I of course don’t mean to suggest we abandon efforts at reducing carbon emissions and repairing damage done to the atmosphere and ocean since the industrial revolution. Still, it’s a strange disconnect in my mind that the same people who agree that we can survive in domed cities on Mars don’t believe we’ll survive climate change.

Many of them imagine it as an extinction event, the end of the anthropocene. Does that make sense? Wouldn’t it in fact be vastly easier and cheaper to build enclosed colonies on a much warmer Earth than doing the same on the Moon or…

Wikipedia Commons, W 43rd St. Manhattan

Imagine you’re walking along one day when your shoe catches on something. When you look down to see what it was, you’re met with a strange sight. There, firmly embedded in the asphalt, is a placard of some kind reading “TOYNBEE IDEA MOVIE 2001 RESURRECT DEAD ON PLANET JUPITER”.

What in the farm fresh, flavor blasted McHell? Your confusion is understandable. When these tiles began appearing in about two dozen US cities and four South American cities in the 1980s, they captured the public’s imagination immediately. What could it mean?

Variations on the main message furnish some clues, the differences…

Author’s own photo

What could anybody possibly need a wall outlet in their car for? Aren’t there little inverters sold at Harbor Freight or at truck stops you can plug into the 12 volt cigarette lighter socket? Well dear reader, I live in Portland. I don’t know if you’ve been keeping up with what’s happening here, but Portland is basically real life Death Stranding.

Constantly rainy? Check. Apocalyptic weather? Check. Tent encampments all over the place where porch pirates bring stolen packages back to? Electric trucks and motorcycles? Gorgeous terrain mixed with derelict industrial infrastructure? People living in isolation due to lockdown normalizing…

Author’s own photo

The previous article on this project did reasonably well, so I thought I’d expand on it, showcasing some of the pictures and other details left on the cutting room floor. Many of the prototypes and spin-offs didn’t really fit into the narrative, the purpose of which was to give a Cliff’s Notes version of Hampture to bring newcomers up to speed, so we’ll look at all the leftovers here instead.

The Hampture project is, as of this writing, in it’s 11th year. The idea occurred to me in 2010, though versions of it were swirling around in my brain as…

Author’s own photo

Probably this won’t surprise you that much, if you’ve already seen my underwater hamster habitat articles. Constructing scale model hostile environment living spaces is a hobby of mine, bringing the privilege and safety of high technology normally reserved for human use down within reach of our smaller, hairier cousins like some sort of animal loving Prometheus.

I did this for much the same reason I built the underwater version: To learn what problems commonly befall buried structures and how to design in such a way as to mitigate or prevent them before they happen. …


In each of the six examples below, I’ll provide my observation as a child, my perspective on it and my adult understanding of why it happened how it did. Emphatically, that does not constitute a defense of these things. The world absolutely should not be the way it often is.

I do not by any stretch of the imagination intend to rationalize or justify these problems, only attempt to explain with the benefit of age and hindsight why adults (and some children) behaved back then in ways which seemed capriciously, needlessly cruel through the eyes of a child.

In most…

Google Earth, upscaled by author

Trementina Base is one of those obscure places on Earth people don’t believe me when I tell them about it. “Scientology’s nuclear bunker where they store L. Ron Hubbard’s teachings etched onto circular stainless steel plates” sounds like something out of a Dan Brown novel.

From the air, it looks like a pair of robot titties. In fact, mowing logos identifiable only from the air into terrain is a common practice, many corporations mark their land this way. But in this case, it’s purportedly so that the returning thetan (spirit) of L. …

Author’s photo

Probably you have many questions. I know this because I’ve heard them all, in the course of this project. For example, “How do they get air?” Via an air compressor on the surface sending fresh air down constantly. “What if it fails?” The backup kicks in. “What if there’s a power outage?” Both pumps have independent battery backup.

Then there’s “how do you feed them?” I can either drain the water and open the lids, or decouple them from each other after closing the water tight gates by hand (using hard to see handles in back) to prevent water entering…

Wikipedia Commons (modified by author)

No, I don’t mean those stupid hands-free segways. Besides the flying car, (which seems precariously close to reality depending on whether your definition of flying car includes manned electric multicopters) hoverboards are the other main milestone that’s supposed to let us know it’s the future™

However, despite being a mainstay of 2015 Hill Valley as depicted in Back to the Future II, 2015 has long since come and gone with nary a hoverboard in sight. What gives? Is a skateboard that hovers really such a difficult engineering problem?

In a nutshell, yes it is. Because what you’re asking for when…

Pixabay (modified)

I have a soft spot for utopian futurist artwork. In particular, the works of Syd Mead, Jim Burns, Peter Elson, Colin Hay and Jacque Fresco. What differentiated Fresco from the rest was that he illustrated not only utopia, he claimed he knew how to get us there.

If you know of Jacque Fresco, it’s likely from his role in Zeitgeist, the regrettably popular faux-documentary that’s nonsense. A mixture of Jesus mythicism based on (partly) erroneous comparisons to other religions, 9–11 trutherism and Fresco’s “resource based economy” claptrap, as espoused in “The Venus Project”.

What’s a resource based economy? It borrows…

Alex Beyman

I post text here, often accompanied by images and sometimes video. People then clap or don't depending on whether they enjoy what I posted.

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