Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Upcoming Event: August 30th

The Rice Design Alliance is pleased to announce a lecture by David Lake and Ted Flato, of the San Antonio firm of Lake | Flato. The architects will present their new work and their new publication, Buildings & Landscapes on August 30, 7 pm, at The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston.

Lake|Flato Architects, begun by David Lake and Ted Flato in San Antonio in 1984, is one of the most outstanding architecture practices in Texas. In 2004 it received the National Firm Award from the American Institute of Architects, the highest award the AIA bestows on an American architectural firm. Lake|Flato is also the recipient of numerous design awards.

For more information, please go to www.rda.rice.edu

Tuesday, August 08, 2006


BookMooch is a community for exchanging used books.
BookMooch lets you give away books you no longer need in exchange for books you really want. Every time you give someone a book, you earn a point and can get any book you want from anyone else at BookMooch. Once you've read a book, you can keep it forever or put it back into BookMooch for someone else, as you wish.

ITS FREE! there is no cost to join or use this web site: your only cost is mailing your books to others.

Read More @ bookmooch.com

Sunday, August 06, 2006


RDA will hold the second part of the three series civic forum on Public Realm: The Built Environment, on Wednesday, August 9, at 7PM, at the Brown Auditorium of the MFAH, located at 1001 Bissonnet (enter via the Main Street Door).
Admission is free and open to the public!

The public realm is a constantly shifting concept that once included fields and rivers, wildlife and plants. Today we think of it mostly in terms of the built places and networks in which we conduct our daily lives, hopefully in safety, with convenience, and with some comfort. Its influence on our quality of life is enormous, and because it is public, it is the place where individuals and communities can have the greatest affect on the quality of life.

Part 1: The Big Picture
Wednesday, July 12

Part 2: The Built Environment
Wednesday, August 9

Part 3: Public Spaces, Urban Places
Wednesday, September 6

For more information please see the web page

Thursday, August 03, 2006

How it works

GreenFuel differentiates itself by the technology used for algae adaptation (derived from a NASA project for the International Space Station), a bioreactor design that is inexpensive to manufacture and to operate, and an analytical method for optimally exposing algae to sunlight—all of which have patents pending.

Check out this is a photo originally uploaded by jurvetson at flickr.com.

These columns of green algae have been artificially evolved to efficiently consume smokestack pollution (NOx and CO2). Basically they capture CO2 from smokestack emissions using algae, and turn the result into biofuels including biodiesel, ethanol, and even a bio-coal substitute.
"Algae is 25 times better a source for biodiesel than palm oil, and 300 times better than soy."

Cellulosic Ethanol-a renewable, cleaner-burning, and carbon-neutral alternative to gasoline .

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) released an ambitious research agenda for the development of cellulosic ethanol as an alternative to gasoline.

The 200-page scientific roadmap cites recent advances in biotechnology that have made cost-effective production of ethanol from cellulose, or inedible plant fiber, an attainable goal. Cellulosic ethanol is derived from the fibrous, woody portions of plant matter (biomass).

Read more HERE


Had to post.

Eisenhower's Farewell Address to the Nation - January 17, 1961

"...Crises there will continue to be. In meeting them, whether foreign or domestic, great or small, there is a recurring temptation to feel that some spectacular and costly action could become the miraculous solution to all current difficulties. A huge increase in the newer elements of our defenses; development of unrealistic programs to cure every ill in agriculture; a dramatic expansion in basic and applied research – these and many other possibilities, each possibly promising in itself, may be suggested as the only way to the road we wish to travel.

But each proposal must be weighed in light of a broader consideration; the need to maintain balance in and among national programs – balance between the private and the public economy, balance between the cost and hoped for advantages – balance between the clearly necessary and the comfortably desirable; balance between our essential requirements as a nation and the duties imposed by the nation upon the individual; balance between the actions of the moment and the national welfare of the future. Good judgment seeks balance and progress; lack of it eventually finds imbalance and frustration. "

"This conjunction of an immense military establishment and a large arms industry is new in the American experience. The total influence – economic, political, even spiritual – is felt in every city, every Statehouse, every office of the Federal government. We recognize the imperative need for this development. Yet we must not fail to comprehend its grave implications. Our toil, resources and livelihood are all involved; so is the very structure of our society. "

listen to speach...(press play)


READ Whole transcript

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Bulldozing- from L.A. to ...


South Central Farm in L.A. has been bulldozed even though the asking price of $16.3 million was raised. Bulldozed to build another warehouse in an already saturated warehouse district. The largest urban farm in the U.S. has been razed...and from the looks of the video presented by DHlovelife this happened with loud protest.

(I know I'm a little behind on my postings and especially on this topic... none the less... may it serve as a reminder.)

Houston....a city where generally many architectural landmarks disappear without a fight... is fighting for River Oaks Shopping Center, including its beloved movie theater, Houston's oldest functioning movie theater (opened in 1939).(Houston has some of the weakest historic preservation laws in the country.)

The River Oaks shopping center faces demolition in 2008 by Weingarten Realty to make way for high-rise condos. Their website boasts a slide show of Krogers and Staples and headlines it with "Focused for building for the Future"??!!! Apparently their vision for the "future" is made up of strip centers filled with Marshalls and Staples every mile and a half.

The good news is that there seems to be a majority of Houstonians expressing concern and signing the petitions.
BUT...Lets not forget about this one. Apparently Weingarten's hope is to wait it out until the initial shock wears out and people forget come 2008.

The Greater Houston Preservation Alliance suggests that everyone that has a concern to write a letter to the following person at Weingarten Realty, and copy the Mayor and Council Member Ada Edwards with the concerns. They recommend that the letter should include points such as the historical significance of the buildings, cultural significance of the theatre, that it meets the needs of the community it serves, and that there are few places in Houston where one can walk from their homes to enjoy shopping, dining, and entertainment.

This is the contact information:

Mayor Bill White

Councilmember Ada Edwards (River Oaks Shopping Center and Theater)

Councilmember Anne Clutterbuck (Alabama Theater/Bookstop)