Archive for April 12th, 2011

April 12, 2011

Bottle Wall

wobo

bottle wall

A bottle wall is a wall made out of glass bottles and binding material. A building construction style which usually uses 1l glass bottles (although mason jars or 1/2l glass jugs may be used as well) as masonry units and binds them using adobe, sand, cement, stucco, clay, plaster, mortar or any other joint compound to result in an intriguing stained-glass like wall.

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April 12, 2011

Broadacre City

Broadacre City

Broadacre City was an urban or suburban development concept proposed by Frank Lloyd Wright throughout most of his lifetime. He presented the idea in his book ‘The Disappearing City’ in 1932. A few years later he unveiled a very detailed twelve by twelve foot (3.7 by 3.7 m) scale model representing a hypothetical four square mile (10 km²) community. Wright would go on refining the concept in later books and in articles until his death in 1959.

Many of the building models in the concept were completely new designs by Wright, while others were refinements of old ones, some of which had been rarely seen. Broadacre City was the antithesis of a city and the apotheosis of the newly born suburbia, shaped through Wright’s particular vision. It was both a planning statement and a socio-political scheme by which each U.S. family would be given a one acre (4,000 m²) plot of land from the federal lands reserves, and a Wright-conceived community would be built anew from this. In a sense it was the exact opposite of transit-oriented development.

April 12, 2011

Arcosanti

Arcosanti

Arcosanti is an experimental town that began construction in 1970 in central Arizona, 70 mi (110 km) north of Phoenix, at an elevation of 3,732 feet (1,130 meters).

Architect Paolo Soleri, using a concept he calls arcology (a portmanteau of architecture and ecology), started the town to demonstrate how urban conditions could be improved while minimizing the destructive impact on the earth.

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April 12, 2011

Arcology

simcity arco

Arcology, a portmanteau of the words ‘architecture’ and ‘ecology,’ is a set of architectural design principles aimed toward the design of enormous habitats (hyperstructures) of extremely high human population density. These largely hypothetical structures would contain a variety of residential, commercial, and agricultural facilities and minimize individual human environmental impact.

They are often portrayed as self-contained or economically self-sufficient. The concept has been primarily popularized, and the term itself coined, by architect Italian-American architect, Paolo Soleri, and appears commonly in science fiction.

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April 12, 2011

Anthropocene

Anthropocene

The Anthropocene [an-thruh-poh-seen] is a proposed geological epoch that marks the impact of human activities on the Earth’s ecosystems. The term was coined in 2000 by the Nobel Prize-winning atmospheric chemist Paul Crutzen, who regards the influence of human behavior on the Earth’s atmosphere in recent centuries as so significant as to constitute a new geological era for its lithosphere (the rigid outermost shell of a rocky planet). As early as 1873, the Italian geologist Antonio Stoppani acknowledged the increasing power and impact of humanity on the Earth’s systems and referred to the ‘anthropozoic era’

The Anthropocene has no precise start date, but based on atmospheric evidence may be considered to start with the Industrial Revolution (late 18th century). Other scientists link it to earlier events, such as the rise of agriculture. Human influence on land use, ecosystems, biodiversity and species extinctions, may have begun as early as 10,000 years before present. This period (10,000 years to present) is usually referred to as the Holocene by geologists. For the majority of the Holocene, human populations were relatively low and their activities considerably muted relative to that of the last few centuries. Nonetheless, many of the processes currently altering the Earth’s environment were already occurring.

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April 12, 2011

Highway Hypnosis

white line fever

Highway hypnosis, also popularly known as ‘driving without attention mode’ or ‘white line fever,’ is a mental state in which a person can drive a motor vehicle great distances, responding to external events in the expected manner with no recollection of having consciously done so. In this state the driver’s conscious mind is apparently fully focused elsewhere, with seemingly direct processing of the masses of information needed to drive safely. Highway hypnosis is just one manifestation of a relatively commonplace experience, where the conscious and unconscious minds appear to concentrate on different things.

Building on the theories of American psychologist, Ernest Hilgard (1904 – 2001), that hypnosis is an altered state of awareness, some theorists hold that the consciousness can develop hypnotic dissociation. In the example of highway hypnosis, one stream of consciousness is driving the car while the other stream of consciousness is dealing with other matters. Amnesia can even develop for the dissociated consciousness that drove the automobile. The phenomenon is an example of automaticity in cognitive psychology.

April 12, 2011

Automaticity

cialdini influence

Automaticity [aw-tuh-mah-tis-i-tee] is the ability to do things without occupying the mind with the low-level details required, allowing it to become an automatic response pattern or habit. It is usually the result of learning, repetition, and practice. Examples of automaticity are common activities such as speaking, bicycle-riding, assembly-line work, and driving a car.

After an activity is sufficiently practiced, it is possible to focus the mind on other activities or thoughts while undertaking an automaticized activity (for example, holding a conversation or planning a speech while driving a car). Walking is not an example of automaticity as it is not a cortical function. It is a medullary function, with specific medullary circuits, which can be learnt to be inhibited or altered by higher-order ones.

April 12, 2011

Hunter vs. Farmer Hypothesis

hunter

adhd

The hunter vs. farmer hypothesis is a hypothesis proposed by American author and former psychotherapist, Thom Hartmann, about the origins of attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), suggesting that the condition may be an adaptive behavior. Hartmann proposes that the high frequency of ADHD in contemporary settings represents otherwise normal behavioral strategies that become maladaptive in such evolutionarily novel environments as the formal school classroom. Genetic variants conferring susceptibility to ADHD are very frequent—implying that the trait had provided selective advantage in the past.

Hartmann notes that most or all humans were nomadic hunter gatherers for hundreds of thousands of years, but that this standard gradually changed as agriculture developed in most societies, and more people worldwide became farmers. Over many years, most humans adapted to farming cultures, but Hartmann speculates that people with ADHD retained some of the older hunter characteristics. The theory also explains the distractibility factor in ADHD individuals and their short attention span, along with various other characteristics, such as apathy towards social norms, poor planning and organizing ability, distorted sense of time, impatience, and impulsiveness.