1. In the 1995 film "Smoke," a cigar store owner, Auggie, makes a photograph of his shop's Brooklyn street corner every morning at eight o'clock. No matter the weather, the light conditions, or the delivery trucks in the viewfinder, an image is made. As Auggie states, "I have to be in my spot every morning, the same place at the same time... it's my project." After making thousands of images over the years, the collection creates a powerful document of the passage of time. Though all views appear the same on a quick glance, every scene is subtly different.

2. A doctoral candidate in engineering at MIT, Jennifer Healey, places a group of sensors on her body daily. Each tracks a basic vital sign throughout the course of the day. She also has a small camera pinned to her jacket to photograph her surroundings, making an image every 1 minute. After the data is recorded, it can be viewed graphically and interpreted in accordance with the various activities undertaken and moods experienced during the course of the day.

3. At the internet site of the Wall Street Journal, stock reports and fluctuations in stock values can be can be recalled and graphed over any time period (1 day to 5 years) or time interval (15 minutes to 1 month). This interactive record shows information manipulated from raw data in any way the investor needs. For each new request, process and final display, only a few seconds are required to format and present the data.

4. The National Data Buoy Center of the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration maintains a system of ocean-bound environmental stations which give continual updates on current water and weather information. Every hour, each of the data buoys powers-up for approximately 8 minutes, makes observations and transmits data, via satellite, to one of several NDBC processing sites around the world. The data is cataloged and posted on the NDBC internet site, typically within 30 minutes of the original observations at the buoy. A history of the observations are also available as graphs and charts.

5. The WaterMe Frog tells when potted plants need to be watered. Ten dollars purchases a small plastic frog attached to an electronic soil moisture indicator. When the soil of the pot is too dry, the frog winks his eye and begins to croak.

Photo Credits and Bibliography:

1. "Smoke," Mirimax Entertainment, 112 Minutes, 1995.

2. "One Digital Day in Her Life," New York Times, 16 April 1998, G11.

3. Wall Street Journal Interactive Edition,

4. National Data Buoy Center,

5. "Tech-Know," American Way Travel Magazine, May 1998, 22.

Street Trees Competition, definition

EmailEmail home