Saturday, 6 December 2008
The Digital Snow Museum.
Ice: A Victorian Romance.
'In 1818, the British began an infatuation with the Arctic. It started innocently enough, with the Admiralty trying to find an outlet for naval officers and seamen who had been idled by the end of the Napoleonic wars...'
The Isle of Sodor, between England and the Isle of Man.
Decorated Trains in Japan.
'Of the countless trains running on Japan’s 20,000-kilometer (12,000-mile) rail network, a few are decorated with images of anime and manga characters, colorful ads, and designs by notable artists. Here is a small sample.'
The Real Horror is What Happens Inside.
Why Ninjas Would Beat Pirates.
The Alleys of Staten Island.
'It might be argued, mostly by people who've never been there, that Staten Island has mostly alleys and nothing else. In fact, most of Staten Island by now has been thoroughly suburbanized and landscaped, with regular, rigid street patterns imposed, especially in the southern sections of the island.'
Original 'Winnie the Pooh' Drawings.
How to Eat Stuff.
'How to eat spaghetti. Fufu. Pho. Injera. An artichoke. Chicken feet. A pomegranate. Indian food. Natto. If you're going to do it, do it right. '
Apartment Therapy's House Tours.
From the mission statement :
'A calm, healthy, beautiful home is a necessary foundation for happiness and success in the world.'
'Simplicity and luxury are not mutually exclusive.'
Stalin's Siberian Zion.
'Since the destruction of the Second Temple by the Romans in 70 AD and their subsequent banishment from Palestine, the Jews had been without a national home until the founding of Israel in 1948. Right? Wrong.'
'The Soviets beat the Zionists by a few decades, and organised a Jewish Autonomous Region, improbably located on the Russian-Chinese border beyond Mongolia. Even more improbably, that region’s ‘Jewish’ status has survived stalinism, wars, deprivation and the fall of communism. But few Jews still reside in what was once billed as a future judeo-socialist utopia. Birobidzhan’s history remains, as one of the more bizarre footnotes in the struggle for a Jewish homeland.'
Family Tree of Indo-European Languages.
Querying the Hive Mind.
'My dad died. He went to the other side for 11 minutes and then lingered in Hades' antechamber for three full days. Mark Roth, or a scientist like him, saved my father's life. '
'I know that we all die and that there’s absolutely no way around that. I know and accept that one day I will die as well, and I’m not afraid of dying, per se. What I am afraid of—terrified of really—is no longer existing, no longer being conscious of everything that’s happening in this great wide world, no longer being sentient, I guess. What can I do?'
'I'm having an "off day" for no particular reason. Feeling grouchy & peevish. This is dumb. Please help me fix it.'
'I need intelligent hiphop/rap with good beats. Any recommendations?'
'What are some good intellectual magazines?'
Sand Mandala Construction Gallery.
'The monks begin the Mandala sand painting with a ceremony of chants, music and mantra recitation for blessing the site to make it conducive for creating the mandala.'
Cool Robot for Polar Duty.
'Enter the Cool Robot. This big blue box is a solar-powered, self-propelled machine designed to act as observation posts on the polar landscape. '
Robert Shields, World's Longest Diary.
'For no less than four hours each day, Reverend Robert Shields of Dayton, Washington holes himself up in the small office off the back porch of his family's home, turns on his stereo, and types. He is surrounded by a half-dozen IBM Wheelwriters, in case one of them breaks down from over-use. '
Rainwater Harvesting in Quito.
'Of all the phenomenal spaces concocted by Paisajes Emergentes for their entry in the Parque del Lago ideas competition, our favorite one has to be the open-air theater that doubles as a rainwater storage tank.'
A Toxic Tour Through Maryland's Industial Poultry Landscape.
'Using a recent article in the New York Times on Maryland's poultry industry, an itinerary could be cobbled up together that might begin at a “farm with 150,000 chickens.” There, peripatetic toxic tourists will marvel and then scale “mountains of manure” before undertaking a typical British ramble through the drainage basin of the Chesapeake Bay, scoping the terrain for lesser contour lines, for swales, for ditches where rivulets and streams spiked with phosphorous and nitrogen might be flowing en route to the estuary and its oxygen-depleted algae gardens — reading the landscape with the hermeneutic attention of a Talmudic scholar, as it were.'
The Ypsilanti, Michigan Water Tower.
The world's most phallic building?