Biosphere 2

In 1991, a group of four men and four women researchers entered the sealed mini-world of Biosphere 2,  an ecosystem complete with wilderness areas, a farm, a rain forest, a desert, wetlands, and even a coral reef in a 25-foot-deep, 150-foot-long ocean. They would live, work and study inside this bubble for two years.

Biosphere 2, was then ”the greatest experiment ever conducted in ecological self-organization, revolutionized the field of experimental ecology”. It has not been repeated on this scale, since.

Today, Biosphere 2 forms part of the University of Arizona and consists of seven model ecosystems, a team of multidisciplinary scientists, a broad science education and public outreach program, and a modern conference center. The seven model ecosystems are: 1) a mature rain forest with over 90 tropical tree species, 2) a 2600 m3 ocean, 3) forested swamps dominated by mangrove trees, 4) a tropical savanna grassland, 5) a 1400 m2 coastal fog desert, 6) three desert hillslope grass-shrubland landscapes, and 7) Biosphere 2, its campus, and associated buildings and facilities serve as a 162,000 m2 model city and urban ecosystem. Its mission is to serve as a centre for research, outreach, teaching and life-long learning about Biosphere 1 – our planet, its living systems, and its place in the universe.

You can find out more about this unique, fascinating-turned-controversial project on the Biosphere 2 website, an article on and a feature by a member of the original team on Dartmouth Alumni Magazine.

Oracle, AZ

January 28th, 2019

Temple of Knowledge

There are a great many good reasons to visit your neighbourhood’s public library. And when this happens to be the Stephen Schwarzman Building, the main branch of the fourth largest library in the world, being a ”curious tourist” is one of them.

The New York Public Library’s historic Rose Main Reading Room and Bill Blass Public Catalog Room recently completed a major ceiling restoration that went on for two years, since May 2014, when a rosette fell overnight and prompted a full inspection of the ceilings. And while it was agreed that they were in an – otherwise – excellent condition, the Library decided to take advantage of the already set up scaffolding to do some restoration work. The rooms reopened on October 5th, 2016 and I couldn’t wait to see them for myself.

The sheer size of the rooms, the epic beauty of these 105-year-old ceilings, the rows upon rows of accumulated knowledge can hardly be described in words. Capturing its essence on camera is an impossible task. It requires physical presence; slow steps, long pauses, quiet respectful gestures; as all temples do.



wp20161127_155044 wp20161127_155106 wp20161127_155450 wp20161127_155622 wp20161127_160645 wp20161127_160715 wp20161127_161214 wp20161127_161505 wp20161127_161827

November 27th, 2016