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weblog archives
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Thursday, November 06, 2003
The Charles Booth online archive - poverty maps of London with the ability to compare old and new street plans. Booth’s classifications are wonderfully Victorian, from Yellow (‘Upper-middle and Upper classes. Wealthy.’) down to Black (‘Lowest class. Vicious, semi-criminal.’) We’re squarely in the pink (‘Fairly comfortable. Good ordinary earnings.’), a classification which doesn't appear to have changed much in over 100 years (perhaps the occasional dip into purple and light blue), although Booth's map pre-dates our house by about 5 years...

The Cane Hill Project, exploring one of Surrey’s oldest asylums. As well as being the last home of David Bowie’s older brother, it was also home to Charlie Chaplin’s mother, Hannah (scroll down). Simon Cornwell's Urbex isn't the only site that's been snooping around: Urbex.org.uk has also visited, and gives a better idea of the asylum's sheer size. Both sites are well worth visiting. Cornwell uncovered some discarded drawings in the art therapy room (spooky), as well as the Cane Hill Yellow Pages (the day to day minutiae of running an asylum) and some last words. (he also has a fine collection of Simple Minds acetates).

These images conjure up a wonderful atmosphere. These old asylums are, in the most part, fantastic pieces of institutional and domestic architecture, all solidly constructed by hearty Victorian builders. And now they're fenced off and crumbling away. Meanwhile, there are around 70,000 hectares of wasted space in Britain, with estimates suggesting that some 3.8 million homes will be needed in the next quarter of a century.

An exhibition of the work of Eric Ravilious is currently showing at London's Imperial War Museum (itself a former asylum, while we're on the subject). Some more Ravilious / the illustrators of the Eagle, the most fondly remembered of all British comics. See also the Eagle Annual Gallery / Paperback Revolution, part of the Culture of Publishing website, tracks the history of the Penguin paperback. Was the Penguin imprint the first affordable books? No, but founder Allen Lane’s emphasis on quality and excellence are indicative of the improving nature of the era, when everything from design and architecture to publishing were perceived as tools which with the populace could be moulded and shaped for a better tomorrow.

A fantastically anal appreciation of John Squire’s effects pedals ('[The Boss Noise Suppressor NS-2] could have been used at gigs prior to Tokyo, but the hum from Squire's strat can still be heard slightly from the Blackpool Empress Ballroom performance on video. If this pedal was in his chain at that time, the hum wouldn't be evident.') Just what is about the Stone Roses that inspires obsession? See the infamous One Love Story for more ('old testament' and 'new testament'). Some more about OLS (first link via tmn, who have their own Stone Roses moment). People get awfully funny about effects pedals. Visit Guitargeek and see their 'guitar rig database' to see what we mean.

A brief technical explanation of the new Millau Bridge, 343m high above the Tarn Valley in Southern France. Designed by Foster and Partners. More information here / Naked world, more about Spencer Tunick (an artist who seems to have benefited from online publicity like no other) / Bad Habits Instructional Posters from India, via Geisha asobi / the former Playboy Bunny website (via milk and cookies).