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!

Quilters look to the stars for inspiration!

Today I took a short stroll through the Visions Art Museum at Liberty Station. Anyone in San Diego who has a love for creative art, crafts or quilting really should visit this place.

Every time I visit the Visions Art Museum there seem to be brand new displays of contemporary quilts and textiles. In addition to the gallery exhibitions, walls near the gift shop often feature handcrafted works by local quilting groups.

As I walked through the museum today I was instantly captivated by a wall full of 14″ x 14″ quilts that shine, swirl and sparkle. LOOK TO THE STARS, from a famous quote by Stephen Hawking, is the theme of this year’s Canyon Quilters of San Diego Challenge. According to their website, the Canyon Quilters is a local guild with around 200 members.

Check out all the brilliant artwork!

Many of the pieces in my photos are still available for purchase. Head over to Liberty Station and step into the fantastic Visions Art Museum to have your eyes dazzled!

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!

Assembling a beautiful mystery: Unfolding Humanity.

Working to complete Unfolding Humanity. Lit green lettering on the exterior of the sculpture is similar to that from the iconic movie The Matrix.
Working to complete Unfolding Humanity. Lit green lettering on the exterior of the sculpture is similar to that from the movie The Matrix.

Late today I swung by the University of San Diego to see something extraordinary.

The San Diego Geometry Lab, with the help of the San Diego Collaborative Arts Project (SDCAP) and the University of San Diego (USD) Applied Mathematics program, is building a complex interactive sculpture called Unfolding Humanity. For a few minutes I admired the metal sculpture which stood outside by a campus parking lot, and watched as USD students and faculty worked to carefully assemble it.

Unfolding Humanity will be on public display this year during Burning Man, and the weekend of Maker Faire San Diego in Balboa Park.

Once completed, people will be able to stand inside the hollow, 12 foot tall dodecahedron. When the mirrored sides fold close, those inside will see their myriad reflections amid thousands of programmable star-like LEDs. They will seem to stand at the center of the universe. The fantastic effect will almost certainly inspire awe and provoke thought. Awe at the beautiful symmetry and complexity of the universe, and thought about its mathematical structure and our place inside it.

This very cool sculpture is fascinating on various levels. The Matrix-like chamber provokes questions about the relationship between technology and humanity. The opening pentagonal walls relate to Albrecht Dürer’s 500-year-old mathematical problem concerning the unfolding of polyhedra. Most interesting to me, the mathematical structure of the universe, based on observations of cosmic radiation, is thought to resemble that of a dodecahedron–the shape of Unfolding Humanity. Standing inside the sculpture might in some way help us sense the mysterious structure of the cosmos itself.

This artwork reminds us all that the universe’s existence, and our existence inside it, is ultimately a profound mystery. As the Unfolding Humanity website states: We human beings do not know who we are, and that is who we are.

Today when I attended Unfolding Humanity’s announced debut, I was under the impression the project was completed. But it turns out construction is ongoing. I learned the interactive sculpture should be finished in perhaps a week or so.

Please visit the San Diego Geometry Lab website. You’ll learn more about the artwork’s conception, historical significance and symbolism. You’ll see cool external and internal renderings of Unfolding Humanity based on a computer model, plus an animation of how it will open and close once completed!

Students, faculty and interested visitors watch work being done on Unfolding Humanity during its debut at University of San Diego.
Students, faculty and interested visitors watch work being done on Unfolding Humanity during its debut at University of San Diego.
Exterior panels haven't been attached to this side of the enormous Unfolding Humanity dodecahedron yet.
Exterior panels haven’t been attached to this side of the enormous Unfolding Humanity dodecahedron yet.
Unfolding Humanity, once completed, will make the mystery of human existence in a beautifully mysterious universe come to life.
Unfolding Humanity, once completed, will make the mystery of human existence in a beautifully mysterious universe come to life.

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!

Afrofuture Art Exhibit at Worldbeat Cultural Center.

Miss Universe, a digital collage by Jessi Jumanji.
Miss Universe, a digital collage by Jessi Jumanji.

There’s a cool art exhibition now showing inside the Worldbeat Cultural Center in Balboa Park. The Afrofuture Art Exhibit features some imaginative and thought-provoking pieces that meld the African American experience with an optimistic view of the future.

One highlight of the exhibition is a series of evocative digital collages that place individuals from the past and present in the cosmos, interacting with the planet Earth and other celestial bodies.

I did my best to capture some good photographs. Head inside the Worldbeat Cultural Center to enjoy much more futuristic African American artwork up close and in person, then walk around inside the re-purposed water tower to enjoy one of the most awesome and colorful event spaces in San Diego!

The Afrofuture Art Exhibit will be on display through Summer 2018 at the Worldbeat Cultural Center in Balboa Park.
The Afrofuture Art Exhibit will be on display through Summer 2018 at the Worldbeat Cultural Center in Balboa Park.
Uhura from the original Star Trek series depicted in futuristic artwork created by @caegallery.
Uhura from the original Star Trek series depicted in futuristic artwork by Weldon May.
Cool artwork on display at the Worldbeat Cultural Center in Balboa Park.
More cool art on display at the Worldbeat Cultural Center in Balboa Park.
A female face in the cosmos, by @caegallery.
A futuristic female face beneath stars and a streaking meteorite, by Weldon May.
The past, present and future come alive at the Afrofuture Art Exhibit.
The past, present and future come alive at the Afrofuture Art Exhibit.
Tan Man, a digital collage by Jessi Jumanji.
Tan Man, a digital collage by Jessi Jumanji.
Atlas, a digital collage by Jessi Jumanji.
Atlas, a digital collage by Jessi Jumanji.

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!

Welcome to Earth and Imperial Beach!

An astronaut gives a Hang Loose hand signal as he hovers near a satellite high above planet Earth!
An astronaut gives a Hang Loose hand signal as he hovers near a satellite high above planet Earth!

Head into Imperial Beach along Palm Avenue and you’ll be treated to colorful art!

Here are some photos that I took yesterday!

A very cool space mural on one side of the AT&T building on Palm Avenue in Imperial Beach. By artists Todd Stands and Dave Frink.
A very cool space mural on one side of the AT&T building on Palm Avenue in Imperial Beach. By artists Todd Stands and Dave Frink.
As drivers head west down Palm Avenue, a mural featuring a gray whale welcomes them to Imperial Beach.
As drivers head west down Palm Avenue, a mural featuring a gray whale welcomes them to Imperial Beach.
Art on fence between Palm Avenue and the old salt ponds of south San Diego Bay, now part of the San Diego Bay National Wildlife Reserve.
Art on fence between Palm Avenue and the old salt ponds of south San Diego Bay, now part of the San Diego Bay National Wildlife Reserve.
One side of the AT&T building at 13th Street has colorful, spiritual jellyfish that seem to communicate electrically!
One side of the AT&T building at 13th Street has colorful, spiritual jellyfish that seem to communicate electrically!
The mural on the front of the AT&T building includes a big whale.
The mural on the front of the AT&T building includes a big whale.
And lots of super colorful shore birds.
And lots of super colorful shore birds.
Beautiful public art welcomes visitors to Imperial Beach.
Beautiful public art welcomes visitors to Imperial Beach.
Another whale in the mural.
Another whale in the mural.
A pod of dolphins swims across an electrical box.
A pod of dolphins swims across an electrical box.
More beautiful street art.
More beautiful street art.
I spotted a couple of native Eastern Pacific green sea turtles across Palm Avenue near 12th Street!
I spotted a couple of native Eastern Pacific green sea turtles across Palm Avenue near 12th Street!
Carly Ealey painted Cosmic Tides in Imperial Beach for Pangeaseed's Sea Walls Murals for Oceans.
Carly Ealey painted Cosmic Tides in Imperial Beach for Pangeaseed’s Sea Walls Murals for Oceans.

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!

Final Space trolley wrap for 2018 Comic-Con!

I can’t believe it! There’s yet another trolley wrap for 2018 San Diego Comic-Con! That makes nine designs that I’ve spotted so far, with about a month still to go! There are three wraps for Syfy (each promoting two shows), four for FOX, and now two for TBS.

This fun trolley wrap promotes Season 1 of Final Space which is now available on the TBS App.

Enjoy some photos!

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!

Conan trolley for 2018 San Diego Comic-Con!

Conan O'Brien flies a jet pack on a 2018 San Diego Comic-Con trolley!
Conan O’Brien flies a jet pack on a 2018 San Diego Comic-Con trolley!

I got photos of the Conan O’Brien trolley wrap that debuted yesterday in San Diego for 2018 Comic-Con. Sorry the photos are a bit bright. Our nearest star was shining very brightly this morning!

Here they are!

A trolley for 2018 San Diego Comic-Con has a wrap promoting the Conan show on TBS.
A trolley for 2018 San Diego Comic-Con has a wrap promoting the Conan show on TBS.
Conan 2018, Live From Comic-Con. TeamCocoHouse Fourth Avenue.
Conan 2018, Live From Comic-Con. TeamCocoHouse Fourth Avenue.
Conan flies toward the Spreckels space station in outer space somewhere above Comic-Con!
Conan flies toward the Spreckels space station in outer space, which is orbiting somewhere above Comic-Con!