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Thursday, August 28, 2003
Last weekend we had our first trip to the Isle of Portland, and were entranced by the steep streets, bleak hills and crooked, man-made coastline. It's pretty stony down on the Jurassic Coast, and Portland stone is the best of the lot (I love the Wikipedia). In these post-industrial days, many of the island's quarries have become historical sites, full of artistic intepretations and memories (see Tout Quarry). There's a huge amount of information (and imagery) on this page, and Portland has an official website too, with bonus pages on evocative local shipwrecks and more.

Much of what we think of as modern London (i.e. post Great Fire) is built from Portland stone, and the island was first quarried from the outside in, as the sea was the only way of transporting the stone. As quarrying technology improved, seams of stone were followed inland. The stone is still much in demand for high profile projects, and the quarries hit the headlines a few years ago when a devious contractor supplied the wrong kind of stone for the British Museum's new south portico. It doesn't look too bad, but some were very riled. Apparently, there is still a quarry set aside for repairs to St Paul's Cathedral. More about Portland's role in various London landmarks.

Yet more pulp at Pulp Cards (thanks to Tobias at Whalelane). Some of these are pulpier than others / photos_of_signs and vegan victuals, both at PJchmiel.com (via sachs report) / hints and things around the home / photomails, a photoblog / James Turrell's Kielder Skyspace, a kind of miniature Roden Crater, up in the wilds of Scotland.

Someone, somewhere, has devised a brand new operating system for the ancient Commodore 64 - a serious labour of love / what can happen in a hail storm / antique scientific instruments / Mr Aitch (Giornale Nuovo) on bookshops / cleansurface, archive of graffiti and street art images / other people's old slides are always fascinating. I particularly like this picture of snowy beetles.

Chapter 1 of PR, a Short History of Spin / Sundress is home to a 'miscellany of magazines' / Do computer games have to tell stories? Where Stories End and Games Begin thinks not. Although some forms of games, adventures, role-playing, etc., do have a narrative thread, they depend on giving the illusion of free will to the player as they channel them along. This essay muses about the various kinds of non-linear narrative, gamebooks, experimental fiction, hypertext fiction, etc. (the text links to Erasmatazz, a site specialising in 'interactive storytelling', containing this epic treatise on Art of Computer Game Design), before concluding that 'gaming is the most vital artform of the age'.

We're slowly and surely re-jigging our photo galleries. Bear with us. We've also 'installed' an rss feed. Do with it what you will...