Uncharted possibilities

My own private little getaway

chroniclesofamber:

Cyber-Dys-Punk-Topia

“There was a place near an airport, Kowloon, when Hong Kong wasn’t China, but there had been a mistake, a long time ago, and that place, very small, many people, it still belonged to China. So there was no law there. An outlaw place. And more and more people crowded in; they built it up, higher. No rules, just building, just people living. Police wouldn’t go there. Drugs and whores and gambling. But people living, too. Factories, restaurants. A city. No laws.

William Gibson, Idoru

It was the most densely populated place on Earth for most of the 20th century, where a room cost the equivalent of US$6 per month in high rise buildings that belonged to no country. In this urban enclave, “a historical accident”, law had no place. Drug dealers, pimps and prostitutes lived and worked alongside kindergartens, and residents walked the narrow alleys with umbrellas to shield themselves from the endless, constant dripping of makeshift water pipes above….

Kowloon ‘Walled’ City lost its wall during the Second World War when Japan invaded and razed the walls for materials to expand the nearby airport. When Japan surrendered, claims of sovereignty over Kowloon finally came to a head between the Chinese and the British. Perhaps to avoid triggering yet another conflict in the wake of a world war, both countries wiped their hands of the burgeoning territory.

And then came the refugees, the squatters, the outlaws. The uncontrolled building of 300 interconnected towers crammed into a seven-acre plot of land had begun and by 1990, Kowloon was home to more than 50,000 inhabitants….

Despite earning its Cantonese nickname, “City of Darkness”, amazingly, many of Kowloon’s residents liked living there. And even with its lack of basic amenities such as sanitation, safety and even sunlight, it’s reported that many have fond memories of the friendly tight-knit community that was “poor but happy”.

“People who lived there were always loyal to each other. In the Walled City, the sunshine always followed the rain,” a former resident told the South China Morning Post….

Today all that remains of Kowloon is a bronze small-scale model of the labyrinth in the middle a public park where it once stood.

This isn’t to say places like Kowloon Walled City no longer exist in Hong Kong….

— from Anywhere But Here: Kowloon “Anarchy” City

(via murphels)

lucithor:

WHY WAS I UNAWARE OF THE FACT THAT “DISGRUNTLED” IS, IN FACT, THE OPPOSITE OF “GRUNTLED”

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WHY DOES NOBODY USE THIS WORD

(via haiirflip)

bluedogeyes:

India teen tells US how to save $400 million by changing font (via The Hindu)

A 14-year-old Indian-origin boy has come up with a unique plan that could help the U.S. save nearly $400 million a year by merely changing the font used on official documents.

Suvir Mirchandani, a student in a Pittsburgh-area middle school, claimed that if the federal government used the Garamond font exclusively it could save about $136 million per year, nearly 30 per cent less than the estimated $467 dollars it spends annually on ink.

An additional $234 million could be saved annually if state governments also implemented the change.

Mirchandani said the idea came to him when he was trying to think of ways to cut waste and save money as part of a science fair project at his school, CNN reported.

The youngster noticed that he was getting a lot more handouts than he did in elementary school and decided to figure out if he could minimize use of paper and ink.

While recycling paper was one way to save money and conserve resources, Mirchandani said little attention had been paid to the ink used on the papers.

“Ink is two times more expensive than French perfume by volume,” he said, adding that he then decided to focus his project on finding ways to cut down the cost of ink.

As part of his experiment, he collected random samples of teachers’ handouts and focused on the most commonly used characters such as e, t, a, o and r.

He noted how often each character was used in different fonts like Garamond, Times New Roman, Century Gothic and Comic Sans and then measured how much ink was used for each letter, using an ink coverage software.

From his analysis, Mirchandani figured out that by using the Garamond font with its thinner strokes, his school district could reduce its ink consumption by 24 per cent and in turn save as much as $21,000 annually.

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He repeated his tests on five sample pages from documents on the Government Printing Office website and got similar results that changing the font would save money.

Mirchandani’s findings have been published in the Journal for Emerging Investigators (JEI), a publication founded by a group of Harvard students in 2011 that provides a platform for the work of middle school and high school students.

One of the journal’s founders Sarah Fankhauser said that of the nearly 200 submissions they have received since 2011, Mirchandani’s project stood out.

“We were so impressed. We really could really see the real-world application in Suvir’s paper,” Fankhauser was quoted as saying…”

(via kenobi-wan-obi)

Life is hard and it’s full of pain and what-not, but we take it cause there’s great stuff too. And we can do it cause we have friends - because we have each other.

—Luke Shapiro (via psych-facts)

(Source: onlinecounsellingcollege, via psych-facts)