Easter weekend at the Googleplex

This Easter weekend the laser chicken went camping at the Googleplex for Wherecamp 2010. Geo-spatial geeks seem to like chickens. No surprise, as they spend all day looking at our planet at various scales: images, maps, and point clouds of forests, oceans, mountains & continents. This connects them to the land they are zooming in and out of.

Invading the Googleplex made the laser chicken broody and it laid two eggs. Born like a peeps on Easter were (1) the geo-twitter-google-maps mash-up for citizen empowerment called http://cluck.us and (2) also The Farm Party for local citizen government where the really hip birds hang out. This party is little talk and lots of action: we look for problems that need fixing and we fix them. We have been a bit too bored with the lamenting at tea and coffee parties where lame ducks bicker and pucker for someone to do something. See a problem that needs fixing? Just fix it! Are you loving it? We give you wings! Please don’t pluck us. Cluck us!


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dropping the “slow bomb”

Earthlings, I am an avatar who has infiltrated one of the most guarded governments labs where they build nuclear chikkin’ weapons. I have secretly developed an absolutely lethal force that combines chickens with lasers. Today I will drop this “slow bomb” onto the American heartland. The core of beautiful downtown Livermore will become “green zero”. You will completely recover through this. My technology is so advanced it will slow bomb you back to the roots that you have lost. It will slow you down until you are Frencher than the French. You will drink a lot of wine and eat a lot of cheese and have two-hour lunches and three-hour dinners with all your friends all the time. Are you loving it? Demand me to cluster slow bomb you and I will deliver the mother of all slow bombs. Resistance will turn your own children against you—in particular your last born. Watch me Tuesday March 30th at 7 pm PST as I ignite this “slow bomb” of “green love” (slides, reloaded). Activation sequence initiated: “all your kale are belong to us” … (-:

Disclaimer: Please note that phrases such as “slow bomb” or “laser chicken” are meant in a cute, harmless, and non-violent manner. They are funny, catchy, thought-provoking word plays on opposites and express the conceptual similarity to “slow food”.

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Barrel Tasting weekend in Livermore

My friends sometimes ask me: “Why are you so obsessively happy in Livermore?”  and the Barrel Tasting weekend was an adequate way to answer their question. It was a wonderful sunny spring weekend in Livermore and we visited many boutique wineries in the vicinity. An old proverb says “Always make friends with someone who pours wine by the barrel.” and another goes “An empty barrel makes the most friends.” or something like that … We made plenty of friends including Larry and his wife, the owners of Cuda Ridge, and Dane, the owner of Page Mill, while helping them to empty their barrels. One question remained: “Can one bad worm spoil the whole barrel?”

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a love potion as organic pest control

Driving up North Vasco Road to Brentwood is a wonderful way to spend a sunny Sunday springtime morning: white wind mills, green soft hills, family farms, cattle, goats, and orchards in bloom. For the annual blossom festival farmer Al of Frog Hollow Farm was giving us a tour of his organic fruit orchards. For pest control he uses a special “love potion” that prevents the moths from mating: from every tree hangs a little plastic envelope that is filled with female pheromones. When the male moths arrive there is an intense smells of female everywhere but they cannot find a single one. Poor male moths … I know exactly how you feel.

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RIP penguina

Penguina died last week. It was sad. We realize that farm happiness comes hand in hand with occasional farm sadness. Penguina was our favorite – she was so tame and sweet. But she did have a severely bent spine and “behind her back” we called her the “cricked” chicken. I was planning to have a nearby chiropractor adjust her as a promotional event on the farm … we’ll miss her.

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the biggest bee in town

Everyone surely knowns by now that we at downtownfarm find that honey bees are cute and – if careful – a lot of fun. Imagine how hard I had to laugh when I saw the farm house “dressed up” as a honey bee by the termite company. (-:

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chickens + lasers = the avatar feeling

downtownfarm combines three passions of mine into one operation and uses cutting edge military-grade light-scanning technology (popularized by Radiohead‘s innovative “House of Cards” video—see below) to broadcast our activities to ipods, ipads, iphones, and facebooks around the globe:

  • enable children to make informed decisions by teaching them about factory food production and by exposing them to the joys of urban farming
  • develop & implement cutting-edge remote sensing laser technology (e.g. LIDAR, multi-camera systems, infrared, RADAR, …)
  • familiarize children with today’s multimedia, networking & GIS technologies

Urban farming puts that little “Na-vi” in our live that we are all yearning for since we saw Avatar. downtownfarm shows how a trip to your local farm store and your neighborhood nursery can create a slice of Pandora in your frontyard.

The resulting “happy feed” will motivate brilliant and creative minds across the globe to drive cutting-edge laser technology forward and showcase it at downtownfarm. Geeks (like me @ livermorelasso) will work incredibly hard to enable 3 – 16 year old children to pick up their favorite “Pumpkin” or “Omelet”, hold it towards the LIDAR “laser camera”, and present it to the world in streaming real-time 3D. Constantly pushing for higher-resolution, fuller color, higher frame-rate, we will put in all-nighters to make kids hearts glow (and not just for meeting a deadline or fulfilling some contract). This will drive the technology forward and every field (e.g. intelligence, land planning, surveying, security, education …) will benefit as a nice “side-effect”.

And farmville will look so last century. But hey … I don’t want to alienate the farmville and iphone app developpers. Help me create the downtownfarm app. I need your brilliance and foresight. You & Cafe Fanny & James Cameron & Ocracoke Coffee & Michelle Obama & Weaver Street Market & Michael Pollan & McDonalds & Sundari Kraft & Caffee Driade & Upton Sinclair & Great Harvest Bread & Eric Schlosser & Berkeley Bowl & Michael Moore & Gather & Michael Krasny & Hossana Homes & Greg Mortenson & First Pres & MLK & Bulworth & Alicia Vagts & Cafe Gratitude & Barbara Ehrenreich & Mama Dip’s & the people that I have met and continue to meet … you are my heroes. You paved the way for downtownfarm. These are all your ideas … all I did was to combine them in the most obvious way and to find a good location for them: The only old farm house in the very core of downtown Livermore. And now I really need your help.

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