LL :: Volume 19 :: LR
|Late at the End of the Tunnel|
Fire Sale -- or rather "fire barter". The value is symbolic, not by the
watt. Tables with arrays of plain wax candles, all alight, in small glass
windshields. People trade fire that was originally lit by lightning for
fire that was lit from straws thrust into fresh lava. Fire carefully saved
from lanterns carried into caverns where the sun has never shone.
Waterlight: fire seeded from magnesium strips which were ignited at the
bottom of the ocean. Collectors bring their new-traded candles quickly
home and transfer the fire to continuous-feed oil lamps, which will never
go out. Romantics take their candles down to the beach, and sit silently,
watching them burn to ash and gone. Breeders light one cold candle with
two burning ones, engendering a flame of more balanced, complex, and
subtle symbolic traits. It's a barter medium which, like knowledge, can
only be shared, not given away. A group of fire aesthetes are
hand-grinding a vast crystal lens, thirty feet wide, with which they will
start a flame with concentrated moonlight. A labor of love, but they
really might find a thirty-foot parabolic mirror easier to manage.
Crowd Normalization is -- not what you think! -- it's an audio tool
which analyzes conversational noise in a space, and can generate a
stream of similar noise at any level. "Level" does not simply mean
"volume level"; the tool tracks the different audio qualities of the
crowd noise at different volume levels, so it can generate anything
from "packed room" to "nearly empty". Popular in restaurants as
low-level fill noise, to even out the environment over the evening's
|Product Development Cycle|
Houseplants that know what time it is.
Houseplants that know what time it is ... and care.
Houseplants that know what time it is ... and can tell you.
Houseplants that know what time it is ... and DO tell you.
Houseplants that know what time it is, AND WHY.
The Long Lake has now reached the one-year anniversary of its project to
retain tracks. The water, you recall, has been treated so as to not quite
smooth itself out after an object passes -- a faint seam is left in the
The Lake is now criss-crossed with trails, large and small. You can see where boats have passed by. Striped bands left by propellor-boats intersect the narrower lines of canoes and rowboats. (You can tell the canoes by the alternating left-and-right pockmarks of paddles. Rowboat oarmarks come in pairs.) In between, faint graceful curves of waterbirds sailing along, and the odd zigzag strokes of human swimmers.
The project has reached a steady point now. New trails slowly overwrite and degrade older ones, as on any road, and the Lake's surface has not changed much since spring. The project will likely end soon, and a year's tracks ripple to nothing in a heartbeat.
The Lake would next like to try giving all of its fish luminous trails, in the depths.
|Life of the Mind|
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