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  1. Someone explain this to me. So a bunch of big-shots with more money than brains get together around a conference table and watch some huckster with a PowerPoint with a grand vision of (fill in the blank). And then somebody writes an article about it. And people talk about it for 5 minutes. Is that what this is?
  2. First of all, I agree that the The Woodlands will not see a "death spiral" within most of our lifetimes. And it's not because Exxon just moved 10,000 jobs to the area. And it has nothing to do with location near the airport. And it has nothing to do with The Woodlands Development Corporation and what they may have done right or wrong. And it has nothing to do with housing values or household incomes. It has everything to do with all those f*cking trees we have here. Those trees! There has to be a 100-to-1 ratio of trees-to-people The Woodlands. Even after living here 7 years, it's just so much more damned beautiful than everywhere else. I've been looking for 7 years for the next place I might someday move to. I've looked all over the country. And I can't find anything that looks prettier. In the last few years, all the rage in architecture and interior design seems to be greenery. I see green roofs, green walls, skyscrapers with greenery growing all over them, moss-covered bathroom mats, you-name-it. But The Woodlands has been there for nearly 50 years. In a zoning-less city like Houston where billboards line early every foot of I-45 and strip malls have eradicated nearly every last tree on FM-1960, The Woodlands stands out. It's a fairy tale land. It's a bubble. It's a Disney World. Even after all these years. I'd love to hate it. But I can't. It's like trying to hate New York's Central Park. You can't do it. It connects with us on a primal level. Looking at the new Anadarko Tower, I'm underwhelmed. No green stuff growing on the exterior? No balconies with covered with trees like the Bosco Verticale in Italy or the Flower Tower in France? Do we live in a damned backwater? We're the 4th largest city in the richest country on earth! Why the heck aren't we blazing the trail in these new green buildings? Why are we looking at cheap glass boxes going up around town that look like they could have been built in 1980? And why in The Woodlands of all places? And just when will more communities follow The Woodlands lead? Never? There will never be any more communities planned like The Woodlands? We can't preserve a natural greenbelt along our roads? We can't force home builders to keep trees before they lay foundations? We can't have parking lots with protected strips of trees? Why is The Woodlands the only place in America that seems to have its head screwed on properly? After 50 years no less? In the midst of a vibrant ecological revolution going on worldwide? P.S. And how the heck has HAIF survived all these years? I thought Facebook killed all sites like this. And sorry I haven't dropped in lately. I guess it has been about 5 years since I posted last.
  3. I see a lot of advantages. And with the kind of technological refinement that happens when millions of any given thing is made, it can become twice as small, twice as sturdy, twice as easy to use, twice as safe, twice as cheap, etc. I just did a Google Video search on "autogyro".
  4. In theory, a helicopter can launch straight up into the air. And this autogyro doesn't appear to be a whole lot bigger than an average SUV. I guess we'd have to convert driveways into helipads, whatever that would mean. Or maybe rooftops could be made into helipads. If you're building a new house, you can design whatever you need. There are some helipads downtown now - they're basically parking lots, I guess. And I'm imagining office buildings could convert their rooftops into helipads. This is not my area of expertise at all. But in theory, it can't be that hard. It's not like we're talking about airplanes that need long runways or anything.
  5. If the superpowers (US, Russia, China) unloaded every nuke they had on one another, that could pretty much clean out the planet once the radiation and the dust went up. And that could happen someday, unfortunately. But I'm visualizing more limited engagements - like Pakistan or South Korea throwing 1 or 2 nukes at some other country. Or even 10 or 12 nukes. But not thousands. If a few nukes hit us, would America retaliate and send dozens of nukes back at a small country? I have no clue. The whole calculus of this kind of war is completely disgusting and depressing. It's like the difference between fighting with fists and fighting with pistols. If there are pistols, someone's going to wind up in a body bag. And no one's going to fight with fists forever if pistols are available. That's why I think the Star Wars type of defense system, even if it's 200 years away technologically, must happen.
  6. Holy cow. $20,000?? Designed basically so it won't crash (or won't easily crash, and getting better in that category all the time)?? Speeds of up to 100 mph or even 200 mph? 12 hours of training to learn how to fly one? The future is almost already here. I didn't realize we were that close. If these were mass-produced, they'd cost less than automobiles. It's just a matter of changing the public mindset. I didn't even know these things existed before today, for example. If I could park one in my garage and launch it from the roof of my house in The Woodlands, it could be a 20-minute commute for me to downtown instead of a 60-minute commute. And no traffic jams. Ever. This kind of technological breakthrough can't be kept a secret forever. It may be 20 or 30 years, but once it breaks loose, it'll be like the personal computer where we went from 2 computers to 2,000,000 within just a few years.
  7. I moved out of DC right after 9/11. I saw it take place out the window of my office high-rise. I can still see the smoke rising up in the distance less than 2 miles away. All the women in the office were crying. We were all trapped in the building because the roads were all jammed and the subways were all closed down. We were told not leave the building. So we sat in silence and watched the smoke rise up and listened to the women cry. If the attack had been a small nuclear bomb instead of just a suicidal jumbo jet, I wouldn't be here today. With each year, another country gets closer to having nuclear weaponry. It's just a matter of time. Eventually most every country will have nukes. And then it's just a matter until someone uses even just one of them. Just one nuke detonated in the right place can kill millions of people. It all seemed less real before 9/11. But I'll bet anyone good money that, sooner or later, there will be a nuke detonated on American soil. It may be 10 years or 20 years. But there are just too many people who hate us all around the world. And I sure as heck don't want to be in NY or DC when that nuke is detonated. If those cities empty out, it just makes Chicago and LA the next targets in line. Wherever the people are clustered is where the next nuke is going to be aimed. So I predict people are going to scatter like coachroaches when the light switch is turned on.
  8. There have always been and will always be two segments of the population at any given time: those trying to be near more people, and those trying to get away from people. And the same person could fall into both categories at different times in his life. To be near more people, there is everything that comes with people: opportunities to make money, party, learn, meet women, etc. But there is also everything bad about people when you find more of them: crime, disease, hate, congestion, poverty, oppression, etc. My point was that technology will bring us closer. For example, Internet dating. No need to cruise the bars if you can go to meetme.com and find all the prospects you could ever want. A perfect example is this HAIF board. If I really wanted to see people face-to-face, would I spend hours typing away to complete strangers who I will hopefully never see face-to-face? 100 acres for just me and my family? Hell yes, thank you. Y'all can come visit, but only for a couple hours before I escort you to the property line. Human populations will always have urban centers and always have some sprawl. Some people want to get as far the heck away from others as they possibly can. Others want to be near as many others as possible. The loners lament the shrinking forest. The socialities lament the death of great, vibrant (mythical) cities like Paris and Rome. The human race can't exist without both elements. This duality is inherently necessary in a checks-and-balances kind of way. If we get out of whack too far in one direction, that's when the other side pulls hard in the other direction. It's like liberals and conservatives. We need both of those lunatics.
  9. If it's a vision of the future involving NY, DC, LA, and SF all being blown up by nukes, and people working from home in remote areas and driving electric golf carts around, then you can bet it came from my own twisted head. Can you imagine reading anything that bizarre in a reputable publication? Seriously, everyone was stunned when the horse was replaced by the steam locomotive. And when the steam locomotive was replaced by the electric streetcar. And when the electric streetcar was replaced by the gasoline automobile. Something will eventually come next that stun everyone. It may be 50 years or 100 years away. Or maybe just 10 years away. But it's coming. It may involve helicopters, space ships, jet packs, or teleporters. It's anyone's guess what is next. Folks have been predicting airborne cars for 75 years. And we all saw the Jetsons cartoons years ago. Who knows. I'm sure I'll be old crusty whenever the new technology comes out.
  10. My New Year's Resolution is to quit HAIF and all other online discussion boards...at least for 10 or 11 months. TheNiche is correct - this stuff is way too addictive. I must get back out into the real world and deal with the human race.
  11. The airport suggestion from DJ Vance was the best I saw in the last 10 posts. I just tallied all the references to food in all posts made in the last 90 days and I have found that 92.2% of them occur between the hours of 4pm and 5pm. You guys really need to grab a power bar or something.
  12. The question was about the FUTURE of the suburbs. We seem to be describing a continuation of current trends. Our "urban landscapes" are going to change radically in the next 50 years. The Internet revolution, which has only been happening since 1996 (less than a generation) is so profound that it will take generations to play out. And the nuclear proliferation that started in 1945 is still yet to play out. In summary, cities are going to die like wounds lacerated with needles, draining their pus into the surrounding soil all across the country. Here's how... Most people will be telecommuting, so we won't need rings of expressways, 2-car families, hour-long commutes every morning, or the sprawling cities that have arisen from these things. The world will revert to something that more resembles pre-Industrial societies, like Europe in the 1700's, when agriculture was king. The country will be divided into sprawling lots of lush green land with small towns every so many miles. When a young man decides to settle down and raise a family, he'll buy 5 acres in Montana, near an airport, and his boss in Georgia will watch over him on the computer video camera, and talk on the computer microphone. And if he wants to go from Montana to Georgia to see him in person, he buys a $30 ticket on a supersonic jet and gets there in an hour - just like you would in a taxi cab ride across a city in 2006. And if he wants a quart of milk for dinner - he hops in his electric golf cart and drives to his nearest town center. Or maybe he'll don a jet pack or hop in a mini helicopter and travel those 4 miles in the air. There will always be large-scale wars as long as there are human beings. Hitler proved that WWI was NOT the "war to end all wars". In fact, the first cities to disappear will be New York and Washington, DC, because some jihadist nut is going to detonate a nuke out of a suitcase in those friendly places. When a million people die instantly from the blast, the rest will buy one-way tickets to Montana. And then some far east dictator crazed from a brain tumor will nuke San Francisco and Los Angeles with the touch of a button. Even if the U.S. retaliates and turns South Korea into a giant parking lot that glows at night, the survivors in places like Orange County are going to pack up and head for Utah. Will there be any big cities left? Not quite as many. At least not until we come up with a Star Wars missile defense system to protect our cities. Or maybe cities will grow in places like deep in the Rocky Mountains where it's harder for a warhead to kill so many people. So if you want to get a jump start on the future, go to Montana or Colorado and buy up all the rural land you can. You can even give yourself the title of "Baron". And buy stock in companies that make electric golf carts and snowmobiles.
  13. Amen to that. Mass transit was good in the 19th century. Today it's good for air travel.
  14. I just found this thread. This has to have some of the best comedy writing I've seen on HAIF in a while. And I didn't realize TheNiche was a libertarian. He may start earning the nickname "Lyndon LaNiche" on this board!
  15. Yeah, a murder in the apartments on Sawdust won't get people in The Woodlands talking. You could have 100 murders there every night and no one in The Woodlands would blink. Now the man found dead in his car in front of the Blockbuster Video deep inside The Woodlands a couple months ago...now that got people talking.
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