LL :: Volume 32 :: LR
|All the News That's Fingerprint|
|Fads of the City|
Timeline pendants -- a nest of fine gold wire in a transparent
rigidized sheathing. The wire is an exact scale model of your motion
through the City, over the course of a year. (You wear a tracking tool
for the year, which accumulates the data.) You can inset jewels or
lightbeads to mark your home, workplace, or other locales you have
3D Chalk is the (perhaps overly cute) name for chalk whose marks move
over time. The stick's holder contains a tool which sets up a persistent
field on the chalk particles as they're scraped off. The particles then
transport themselves across their substrate, at a default rate of an inch
every five minutes. You can set the direction and rate, stroke by stroke
if you like.
The common fad is the obvious one: a series of random marks that move together, form an image, and then dissipate. If done freehand, this can be an impressive work of skill. (A few artists are trying multistage images, but none have gotten it right, yet.) More subtle, if less flashy, are the geometric designs that form varying moire patterns as they shift through each other.
Unfortunately, movement across a rough surface (even for minute chalk particles) costs a lot of energy -- compared to how much a persistent field can store, anyway. The chalk doesn't stay live for more than half an hour, unless you put an energy source on the work surface. Perhaps surprisingly, the stuff works better on a polished surface -- up to 90 minutes of movement on glass or monocrystal. You might not think that chalk would stick to glass at all; but the 3D Chalk needs adherent force as well as lateral transport anyway. Making it work on any solid surface was apparently a trivial extension.
Excess blue will be picked up curbside, every tenth day in central
districts. Please tag any items which are blue on the inside, or
incompletely blue, or unusual shades of blue. (Greens and indigos may
suffer damage if colorfast -- please tag if unsure.) Pickup will occur
in early morning; you may retrieve your uncolored items by noon. As
usual, colorant field effects do not count.
Schedule for following pickups: whistly noises, cloying sweetness, the law of averages.
Another living-space plan being demonstrated at the annual Etiquette
Argument: halfwalls. Instead of opaque walls and openable
(optionally opaque) doors, the space is divided by planes with the
property that you can see through one of them. The nearest halfwall
to you in any given direction is invisible and intangible; the next
one is opaque. You can simply see it, as if it were a normal wall. If
you walk in that direction, the opaque wall vanishes as you cross the
(invisible) nearer wall; you can then see the next wall in that
The social effects take some getting used to: you can talk to someone who is talking to someone you can't see. But this causes less confusion than you might expect. It would be someone in the next room, after all, and if you really wanted to talk you would go over there.
And while it is strange to have walls shifting around you as you walk, there is an undeniable gain in flexibility. By choosing where to sit or stand, you can include different areas of the living space in your "room" -- and without affecting anyone else's choice.
The big down-side: you can't walk over to a painting hanging on the halfwall and examine it closely. Choose large art.
|Life of the Mind|
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