Something in the water

A tale of derring-do, boundless courage, optimism and rank ignorance: self-taught rocket scientist plans to launch over ghost town. Leaving aside the flat earth theory, amateur rocket travel is a truly eccentric niche. A few years ago, Copenhagen Suborbitals was in the news. The company is still around, but the co-founder is (in)famous for sadly different reasons. Here is a list of amateur rocket records. Can you make your own homemade spacecraft? Is it possible to reach space using a home-made rocket? / some other things. Violence against women detected. The art of Jilly Ballistic / Overnight at Walmart, a gallery (via Kottke) / UK water firms admit to using divining rods to find leaks / The Tenants: Zupagrafika reveals the people behind its modernist paper buildings / related, a new book by Christopher Herwig on the exotic everyday modernism of Eastern Europe and Russia. At the Calvert Journal

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Shoe leather

Why Amazon’s ‘last mile’ is such a grind for those who have to walk it. A world that has created devices like the Flexbot6 / London’s Architectural Association threatens major cuts / Gurafiku, a tumblr about graphic design in Japan / illustrations by Vera Bee / music by Lady Banana / graphs and more: Why the young should watch the Budget / Flying Car About to Take Off. October 2007 / Still Life Sundays, photographs by Steve de Vriendt / politicians sitting alone / retro electronic objects by Love Hulten (via this, that & also, etc) / lessons learned from a start-up failure.

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Making things happen

Various things. paintings by Yoko Akino / 13 Horror Films for Architecture and Urban Design enthusiasts / Jony Ive on Apple Park / interactive novation fun / car models by Stephane Dufrene / Ministry Assistant is an app designed for Jehovah’s Witnesses to track who they’ve spoken to in each neighbourhood / People-Mapping Through Google Street View / why do Boston Dynamics’ video look like they do? / the Martin Parr Coloring Book / Just Type Stuff, and it appears.

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Medical ‘innovation’ issue. Sergio Canavero Is About to Perform the First Human Surgery — and There’s Nothing to Stop Him. Maybe includes mild spoilers for the recent BBC R4 drama, Tracks. See also, These conjoined twins can share each other’s thoughts & vision (at K) and Tiny human brain organoids implanted into rodents, triggering ethical concerns (via MeFi) / other things. A history of Cricket Magazine / paintings by Birkin Haward / a fascinating collection of ‘re-photos‘, essentially before and after / would you buy a house from this man? / The illustrated manners book; a manual of good behavior and polite accomplishments.

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Construction photographs by Mårten Lange / the sound of the underground, fifty albums you probably haven’t heard (or even heard of). Mine the comments for more / also related, an elegy to the cassette tape / other forgotten media, The Great Diary Project (via MeFi), collecting the memories we’d usually rather forget / Tokyo from the rooftops, photography by Lukasz Palka / the last photographs of Robert Landsburg at Mount St. Helens / Ultimate Reality, the video and music work of Dan Deacon and Jimmy Joe Roche / Night Procession, photographs by Stephen Gill and words by Karl Ove Knausgård, published by Nobody Books / no scriptwriter could create this dialogue in today’s age of self-awareness: From A to B, tales of modern motoring, 1993 / the Steve Jobs BMW Z8 / The lonely death of Delhi’s jungle prince.

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Here they all are

This is where we’ve been putting all the links. Incredible Doom, a web comic (via MeFi Projects). Recommended / another comic: A Fire Story / useless design features in modern products / J Mascis to sell lots of excess gear on / vintage images of the ABC Shaftesbury Avenue / Back to Bits, old school style animations / hugely comprehensive post on post-war British bombers (of the flying kind) / the Rolling Home book, vanlife monograph dreams / the Saab-Lancia 600 / the Anime Floppy Disk page / an animation of the Analytical Engine / The Gallery of Lost Art / the Hustler, a design by William Towns / so many sounds and colours: cheaper pedals / Goodbye Uncanny Valley: ‘CGI production has ironically helped spur a move from traditional cinematic language into an abstracted, visceral sequence of spatially and temporarily disconnected impacts’ / car production in Australia has now ended / Google and the Resurgence of Italian Design. A bit of a stretch, aligning new Google design with the best Italian products of the late modern era, but certainly one in the eye for Apple / Global Shark Tracker / depressing deep dive into the mechanics and economics of the world of the design blog. Basically boils down to asking how high one should jump / explore the Secret World of Renaldo Kuhler, a new book by Brett Ingram on the outsider artist Renaldo Kuhler and the imaginary world of Rocaterrania.

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Built environments

A collection of Lost Modern buildings / Mariah Carey and the sound of Christmas / Now do London / music from The Barnslou Trio / 8 built projects that inspired: ‘five urban housing cases, which despite being architecturally overlooked, they are worth being celebrated for the development and enhancement of a musical heritage.’ / 30 years after the great storm, then and now / High and Dry, a photo-essay of Trona, California, by Mark Broyer / sort of related, Van-derlust: on the road across North America – in pictures / How toxic is your car exhaust? / photographs by Reuen Wu / the story of Daytona USA / Grim, a collection of imagery representing the ‘dark aesthetic’, i.e. new Goth / Kottke on the box / technology that is perfect despite being obsolete / how Starchitects built Astana.

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Small connections

Some views of Japan, an Instagram about the small stuff by writer Naomi Pollock / a box of maps: Everywhere, from Herb Lester / Sirens of Chrome, a gallery and interview at tmn about the motor industry’s use of spokesmodels, then and now / sort of related, Covered Cars / Every Noise at Once, an audio journey through genres. Recommended.

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Mapping’s Intelligent Agents: ‘How do machine intelligences read and write the world?’ / a fascinating dip into the ‘Inexplicably Fascinating Secret World of Thomasson. While not a word we would have used, ‘Thomasson’ means ‘a preserved architectural relic which serves no purpose’, and Messy Nessy has compiled a host of these simultaneously fascinating and infuriating features for your delight (via MeFi) / this charming short film explores the technology behind the bells at the Domtoren Clock Tower / Bolder is a website about living well in later life.

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Everybody lies

‘As Seth Stephens-Davidowitz points out in his new book Everybody Lies (Bloomsbury, £20), researchers have studied the difference between the language used on Google, where people tend to tell the truth because they are anonymously looking for answers, and the language used on Facebook, where people are projecting an image. On Facebook, the most common terms associated with the phrase ‘my husband is …’ are ‘the best’, ‘my best friend’, ‘amazing’, ‘the greatest’ and ‘so cute’. On Google, the top five are ‘amazing’, ‘a jerk’, ‘annoying’, ‘gay’ and ‘mean’. It would be interesting to know if there’s a husband out there who achieves the full Google set and is an amazing annoying mean gay jerk.’ From ‘You are the product‘, John Lanchester writing on Facebook for the London Review of Books (via MeFi)

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Publishing things

Epic amounts of creative work at wallpaper*’s guest editor retrospective: Zaha Hadid; Dieter Rams; David Lynch; Christian Marclay; Frank Gehry; Hedi Slimane; Kraftwerk; Louise Bourgeois; Philippe Starck; Robert Wilson; Laurie Simmons; Liz Diller; Rei Kawakubo; Taryn Simon; Lang Lang; Karl Lagerfeld; Jeff Koons; Ole Scheeren; William Wegman; Jean Nouvel; Elmgreen and Dragset / Pens Paper is a monograph of Daniel Eatock’s pen paintings / Eye Magazine on the look of literature, ‘The Man Booker longlist provides a snapshot of graphic design for literary fiction’ / A High-End Mover Dishes on Truckstop Hierarchy, Rich People, and Moby Dick / the wind-up Flying Martha, a toy that evokes the fate of the passenger pigeon, at kottke.

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Into the deep

Some art: Nina Baxter; Kat & Kin; Barbara Mullarney; beautiful paintings by Ylva Ceder; intense botanical works by Eggert Pétursson / architectural paintings by Ben Johnson / cityscapes by Hugo Moreno / Liza Dimbleby / a vast collection of videos of early 90s gigs / an interactive map of London clubland / sort of related, George Best, Albini-style / over 100 exceptional works of journalism, for the commute / Tommy Hilfiger’s place / desire paths, a subreddit for wanderers and planners to observe / the Cars of LA / tributes to the car designer Tom Tjaarda, who died in June / Jenny Odell presents a ‘special investigative report for the Museum of Capitalism: ‘There’s No Such Thing as a Free Watch‘ (pdf via MeFi / Lost and Found in Paris (also via MeFi) / monster hunting with Bookishness.

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Invite Weep Castle

What 3 Words translates every address in the world into three words. The potentials for poetry are enormous / the wit and verve of the Highgate Mums / paintings of London by Sue Sichel / the Peckham projects of architect Benedict O’Looney / a solution to the Voynich Manuscript? / the car cultures that take themselves too seriously / The Grim and Chilling Magazine for Nuclear Doomsday Preppers / Lona, Realm of Colors, a video game / paintings by Stuart Pearson Wright, occasionally nsfw / Tesla remotely increased driving range for owners in Florida to escape Irma / inside music with Google VR. Fun experiment / The Lego Architect book / a list of island in the River Thames / sort of related, 130-ton ‘fatberg’ found in London sewer / A Brief History of Automobiles, by MUTI / Hexagoland, illustration by Jorge de la Paz / Klasse John Morgan / more regular than us, “Things You Wouldn’t Know If We Didn’t Blog Intermittently.” / an abandoned resort in before and after gifs / The great saucer invasion: The day six ‘spaceships’ landed in England. Hoaxes used to be more fun / In search of the Withnail & I locations 30 years on.

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Random round-up from here and there

Wave Girl, a culture blog / an interview with Slowdive’s Neil Halstead / inspirational item of the week: The Great Blueness. At I Am Acrylic / Cars on Film, a tumblr, not to be confused with the Internet Movie Cars Database (in memory of Mireille Darc, the entry for Week End / build a Lego kit of BIG’s Lego House / house with integral art gallery / Elephas Anthropogenus, the cultural representation of the Elephant over the centuries (via MeFi).

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Checks and balances

Citywide transportation based on gyroscopic balancing buses. Some beautiful animation, and defiantly utopian. See also this city of rotating buildings from 2007 or do away with commuting altogether and just wait for work to come to you: the Clockwork City from 2011. Or just remember the straddling bus scam / Towers by Emma Fenelon / help kickstart this beautiful edition of Isaac Newton’s Principia Mathematica / a map made up of All the Roads in the USA, and nothing else (via tmn). An artist called James Medcraft (we think) once did a piece called “Anatomy of mainland Britain”. It took a very similar premise, starting with minor roads and tracks and building up to motorways / art weblogs: Atmospheres of Uncertainty and Contemporary Art Daily / the design of Dreamland / a book that contains Mount Fuji / tumblrs: design is fine and the eye-opening Modern Baghdad / tales from The Wildest West / buy Perry Bamonte’s collection of (left-handed) Cure-related guitars / sort of related, Luna play Fire in Cairo / the Far Game, trek across a future landscape.

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What happened when

The story behind a few things: the story of gated reverb / the origins of Zork / an obsession with foppishness, retro, or just the old ways, Print Mag explores the origins and influences of the McSweeney’s Aesthetic / Doug Fishbone’s Leisure Land Golf, now available to play at the York Art Gallery 2017 / the KLF return. More at MeFi and the Guardian / unbuilt New York.

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Number of the beast

La Bestia, a project by Swen Renault on the Beast of Gévaudan, responsible for a series of deaths between 1764 and 1767 that ‘were said to have been committed by a beast or beasts that had formidable teeth and immense tails according to contemporary eyewitnesses’. Renault’s ‘photographic and historic work take form as a investigation in these almost unchanged landscapes where the Beast sowed terror.’ More images by Renault / great etchings by Menchini Cristiano / illustrations by Ayuko Tanaka / a secret studio micro dwelling by Fernando Abellanas.

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All at sea

Koski is a board game that you play with a tablet, a sort of Monument Valley made 3D / what if the Doctor Who theme was recorded by John Carpenter? Or Vangelis? Or even Jean-Michel Jarre? / images of A Room for London, still in place after five years, although currently in hibernation / animated Pelican covers by Henning M.Lederer. See also, as always, The Pelican Project, looking more and more Web 1.0 as the years go by / another blast from the past, things as it used to be / beautiful architectural photography by Sebastian Weiss / archive imagery of post-war Manchester and Salford / explore the image and multimedia collection of Sheffield Hallam University / X-Ray maps of NYC Subway stations, via Kottke / photographs by Maria Gloria Harvey / ‘Musea‘, a photography series by Caspar Claasen / print and film ephemera from the Psychodelic Sixties (sic) / a list of Orkney sea stacks / the ‘Kiravan‘, a six-wheeled supertruck‘ / the story of Wichita Lineman / ‘Walls of water: Hokusai and the Great Wave of Camberwell‘ / photographs by Martin John Callanan / great illustration by Kelsey Wroten / Spaceport America, ‘where the coming of the Second Space Age is already history

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Google Street View photography discovered and presented by Jacqui Kenny (via Metafilter). Related, the Streetview Landscapes of Aaron Hobson (also via MeFi) / portraits of Trellick Tower residents by Nicola Muirhead / more architectural photography: Spaceships by Lars Stieger (via Kottke) / quite the opposite: Seaside Shelters, a series by photographer Will Scott / ongoing series on London’s National Theatre by Rory Gardiner / insects made from flowers, by Raku Inoue / ruins versus revival, ‘two photographers shoot radically different portraits of ‘new’ Detroit‘ (via Design Observer) / photography via Volvo.


All the closing credit music for Silicon Valley / 30 poses in 15 seconds, pro clothes modelling 101 / Tory Turk is an archivist, working at the world’s biggest magazine collection, the Hyman Archive / music: A Place to Bury Strangers / the story of Bark Psychosis / ‘The notion of an everyday world transformed by grandiose ventures is not, of course, exclusive to the nineteen-thirties.’ Geoff Manaugh is Hypnotized by Elon Musk’s Hyperloop / we love this: The Water Museum, a VR project by Pippin Barr that explores the evolution of digital water over the decades (via RPS).

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Folding Stuff

Peter Thiel floats away on Deregulation Island, a libertarian oasis of geodesic domes and space frames. Rust ahoy / the Doomsday Clock keeps ticking / order a subscription box to take your mind off things / the visionary flying machines of Charles Dellschau, chronicler of the Sonora Aero Club / music writing at The Blue Moment / visual text compression via Kempressor / unfolding house / London, 1975 / related, on the wonders of wandering in London / a big collection of Micro Machines / Visothkakvei, drawing and illustration / mild backlash against ostentation of billion dollar tech offices, teaching us very little about the office of the future / related: from decks to moats: ‘the complete guide to modern office jargon’ / spot the difference, the architecture of Astana / music by Bethany Weimers / music by She Drew the Gun / Wavegrower, a tumblr of mathematical animations / Leonard Plugge, the first plugger? / Peckham pop from the Honey Hahs.

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