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This is the second installment of the META nano anti-gravity sci-fi mystery vlog. The original post is below. Click here for the full mash. Here is the current META verse and once again, it would be cool to see someone else create a Zen Mix for the poem! Please do and post a link in the comments.

It will come to be that on the eve of forming a world government a sphere of undetermined material surrounds earth letting sustenance in but not much out. It is assumed that the sphere is alien in construction – none claims responsibility.

META is a sci-fi story based in the times of the Dan Zen game, Save Earth.

A premise has been written in the form of a prophetic poem. The verses will be put into a Zen Mix and will be posted here over the next while.

We would like to encourage this type of story telling using Zen Mix. And indeed, if anyone would like to make a mix of any of the META episodes, please feel free to post the link to the mix in the comments of the episode post. It is so easy to do that we started our first one with an eight-year old daughter! Click above…

Show us that you are destined to be a star!

  1. Record yourself with a digital camera saying the poem below
  2. Upload this video to vimeo.com
  3. Take a picture for the background and post it on flickr.com
  4. Go to zenmix.com to mix the two and then post the link here

You can use our background – just look beneath any mix to find out what video or background url was used and copy it into your own mix – remember copyright though. You are free to use our backgrounds for META. In this case we used an upcoming motion graphics tool called Zen Pan to make a background.

Here is the META verse…

It will come to be that a new organization called the Free Nations will play watchdog to the United Nations and in 2020 after years of policy battle, the two will combine to form the World Government.

Even if you do not create a mix for META, you are welcome to leave your comments! In the future, we will tell further mysteries from Moustache Mysteries.

All the best,

Dan Zen

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This is a concise compilation of vlogs about turning ravines into recreational ravines. The vlogs use Zen Mix, the vlogging tool at http://www.zenmix.com, that lets you easily put Web video on a picture and apply cool effects.

After watching, please let me know what you think – just leave a comment!

mash (the eight mixes below played back-to-back use arrows too)
mix 1 | mix 2 | mix 3 | mix 4 | mix 5 | mix 6 | mix 7 | mix 8

ISSUE

We are conserving woods and fields next to urban or suburban areas. This conservation allows walkers, runners, bikers along trails. The conservation prevents or deters off-trail exploration. As such, we have lost the concept of the woods as a “stationary place” – perhaps to socialize, relax and exercise.

Many are not interested in coming into the woods and those that are, are limited in what they do and consequently do not spend much time there – and really no time at night. If you have ever seen the fireflies and clouds rolling over the moon and stars – you know that this is quite a treat.

The vlogs discuss how many beautiful places there are in the woods – 50 million secluded areas (can’t see the other areas) in a surrounding one hour drive from Dundas (near Toronto, Canada) for instance. This is a prediction but I am good with these kind of numbers. See the “All the People in the World Would Fit” post for an example of a similar surprising fact. And if you expand this to all Canada, it becomes apparent that we might be over conserving.

DREAM – RECREATIONAL RAVINES

This may not be the dream of all – but it would be of some and those that think they do not want it, may change their minds.

Recreational Ravines. Imagine an Ewok village that acts as a buffer zone between urban or suburban areas and the rest of the woods. Walking or bike access only – so you ride your bike into an opening into a ravine area or stream area and park in places provided or perhaps continue to ride along a thoroughfare and park.

Then you have access to jungle gyms in the trees, climbing hills and paths, photography lessons, craft building areas relating to living in the woods, recycling and composting areas, swimming and clay pit areas, lounges that serve refreshments and in the evening, drinks.

All these would be built by hand – no bulldozers or large machinery. They would be built, organized and run by the community with perhaps help from the conservation authorities or a created section in the city governments. Perhaps local handymen – roofers, deck builders and landscapers would be good to approach for involvement. See this After Mix.

We could pre-create a set of community created guidelines via a Wiki that would grow and explore potential laws that govern a ravine community space. Then eventually, once through a research or experimental phase, turn the guidelines into municipal laws. The laws should incorporate standards based phases to for instance allow fire in the ravines after certain standards are met by the community.

Robin Hood and the Merry Men, Swiss Family Robinson, Ewok’s, Myst, tree houses in general all capture some of the potential spirit. People love this kind of living and it would put community, learning, exercise right in people’s neighborhoods.

DRAWBACKS

That leads to some social drawbacks. There will be people who do not want this in their backyard due to privacy, etc. Well, perhaps they will change their mind in time – or they can move. I estimate that there will be people who see this as an enticement and can almost guarantee that with a successful implementation, the housing prices in the neighborhood would go up.

There are safety concerns – perhaps the tree houses should have a maximum height off the ground of 6 feet or something like that until the idea is tried. This is what I mean by standards based phases. After 10 years of no deaths from falls, the maximum height can be revisited for example.

CONCLUSION

With the concerns of privacy and safety, it seems likely that recreational ravines would cater to 20-40 year olds who snowshoe, rock climb and cycle already. Parents may worry, elderly may worry. With proper community input, both parents and elderly could certainly have a place in the community. Imagine chess tables, bird feeding areas, story telling, etc.

One thing – it would get people in the woods and closer to nature. We are part of nature and to prevent us from exploring a more grass roots relationship in the name of conservation is misguided. Especially when you look at how much human-free nature Canada has. If you don’t believe me, take a train to Thunder Bay or watch the Over Canada movie.

Part of what I like about all this is the potential for invention. I have come up with a number of ideas for when or if people visit the ravines. I need a word – hang out, socialize – kind of like going to a gym or to a recreational area or park. Hmmm.

Recreation Ravines – from exercise to relaxation – leaf bags instead of bean bags, recycle plant pots into light shades with patterns cut out of them for artistic moon-rays – run foot-hold steps up fallen logs, and many more…

I’ll keep inventing in the hopes we’ll get to build! Dan Zen

(In the meanwhile, I have secured recreationalravines.com and recreationalravines.org)

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If all the people in the world were to stand front to back and side by side, this vlog entry tells you how much space we would take up! Our population was taken as 6.5 Billion.

Also, as an experiment, I have posted two different size videos with different data rates (kbps). Please let me know in the comments if the higher data rate doesn’t work for you – and if you can even see any quality difference. That is major a benefit of Zen Mix in that I find it is more difficult to detect low quality video when superimposed on a high quality picture.

World (100 kbps / 0.8 M)
World (400 kbps / 2.0 M)

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