Solve for X

“Life is an open book exam,” he said, “It’s not about memorizing formulas, but figuring out how to solve problems.” That approach worked well for me in college, although not all professors had the same attitude. Most engineering classes were tough, and slide rules complicated the precision of many answers, so partial credit was necessary. […]

Anna’s Friends

“…in order to do something big, to think globally and act globally, one starts with something small and one starts where it counts. Practice, then, is about making the ordinary special and the special more widely accessible — expanding the boundaries of understanding and possibility with vision and common sense. ~ Nabeel Hamdi Over thirty […]

Future Suburbs

All good solutions are beautiful. They have proportion, balance and harmony – all parts fit with one another, and the solutions fit rightly into the bigger picture. ~ Boast and Martin, Masters of Change If you’re doing transit-oriented development without adding transit, then what’s the point? ~ Peter Moskowitz My adult son groans when I […]

Community and Connectedness

At the same time that we’re solving for climate change, we’re going to be building cities for three billion people. That’s a doubling of the urban environment. ~Peter Calthorpe Nationalism seems to be sweeping the U.S. and Europe, but maybe it’s just a pushback against natural forces. I remember reading that R. Buckminster Fuller saw […]

Doom and Gloom

Some people walk in the rain; others just get wet. ~ Roger Miller It’s easy for me to get depressed these days. Heat waves and glacial melting present as dire warnings that climate change is here and not just some far-off threat that may plague future generations. National politics have become horribly malicious, and so […]

Home Garden

“In the spring, at the end of the day, you should smell like dirt.” ~ Margaret Attwood My father’s garden was a small area about ten-foot by ten against the south side of the house that got intense sun early in the day, but was shaded in the afternoon. He didn’t start a garden until […]

Paths Less Traveled

Humans are animals and like all animals we leave tracks as we walk: signs of passage made in snow, sand, mud, grass, dew, earth or moss. The language of hunting has a word for such mark-making: ‘foil’. A creature’s ‘foil’ is its track. The path’s sediment comprised sentiment, and to follow a path might therefore […]