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weblog archives
eXTReMe Tracker
Wednesday, December 19, 2001
Kitsch overload. William Larry Bird Jr's Paint by Number (published by the Princeton Architectural Press) is the catalogue for the Smithsonian's exhibition. It closes on 7th January, so visit the website instead (thanks to metafilter). This kind of art is increasingly valued in today's fashion conscious and style-fickle society, with masters of the genre (most famously Vladimir Tretchikoff) feted by style mags for the first time in years. The fine line between ironic appreciation and genuine enthusiasm drops another point size.


Tuesday, December 18, 2001
David F.Gallagher's excellent Lightningfield has spawned an interesting sideblog, Eurotrash, everything you ever wanted to know about the imminent introduction of the Euro. (noticed along the way, Somethinginmyeye, another nice photolog. The sheer energy of the photolog community has to be seen to be believed...)


Monday, December 17, 2001
Useful research shortcut: Encarta's handy On This Day page.


Thursday, December 13, 2001
Keeping with the retro TV theme, the BBC is creating Flash versions of its classic 1970's Testcards. Pure, technology-driven nostalgia - such as this, especially familiar to those of us brought up on mid-morning 'educational' shows circa 1979. Revisit the early hours of the morning on BBC1 or BBC2! (via haddock)


Monday, December 10, 2001
We've recently had a couple of requests for links that each promise, in their own special way, some kind of financial kick-back. Numasters.com appears to be some kind of new art clearing house, a sort of Britart.com without the ground-breaking ad campaign. Some of the work isn't bad: Glenn Badham's Cathedrals of our Time is a nice picture of motorways (which he then spoils by attempting the real thing), while Chris Wright owes a big fat debt to Edward Hopper. And if we'd signed up and you made a purchase, then we'd get 5%. But we haven't.

Even more obscure was an invitation to join Easycottages.com, an on-line directory of holiday homes. Again, we'd rather not - but who could resist a site that offers location searches based on your favourite TV show?. And with ageing Blue Peter presenter John Noakes greeting you on the homepage, it is truly a mystery as to how things was picked out of the big digital tombola for this particular honour.


For a while, our little pictures (left) will come courtesy of the fine folk at iStockPhoto.com. It's slightly sacrilegious to squish their glorious hi-res artwork down into little tiny .jpgs, but we hope they appreciate the link.


Friday, December 07, 2001
The forthcoming musings on the Museum of Jurassic Technology in things 15 has encouraged us to search for more unusual on-line museums. Some, like the Museum of Useful Things, are dedicated to the everyday, such as the mousetrap (there's also, rather inevitably, a shop). Such curatorial slickness is eschewed by Simon Buckingham, whose Bottlebank houses his impressive collection of Coca-Cola ephemera. Simon's bedroom is truly terrifying - has he considered sponsorship?

The Museum of Hoaxes tickled our fancies enormously, but any thoughts that we were making a pioneering journey into on-line museology were swiftly dashed by the link to Unusual Museums of the Internet, an all-encompassing site that hosts links to dozens of digital curios. ('We are not accepting any additional new Computer Museums' reads a disclaimer, perhaps indicating there's something of a glut in this particular area. Try Screen$ - the museum of 8-bit computer artwork - for your retro fix instead). The angle is decidedly electronic, but no matter - if cameras, valves, toasters and Soviet calculators are your thing, then you should be happy for hours.

William Swimslow describes his 'zine, Interesting Ideas, as 'a chilling example of the Internet's transparency to marginal ideas,' and we're most taken by prison art, sock monkeys and America's roadside follies (his links are also especially fruitful). Speaking of roadsigns, this site is a lavish compilation of this great typographical tradition, from big to bizarre. More marginalia, please.


Thursday, December 06, 2001
Lame flash game or savage social comment on Britain's parochial attitudes to modern architecture?


Tuesday, December 04, 2001
In a similar vein to Inpassing, sites that sift through the things that everyday folk leave behind hold endless fascination. As well as the excellent Found Magazine and the People's Photos (both via Metafilter), there there are also found photos, fading posters, the surreptitiously Xerox'd requests of big-league rock stars and even abandoned places.

The internet functions perfectly as a universal archive, whether it be for sound, television (also here and here) or even laboriously transcribed computer magazines. It's as if the technology has unleashed a latent mania for archiving, with even the most unusual passion catered for. There's always another obscure archive just around the corner to satisfy one's curiosity (just look here to see what to avoid).


Monday, December 03, 2001
Apologies for the yawning great gaps between posts. Work continues apace on things 15, so forgive us if it has distracted somewhat from newthings. For those of you who are bearing with us (and please, don't hesitate to let us know you're out there) here are few links to mull over before the paper copy arrives.

Inpassing.org siphons the everyday, noting down the things people say when they don't think they're being listened to. Eve, the nom de plume of the aural voyeur who runs the site, divides the sneaked snippets of idle chatter into categories, ironic, bizarre, beautiful, etc., and the result is a database of diversion. (Overheard by us, on a train, this weekend: 'I'm not trying to flatter you, but....' followed by forty-five minutes of loud anecdotes that infuriated, embarrassed and entertained the rest of the carriage in equal measure - we just didn't have the stamina to write it all down.)

Blissbat's' 'objects up close and out of context' needs more objects, but their Slinky is especially beautiful. Fans of the pleasing metallic 'shushing noise' that these iconic coils made can uncover more trivia here, including the blissful Slinky song (158k .wav file). And with Christmas looming, the ACME Novelty Toy Gallery is a compendium of simple, paper-based playthings. Inspirational, but probably best to leave them to the professionals. Houses like this remind us of The 387 Houses of Peter Fritz, a book which has also spawned a beautiful website.