Imagine a high-rise apartment complex or office building which integrates so much plant life into the exterior design that it becomes, in effect, a vertical forest. That is the premise behind the Bosco Verticale, under construction in Milan, Italy (see image above, click to enlarge). According to the architect, "The Bosco Verticale is a system that optimizes, recuperates, and produces energy .... The diversity of plants and their characteristics produce humidity, absorb CO2 and dust particles, produce oxygen, and protect the building from radiation and acoustic pollution .... Plant irrigation will be supported through the filtering and reuse of the graywater produced by the building. Additionally, Aeolian and photovoltaic energy systems will further promote the tower's self-sufficiency."
Green designs like this delight me ~ I'm only astonished that they do not appear everywhere. Certainly the component ideas have been around for decades. Be sure to click here for a slide show which includes photos and architectural designs. Think about it ~ if green architecture were the norm in every city, urban environments would be less sterile, more verdant, and more life-sustaining.
Now for a display that blew my mind. Here is a link to a color chart (shown below, click to enlarge) which depicts the number and variety of events which occur on the Internet every 60 seconds. The sheer scale of human energy and activity is monumental. For instance, when I complete this blog post and click on "publish", mine will be only one of 1500 blog posts launched into the ether during those 60 seconds. This does not even take into account the more than 60 new blogs created during that same time. Multiply times 60 minutes per hour, and again times 24 hours per day, and you have over 2 million blog posts per day ~ and that is only one of twenty classes of events portrayed on the chart. A-freakin'-mazing.