LL :: Volume 14 :: LR
|Red Eye at Mourning, Sailors Take Warning|
...of City population: Still half a mile north of Outlook Tower; orbiting
steadily northeast-southwest, by approximately two blocks, on a daily
cycle. Most of this tidal cycle is the shift in-town to work gatherings in
the morning, and out-town in the evening, although a bit of restaurant and
social shift is visible in the oscillation. Random factors with one-hour
granularity continue to appear, however, and Statistics officers remain on
the scene to ensure constant monitoring.
Massic Bowls (and cups, and pans, and plates) have built-in stress-piezo
elements and logic. Small black numbers on the rim display the weight of
whatever's inside -- continually, and without fuss. Perfect. (Okay, they
don't technically measure mass, but the remote control unit lets you
switch to Lunar or Martian gravity calibration.)
Along similar paths, ErgWare is a line of pots and pans that display the temperature of the contents -- core-measured, not edge. And also the rate of heat flux through the metal, measured in joules per second.
You might think this is a silly interface -- why not choose the temperature, and have the pot just zap the food immediately to that level? Indeed, ErgWare tried this model at first. But it turned out to be useless in actual cooking -- nobody used the controls, except to set a pot of water to 100C, and of course instant-boil pots are nothing new. Cooking is much more a matter of controlling the rate of heat input. The temperature really is a monitoring tool, not a goal of itself. And thus the new ErgWare interface.
|Fads of the City|
NightLands Clothing is a spinoff of the ShadowLands line.
[Fads, vol 12.]
It uses a
similar photoreactive dye, except that NightLands clothing lightens
when exposed to sunlight, and the effect is
permanent. Prominently-styled NightLands has become very popular
among darkplayers, people into occult drag, programmers, and many
others whose persona involves contempt for sunlight.
Star Bar Soap: The soap density and solubility at each point within
the bar is carefully controlled during soap bar construction. As you
use the soap, and it wears away over time, a sculpture gradually forms
-- changing over time. Eerie fey figures, mathematical minimal
curves, sombre faces whose expression shifts from one week to the
next. Ashes to soap, suds to suds. Sometimes you just get a fish.
The Uniform Hierarchical Reference bill has finally been approved by the
legislature. This means that at every intersection in the City --
highways, avenues, bicycle paths, horse trails, footpaths -- a deep blue
diamond-shaped sign will appear, with a pale-blue arrow on it, which
points to The Way Out. More precisely, the arrow will point to the nearest
intersection with a larger highway, avenue, etc, etc. (The sign also names
the locale and the direction to which it points.) From any point in the
public City, you will be able to follow arrows to get out of that park, or
neighborhood, or district, or -- at the highest level -- the City itself.
Not that you have to leave the City to make use of the signs. Since movement along the arrows always leads to a larger and more well-travelled path, you need only understand the high-level transit framework -- the overways, the Loop and Chords. By following the signs, you will reach a road you recognize, as soon as possible.
(At intersections where two or more exits lead more-or-less equally well to a larger path, both are marked. The labels provide sufficient distinction -- you will know whether you want the Way Out to Selhill District or Poste, for example; and if you don't know, either will work. Optimization logic has been applied to the entire plan set, to ensure minimal traversal times, and avoid loops.)
A simple step, this, and far too long delayed.
|Life of the Mind|
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