The latest issue of Common Place
is devoted to Early Cities of the Americas, a collection of essays charting the origins and early development of the nation's first great cities, from Los Angeles
. 'Cities, like people, are conceived, then born,' begins Jay Gitlin's piece on Saint Louis
. The site be an essential reference for years to come.
Some more cryptozoology
- this time it's lake monsters in China. The me-fi
discussion linked to two interesting pieces on credibility and cryptozoology. Skepdic's
contribution is nicely sardonic ('Not all photos of Nessie are fakes. Some are genuine photos of the lake') and points out the fundamental improbability of the Ďmonsterísí existence. Even more persuasive, but somewhat shriller in tone, is the lengthy post at eject! eject! eject!
, which muses that although we relish the essential magic of the unknown (our life of dull certainties gives these little bits of strangeness huge cultural importance), it's not necessarily a healthy appetite.
Elsewhere. Lovely living
offers advice on the best flippant things to spend your money on (via iconomy
) / Mary Roach's Stiff
looks like a good read, but we're puzzled by the disparity between the US
covers (related: author claims she is a cop-out
for resisting a posthumous career in medical science) / weblogs noted: Ashley B
(an excellent visual resource), and the nicely-designed eclecticata
. The company runs art vending machines in around 50 arty US locations (e.g. Winston-Salem
California, and Charleston
, South Carolina). Their roster of 300 artists
is also impressive / phone trips
, outsider sounds recorded on vintage equipment in the 1960s / the history of shoegazing
(see also shoegazing history from a bisexual perspective
) / Why Mow?
, by the appropriately named Michael Pollan, tackles the thorny (or not-so-thorny) question of the artifical lawn, of which there allegedly exists 50,000 square miles in America alone. Are neatly-kept lawns the acme of suburban aspiration?
Obviously thereís something very morbid about Laurene and Constantin Boymís Buildings of Disaster
series, but Iíve always hankered after their model of the Watergate building
: as I was being born in the small hours of that fateful day, half way around the world an inept break-in was making political history / 'the proceedings of the Old Bailey
London, 1674 go 1834.' Fascinating stuff. It seems our locale was a hotbed of horse rustling
back in the eighteenth century (harshly punished
rustling at that). You can also see the original page
We have another new gallery, London things
, snippets of architecture on uncommonly sunny days.