Here, there, everywhere. We have to call it something, don't we? Who's got an idea? Let's call it Toponymy.
The Death of Pinochet led me to do some refreshing of my Chilean Geography. I recalled learning about a brutal desert in that snake-shaped nation, it's called the Atacama. This desert is 50 times more arid than California's Death Valley, and likely the driest terrestrial environment on earth.
The Atacama is situated between two mountain ranges so that moisture from the nearby Pacific Ocean rarely reaches the ground. The average rainfall is ~1 millimeter per year. The climate is so inhospitable that NASA researchers have used it to test research equipment proposed for use on Mars. Perhaps even more surprising is how long the Atacama Desert has existed.
Google News turned up a current story on an extremeophilic deep sea shrimp this morning. The microbial life in the Atacama is also an extremeophile in terms of water demand (and other things). Understanding these fringes of life could lead to breakthroughs in our understanding of biology and evolutionary behavior. Why do some organisims thrive in places where almost every other creature would be tortured? How are they different from the dominant forms of life? We might never get satisfying answers to these questions - especially since scientists continue to find life in improbable places.
Since I don't have time to do any of these topics justice in a full posting, here is a rundown of some things that I've been exploring.
Habitat 67 - I saw it first in a big, softcover architecture book under the heading: Clusters. People still live in Habitat 67. The designer is architect Moshe Safdie, a Palestenian-Canadian.
Container Bay - A collection of projects built from shipping containers. Some have been built while many are only planned. FYI: I've been working on my own container home in SketchUp. I'll get some stills up here once it's ready.
Rights & Obligations - Berlin's Hauptbahnhof (The new main train terminal) is about to get a judicial renovation, "The Berlin District Court has ruled that Deutsche Bahn must rebuild whole sections of the new Hauptbahnhof according to the architect's plans, setting a spectacular precedent."
Urban Rail . net - This is neat.
Green Real Estate Portfolios - The Slatin Report covers the trend.