Tag Archives: scenarios

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.

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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.

Continue reading

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The Inuit are Canada’s Ninjas.

12 Dec

I’ve been fascinated by the Inuit for many years now. On the West Coast, we grew up with stories of the Haida, the Salish.  We learned of their cedar clothes and boxes, how they lived in cedar homes and cooked with heated rocks in cedar pots, and how they foraged and hunted.  The city has long since replaced the rainforests of the aboriginal time, but examples of it can be found less than an hour from downtown.  The point is, the first nations people didn’t have the same draw for me, because they were here, and BC is not the hardest place to survive, by any stretch of the imagination.  The arctic, however, is cold, barren and hostile.  In my eyes, it was a huge feat to survive up there. The ingenuity of the northern people amazed me, and their stories ( the real stories, not their myths, which I can talk about later) were legendary to me.

An example is the grandfather who hated the sedentary life that his family had adopted. So he snuck out, made a knife by freezing and shaping his poo, killed a dog and made a dogsled out of the skin and bones, and then harnessed the other dogs to it and vanished into the snow.

Personally the best and smartest thing is how they used to make the runners for their dogsleds.  Before steel and milled wood, dog sleds were made from walrus bone and drift wood. The bottoms of the runners were not guaranteed to be flat.  So the way they made it flat, was with moss and ice and fish. The moss and the fish acted like rebar to strenghten the ice, but also to fill in the gaps of the structure, be it bone or gnarly driftwood.  The ice was applied slowly, layer by layer by spitting water in a mist, and then buffing with a scrap of fur.  The result was a strong, straight runner.  The best part, however, is that that fish would keep all winter, and in the spring, when things were tough, the fish would thaw and they could eat it.  BRILLIANT.

Watch Wade Davis on TED talk about Cultures at the far edge of the world, and the story of the Inuit elder and his poop knife.

UPLIFT: The Scenarios

2 Apr

Organizational elements:  UPLIFT Transport, UPLIFT Rescue, Orchestar Logistics and Coordination, UPLIFT Engineering.

Partners: UNOCHA, UNHRD, UNDP

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Players: Red Cross, World Food Program, Oxfam, Medecins Sans Frontieres, ECHO Flight

Technical elements: Airbus L450 XLR Dirigible, Boeing JHL-900 Helistat

August 15th 2025

In 2012, UPLIFT began as a UN pilot program to test a radical idea: a not for profit transportation service, mandated to serve the developing world, and humanitarian relief organizations.  Beginning by servicing ECHO-Flight, the European Union’s humanitarian air service in the Horn of Africa/Eastern and Zaire (formerly the Democratic Republic of Congo).  From bases in Accra, Ghana and Nairobi, Kenya, UPLIFT offered low cost air transport capacity to aid agencies operating relief and development programs in Somalia, north-eastern Kenya, and the Democratic Republic of Congo(now Zaire).  Personnel and cargo were transported aboard 5 light dirigibles and 2 heavy lift helistats.