Lessons From The Future

 

 

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Volume IX
Lessons From The Future

HIMIWARI MOVES BENEATH THE SEA 

DURING THE CONSTRUCTION OF THE 1985 WORLD EXPO AT TSUKUBA, JAPAN, I WATCHED ENTHUSIASTIC WORKMEN ERECT THE FIRST "HIMIWARI", DESIGNED BY KEI MORI DURING A LATER TRIP TO JAPAN I SAW IT WORK. THE HIMIWARI MADE ONE ORDINARY (NOT GENETICALLY ALTERED) TOMATO SEED TURN INTO A "TREE" 30 FEET HIGH AND 60 FEET ACROSS AND PRODUCE 15,000 TOMATOES DURING A SIX-MONTH PERIOD. THIS GIANT TOMATO PLANT WAS INSIDE, IN THE SHADE!

DR. MORI HAS NOT TAKEN EARLY RETIREMENT. AFTER THAT MASTERPIECE HE HAS OPENED HIS HIMIWARI -- JAPANESE FOR SUNFLOWER -- TO NEW WORLDS.

NOT CONTENT WITH BRINGING A NEW, ULTRAVIOLET-FREE FORM OF HEALTH- FUL SUNSHINE TO HOUSE AND BUILDING INTERIORS, DR. MORI HAS NOW EMBARKED ON PERHAPS THE MOST REVOLUTIONARY CONCEPT TO COME OUT OF JAPAN THIS YEAR -- TO MOVE THE "SUN" TO THE BOTTOM OF THE SEA!!

FIRST, THE TECHNOLOGY: MORI'S HIMAWARI IS A CLUSTER OF FRESNEL LENSES ABOUT SEVEN FEET WIDE, ENCLOSED IN AN ACRYLIC BALL, SITTING ON A ROTATING FRAME THAT TRACKS THE SUN. WHAT THEN HAPPENS HAS VAST IMPLICATIONS. THIS SURROUNDING BALL FILTERS OUT THE MAJORITY OF HARMFUL ULTRAVIOLET RAYS OF THE SUN. THE PURE SUNLIGHT IS CONCEN- TRATED THROUGH THE FRESNEL LENS AND IS DIRECTED, VIA FIBRE OPTIC CABLES, TO AN INTERIOR DARKENED AREA WHERE THE SUNLIGHT IS RELEASED (AT THIS POINT DR. MORI CALLS THEM "VALUE ADDED SOLAR RAYS"). THIS CAN BE A RESIDENCE, AN OFFICE TOWER, INDUSTRIAL PLANT, HOTHOUSE OR A MINE. NO LONGER IS THIS CONSIDERED EXPERIMENTAL: 146 PATENTS HAVE BEEN APPROVED AND ANOTHER 322 ARE PENDING. THERE ARE CURRENTLY MORE THAN 50 COMPLETED INSTALLATIONS WORLDWIDE, THE MAJORITY IN JAPAN.

HOWEVER, THE INNOVATIVE CONCEPTUAL JUMP WAS THE IDEA OF CARRYING THIS SUNLIGHT TO THE OCEAN FLOOR.

DR. MORI RECENTLY PRESENTED THIS CONCEPT AT THE FIRST ANNUAL MEETING OF THE JAPAN INSTITUTE FOR MACRO-ENGINEERING. HE OUTLINED HIS IDEA FOR A "MARINE RANCH." IT WOULD EVEN BE VIABLE UNDER THE "FLOATING CITIES" NOW BEING CONSIDERED FOR THE OCEAN OFF JAPAN. THE BIG ATTRACTION? RENTS WOULD BE 10 PERCENT OF CURRENT RENTS IN TOKYO!

ON THE PIERS ANCHORING THE "FLOATING CITY", AT LEAST 10 METRES (30 FEET) BELOW THE SURFACE AND ABOVE THE SEABED, WOULD BE OBSERVATION CORRIDORS ARRANGED IN A HONEYCOMB PATTERN. PHOTOSYNTHETIC CHLORELLA CULTURE TANKS HANG FROM THE CORRIDORS. WITH SUNLIGHT, DIRECTED VIA FIBRE-OPTIC CABLES TO MORI'S "OPTICAL RADIATOR" ONTO THESE CULTURE TANKS, FOOD WILL RAPIDLY GROW AS THE TANKS ARE CONTINUALLY FED NUTRIENTS FROM THE OVERNOURISHED LOWER STRATUM OF THE SEA. AS PART OF THIS PROCESS THE HIMIWARI OCEAN RANCH SYSTEM ALLEVIATES THE STRATIFICATION PROBLEM THAT HITS ALL LARGE BODIES OF WATER, ESPECIALLY IN THE SUMMER.

AT AN OPTIMUM TIME THE TANKS ARE DISCHARGED, POURING THE MATURE CHLORELLA ALGAE INTO THE SURROUNDING AREA FOR THE BENEFIT OF THE LOWER RUNGS OF THE FOOD CHAIN. WITH THE GRADUAL ABUNDANCE OF SUCH FOOD, HIGHER LEVELS OF THE AQUATIC FOOD CHAIN PROLIFERATE. FIRST SMALLER, THEN LARGER FISH WILL BE ATTRACTED TO THE AREA, THUS NATURALLY RESTOCKING THE SEA.

THE WHOLE STRUCTURE IS DESIGNED TO WITHSTAND TYPHOONS AND WINDS UP TO 90 METRES (275 FEET) PER SECOND AND WAVES UP TO 14 METRES (42 FEET) HIGH.

BUT A MORE IMPORTANT YET SUBTLE FEATURE IS THE EFFECT OF THE OCEAN ON ITSELF: IT CREATES A NATURAL CLEANSING SYSTEM THAT PURIFIES THE WATER BY RECYCLING BOTTOM WASTE INTO HIGHER FORMS OF ORGANIC MATERIAL. WOULDN'T THIS BE USEFUL FOR THE COASTLINE OF NEW YORK OR THE ST. LAWRENCE RIVER? MORE INFORMATION: PETER SEIKMEIR, LA FORET ENGINEERING & INFORMATION SERVICE CO. LTD. HIMAWWARI BLDG., 7-8, 2-CHOME, TORANOMON, MINATO-KU, TOKYO 105,JAPAN.

PHONE: (03) 593-0091. FAX: (03) 593-0095.

 

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