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Old ass stuff.

16 Sep

My first video presentation for thesis class. It’s pure classic, like.


SHIFT – A work in progress.

23 Dec

I’m working on a draft of an article for Shift, from the OCAD Student Press

This is going to be an epic deja vu for my thesis, and redemption. I finally get a chance to put together a cogent interpretation of all the research and thinking that went into my thesis project. The draft is below, and it’s still very early alpha stage.


Man’s principle gift, and the only thing that distinguishes it from
other animals, is his ability to tell stories. The first words created
the world. Ancient stories gave meaning to the stars.

The following is a work of fiction. Any similarity to any person, or to any actual events, or institutions is intentional and
anything but coincidential.

In 1937 the future of airships came crashing to the ground in a fiery, smoking ruin, amid the famous cries of “oh, the humanity!”.

Since the Hindeburgh crash in Lakehurst Naval Station, New Jersey, only the ghosts of these once important vehicles are seen: floating vestiges of the past above the Super Bowl, or largely ignored, hawking electronics above Queens and Manhattan. A few are still ferrying tourists on harbour tours and over vineyards for wine tastings, but they are largely seen as curiousities, if seen at all. In most of my conversations with people with airships, the first reaction is perplexity, then incredulity.

But everyone I have met agrees with me eventually, that airships are needed in this world again.

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Spatial User Interface – gspeak spawned Minority Report…and Macross suits?

26 Nov

I just came across oblong industry’s gspeak user interface.  It was the inspiration for Minority Report’s UI.

But more than a gestural interface, gspeak incorporates a lot of things I don’t understand, including things like recombinant networking and real world pixels.  I think the recombinant networking describes the interoperability, or modular nature of the code components.  If unix is a mass made of single purpose code structures, then the recombinant networking is the same, except that each structure can be reconnected to other structures and combined to perform new functions( I think ). I think a rough analogy would be k’nex versus lego, where k’nex pieces are generally single purpose(I think, I never played with k’nex) and require specialized connectors, lego pieces are complete in themselves and can be recombined with any other piece(almost).

The prototype applications include air traffic data management and real time video editing.  I see it as a possible way to a kinesthetic flight control, as well as a real time flight data management.  With the large bandwidth and high resolution control, coupled with the gestural and spacial input/output, digitally mediated real world mechanical and electrical system manipulation can occur.  Instead of a generalized, abstracted flight control of the stick and pedals, humans pilots can have a more direct, visceral and kinesthetic experience of flight.

I wish I had found this earlier. ISO Polar’s publications.

4 Nov

Just a sample of the research gold that I missed during thesis.

Airship Economic Studies and Papers

Various papers authored by ISO Polar’s board of directors, sustaining members and associates.

Economics of Airships for Perishable Food Trade

Authored by:
Dr. Barry E. Prentice, Transport Institute, University of Manitoba
Richard P. Beilock, University of Florida
Alfred J. Phillips, A.J. Phillips & Associates
Download (PDF Document, Size: 357.67 KB)

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Airships in popular culture.

15 Jul

The prevalence of airships in popular culture leads me to believe that the somehow, it occupies an important space in our collective psyche.

That, or it’s a convenient writer’s tool.

An incomplete list of airships in cartoons, novels, video games and more, in no particular order.

Final Fantasy airship designed by Amano Yoshitaka

Final Fantasy airship designed by Amano Yoshitaka

Each Final Fantasy series features an airship, granting the freedom to explore the entire planet, and also signifying a certain level of achievement, or advancement in the storyline.

 Come dream with me tonight (Dream with me tonight) Lets build a giant airship, And sail into the sky

Come dream with me tonight (Dream with me tonight) Let's build a giant airship, And sail into the sky

Teddy Ruxpin

S.H.I.E.L.D. Helicarrier

S.H.I.E.L.D. Helicarrier

Nick Fury’s Helicarrier

Diamond Age, by Neal Stephenson

The anime Last Exile

Hayao Miyazaki’s Laputa

Indian Jones’, the Last Crusade

Archie, from The Watchmen

Pixar’s Up.  Mr. Frederickson turns his house into a wind driven airship, and his childhood hero Charles Muntz also owns a Zeppelin.

Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow.

UPLIFT: From the cutting room floor 2

23 Apr

The following are more products of Point Set Reconstruction plugin for Rhino.


The ultimate test for WFP truckers: No problem for WFP airship pilot.

23 Apr
WFP truck on the Nationale 3 road in Congo

WFP truck on the Nationale 3 road in Congo


Route Nationale 3 is a lifeline for thousands of people who depend on the [World Food Program] for food. It’s also a kidney-bruising, stomach-churning morass of hills, holes, greasy mud and rickety bridges.

Read the article to see just how bad the roads are.

It seems to me that this image of the WFP truck, carrying vital supplies stuck in the mud, would be all the indication of failure that an organization would need.  Yes we can blame it on the road, as it was built in the 60’s and poorly maintained, but as the WFP should know best, disasters don’t always happen in areas well serviced by roads.  The WFP is doing its best and also repairing sections of the road so that future deliveries may go through more easily, but it’s not the WFP’s job to build roads.  It is its job to deliver food to starving people in some of the worst places in the world.  If the current methods don’t work, then it’s their responsibility to find ones that do work.  The problem of hunger isn’t going to go away in 50 years, so it’s still not too late:  GET AN AIRSHIP.

UPLIFT: From the cutting room floor

18 Apr

These airship concepts images didn’t make it to the final poster.  Most of them were accidental results of my experimenting with Rhino and plugins.

This first one is a product of a mesh model of the concept that appears in the poster and the Point Set Reconstruction plugin, using the Delaunay function.

Globeship with Octree

Globeship with Octree

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UPLIFT: Graphics

16 Apr

dontpanicThe envelope of an airship presents a vast amount of real esate for graphics.  In addition to declaring, in no uncertain terms, the organization chartering the airship, the sides of the airship may also broadcast soothing messages, or important information.  This could be achieved in such simple ways as painting or applying decals, as they do now on Goodyear and Zeppelin airships.  Or, a more sophisticated projection system, similar to 21st Century’s, which turns the whole airship into a screen.  Or even better, epaper panels, the size of sailcloth could tell people help is on the way, meet here, or these people are alive and looking for their families etc, etc.

From London to Paris: A story.

11 Apr

A little story I wrote in the early days of my project.  Case studies and/or spinoffs are linked.


Jennifer and Julian are recent graduates, living just outside London.  They found out a week ago that they have a few days off at the same time, a rarity since they both started their new jobs.  There wasn’t enough time to book a trip their usual way at an affordable rate.  Julian had read about Logos Free Air on BoingBoing and checked it out at work.

“Tonight after dinner Jen and I were discussing holiday plans when I suddenly remembered the Airbus skyship run by LFA that goes to Paris.”

“Julian mentioned this to me and it sounded interesting, but a bit dodgy as well.  I was wary about some catch.”  After reading the reviews online, and taking a virtual ride in Second Life, they decided to give it a go.  They reserved a seat on the airship to Paris, booked a hostel and made dinner and theatre reservations, all on the LFA portal.  They download all the confirmation and reservation information onto their smart phones via the LFA SkyPass and prepared to head to Waterloo Station.

I used to stress about packing.

Jennifer and Julian get to the LFA SkyDock at Waterloo station, a gleaming, Meidesque tower along the River Thames.  They see the skyship as they come out of the Tube, and it takes their breath away.  It floats above Waterloo, sensuously joined to the SkyDock looking like something between a cumulous cloud, and an Olympic stadium.  It is, in short, like nothing they’ve seen before.

They board with small bags…. Julian brought his own clothes, but Jennifer opted for the Clothing Library service. When they arrive at their hotel, there will be a box of clothes waiting for Jennifer.  Initially hesitant, Jennifer finally decided to try the service for the opportunity to try the latest clothes from her favourite brands.  Jennifer and Julian both filled out a passenger profile when they purchased their tickets.  She chose the outfits, tried them out virtually, and even got shoes to match.  Her friends will marvel at her wardrobe when they see her travel snaps!

After they settled into their seats, they notice the difference in the interior of the skyship to a regular airplane.  Gone were the narrow aisles, the uncomfortable looking seats.  Even the usual First Class, Business Class and Economy sections seemed to have disappeared.  Instead, the Skyship is Service Separated by passenger profile.  Passengers are seated by preference (e.g. quiet or social), and charged by service.
The experience reminds them of being in a restaurant, albeit a very cool, spacious restaurant with a climbing wall and jungle gym.  The entire space is filled with light, and surrounded by an observation deck; basically a promenade like you would find on a cruise ship.  There is a bar and cafe in the centre, selling a wide selection of French products.  The seating is arranged for a spectrum of situations, from large family settings to work/seclusion.

Jen and Julian chose to have a quiet space by the windows, and medium stimulation.  Julian aims to finish some work ahead of time, and Jen wants to finally start that book.  Around them are all people who have opted for a similar experience; minimal interruption, push button service, and internet connectivity.  At the other end of the space, parents of young children enjoy their coffees whilst their little ones clamber on the jungle gym.  The announcement for departure is given.

“Ladies and gentlemen, welcome aboard LFA flight 276 with non stop service to Paris Gare Du Nord.  Flight time is an estimated 2 hours 56 minutes.  Feel free to move about the cabin, and enjoy our bar service.  Please remember that for your comfort and safety, smoking is only allowed in the designated smoking area at the rear of the observation deck.  If you have any questions, do not hesitate to ask one of our staff, and we will assist you however we can.  Once again ladies and gentlemen, on behalf of Logos Free Air and our entire crew, we would like to wish you a safe and pleasant journey.”