> Well, I suppose you could get an effect rather like a large
> shopping mall underground. But I wouldn't describe my
> experience of the cities I've enjoyed most as dark, dank, and
> oppressive. I really like being outdoors, in urban environments
> as well as rural ones, and if I'm lucky enough to be able to
> leave this planet, I'll probably have to give up most of that
> particular experience at that time, so I'm not eager to give it
> up any earlier.
The shopping mall in Caesar's Palace in Las Vegas is totally enclosed, with a trompe l'oeil ceiling that does a pretty fair impression of a roman open-air market on a sunny day. And it's done with mere plaster, paint, and electric lights. Imagine what you could do with dynamic display surfaces. You could probably do a very convincing impression of Eli's savanna, with birds flying overhead and clouds drifting (without danger of anything falling from either). A mall open 24hrs with bright full-spectrum lighting (UV-free so shoppers won't worry about sunburn) could probably even grow real grass and flowers and trees inside. The ventilation system would filter out insects and insert pleasant odors and adjust humidity. Sound system could put back missing low-level noises like wind, birds, crickets, water. Could be quite impressive, and should be runnable on about the amount of energy striking the surface above.
-- Lee Daniel Crocker <email@example.com> <http://www.piclab.com/lcrocker.html> "All inventions or works of authorship original to me, herein and past, are placed irrevocably in the public domain, and may be used or modified for any purpose, without permission, attribution, or notification."--LDC