A cube with a view
May 26, 2009, 10:36 pm by bottleman. Filed under: shout-outs, thank-you's.

It’s funny how you can get used to the most extraordinary things, taking the amazing for granted until someone threatens to take them away.

Twenty-ton airplanes fly, and we don’t blink an eye.  Lettuce seeds buried in the ground, angled every which way, somehow, amazingly, detect gravity to send their shoots straight up to the sky every time, and then we complain they’re not big enough to eat yet.  Mothers love us no matter what, and you know how we treat them.

And then there’s Cubespace.

Cubespace is a shared workspace so perfectly functional and Portlandesque I’ve rarely thought about how extraordinary it is.   The idea is “coworking“: an efficient yet social workspace arrangement for serious freelancers, a step up from working at the cafe.

I suppose someone could set up a collection of desks and phones and printers anywhere and call it coworking, but Cubespace’s proprietors Eva and David have truly generated a positive and comfortable atmosphere.  They know what a freelancer needs: reasonably priced office space, a tireless, fully automatic espresso machine (complimentary for paying customers), a quiet room for when you need to focus, and, for when you need a sugar rush, free Capn Crunch.  No wonder I feel at home there.

Now Cubespace is threatened with eviction.  I won’t bang the drum too loudly here, because David and Eva are negotiating with their landlord currently, and David has summarized the plot succintly here.  But I am encouraged that the news led to a flash flood of direct support, including a fundraising site that’s collected about $5000 in just a few days.  I won’t take Cubespace for granted any longer — nor the twenty-ton airplanes, nor the gravity-detecting lettuce shoots, nor the long-suffering moms. Well, maybe just one mom…

Update: June 2009.  Cubespace is closing, but it’s hard to say that it failed.  Have a good summer, guys.

Thank you Rebecca Gates
May 23, 2009, 12:22 pm by bottleman. Filed under: inspiration, off-topic, shout-outs.

15 years too late, I fall in love with this song. (Sound doesn’t start until about 24 seconds in.)

Some new stuff from the artist here and here.

Suck it in
November 17, 2008, 10:12 pm by bottleman. Filed under: love those goofy b*st*rds, photography, shout-outs.

Photo (and title) by Jess Dolan.

A tip of the hat
September 22, 2008, 9:41 am by bottleman. Filed under: closed ecological systems, shout-outs.

In milestones: after 13 months, the last shrimp “econaut” in the Sparks Research Group tabletop biospheres has passed on to that great biosphere in the sky.  A simple mix of plants, microbes, and minerals, with the addition of energy in the form of light, kept this ecological explorer alive for more than a year in a sealed 2-quart jar.

photo by sparks research group - used with permission

It’s been so heartening to watch people doing this project, but Sparks’ was especially successful.  13 months is an amazing demonstration of the effectiveness of ecological cycling.  Of course we experience ecological cycling every day, whenever we breathe or eat, but it’s so easy to forget that every breath and bite depend on forests, plants, insects, oceans…   I hope this kind of demonstration shows how powerful and tenuous those cycles are.  The cycles can and will go on, but whether they will serve to support our species (or another one, with strange new priorities) is another matter. :)