Saturday, July 30, 2011

A possible future for Avalon Studios

"TVNZ announced in April that it planned to sell Avalon studio in 2013. Its Good Morning breakfast show will move to Auckland early next year, threatening up to 12 fulltime positions and contracted workers.
Lower Hutt Mayor Ray Wallace said he was worried not enough was being done to sell Avalon while it was still fully equipped.
'I made it quite clear that the community was not happy about the sale, but if it was going to be sold then it needed to be sold as an ongoing concern, not as an empty warehouse.'"

MP fears Avalon will be sold as empty shell |

Reading that article made me think about this excellent talk from Retrofitting Suburbia, which is all about communities taking back abandoned malls, office buildings and car-parks and repurposing them for their town or suburbs benefit. It's about 17 minutes long, and an interesting glimpse into a possible future.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

My Film Festival

I love how everyone's film festival experience is completely different. I read Dan Slevin's Preview: 2011 Film Festival, and there's almost no overlap between us (except for an architecture doco that's on my C-list).

Anyway, tickets have been bought, and here's what I'm definitely going to:

Cave of Forgotten Dreams: I've always wanted to see the paintings in Chauvet-Pont-D'Arc, and a 3D tour guided by Werner Herzog seems like my best bet to achieve this dream.

13 Assassins: Takeshi Miike does a samurai film that's better than his best film? That's some hype I need to check out for myself.

Taxi Driver: I really disliked this the first time I saw it, but I suspect I completely missed the point. Seeing a restored print in 35mm seems like the best way to determine what I think of it.

Another Earth: Seeing the trailer after Sundance sold me on the tone it looks like this film's going for: introspective, melancholic science-fiction.

Troll Hunter: Actually, I'm a little suspicious of this one. I fear that a mocumentary about troll disposal experts in Scandanavia might actually be a little too silly to be good, but I'm prepared to take a chance on it.

And I'm also intending to go to these daytime sessions:

Martha Marcy May Marlene: my must-see of the festival due to the subject matter: a young woman trying to leave a cult.

Metropolis: Just like with Greed, you only get a few chances to see classics on the big screen. I'm going to take this one.

Saturday, July 09, 2011

Long Range Thinking: Links of interest

Some links about long-range thinking ...

Bill Ford: A future beyond traffic gridlock | Video on

This is a pretty interesting talk. Bill Ford is representing the Ford motor company - but he's also doing a good job of talking about a zero-emission private transport system where individual vehicles are highly networked (for maximum fuel and travel-time efficiency).

I'd love to see an equivalent talk about the future of shared transportation.

The Earth Is Full -

Thomas Friedman's op-ed makes for a good read about how economic and environmental red-lining are going to force changes in the way we live.

"We are currently growing at a rate that is using up the Earth’s resources far faster than they can be sustainably replenished, so we are eating into the future. Right now, global growth is using about 1.5 Earths. “Having only one planet makes this a rather significant problem,” says Gilding. 
This is not science fiction. This is what happens when our system of growth and the system of nature hit the wall at once.
While in Yemen last year, I saw a tanker truck delivering water in the capital, Sana. Why? Because Sana could be the first big city in the world to run out of water, within a decade. That is what happens when one generation in one country lives at 150 percent of sustainable capacity."

The most powerful climate video you’ll see all week | Grist

A combination of this op-ed by Bill McKibben ( with footage of extreme weather events. My response: as a civilisation, the first world has had about 250 years of benefits, abundance, and growth from the Industrial Revolution. I'm thinking it's about time for us to start sucking up the consequences of that for the next 250 years, which is going to involve some pretty fundamental changes in what we want and how we behave.

World on course for catastrophic 6° rise, reveal scientists - Climate Change, Environment - The Independent

This article is from November 2009 (pre-Copenhagen). I need to do some research about what's happening now.

The exponential function : James Shaw:

James pointed me towards this video, in which Albert Bartlett, Professor Emeritus of the Department of Physics at the University of Colorado in Boulder, notes that, “the greatest shortcoming of the human race is our inability to understand the exponential function.”"

The trouble with predicting climate change

University of Bristol Earth scientist Paul Valdes argues that climate change is best understood as a series of 'tipping points' rather than gradual, incremental shifts.

I'll be blogging more about this once I've finished digesting Dr James Hansen's 'Storms of my Grandchildren'.

Thursday, July 07, 2011

How to play Apocalypse World

I'm teaching myself how to use a new presentation tool called prezi. Here's something I made: some advice on how to play a game called Apocalypse World.

Wednesday, July 06, 2011