To understand this map, think of Denver as the center of the universe. Created during World War II when airplanes were becoming common. It was an “air age” that shrunk the world down to flyable chunks, and new maps were created to show distance – in one tank of gas or two.
It’s been a brutal summer…in the upper Colorado River basin. The drought that’s spanned the nation for months has wrung out the Rocky Mountain region where much of the West’s water is produced. Residents of northwestern Colorado are watching gardens fail, crops wither, forest fire threats grow, reservoirs shrivel and businesses founder as water restrictions tighten for both farms and cities.
It’s causing billions of dollars in damage, but not receiving much media attention. I’m only aware of it through a conversation with a farmer at the farmers market. He said we are all hoping for a wet fall and winter, or things could get really bad.
Did you have a chance to see the white water sports at the Olympics, like kayaking and canoeing?
If so, you probably noticed that the entire venue was artificial. The Lee Valley White Water Centre in the north of London was created out of a vast expanse of flat land. The designers, including a firm from Colorado, S20, had to build it all from scratch, including the high-powered water pumps and the speedy, treacherous river.
It made for a fantastic set of competitions and, it turns out, a lasting site for Londoners. The venue is going to stay open for both recreational activities and as a training site for future Olympians.
Since the earliest whitewater slalom competitions in the 1930s, most artificial courses have been constructed primarily of concrete, with static forms inserted to mimic boulders, logs…S20′s design turns the static features into adjustable plastic modules—a bit like underwater Legos—which can be positioned with a high degree of precision, and moved at no cost, essentially creating a new stretch of river each time.
In the movies the Dark Knight does not always save his lady, but in the Aurora theater the story unfolded differently. The male instinct to rescue and protect kicked in the way it does in less complicated superhero tales. At least three of the 12 victims of the shooting died because they were physically protecting the women they came to the movie with. Alex Teves, 24, used his body as a shield to cover his girlfriend. He was shot, and she survived. Matthew Robert McQuinn threw his body in front of his girlfriend, Samantha Yowler. He too was killed, and she was pulled to safety by her brother, Nick Yowler. Jonathan Blunk, 26, pushed his girlfriend, Jansen Young, under a seat. Again, he was killed, and she got out after the shooting was over. Young crawled out and realized she and her boyfriend were alone in the theater, only he was really wet, and she couln’t believe what had happened, so she tried to convince herself that someone must have thrown a water balloon. (Here is Young in one of the saddest Today show videos ever, her trying to match the steady upbeat tones of the format while talking about gruesome stuff: “I think John just took a bullet for me,” she says. “He provided me the opportunity to survive.”)