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weblog archives
eXTReMe Tracker
Monday, January 12, 2004
We recently learnt some fascinating things about the late George Harrison’s home in a, cough, men’s magazine. Friar Park, near Henley on Thames (early postcard) was a sizeable mansion - the epitome of the eccentric Victorian magnate's home (more images at this gallery). According to Wax Rhapsodic, the house was once known as ‘Crisp’s Folly,’ after Sir Frank Crisp, a 'lawyer, botanist and eccentric' (1843-1919). Not only do the gardens contain a stone replica of the Matterhorn (accounts of its size vary between 30ft and 100ft high - perhaps it was imitated by Disneyland?) but there are also a network of underground waterways beneath the house. ‘Caverns, lakes, and waterfalls, all linked by an underground river.’

Sir Frank collected garden gnomes, amongst other things, and Harrison paid homage with the cover art for his album All Things Must Pass. More portraits of Harrison at the house. There's even more about Crisp’s eccentric garden in the article linked to by Wax Rhapsodic: Eccentric Enthusiasts - Stories from the Far Side of the Garden, by Ilene Sternberg.

Best of all is this portrait of Sir Frank Crisp at the Science and Society Picture Library (and an even better one, where he looks a bit like Professor Tarragon from the Seven Crystal Balls, fromMarlinspike Hall is a good Tintin site). Related: take the Tintin trivia quiz (Who’s Carling?). Coming soon: The Adventures of Tintin at Sea at the National Maritime Museum, Greenwich. But we digress.

This is what Christmas 2003 should have been like (via Boynton, via Collision Detection). It’s the usual retrospective schadenfreude at hopelessly optimistic predictions. But we like the speculation about future gifts. Will technology ‘lead to a revival of handicrafts of all kinds, both because everyone will have more time for the craftsmanship involved and also because of the sheer unattractiveness of many mass-produced goods.’? In which case, gifts ‘would probably be hand-made garments, handbound books, and beautifully-made objects in such materials as silver, gold, porcelain and fine china.’ Alternatively, ‘interest in handicrafts might eventually die completely. If that happens, your 2003 Christmas present is more likely to be something like a miniature pocket computer, or maybe a ticket for a day trip in orbit round the Earth!' Nearly. Looks like the entertainment will be depressingly familiar, though.

Other things. A chance to re-visit SA+BM’s winning entry for the Cedric Price Memorial competition (pdf download. Apologies for getting the name wrong before) / Yorkpete has a fine set of London photos, including this gallery of the Trellick Tower / the Architect’s Newspaper, an American version of Building Design?

Robots march ever onwards – the Enryu T-52 HyperRescue Robot, via BoingBoing. Fans of Honda’s anthropomorphic Asimo can catch the device giving a series of guest ‘performances’ at London’s Science Museum next month. Details to follow.

Is this faked? Body building - a gradual transformation. Charles Atlas (‘the world’s most perfectly developed man’) would be proud. In particular, this page (long download) is impressive. Related: Hey Skinny! / American Sports and Muscle Cars.

Scottish OS maps from the 1920s, via Simon’s Skip (the Austin Allegro Equipe has to be seen to be believed, as well) / World’s Fairs, all about international expos, past, present and future. Here's hoping that Aichi 2005 will be a serious technology fest in the same way that Osaka 1970 was. See also Expo Museum.

The first desktop terabyte hard disk (via haddock). You can store one month’s worth of MPEG-2 video or two years of music / after last week's rash of house snooping sites, Patricia from bitlounge emails to remind us of the greatest house site of all, Mc.Clintock.com / the usual ephemera, a weblog / Negative Velocity, a weblog.

SCIN, an online design portfolio, or 'interior design toolkits', as they like to say. A place to get pictures of pebbles and swatches of steely grays. We found this at Phathouse, a great UK-centric art and design weblog. Other links include Moomin products and this lovely castle.

Watch this space: The Verb, on Radio 3. Our segment should go up mid-week. And don't forget: things 17-18 is now available to order.