“Sing, Moon, In A Swing”

The kind of depressing analysis cited when people wish to make the point that the world is getting coarser: most decade-specific words in Billboard popular song titles, 1890-2014. At least there’s no chance of Larry David Grindcore making it onto the list / a list of eponymous laws / Bowie & Tate, a tumblr / Climbing the spire. Tall building maintenance companies are realising that they can easily compete with urban explorers, guerilla climbers and GoPro addicts thanks to the day to day demands of their profession. Too many safety ropes though. And needs a bit of epic space rock as a soundtrack.

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It’ll all blow over

WindyTy offers an instantly understandable image of the world’s weather systems, swirling around the edges of continents (via Engadget) / also intriguing, the world of the London Sound Survey and the lost world of British Tape Recording Clubs. See below.

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A plan that comes together

A random selection of things / Fabricio Mora has an eye for good architecture / climb Engels’ beard / simulating bias, the Parable of the Polygons (via Kottke) / projects by Tom Greenall / why America’s ‘worst’ college could be its brightest hope / the art of the glitch by Konrad Wyrebek / save the Coronet, threatened by the lumbering blank slatism of the Elephant and Castle Masterplan. Let we forget, there used to be an Erno Goldfinger-designed cinema just over the road from the Coronet. The site is now occupied by a block of flats that apes (badly) the adjacent Alexander Fleming House (also Goldfinger), but used to be the site of the Trocadero, a monumental 4,000 seater cinema demolished in 1963. Related, the E&C Shopping Centre shortly after opening / also related, Shopping Malls in the 1980s (via MeFi) / from the previous links: art and illusion, a weblog / Spectrascopic, a fabulous tumblr.

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Stay the course

This and that. Wanderers, a bit more of that Interstellar thing going on / images of contemporary London and elsewhere by SE16David / Wright, a drawing series by Jemma Appleby / vote in the BMW i Urban Sustainability Award / Todd Baxter’s Project Astoria, an artificially constructed near future / related, nullscapes, a tumblr of imagined landscapes / 20 year celebration of the Goa mix (via) / the vintage guitar catalogue archive / a huge collection of fantastic printed ephemera collected at Unkee E.’s Photostream, such as the General Dynamics card deck / installations by Dan Alwin / Mecabricks, virtual Lego playground / paper animations by Rob Ives.

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“It only takes 25 years for flotsam to go around the world”

Triton is an SDK for developing realistic 3D ocean models / sort of related, a modern mystery: the story of the Tjipetir blocks, released from the sea after a sinking in 1917. An excuse to dive into the history of gutta percha / see also, recent booms and rumblings heard across the UK (at the Strange Sounds weblog, which must live for news like this) / related, Wikipedia’s list of unexplained sounds.

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So many effect pedals, so little time / Retrogeographie, postcard visions of 20th century modernist France / we love a secret postcard sale, this time for Music as Therapy / Art on the Underground, the tube map series, now with the work of Daniel Buren / related, a history of the roundel / Jeff Quitney’s YouTube channel is a treasure trove of old information films from various military sources and more / the leaning towers of Shanghai.

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Never worlds

Ronen Bekerman runs an architectural visualization blog / a collection of Awful Library Books / sort of related, Now That’s What Your Parents Call Drone, a compilation / the London Screen Archive, the capital on film / local blogging from The Deptford Dame / A Brief History of Graphics (via Kottke) / Tate Worlds, ‘art reimagined for Minecraft’ – walk around blocky representations of famous paintings. We’re awaiting the representation of Cornelia Parker’s ‘Cold Dark Matter: An Exploded View‘.

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If you go into the woods today

Grimm City is a project by FleaFollyArchitects, a homage to the worlds created by The Brothers Grimm in the form of ‘an architectonic cityscape… a giant piece of furniture … meticulously hand-crafted from only the finest Black Forest timbers.’

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Generative boxes

The Buddha Machine is a small music player that comes pre-loaded with a selection of composed loops that can be combined or listened to in isolation or even used in your own compositions. A new version has just been released – the device has been around in various forms for nearly a decade, allegedly based on ‘devices used in Buddhist temples to create drones and chants’ (although it’s hard to find information on these that don’t reference the new device). The world of generative music has mostly moved into the realm of apps, but there are still people out there bending circuits the old-fashioned way. Sites like The Magic Mess are the place to dive in.

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A collection of (mostly) creative things

Gilded and curved, the new Field Notes edition / Tumblr round-up: Grey Frequency, an ‘ambient music project’ / polychromatic images at Glorified Normal Stuff / incredible animations at Paper Orchard / portfolios and more at Lemon Zest / architectural constructions by McNabb and Co. / the economics of indie rock, Pomplamoose style / related, music and inflation / stalking the identity thieves, an art project by Jessamyn Lovell that has hints of Sophie Calle about it (at booooooom) / Bear Alley, a blog about books and old comics / the YouGov Profiler is an exercise in cultural extrapolation / Nuggets from the loft is about the archaeology of nostalgia, at Wiffle Lever to Full / illustrations by Agustin Coll / two jump-in-and-fly simulators to explore: R.A.D.E is full on browser-based insanity, while Simple Planes looks a little more cerebral, but still straightforward.

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Future visions, grand and small

Apodemy, a short film by Katerina Athanaspoulou / The case of the missing chimneys: Lots Road Power Station at The Library Time Machine, an excellent local studies weblog. The power station is soon to become part of Chelsea Waterfront / dinosaur world, a tumblr / feuilleton on La fièvre d’Urbicande, a 1985 graphic novel by the Belgian legends François Schuiten and Benoît Peeters, a visionary world that might also have inspired Sou Fujimoto’s 2013 Serpentine Pavilion – see this post at the highly recommended Architecture As… weblog, from where the above film is linked.

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Other things. Instead of the increasingly criticised Garden Bridge project, why not invest in The Peckham Coal Line. This ‘1km elevated urban park would cut through the heavily built up ex-industrial area providing a precious green open space’ and use the ‘disused Rickett coal sidings which were decommissioned in the 1950’s’ / Guggenheim Helsinki Design Competition, a snapshot of the veritable smorgasbord of what passes for iconic architecture these days.

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Corridors of power, working in ruins

Things that have been lost or ignored: Forgetify. Work your way through the millions of unplayed Spotify tracks / Kickended. Bask in the schadenfreude of the Kickstarter projects that never got off the ground / Petit Tube, which purports to serve up YouTube videos with precisely zero views (thus removing them from the running) / in a similar Schrödinger-esque paradigm, some views on the role and status of ruin porn (at Atlas Obscura via MeFi): does the act of photographing, staging and rearranging a ruin stop it from being an authentically abandoned space and more of a stage set for our preconceptions of what a ruin should look like? / related: Deserted Space: Photos Document NASA’s Abandoned Launch Pads, photographs by Roland Miller / sort of related, the proposed refurbishment of the Palace of Westminster to cost in excess of £3 billion: ‘if nothing was done, politicians and staff would end up “working in a ruin” / in comparison, Will Self on why the Tate Modern extension symbolises the art world’s complicity in the widening gulf between rich and poor / and finally, the impossible office architecture of The Stanley Parable / the above image is a location shot from Richard III, mostly shot in and around a very different London.

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Walls and wails

Catching up with the mp3 bloggers, tmn’s third return to the music blogging scene, taking in the changes wrought by the advent of streaming, the end of personal discovery and the general changes in the musical landscape in the past decade (‘And even the handful of people who are still out there exploring and engaging off-the-radar music are often transparent in their desire to turn those things into The Things so that they can then be anointed The One Who Found the Thing.’).

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Martin Roemer’s series Relics of the Cold War. See also Beyond the Wall: Art and artifacts from the GDR / Berlin Then and Now at The Gasoline Station. See also the Berlin Wall as a giant social experiment:

One [study] found that, because in East Germany women were encouraged to work more than they were in the West, East Germans were significantly more likely to believe that men and women are equal. Another found that, because the East German regime ran official doping programs for athletes, East Berliners were much more accepting than West Berliners of performance-enhancing drugs 20 years after reunification.

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Doom, gloom and UV views

Norway’s new passport design by Olso studio Neue features the Northern Lights printed in UV sensitive ink / Brighton’s Drill Festival has been organised by Wire / Beneath the Crimson Moon (via RPS), a game inspired by Edgar Allen Poe / Abandoned Planes photographed by Dietmar Eckell at Juxtapoz magazine (via This Isn’t Happiness) / prints by William Steiger. More.

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Runways and hideaways

Total mish-mash today. Some moody, scale-deficient views of Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko / a list of people who disappeared mysteriously / decide on the future of the Elephant and Castle / behind the scenes building a Pink Floyd Album Cover / open up a model of Kowloon Walled City in Sketchup (via Coudal). Sort of related, 3D models of Hogwarts. Please someone build Gormenghast / has the problem with music been solved?

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rag-picking history is one of our new favourite websites, posts about unknown places and things, like the the abandoned MP-203 highway in Spain, a ‘12.5km stretch of highway … started in 2005 and 70 million Euros were ploughed into the project before construction work stopped abruptly in 2008.’ Related, the abandoned airfields of Florida, especially Dade-Collier Training and Transition Airport, the site of the unrealised Everglades Jetport, a vast airport dedicated to as-yet-unbuilt supersonic transport aircraft in the middle of one America’s largest National Parks.

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Deep Impact

Deep Impact: Martian, Lunar and Other Rare Meteorites, a forthcoming sale at Christie’s. Own a litte bit of somewhere else:

The formal name for this meteorite is NWA 5000 and it refers to the single, roughly cubic-shaped lunar meteorite weighing 11.528 kg, found in southern Morocco in 2007. It is a beautiful breccia made up of coarse-grained fragments (with shock-injected veins of silicate melt) and small black glassy fragments composed of impact melt. The rock has a two-toned appearance. Its brecciated nature attests to the impact-mixing of different kinds of materials at the lunar surface. This is the second-largest lunar meteorite in the world’s collections; it is the largest lunar meteorite that consists mainly of igneous rocks from the lunar highlands (the highly cratered, light-colored regions of the Moon).

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