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Wednesday, August 03, 2005
What is an Orgue de Barbarie? It's a kind of miniature pipe organ that plays music 'pre-programmed' on cards. In Britain it would be known as a barrel organ, an instrument typically used by an organ grinder to create a form of street music looked down upon by aficionados (from the Wikipedia entry: 'Charles Dickens wrote to a friend that he could not write for more than half an hour without being disturbed by the most excruciating sounds imaginable, coming in from barrel organs on the street'). The French name literally means the barbaric organ, a mixture of linguistic confusion and a reflection of its apparently base origins.

The latter link is from the Mechanical Movement Digest, an eclectic site with a huge gallery of organ projects, all of which speak of total, blissful obsession: 'Seeburg Celesta Super Orchestrion playing Wurlitzer Mandolin PianOrchestra files, H rolls, G and 4X rolls and my own arrangements transcribed from genuine period dance orchestra orchestrations'. There are also sounds for your delectation.

This beautiful Renault Poster is just one of a hundred wonderful things to be found at Agence eureka, a French weblog of wonders. From there we get origami at the paper forest, or a selection of vintage head gear at Des Chapeaux (they don't make them like they used to), or MeggieCat's collection of visual inspiration, or the Tacky Times weblog (better than it sounds, with links to great collections like the Tonka Toy Look Books, as well as giant open directories like this one - no details, no names, no clues, just hundreds of images).

These architectural ATVs are amongst the rendering and concept work undertaken by Zeitguised, who exist at the point where rendering tips over into its own self-importance. Other projects that seek to dispel the hype of super-sleekness includes the 'Seksi' CAD plug-in. Watch it turn Eisenman's House II into an instant Hadid. Just add skewing.

A good point at Bowblog on the proliferation, or not, of imagery related to the London bombings and the Birmingham Tornado / an ancient Aiwa reel-to-reel at MidCentury Radios, 'Lebanon's First Radio Website' / explore 'interesting' photos on flickr, via PlasticBag, which has lots of good stuff right now, including the horrific-sounding Liberality comic and the difficulty of writing a letter to a father you never knew.

Other things. sleeping students, via Exclamation Mark / did you see A Knight's Tale? Then maybe you're entitled to a spot of compensation from Sony / Google Earth combined with data from a Chicago realtor to make a handy plug-in. Related, a site that compares the competing Google Maps with MSN Virtual Earth / Hel-Looks, Helsinki street fashion, via Boing Boing, which also links the stipple portraits of Noli Novak's, which adorn the print edition of the WSJ / modern houses for sale in Seattle.