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Friday, August 08, 2003
All aboard the Normandie, the original 'ship of light' and one of the grandest liners that ever sailed. See also Ships of State, both sites via the daily jive. The latter site has an article entitled 'The Windsors are Aboard', which chronicles Mrs Simpson and the former Edward VIII's penchant for continent-hopping (between numerous European residences and an apartment spanning an entire floor at the Waldorf Towers) on the latest liners of the day, accompanied by 'up to 150 pieces of monogrammed Louis Vuitton luggage.'

Once ensconced in the suite Wallis would oversee the redecorations. United States Lines sheets and towels were replaced with hand made Porthault linens embroidered with the Windsor's crested monogram. Wallis was so fond of these linens, she sent her maid across enemy lines to retrieve them from their Paris home at the onset of World War II. Specially made crested and monogrammed curtains went over the portholes. [Interior designer] Elsie De Wolfe professed, every room should have a bit of animal skin so, Wallis threw down a few leopard rugs and added a couple of delicate antique tables which traveled in their own specially fitted trunks.

Nick loves spiders / antiquity under threat: 'Berlusconi accused of rigging approval for Venice motorway,' which will unfortunately plough past a few of Palladio's crumbling villas / modernism under threat: Noah's Boathouse, an early design by Colin Lucas (see also the ongoing saga of Connell, Ward and Lucas's Greenside) / the Unbearable Heaviness of Industry, a collection of stunning imagery of China's hyperactive industrial revolution / the 26 things observed by Satan's Laundromat / historical UFOs? Call Erich von Daniken (or, better still, visit the Mystery Park).

The backfiring van photo horror gallery (and discussion). In the UK, backfiring cars are the closest we get to gunshots: perhaps Ive heard one or two gunshots in my time, but have always dismissed them as back-fires. This stunt probably wouldn't be so amusing in places where guns are more prevalent. Also, we're guessing these pictures were taken 15 to 20 years ago as well, judging by the fashions on display - try explaining why you have a remote camera set-up in the back of your white van today (via tmn, which also features this gallery of ASCII music videos). Staying with mobile photography: the Camera Van (related: Wired article, me-fi discussion). 'Irving composes his images by driving closer to or farther away from his subjects and stands inside the camera to make the images'.

Become a Google voyeur, a neat little programming trick that looks for online images still bearing the filename automatically generated by the digital camera that took them / the BBC's book of the future a vision of the world in 2020 / private presses in the UK / a gallery of Post-It note art, mostly doodles (as youd expect), but this one is nice. Related, the Starbucks notepad project.

Some depressing stats culled from The Car Connection - Americans spend an average of around 450 hours a year in their cars (twice as long as Europeans). Yet Europeans lose more time to traffic jams, 60 hours a year compared to American's 37 (and 105 in Japan!). Even more depressing, this thread brings together several links on black box recordings, last words, lucky escapes and tragic ends. The transcripts are almost unbearable. A good excuse for us to link to Douglas Coupland's 'Worst-case Scenario' from things 10.