popular Botanisphere mode is a small, exotic backyard rain forest, seeded with a random box full of turf, seeds, and beetles FedExed from the hottest, wettest stretches of the Amazon. These miniature jungles are so chic that most home owners have their fuel cell plants installed in the front yard, in plain view of neighbors.

Why it's not Viridian:

* It's a heap of specialized, durable gadgetry and structural materials that won't easily degrade.

* If the Greenhouse Effect really gets kicking, the last thing you may want or need is a place to grow hothouse plants.

Why it's Viridian:

* It turns what will probably be a utilitarian eyesore == a back yard fuel cell plant == into something aesthetically pleasing.

* The plants in it will suck up some CO2 and water vapor.

* It's an upscale, vaguely ludicrous, showy thing that will appeal to the leisure conscious and the wealthy: the Viridian target demographic.

Stefan Jones -


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