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Wednesday, January 05, 2005
This weekend, Cork becomes the European Capital of Culture. This title is a bit of a poisoned chalice. Witness Liverpool's victory in the 2008 bid, a campaign supported in part by the commitment to build a new 'Fourth Grace' on the famous waterfront. The winner was Will Alsop and his 'cloud' scheme. It was a controversial choice right from the start ('...despite being the least formed and arguably most ugly of all the proposals'), and perhaps not surprisingly enthusiasm for the building rapidly petered out, amidst squabbles about what it would actually contain. The other bidding cities then cried foul.

Liverpool still has its Three Graces, the Royal Liver Building, the Cunard building and the Port of Liverpool Building. They're all elegant to be sure, but are actually just fine examples of competent commercial architecture, rather than true masterpieces. Here are some fine Liverpool images in commemoration of the city becoming a World Heritage Site (on account of its Maritime and Mercantile past).

Back in Cork, a couple of responses to the official nomination, in the form of Where's Me Culture?, which would like to make the most of the nomination and doesn't really expect this to be achieved (the site is named for a (briefly) anthemic song by the Sultans of Ping, Where's me jumper?, an indie disco fave from days gone by). Finally, there is Corkspace, images of the city. Thanks to Ray for inspiring this trawl (correction, not this Ray).

Elsewhere. Head Magazine is an online journal of photography and illustration (thanks, Marshall) / Ben Johnson makes elegant architectural paintings / Tom Armitage's Infovore.org / How Did Animals Escape Tsunami? Or did they? Via me-fi / Abebooks has a rare books room and a First Editions Gallery.

Is the forthcoming Freedom Tower an open source design? More at Curbed, who also point us to these images of a proposed Phillipe Starck condo in New York. How did we miss this? These are the very peak of the renderers art, the point at which architectural imagineering totally (and willingly?) departs from reality.

We come to Transfer (‘a critic of electronic music and sometimes architecture’) mid hiatus, but it will apparently be back / Collision Detection writes of the dangerous desktop things built by one Kaden Harris / diskant has some fine A-Zs of the year (can’t direct link to them, unfortunately), music and more / trawl the world's webcams.

The Da Vinci crock, or how a global bestseller draws from a wildly misleading book. 'Baigent, Leigh and Lincoln are the Moriartys of pseudohistory, and "Holy Blood, Holy Grail" is their great triumph.' Related, the French get irked by 'Code Tourists'.

Finally, a little bit of history.