Category Archives: cool stuff

Steve Johnson on “What’s Now”

What’s Now is a San Fransisco program where folks come together on a regular basis to talk about new ideas that are emerging in that place. The topics shift, but the focus is the same. How can we understand and faciliatate the development of these ideas.

I am watching Steve Johnson talk about his new book on long-term decision-making and so far it is very fun. Enjoy!

What Do You Do With 600 Very Old Estonians?

Thanks Eneko for this find!

If you are trying to find the secret to immortality, you test their blood, of course!

Wired Magazine offers a peek into the rather odd world of researchers who want to find out how to make us live longer. We already know that we can do this by being more active in middle age and as we go beyond that. But are there certain markers in the blood that can track how long our organz will hold out?

One group of reserachers is using data that it gained from the blood of a group of long lived Estonians. There are othe apporaches as well. Will this produce results? If history is any guide, we will find out stuff about the blood, which is good, even if we don’t find out how to live forever.



One third of Kubuqi Has Been Greened!

This is a great story that you probably haven’t heard about.

Where is Kubuqi?

Inner Mongolia’s Kubuqi Deserta (has) around 18,600 sq km of golden sand dunes that plunge south in an arc from China’s Yellow River.

Image result for Kubuqi desert

Desertification has been a major problem. For three decades, efforts persisted to reverse this — and finally they are working. In turn, this is helping the people who live there  to experience better living standards, even a hint of prosperity.

Image result for Kubuqi desert

Here is the story. I love it!


What You Don’t Know about EPCOT

EPCOT was Walt Disney’s last project. It stands for “Experimental Prototye Community of Tomoorow”. And it was Walt’s most grand vision.

Image result for EPCOT design

Sadly, he did not live to see it through. I say sadly because Walt’s vision was very different than what Disney Corp. ended up building in Orlando. Based on Steve Johnson’s fascinating description in “Wonderland”, Walt was very unhappy with what happened at his original Disneyland. The park itself was great. But the areas around it became a nightmare zone of trashy motels, parking lots, and whatever. He wanted to fix that with EPCOT.

How? Walt had vallen under the spell of a dude by the name of Victor Gruen, known as the inventor of the shopping mall. Gruen’s concept was to create a pedestrian village of the future. A whole city dedicated to experimenting with how to live better together. To capture what makes European cities great, without the grit and outside bother.

Image result for EPCOT design

EPCOT did not produce this. Cororate thinking focused instead on revenue potential. Nevertheless, the vision is not dead. It does appear, however, that the dath of the mall lies in its inability to produce a bit of surprise and variation. How do you plan for that?