Friday, July 23, 2010

Absinthe: the Vilified Spirit

A glass of absinthe is as poetical as anything in the world…After the first glass you see things as you wish they were. After the second, you see things as they are not. Finally you see things as they really are—Oscar Wilde

When Toulouse and I toured Switzerland a few months ago, we spent some time wandering Altstadt Zurich, walking from Neiderdorfstrasse across the Limmat and along trendy Heinrichstrasse. There, we encountered absinthe in all its shapes and forms: from boldly displayed 1-liter bottles of 106-proof in liquor stores to absinthe-filled Swiss Frey Chocolates in a corner grocery store.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Sustainable Architecture: Learning from Nature & The Magic of Symbiosis

Those who are inspired by a model other than Nature, a mistress above all masters, are laboring in vain—Leonardo daVinci

Those of you who follow this blog know that I’m a science fiction author. The alien race in my book “Collision with Paradise” live 100% sustainably in a cooperative and synergistic partnership with their environment, including intelligent organic houses with self-cleaning floors and walls, heated, fueled and lit by organisms in a commensal relationship. Everything works on a natural cycle of harmonious renewal and natural evolution.

Science fiction? Think again. Science fiction is turning into fact.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Our Obsession with Ownership

I just divested myself of a large portion of my “household” to allow me the freedom to go wandering ("not all who wander are lost…"). It felt good. Very good, in fact, which surprised me a little. It got me thinking…

Why is our culture so obsessed with ownership? We see something that is beautiful and we “want it”. It is not enough to enjoy it; we must have it.

Surely, the most beautiful and precious things in our lives are those we don’t—and can’t—possess. The wind, the trees, the sky. The air we breathe. The sunset reflected over a crystal lake. A perfect moment. The unconditional love of a precious friend or the love between child and parent. The hypnotic notes of a musical piece. The exhilaration of having achieved a dream.