The Knot is tied beautifully in Coronado.

Have you seen this interesting public art in Coronado? It was installed earlier this year. You can find it north of the Coronado Community Center, on the walkway beside the Glorietta Bay Marina.

The simple but beautiful bronze sculpture is titled The Knot. It’s by James Albert Wood. Created in 2004, The Knot is described as an artistic portrayal of life’s transitions.

That makes me think. The tying of a knot is a transition, as is the untying of a knot.

The sculpture entices eyes to follow its short length through space. The bending curve is sort of like a journey in life. We are continuously moving and turning, in transition, forming ties with the world around us and with others we meet.

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The brilliant Stellarium: 100 light-years across!

Do you know the friendly gentleman who plays the didgeridoo in Balboa Park? That’s Mitchell Walker.

He loves astronomy. He’s super creative. He never stops dreaming. That’s how he managed to shrink a volume of space 100 light-years across and fit it inside a plexiglass cube!

Mitchell’s one-of-a-kind, incredible Stellarium shows all of the stars within 50 light-years of the sun, placed in their correct spatial positions. That makes 166 stars in our stellar neighborhood. (Mitchell is now playfully calling his unique cube SITH–Stars in the ‘Hood!)

The colors of his tiny illuminated stars are based on spectral classification: the Morgan-Keenan system. Press a button and you hear a recording made by Mitchell describing his Stellarium.

I first blogged about The Great Stellarium Project over three years ago. You can see a smiling Mitchell and learn more about his brilliant creation here.

Since then modifications have been made to the Stellarium, including a visible ultraviolet light.

Today I heard that more improvements are coming!

During Stars in the Park this evening, Mitchell showed me his detailed plan to have each star light up individually with a touch of a button. That way the position of a particular star can be seen in relation to others and to our sun.

Mitchell starts with a dream. Then he makes it come true.

What are your dreams?

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I post new blogs pretty often. If you like discovering new things, bookmark coolsandiegosights.com and swing on by occasionally!

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I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

Looking to the future at SANDAG Community Fair!

What will the San Diego region look like in the future?

Glimpses were provided today of future possibilities during a free family event at Ruocco Park. The SANDAG (The San Diego Association of Governments) Community Fair brought together a variety of public and private entities who are advocating and working for change–primarily when it comes to mass transit.

The projects previewed include a future Central Mobility Hub, which will connect regional transit to San Diego International Airport; a solution to relocate train tracks that run near eroding bluffs in Del Mar; and the upcoming Otay Mesa East Port of Entry. I also saw intriguing plans for a trolley station in Tijuana, Mexico.

Other SANDAG initiatives include advancing digital equity in neighborhoods, the Youth Opportunity Pass Pilot Program of MTS, and the creation of affordable housing.

I saw lots of charts, maps, infographics and smiles. I asked some questions and learned a few things.

I also walked by the kid activity stations, picked up a new bike map, learned about the trails of San Elijo Lagoon, and learned about butterflies, birds and replenishing beach sand.

Then I got some free popcorn and flavored ice, and watched Hanna paint a cool mural, which would eventually depict a scene of San Diego’s beautiful environment.

The SANDAG Community Fair was a great way for the public to interact with those making plans to shape our shared future. Public input, including concerns, were welcome.

And it all was fun, too!

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

San Diego students learn to write, recite poetry!

Teachers reading this blog, heads up!

Write Out Loud in San Diego offers several great educational programs that encourage students to thoughtfully read, write, speak and listen!

Yesterday, at the Arts in the Park event in Chula Vista, I learned how students can experience the transformative power of poetry!

Let Your Voice Be Heard is a program of Write Out Loud that provides free poetry writing workshops in schools. Students K-12 are inspired to reach within themselves and express their thoughts and emotions with a poem. Selected works are then displayed in libraries and retail businesses!

Poetry Out Loud is a poetry recitation competition for high school students. This educational program encourages the study of great poetry by offering free educational materials and a dynamic recitation competition for high school students across the country…students master public speaking skills, build self-confidence, and learn about literary history and contemporary life.

I was told that some teachers, like many students, are bewildered and a bit intimidated by the very idea of poetry. But why? Poetry is simply words flowing from our inner selves. There’s no right or wrong. There’s no need to be exalted or profound. Just be yourself. And, possibly, learn a little more about yourself in the process!

Teachers, please explore all the educational programs offered by Write Out Loud by visiting their website here!

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

A short story about a search in the dark.

Back in Middle School, a bunch of classmates and I spent a summer weekend camping on Catalina Island. At the Parsons Landing primitive campground to be exact.

We hiked all over the north part of Catalina and saw bison, cliff dived into the ocean, sat around a campfire, and even went on an afternoon snipe hunt. (We saw bison? That’s correct! A small herd of bison was transported to this Southern California island by Hollywood for the filming of The Thundering Herd, a 1925 silent movie.)

The snipe hunt fascinated me. We headed up one of the trails above the campground searching right and left and occasionally beating a bush with a stick. Everyone knew from the start that the snipes weren’t real, but we all had fun “hunting” them anyway. At least for a little while. I think what made the snipe hunt fun was the shared joke, and the fact that we were heading up a trail that was new to us.

An idea for a short story came to me some time ago, based loosely on that snipe hunt experience. Of course, I changed many elements for my fictional story. It was necessary that I make the setting of the story a dark night.

You’ll see why when you read my new story, The Snipe Hunt, by clicking here!

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

To read a few thought-provoking stories I’ve written, click Short Stories by Richard.

Makers, dreamers, inventors come together in San Diego!

After a long pause during the COVID-19 pandemic, the San Diego Makers Guild is looking to reenergize. Innovators and fun-loving creators are welcome to join!

I stumbled upon the San Diego Makers Guild tent at the Escondido Street Festival today. They are seeking cool new ideas and pathways to follow as makers move into a technology driven, ever evolving future. Interested? Hook up with them!

I was surprised to hear Dexter explain he’d helped build those awesome Cupcake Cars that have roamed around Balboa Park during past Maker Faires!

You can learn more about the San Diego Makers Guild by visiting their website here!

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

Will this be your futuristic “wearable” car in 2050?

A futuristic car–a new form of wearable machine–is presently on display at the San Diego Automotive Museum in Balboa Park.

The Nissan GT-R 2050 is a full-size prototype made at Nissan Design America, San Diego. It was designed by student intern Jaebum “JB” Choi to be an autonomous, human-connected vehicle of the far future!

According to the Nissan website, The completed project runs just under 10 feet long and sits just over two feet high. The single occupant, the driver, rests horizontally in a “prone” position with limbs extended in an X-shape. The driver wears a futuristic, form-fitting suit and helmet that resembles a superbike riders’ protective helmets and leathers.

Does it come with a Bat Cave, too?

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

Become a citizen scientist in San Diego!

Would you like to make contributions to science? But you’re not a trained scientist?

You can easily become a citizen scientist!

Opportunities are available for ordinary people who’d like to use their passion or particular talents to help broaden our understanding of the natural world.

I discovered several great ideas while visiting the San Diego Natural History Museum recently. Signs spotted around the exhibition Extraordinary Ideas from Ordinary People: A History of Citizen Science provide details.

Most of the following ideas apply not just to San Diego residents, but to anyone anywhere. Here they are:

Become a member of iNaturalist and post photographs you’ve taken of living things in nature. Scientists will identify what you recorded. Nature lovers around the world can discuss your observations. You’ll contribute to our shared understanding of biodiversity. To learn more click here.

Participate in the Audubon Society’s annual Christmas Bird Count or Great Backyard Bird Count. Critically important data collected during these events is used by scientists to study bird populations across the country. To learn more click here.

Participate in the Celebrate Urban Birds project. Spend ten minutes helping scientists understand how common birds are doing in urban settings. More than a quarter of a million ordinary people have already made observations! To learn more click here. (Balboa Park’s own WorldBeat Center has participated in this project. Read about that here!)

Become a summer camper at the San Diego Natural History Museum in Balboa Park. Over the years, people walking around Balboa Park have observed green anole lizards, which aren’t native to San Diego. It was determined by the museum’s young summer campers that the green anoles were the descendants of escapees. These lizards had once been used as food for other animals at the San Diego Zoo! To learn more about attending summer camp at theNAT, click here. (Scholarships are available!)

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

Graffiti Art Park at UC San Diego.

Some might be surprised that at UC San Diego, a premier research university, where faculty and staff have been awarded an astonishing 71 Nobel Prizes, student graffiti is encouraged.

Spray painted creativity and thoughts written by students fill several large boards at UCSD’s colorful Graffiti Art Park. The art park is located among eucalyptus trees south of Mandeville Auditorium, near Art of Espresso’s outdoor patio.

As you can see, some of the artwork is quite striking.

I read the numerous posted rules and then pondered possible contradictions. How free is the speech? And isn’t graffiti about breaking rules?

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

An idea for San Diego-Tijuana World Design Capital in 2024.

Last Saturday, at the conclusion of the San Diego Architectural Foundation’s Open House tour of the Design and Innovation Building at UC San Diego, our group listened to a talk on the second floor concerning San Diego-Tijuana’s designation as World Design Capital in 2024. (Wow, that’s quite a sentence!)

Needless to say, it’s super exciting that our two-city cross-border metropolitan area has received such a distinguished award. Read more about the many efforts that were undertaken to achieve this recognition here.

As World Design Capital, San Diego-Tijuana will not only showcase our region’s optimistic culture of progress and innovation, but it will be a chance for people in the community to come together and catalyze positive change!

As I listened to the talk, full of high-sounding jargon, outlining future events for professionals, I wondered what would excite ordinary people (like me) and spur greater involvement from the public. And an idea popped: why not have a big, fun, family-friendly World Design Fair event in Balboa Park? Something akin to the parkwide, very popular Maker Faire?

Designers, inventors, educators, planners, makers, futurists, environmentalists, kids, scientists, students, museums, civic leaders, dreamers . . . all coming together to celebrate, share ideas, learn and have fun!

And on top of that, it’s our amazing, beloved Balboa Park!

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!