Saturday, October 20, 2018

All Thumbs

Stanley Theater

I'm still all thumbs when it comes to CAD.  I have Rhino3D on a Windows tablet, thanks to C6XTY, and I'm sharing a 3D Animation curriculum through Coding with Kids.  Between the two of these, I imagine my skill set will improve.

When colluders conspire in Buckydom (as one might name it), what do they talk about?  In the case of Koski and myself, last night on Verizon, the topic was the four RTs in Sesame Street Synergetics.  RT = a diamond-faced (rhombus-faced) zonohedron.  I've been writing about it in recent blog posts.

Rhombic Triacontrahedron

Why don't we have IMAX or 4K or whatever large format films going over the basics of a concentric hierarchy of polyhedrons?

Koski's idea: We could go with a Greek motif and employ retro aesthetics, say those of a scrolling slideshow from the 1960s, where you get a cassette in the same box.  When the cassette goes "beep", you advance to roll to the next slide.

Make each frame come alive using contemporary CGI.  A message we're sending:  we've known some of this stuff for a long time.  Lets connect to the near and distant past, as we establish our heritage.

I was writing about such IMAX movies in the 1980s, even before I had any clear conception of a volume 7.5 RT sharing vertexes with a volume 6 RD (rhombic dodecahedron).

I had the Stanley Theater picked out in Jersey City.  Jehovah's Witnesses would buy it later.  At the time, it had no mission and I thought I might insert myself into JCNJ politics.  I phoned the IMAX company, wondering if an IMAX version of Koyannisqatsi might be in the works.  They sent me a PR packet.

Actually, my Stanley Theater idea was more embracing:  students would come by PATH from NYU and other Manhattan-based institutions of higher learning (high schools too, why not), to see these movies for academic credit.

Learning to navigate around "Cosmopolis" as I called it, was part of growing up (the maturation process).  I've continued the theme of having public transportation systems, both the study and use thereof, be a part of a "placed based" curriculum.

Later, my Princeton and Jersey City housemate Selma would work on precisely such a "maturation" program for NYU students.  Help them overcome their fear of New York.  They didn't come over to the Stanley on the PATH though.  That project never materialized.

The RT and RD didn't make it to the big screen.  Nor did my proposed Fuller Projection made of tiny lights ever make it to the back wall of Loew's (also part of my Journal Square environment -- just outside my front door).  Instead, the internet took off, a decade later.  Fuller's stuff would go online, with no need to leave one's dorm room to gain access.

I was fascinated by the internet back then too.  At the nearby New Jersey Institute of Technology, they were testing an early version of an electronic communications system.  I'd read A Network Nation by Starr Roxanne Hiltz & Murray Turoff and even managed to score a guest account on their prototype system.

I didn't have a modem at home, but I could visit St. Peter's College down the street and get on.  This was all pre HTTP (hypertext transfer protocol), the protocol later invented at CERN.  However I'd read Computer Lib / Dream Machines by Ted Nelson and was fantasizing about hypertext already.

My larger "Cosmopolis" idea had to do with extending PATH to connect with EWR, the Newark Airport.  NYC was already opening a "Train to the Plane" from WTC to JFK.  I was thinking how passengers might have a seamless rail connection from EWR to JFK and vice versa.  I sent out some letters.  I was continuing in my dad's footsteps, thinking like an urban planner.

Mom and Son