day 171
oracle, arizona

"You know, I think we may actually be leaving Pheonix." -k.
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Bio Bits:
First Opened: 1990
Land Area: 3.15 acres
Glass Panels: 6500
Newest Owners: Columbia U.
Since: 1996
Contains: Five biomes - a rainforest, desert, savanna, marsh and ocean.

Claim to Fame: It's the world's largest glass enclosed ecological laboratory. And it's cool!

Homemade is Always Best
The Tour Guide That Couldn't...
This is Sol, the Biosphere tour guide. He may look like he knows what he's talking about, but I'd bet you dollars to Depends he doesn't. I'm surprised that in this picture he's even pointing in the right direction.

He skirted questions, glazed over facts, left uncomfortably long pauses in his speeches, and left us feeling generally uneducated and misinformed. Here's a sample Q&A with Sol...

Tourist: Why was the project terminated after 5 months?
Sol: Because it wasn't worth it.

Tourist: Why are they only using one bank of solar panels?
Sol: Because it's a waste of money.

Tourist: What did they learn from this?
Sol: They learned from all the mistakes they made not to do it again.

Tourist: When this was a research facility, were these walkways here?
Sol: It's still a research facility.

And when he was really stumped? "Well, that's the story I was told, anyway."
Ah heck.
It's not that we don't like Big O Tires. Au contraire. We just don't want to see them as often as we do.

Mel's sprung another tire leak so this time we're replacing the darn thing. At first we tried just pumping it full of air every hour. After doing that a few times, we chalked that option up as being to time-consuming, though free.

In case you're wondering, it is in fact the same tire as this time and the same tire as this time.

Sphere Factor
Feb 13 - Back to America means back to reality. Reality TV, that is!

Welcome to Biosphere 2, a research and education centre dedicated to the understanding of the Earth and planning for its future. Also, it's the inspiration behind reality TV shows like Big Brother, Survivor, Temptation Island, Stuck In An Elevator, and MTV's Real World. In second rate knock-offs like these, they take away your food, your friends, your privacy, and your connection to the outside world. But in Biosphere 2, they even take away the oxygen!

In case you missed the first airing (or de-airing) back in 1991, here's what happened: Eight contestants were chosen to be sealed off from humanity. Time limit: two years. Two years! Tell that to Hardy, who was crying for his grandma after a mere six weeks. Sissy.

All contestant activity is monitored from the Biosphere2 control room.
The contestants had to live inside the Biosphere, using only what luxury items they brought in to survive. Luxury items included, but were not limited to: food, etc.

Once the airlock was sealed, the contestants had to grow their own food, recycle the water, resources and (yeech) their own waste. And you thought eating a rat was gross! They tended to their only cellmates, a gaggle of chickens, until dinner time rolled around, and one of them got voted straight into the oven.

If they hated each other? They were stuck. Forming alliances? Pointless. Challenges? Eating was a challenge. Privacy? Not only every room, not only every spoken word, but every breath was monitored by the control room. And nobody, but nobody, could be voted off the island, even if they wanted to.

Boys and girls, this was the ultimate reality show. The scientists were doing this back when people still thought The Fresh Prince of Bel Air was cutting-edge and innovative entertainment. And you know why they had to shut it down? It wasn't profitable. They couldn't sustain the cost.

Well, it's time for a comeback!

Suit up!

Enter the airlock!

Grow your own food!

Clean the toilets with Hardy's toothbrush!

Forget Columbia University. Forget the interactive kiosks. Forget the $12.95 admission fee "going directly towards research" (incidentally, we all know the $12.95 is going towards the William Shatner voiceover for the introductory video, so cut the crap).

Stop thinking like scientists and start thinking like CBS. Now is your time.

Find yourselves eight more suckers, toss them into the box, and seal it up again. Get yourself the half hour timeslot after the Weakest Link, and just sit back and watch the funding roll in. You can even up the admission price to $25, because people will pay more to see angry game show contestants than a botanical garden any day of the week.

Just you watch. The world will.

sphere with sphirit...





pheonix phixins...

Pheonix is a really big city.

It's growing constantly.

Busy Doozers, those Pheonixians.

Too bad you can't see it.
more photos in the archive...

Current Location
(get out your push pins)

Oracle, AZ

Next Stop: The Grand Canyon

see the full map...

Today's Weather:
Climate Controlled Biomes

Daily Stats

Taking a Tour...
Tour Length:1 hr
Tour Guide:Sol
Tour Guide IQ:Lacking

Sleeping Quarters
Dead Horse Ranch S.P.

Site 13. The coyotes are out and they've brought their babies! It's incredible to have only a thin layer of material separating you from a pack of wild animals howling at the moon. Helps lull you to sleep.

Cost: $10.00

Rosa's Kitchen
K's Order:Breakfast Burrito
A's Order:Breakfast Special
Dead Horse Ranch
Shared:Nachos & Salsa

Your email address...

© 2002. Kevin Beimers and Aimee Lingman. I'm cold, and there are coyotes after me.