31 December 2009

Top 10 obscure Wikipedia posts on EP/LA/EG

When Wikipedia started people were mostly adding entries on more traditional encyclopedia entries like Landscape Architecture and Environmental Planning. Then they started creating an entry for every single character in Star Wars and Star Trek and The Wire. And then someone started turning their lecture notes into entries - that was good for us. Based on that here are some of the more arcane, obscure, or otherwise interesting entries from Landscape Architecture, Landscape Industry, Environmental Planning, and Environmental Geomatics.

Top 10 obscure Wikipedia posts on EP/LA/EG

10. New Pedestrianism
9. Merton Rule
8. Augustus Woodward
7. Arcology
6. Turf and Twig
5. Conurbation
4. Solid Waste Agency of Northern Cook Cty. v. Army Corps of Engineers
3. The Sprawl
2. Hawaii Housing Authority v. Midkiff
1. Cement Kiln (with the Snyder Estate Natural Cement Historic District)

On top of the 10 I'll add a couple local entries. Wikipedia allows local and global to compete as if they were of equal importance, which, to us they are.

Temporary policy change: No commenting

After almost 2000 posts, there are lots of places for spammers to hide comments that are really ads and Google-bombs. I generally try to keep up with deleting them, but I am going to take a deletion vacation for a week or two. To do that, I am try to turn off all commenting for a while. Sorry.

You can still write me, and we'll get the commenting turned back on for classes.

30 December 2009

SBMW warns about proposed bill

Earlier this month the Stony Brook Watershed Association was honored as recipient of a 2009 New Jersey Governor’s Environmental Excellence Award. So you'd think people in Trenton might listen closer when their E.D. says that there is a new threat to water supplies: the State Planning Commission.

Top posts of 2009 by traffic

Since my traffic includes the average Googler wandering through and only visiting once, this is driven by popular search terms more than by popularity with devoted readers. For instance, #1 turns out to be a popular post with Dan Brown fans.

10. Roberto Burley Marx
9. Cheap Mansions Available
8. James Corner's House
7. Summer Internship in Chicago
6. Louis Kahn's Drawing
5. Streetmap Goes Off the Road
4. Monday Morning Quotes (Picasso)
3. Free Museums in NYC
2. Parc del Auditoris or South East Coastal Park
1. Capitol lawn statue of George Washington as Zeus

29 December 2009

Anastasia Mann on tuition for immigrants

Is immigration status a technicality or a revenue source for college students? Rutgers' Stacey Mann has an op-ed piece in today's Star-Ledger that explores the issue:
Mary and Maria were best friends. They went through grade school, middle school and high school together. Both applied to Rutgers and got in. But while Mary’s yearly tuition bill came in at $11,886, Maria’s ran to about double that — $22,796.
Since New Brunswick is a long-standing center for immigration, does that change the role for Rutgers?

Top 10 Movies of 2009

Not many of these were released in 2009, but that is when I saw them and that'll have to do for this list.

10. Up
9. Wendy and Lucy
8. Gran Torino
7. Still Life
6. Frozen River
5. Up in the Air
4. The Wrestler
3. Elegy
2. Man on Wire
1. The Visitor

27 December 2009

9 Cities

Top 9 cities for studying landscape architecture on your feet

1. Washington
2. Philadelphia
3. Vancuover
4. Toronto
5. Portland
6. Chicago
7. Seattle
8. Boston
9. NYC

Sorry, no links on this one.

End of the year Top 10 lists

So, to celebrate the end of the year and the end of the decade, many in the media are publishing their lists of Top 10 movies, or news stories, or books. A simple example would be Stephen Holden's Top 10 films of the year. He doesn't expect you to completely agree, and he probably would change it slightly by February or June, but it is a nice place to begin. Roger Ebert had to resort to 2 different lists this year. Time Magazine has a list of the Top 10 of Everything.

In our field, Arch News Now published their list of the Best Architecture Books of 2009. Daily Dose of Architecture posted their favorite posts of the year.

I've already offered my Top 10 Shapers of the America Landscape, but over the next few days we'll celebrate the change of year with our own Top 10 or Top 5 lists. In this case you should remember that "Top" is a construct that doesn't necessarily mean best or most outstanding. It can mean most notable, most biggest. Or it can just mean top. Don't read too much into it. If all that isn't enough you could just check out the List of Lists.

20 December 2009

openHouse photos

I had written previously about openHouse: A collaboration between Francis A. Bitonti (FADarch) and Brian Osborn (BOTH) at the AIA DesCours exhibition in New Orleans.

These post-installation photos come from Rutgers' Brian Osborne:

The project was forced to work through challenging weather conditions. As you can see, it performed admirably.

18 December 2009

15 December 2009

Public student presentation

Public Presentation by Students of Intermediate Landscape Architecture I


Monday December 21st
12 Noon

At Rutgers Cooperative Extension of Cape May County
355 Court House/So Dennis Road Cape May Court House, NJ

RSVP: dtulloch@crssa.rutgers.edu

Course managment systems

Does Sakai own you?

14 December 2009

Cul-de-Sac Ban, The

This week's NY Times Sunday Magazine was the Annual Ideas issue. One of the ideas was "The Cul-de-Sac Ban" (link: scroll down), acknowledging the controversial decision in Virginia to limit the number of new dead ends in new development. It also features Copenhagen's "Bicycle Highway". It also describes the "Man-Made Greenery" (link: scroll down) or carbon filtering devices invented by Columbia's Klaus Lackner.

Suburbanization and amphibians: designed ecological solutions

Ecology & Evolution Graduate Program Ph.D. Defense Seminar

Alexander Felson

"Suburbanization and amphibians: designed ecological solutions"

1:00 p.m.
Thursday, Dec 17, 2009
Alampi Room, Marine and Coastal Sciences

Mr. Felson's committee consists of:
Dr. Steward T.A. Pickett, Advisor
Dr. Steven Handel
Dr. Peter Morin
Dr. Kristina Hill
University of Virginia


The Poinsettia greenhouse is getting some love.

11 December 2009

Weekend quote

“Politics and issues come and go, but in the end, we'll all be remembered for the way we treat other people.”

- Morris K. Udall

OIRT Technology Showcase

I'll be making an appearance at the OIRT Technology Showcase next Friday, December 18th. The event lasts from 11am to 5pm in room 101 of the ASB Annex I on Busch Campus, but my appearance will be in the later part of the day, something like 2:30-5. I gather there will be free cookies.

Small town photos

When I asked some students to collect photos of Cape May County that would help us understand the place at a depper level, we still got a fair number of pictures of the lighthouse and the destinations. It is just so hard to ignore the beaches and classic views, but we have fewer examples of how the gas stations and community centers look. What is the place really like? I often find my photosets suffer the limitations.

So I was pretty jazzed to find this collection of photos of Southwestern towns. Rather than highlighting the photogenic side of each town, "teofilo" (from Highland Park!) seems more interested in capturing the real sense of these places. For instance, I was in Aztec for just a few hours this summer, but these images of Aztec feel more like I remember it than tourist photos might. Some might just be the volume, but much of it is a willingness to focus on the little things that casual viewers otherwise consider mundane. I think our planning and design students would do well to figure out how to better capture the authenticity of places rather than only focusing on great composition and perfect sunlight.

10 December 2009

Hard work in the Big Easy

One of our instructors, Brian Osborn, is in NOLA this week participating in DesCours, a great week-long architecture and art event. His project, with partner Francis Bitonti, is one of the finalists in the competition.

You can check out all of the work through video tours available (theirs is below). Last night was the official opening, so pictures and awards information should continue to get posted for a few days.

09 December 2009

Ancient History

As a final tribute to past lecture series Kyle Beidler helped round up these old posters and reformat them for the blog. This is in addition to Monday's set. Which do you most regret missing? Which poster do you like best?

Fall 2009
Spring 2009

Fall 2008
Spring 2008
Fall 2007
Spring 2007

Stay healthy

As you prepare those final reports, it is smart to review some basic safety tips.

08 December 2009

07 December 2009

Ghosts of Speakers Series Past and Future

Having completed yet another semester of the RU LA Speaker Series (also known as the Common Lecture), it is a nice time to look back and reflect on past years' speakers as well as this year's:

Spring 2005 (A special semester)

So, after a few minutes of living in the past, let's look ahead to the future. Who would you like to see in one of the Memorial Lectures? Who would make a great local lecturer? Is there a scholar or designer that you wish your classmates could discover?
We'll consider this the last Common Lecture commenting session of the Fall...

Pearl Harbor Day

Remember the Arizona

Big news: Greenhouses gas regulation

Today's announcement that the EPA is going to start regulating greenhouses gas emissions is going to start some very interesting debates. Like it or hate it, this will be big news. The timing is interesting - both in reference to Copenhagen and the dust-up over emails. But this will be the first big test for New Jerseyan Lisa Jackson as EPA administrator (even though it will probably be a far less sweeping implementation that most first assume when they hear the news today).

The EPA website reports that it will be a major announcement today at around 1:15:
"The media briefing will be streamed live via the EPA homepage: http://www.epa.gov"

This will be a big story in the US for a long time to come, I suspect. But it will be interesting to see how ho-hum (or not) the rest of the world treats it.

Street View of Netherlands water handling

How do those Dutch deal with the sea level issues? Thanks to Google you can explore the UNESCO World Heritage Center that is Mill Network at Kinderdijk-Elshout in the Netherlands.

View Larger Map

The landscape of test performance

The NY Times Economix blog explored the spatial distribution of SAT scores and tried to explain why it doesn't really mean that Midwesterners are actually smarter than the rest of the US. (h/t The Map Room) The analysis digs in to show why your first read of these maps might not mean what you think it does. Among other points, she says that only 3% of graduating seniors in South Dakota take the test while 85% take it in NY.

(Sigh) First the Times goes after the valedictorians from Iowa and Illinois, and now the Iraqi detainees are harassing Packers fans. Its a good thing the Plains states have lots to cheer for.

03 December 2009

01 December 2009

Should they conform or not?

Bernardsville is faced with a decision about whether to conform to the Highlands plan. The Home News and Tribune reports that if they conform their zoning to the plan, their affordable housing obligation drops around 125 units to 25 but they are also obligated to zone the rural lots for 20-25 acre minimums because of environmental concerns. While this seems to place affordable housing and environmental quality in direct conflict, that seems less the issue for the community. Instead, the town is puzzling over the spatial nature of the decision, so they are mapping out the impacts of their response to see where the decision will be felt the most.

Climate victims

Britain's Times Online reports on recent international news in sea level rise. They mention Tuvalu, which is getting more attention these days, as well as the 2005 abandonment of Papau New Guinea's Carteret Atoll. If that gets you down, maybe the Climategate news may refocus you.