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weblog archives
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Thursday, November 10, 2005
Josh Simpson's Infinity Project will tax the archaeologists of the future when they come to excavate places like this. His glass 'planets' are hidden in many more locations around the world. Leaving a legacy is usually better documented; if you're thinking of doing a similar thing, then the The International Time Capsule Society would certainly like to hear from you. The organisation is based at Oglethorpe University in Atlanta, Georgia, famous for housing the Crypt of Civilization, a mysterious sounding place that is the time capsule to end all time capsules. Sealed in 1940, the Crypt contained 'twelve gigantic, treated glass jars in which sundry items were hermetically packed for storage... On microfilm are classics in the arts and sciences totaling over 640,000 pages'. The entire inventory is listed, including '1 Donald Duck, 1 set toy tools, 1 toy tank, 1 pacifier, 1 bubble pipe, 1 rattle, 5 Iconoscape television tubes and 200 books of fiction' (or about one fifth the capacity of a conventional CD-ROM's worth of information). The Crypt was the brainchild of Dr. Thornwell Jacobs, the university's president, a veteran self-publicist. Thornwell decided the Crypt (a surplus-to-requirements swimming pool) should be opened in 8113, a seemingly arbitary date arrrived at because the earliest date in recorded history was 4241BC, 6177 years before 1936, when the idea was first mooted. 8113 was thus 6177 years in the future, making 1936 a mid-point in human civilisation.

Today, 8113 seems a long way off, the date reflecting a genuine optimism in humankind in the pre-Atomic, pre-global warming age. Even the New York Times' much-vaunted Time Capsule is only intended to be sealed for a lowly millennium, and most twentieth century time capsules are eagerly seized upon when they're uncovered. But in the early twentieth century, eternity was there to play with. At the 1939 New York World's Fair the time capsule was intended to last for 5000 years, so the organisers called in Westinghouse Electric, who developed the wonder material Cupaloy, 'a copper alloy as hard as steel.' The name Westinghouse only lasted for 58 of those 5000 years.

You can also read the sad stories of the 10 most wanted time capsules, abandoned, lost, forgotten or simply built over. Our favourite: the 'City of Corona seems to have misplaced a series of 17 time capsules dating back to the 1930s. Efforts to recover the capsules in 1986 were in vain. "We just tore up a lot of concrete around the civic center, "said the chairman of the town's centennial committee. A Los Angeles Times reporter has called Corona "the individual record holder in the fumbled time capsule category."' It happened in Fillmore, too.

*

Other things. A trawl through boing boing brings this giant collection of toy robots: the collection of Paul Lips, on sale at Christies and this collection of stupid comics / the Pulp Zone, classic vintage magazines, art and fiction / naked people and their cars (nsfw), photographs by Rabea Eipperle / Nose Jobs in Iran, just one series from photographer Zed Nelson / turning small things into big things, one red paperclip / AnswerBus, a clever thing that tries to be a bit more conscientious about those random questions you feed into Google in despair / this really is what Clapham Junction looks like. By Scarlett Barry / the architecture of Basil Spence.

Vintage Women's Magazines, via krazydad / the complete Calvin and Hobbes / Treehugger flags up environmentally-friendly products / decidedly not environmentally-friendly: C'est un Rendezvous via Google Maps (via this slightly irritable me-fi discussion. Previously mentioned) / the of mirror eye, an mp3 blog / Hoard Mag, SF culture and visual art / the disillusioned kid, a weblog / Multistorey makeovers, or how to make over a car parks. Not that they're all 'architectural scum', mind you - at least their have been good car parks.

Around the campfire with America's elite, Sir Christopher Meyer, former ambassador to the US recalls visiting Bohemiam Grove. Is this Californian retreat the sylvan cradle of the New World Order or is it just a place to hear Steve Miller jamming, watch a mariachi band comically interrupt Henry Kissinger and attend informative lectures by William 'Exorcist' Friedkin. No-one listens to Henry, though.