On The Map airport mural and aviation history.

Mural visible from Harbor Drive at San Diego International Airport.
Mural visible from Harbor Drive at San Diego International Airport.

Have you wondered about the large new colorful mural that was painted last year at San Diego International Airport? You know, that mural showing a guy in an old-fashioned hat holding a steering wheel, which is visible as you head up Harbor Drive?

The title of this impressive public art is On The Map, and it’s a tribute to the rich aviation history of San Diego. The design was created by Jari “WERC” Alvarez, the same artist who created the SAN mural at the same location in 2014. You can see a photo of that previous mural in one of my old blog posts here.

On The Map is the second of a three mural commission, and will be on display through 2022. The map-like artwork of Jari Alvarez incorporates images that pay tribute to San Diego aviation pioneer Glenn Curtiss and early stunt pilot Lincoln Beachey. It also honors female flyers and engineers during the course of aviation history.

Early in the 20th century, before World War I, Glenn Curtiss operated a flying school on Coronado across San Diego Bay. His groundbreaking school was instrumental in making North Island the Birthplace of Naval Aviation.

Lincoln Beachey was a pioneer aviator and barnstormer, who broke world flying records and invented many daring aerial maneuvers. He was called by many The World’s Greatest Aviator.

You might remember that years ago the same building (now the administrative offices of the San Diego Airport Authority, once the commuter terminal) was home to a mural showing Charles Lindbergh holding a small model of his famous airplane Spirit of St. Louis. Before its historic 1927 transatlantic flight, the Spirit of St. Louis was built in San Diego by Ryan Airlines, near where the airport stands today.

San Diego’s deep links to aviation history are just another fascinating aspect of America’s Finest City!

On The Map, a tribute to the rich aviation history of San Diego, by muralist Jari “WERC” Alvarez.
On The Map, a tribute to the rich aviation history of San Diego, by muralist Jari “WERC” Alvarez.

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!

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Amazing chromatic ceramics dazzle the eye!

Check out the latest exhibition at Balboa Park’s always amazing Japanese Friendship Garden!

The Chromatic Ceramic Collection: John Conrad features unique ceramic creations whose shining colors dance and change depending on the angle from which they are viewed!

These refractive pieces, which include patterned discs and vases in different shapes, have to be seen in person to be fully appreciated. As you move about the garden’s Exhibit Hall, you seem to the find the end of many rainbows.

According to the Japanese Friendship Garden’s website: “Culminating over 60 years of research and experiments, artist John Conrad developed the spectacular finish that is seen on the Chromatic Collection…The chromatic finish is a combination of metallic flake and silica, which is then adhered onto porcelain using modern plasma technology…”

I was struck during my visit on Sunday how these brilliant ceramics resemble in many respects the holographic paintings of Tom Liguori, another local innovator whose work can be seen here.

I’ve included photographs of a few radiant discs to provide an idea of what you’ll experience. The vases, if anything, are even more beautiful.

Visionary artists continue to find new ways to express and combine form, light and color. It seems the potential for beauty is infinite.

The Chromatic Ceramic Collection: John Conrad can be viewed through April 26, 2020 at the Japanese Friendship Garden in 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!

Amazing life-size cardboard superhero sculptures!

Wow!

Did you step inside the Comic-Con Museum during 2019 December Nights? If you did, you saw an exhibit that was absolutely amazing!

Young artists Connor and Bauer Lee have created fantastic life-size cardboard sculptures of popular Marvel and DC superheroes, plus various Pixar and Star Wars movie characters!

I believe I recognized: Groot, Black Manta holding a mace, a tiny X-wing starfighter, Wall-E, a gigantic Hulkbuster armor (under construction), Thor’s Stormbreaker hammer, Iron Man, C-3PO, R2-D2, Baby Groot, Wonder Woman, plus other fantastic creations including several superhero masks.

The two brothers have been building these cardboard models for many years. I spoke to Connor briefly and he explained that they select an image of a popular character, blow it up, then begin to craft the sculpture based on that initial design. I asked how long it might take to finish the enormous, extremely complex Hulkbuster armor sculpture you see in my photos, and he said about a year.

According to the Cardboard Superheroes website: We hold free workshops for kids in an effort to promote the arts for youth as we’ve see funding for the arts being cut in school and are working to provide an alternative that is free and fun for kids.

That’s definitely a super cool and inspirational project! I’m sure young students everywhere would love to be creative and make their favorite characters with simple cardboard!

I hope local schools take advantage of what appears to be an awesome opportunity. For more info, you can contact Cardboard Superheroes at 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!

You can easily explore Cool San Diego Sights by using the search box on my blog’s sidebar. Or click a tag! There are thousands upon thousands of photos for you to enjoy!

Positive messages observed during one walk.

Long Live the Creatives.
Long Live the Creatives.

During my early morning walk through Little Italy, I observed all sorts of positive messages–in windows, on tiles, on banners and signs. Many of these messages concern creativity, one of my favorite topics!

To lovers of beer, one of the following photos contains a VERY positive message!

Creativity in one window.
Creativity in a window.
Little Italy San Diego Celebrates Italian Heritage Month and the contributions Italians have made to the world.
Little Italy San Diego Celebrates Italian Heritage Month and the contributions Italians have made to the world.
Candido Jacuzzi, inventor.
Candido Jacuzzi, inventor.
Our destiny is together I pray you so select. Let's find the strength for the family we do protect.
Our destiny is together I pray you so select. Let’s find the strength for the family we do protect.
TRUCKLOAD OF BEER.
TRUCKLOAD OF BEER.
I am bright-eyed. I am connected. I am love...
I am bright-eyed. I am connected. I am love…
What's Your Love Story-
What’s Your Love Story?
Lux, Veritas . . . Light, Truth.
Lux, Veritas . . . Light, Truth.

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!

VEND-o-MATIC supplies Faith, Hope, Peace, Love.

An unusual VEND-o-MATIC vending machine on El Cajon Boulevard near 52nd Street dispenses Faith, Hope, Peace and Love. Place your hand where indicated, make the selection of your choice by pressing a button, and the goodness is beamed directly through your arm into your heart.

From the way the paint has aged, I guess this VEND-o-MATIC has probably seen a great deal of use.

You can never have too much of good things.

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!

Strange, bizarre cars of Ripley’s Believe It or Not!

Strange, bizarre vehicles are displayed by Ripley's Believe It or Not in the Interactive Zone at Petco Park during 2019 San Diego Comic-Con!
Strange, bizarre vehicles are displayed by Ripley’s Believe It or Not in the Interactive Zone at Petco Park during 2019 San Diego Comic-Con!

Ripley’s Believe It or Not has a really great display at 2019 San Diego Comic-Con. A bunch of strange, bizarre cars can be viewed in the Interactive Zone at Petco Park in Ripley’s fun Car Lot!

It’s Ripley’s Believe It or Not’s very first time exhibiting at Comic-Con, and I hope they return in future years! I was told they have numerous very odd vehicles in their museums around the country, and even more in storage at their Orlando warehouse.

Check out these photos!

The Peel P-50 is the smallest assembly-line manufactured road-legal car ever. It's 54 inches long and goes 15 mph!
The Peel P-50 is the smallest assembly-line manufactured road-legal car ever. It’s 54 inches long and goes 15 mph!
A Mercedes Benz and fire truck coffin. Fantasy coffins are often used by the Ga people of Ghana, Africa to reflect the occupation or status of the deceased.
A Mercedes Benz and fire truck coffin. Fantasy coffins are often used by the Ga people of Ghana, Africa to reflect the occupation or status of the deceased.
A look inside the Fire Truck Fantasy Coffin.
A look inside the Fire Truck Fantasy Coffin.
This amazing, functioning Austin Mini is covered with over 10,000 Canadian pennies, each plated with 24 karat gold!
This amazing, functioning Austin Mini is covered with over 10,000 Canadian pennies, each plated with 24 karat gold!
A full-size working replica of Luke Skywalker's X-34 Landspeeder!
A full-size working replica of Luke Skywalker’s X-34 Landspeeder!
This replica of a Hummer H-3 is covered with over 39,000 lottery tickets!
This replica of a Hummer H-3 is covered with over 39,000 lottery tickets!
A closer look at the Lottery Ticket Hummer.
A closer look at the Lottery Ticket Hummer.
Bad to the Bone is a one-of-a-kind motorcycle made of animal bones from dead cows and road kill.
Bad to the Bone is a one-of-a-kind model of a motorcycle made of animal bones from dead cows and road kill.
A wood-carved Ferrari F-50 took five months to create for Venice's annual Lenten carnival.
A wood-carved Ferrari F-50 took five months to create for Venice’s annual Lenten carnival.
This cool Wooden Ferrari also functions as a boat!
This cool Wooden Ferrari also functions as a boat!
The bizarre High Heel Car has a dragster-style frame in the shape of a large high heel shoe!
The bizarre High Heel Car has a dragster-style frame in the shape of a large high heel shoe!
The Spirit of LeMons was built with a Cessna 310 fuselage!
The Spirit of LeMons was built with a Cessna 310 fuselage!
Photo of the airplane cockpit where the driver operates Spirit of LeMons.
Photo of the airplane cockpit where the driver operates Spirit of LeMons.
Another look at the Spirit of LeMons!
Another look at the Spirit of LeMons!

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!

You can easily explore Cool San Diego Sights by using the search box on my blog’s sidebar. Or click a tag! There are thousands upon thousands of photos for you to enjoy!

How the most wonderful dreams are made real.

Your most wonderful dreams can turn into reality . . . with effort, optimism and dogged persistence. And patience. And unwavering vision.

Over the years I’ve recorded many instances of extraordinary–even improbable–dreams coming true. I’ve learned about or have met people who raise their eyes toward a distant, shimmering dream, then reach up to grab it.

All of these individuals are motivated by an undying passion.

Here are a few instances that I happen to remember. I’ve blogged about athletes who achieve the pinnacle of success; artists, inventors and visionaries who create astonishing new wonders; students who step confidently into the future…

Click the following links:

Celebration of Champions at Elite Athlete Training Center!

“There is no shortcut to true success.”

More photos of amazing, experimental holographic art!

An amazing cube, like real Space: full of stars!

The fantastic, amazing Harper’s Topiary Garden!

Aviation history at Waldo Dean Waterman Park.

World’s most amazing car, displayed in San Diego!

Cool photos of creativity at Maker Faire San Diego!

Salk Institute architect Louis Kahn: an amazing exhibit!

Founders of Balboa Park linger in Sefton Plaza.

Kid entrepreneurs showcase their creativity!

San Diego school students do amazing things!

What amazing things will you do?

An amazing cube, like real Space: full of stars!

One of the most amazing things I’ve ever seen made its very first appearance this evening in San Diego. Mitchell Walker, who plays didgeridoo in Balboa Park and Seaport Village, has completed an epic project that began as a dream almost 40 years ago. He has officially completed The Great Stellarium Project!

Mitchell’s 30-inch Plexiglas cube which contains a three-dimensional star map–his amazing Stellarium–made its debut in Balboa Park near the Fleet Science Center. The Stellarium was admired by curious passersby, and by astronomy lovers who’d gathered for the monthly stargazing “Stars In The Park” event of the San Diego Astronomy Association.

Mitchell has an irrepressible smile and a great sense of humor. One of his biggest passions is science fiction–Star Trek in particular. For much of his life he’s had a strong fascination with astronomy.

Years ago, Mitchell’s dream to recreate a part of our galaxy was inspired by the star map that figures in the film The UFO Incident. His idea was to design a transparent cube that holds an accurate portrayal of the stars nearest to our sun. His first attempt to invent such a marvel resulted in a cube that was 15 inches square. He still uses that smaller cube as a night light.

The impressive 30-inch Stellarium that debuted today displays our “stellar neighborhood” within 50 light years of Sol, the sun. Our tiny corner of the galaxy took Mitchell a little over a year to build. The 166 stars are obviously not to scale, but the distances between them and their relative positions around Sol are accurate. Each tiny star, attached to a filament that is almost invisible, shines with fluorescent paint in the color that matches its spectral classification. In darkness, under the cube’s black light, the effect is extraordinary.

After the sun set this evening, I sat on a nearby park bench and watched as people stopped to peer into the dreamlike Stellarium. Some pressed a button at the cube’s base to listen to Mitchell’s recorded audio narration.

Clouds unfortunately concealed the night sky. For a magical moment or two, members of the San Diego Astronomy Association abandoned their nearby telescopes and joined their friend Mitchell Walker, to gaze into a wondrous cube full of stars.

Please visit Mitchell’s web page that describes his Stellarium 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!

Unfolding Humanity appears at Maker Faire!

A couple months ago I blogged about the debut of a fascinating dodecahedron sculpture called Unfolding Humanity. The San Diego Geometry Lab had begun building their project by a parking lot at University of San Diego.

Today I finally saw the interactive metal sculpture completed! It was among the many cool inventions on display at 2018 Maker Faire San Diego in Balboa Park!

If you want to learn more about Unfolding Humanity–the mathematics behind it, and how it’s symmetry and complexity is similar to the structure of the universe–please check out my earlier blog post here, or visit the artwork’s extremely interesting website here.

I learned from Diane Hoffoss, Associate Professor of Mathematics at USD, that the San Diego Geometry Lab might be building additional similar projects in the future. Probably every other year. Because it’s quite an undertaking!

I also learned that many people enjoyed stepping inside Unfolding Humanity during Burning Man! Someone even performed magic tricks inside it!

This is what I saw at Maker Faire San Diego today…

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!

You can easily explore Cool San Diego Sights by using the search box on my blog’s sidebar. Or click a tag! There are thousands upon thousands of photos for you to enjoy!

Photos outside 2018 Maker Faire San Diego!

I learned this huge robotic praying mantis that shoots flames from its legs is named Zap!
I learned this huge robotic praying mantis that shoots flames from its legs is named Zap!

Another October! Time for another Maker Faire San Diego in Balboa Park!

Today, after checking out Trolley Dances at Hazard Center, I headed into Balboa Park to simply walk around and absorb the creativity. It’s amazing what human intelligence and imagination can produce! The potential is limitless! Marvelous new inventions keep on coming!

2018 Maker Faire San Diego continues through Sunday. Check it out!

Visitors to Balboa Park look at a map showing the many exhibitors and demonstrations at 2018 Maker Faire San Diego.
Visitors to Balboa Park look at a map showing the many exhibitors and demonstrations at 2018 Maker Faire San Diego.
A big crowd surrounds 30-foot-tall, flame throwing Robot Resurrection during 2018 Maker Faire San Diego in Balboa Park.
A big crowd surrounds 30-foot-tall, flame throwing Robot Resurrection during 2018 Maker Faire San Diego in Balboa Park.
These students invented a contraption that can fire multiple Frisbees in rapid succession.
These students invented a contraption that can fire multiple Frisbees in rapid succession.
Russell the Electric Giraffe is back for another Maker Faire San Diego!
Russell the Electric Giraffe is back for another Maker Faire San Diego!
Exploring the sensors and capabilities of a cool robotic giraffe!
Exploring the sensors and capabilities of a cool robotic giraffe!
Kids were riding cupcake cars around the Plaza de Balboa during the annual maker event.
Kids were riding cupcake cars around the Plaza de Balboa during the annual maker event.
Other kids have fun controlling robots that move blocks.
Other kids have fun controlling robots that move blocks.
Karen, of the Southwestern Artists' Association in Spanish Village, was painting stones out on the patio!
Karen, of the Southwestern Artists’ Association in Spanish Village, was painting stones out on the patio!
Karen's Rescue Rocks are fun and colorful!
Karen’s Rescue Rocks are fun and colorful!
Artistic kids were using lapidary equipment inside the San Diego Mineral and Gem Society Museum.
Artistic kids were using lapidary equipment inside the San Diego Mineral and Gem Society Museum.
This guy on the Spanish Village patio was creating small works of art from onyx.
This guy on the Spanish Village patio was creating small works of art from onyx.
People were testing out virtual reality at the Japanese Friendship Garden during Maker Faire San Diego.
People were testing out virtual reality at the Japanese Friendship Garden during Maker Faire San Diego.
Nearby, others were piecing together stuff that was 3D printed.
Nearby, others were piecing together stuff that was 3D printed.
The potted Rootbound Players would play music when their leaves were touched by a finger!
The potted Rootbound Players would play music when their leaves were touched by a finger!
People make Kokedama, Japanese traditional moss art! The roots of small plants are bound in living moss!
People make Kokedama, Japanese traditional moss art! The roots of small plants are bound in living moss!
This guy had created some small but very cool working submarines.
This guy had created some small but very cool working submarines.
UCSD students created an unmanned aerial vehicle for an academic competition.
UCSD students had created an unmanned aerial vehicle for an academic competition.
Creative kids were cutting out words and piecing together their stories with Words To Go!
Creative kids were cutting out words and piecing together their stories with Words To Go!
This guy was melting glass and forming a beautiful jewelry pendant.
This guy was melting glass and forming a beautiful jewelry pendant.
Ladies were making crafts inside the House of Sweden at the International Cottages. Perhaps they should have been a part of Maker Faire San Diego!
Ladies were making crafts inside the House of Sweden at the International Cottages. Perhaps they should have been a part of Maker Faire San Diego!
Do You Trust is a sculpture that enfolds visitors and plays an audio recording of poetry concerning trust.
Do You Trust is a sculpture that enfolds visitors and plays an audio recording of poetry concerning trust.
This cool minibike is made of odd objects, like a vegetable strainer, radio tuner, cereal bowl and umbrella. It's called the Time Machine.
This cool minibike is made of odd objects, like a vegetable strainer, radio tuner, cereal bowl and umbrella. It’s called the Time Machine.
Alastair, The Great Fairy Tinkerer hangs out in front of the future Comic-Con Museum in Balboa Park.
Alastair, The Great Fairy Tinkerer hangs out in front of the future Comic-Con Museum in Balboa Park.
A small human meets friendly Know Mann - Giant Robot Puppet!
A small human meets friendly Know Mann – Giant Robot Puppet!

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!

You can easily explore Cool San Diego Sights by using the search box on my blog’s sidebar. Or click a tag! There are thousands upon thousands of photos for you to enjoy!