Well the title says it all. They drove from Berkeley to Argentina and back using vegetable oil biodiesel fuel. Not bad in a 24 year old Volkswagen.
The Missouri Botanical Garden will host a Buckminster Fuller stamp dedication ceremony on July 14th on the steps of the Climatron, the first geodesic dome used as a conservatory. The US Post Office will issue a Buckminster Fuller commemorative stamp starting on July 12th, and I wish I were in St. Louis to participate. Shaw’s Garden is one of my favorite places on this green earth, and Buckminster Fuller deserves to honored not only for the geodesic dome, but for design science and pointing the way for humanity’s future. Design science can best be defined as inventions that provide for the betterment of humanity in a sustainable, environmentally sound manner. Think renewable energy sources, bioremediation of polluted soil and water, hybrid cars, bio-degradable plastics or hydrogen fuel cells.
The function of what I call design science is to solve problems by introducing into the environment new artifacts, the availability of which will induce their spontaneous employment by humans and thus, coincidentally, cause humans to abandon their previous problem-producing behaviors and devices. For example, when humans have a vital need to cross the roaring rapids of a river, as a design scientist I would design them a bridge, causing them, I am sure, to abandon spontaneously and forever the risking of their lives by trying to swim to the other shore.
– R. Buckminster Fuller, 1895-1983
Fuller was a visionary, who saw the problems of the world as opportunities to change old fashioned harmful practices into newer, positive inventions. I’ve read a couple of his books, and they were real eye openers. All too often it seems like people are more than willing to protest against something, but they offer no real alternatives. Fuller said that fighting the existing reality never changes anything. “To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.”
Illinois republicans are scrambling for a candidate to run against Barack Obama in the senate race this year, after Jack Ryan’s campaign implosion last month. Since state senator Steve Rauschenberger refused to run for office, some pundits are calling for a Schwarzenegger-esque candidate, someone to rally the masses in Illinois, a person able to run on his popularity and not a platform, a person of wealth and god-like status in Illinois, somebody like Mike Ditka. I’m not kidding, the idea is buzzing around the internet, with a web site devoted to drafting Ditka into the senate race. Stranger things have happened. So far this is just a fanciful pipe dream, but a similar drive did get Wesley Clark to throw his hat into the ring of democratic candidates for president.