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weblog archives
eXTReMe Tracker
Monday, January 16, 2006
Alan Turnbull's Secret Base page could do with a bit of organisation, as it's currently grouped into three giant parts (I, II and III). We'll let that pass for now, because there are lots of fascinating things here, gleaned from looking at the sudden avalanche of mapping and satellite data online. For example, the Atomic Weapons Establishment at Aldermaston has suddenly started appearing on maps (near the top of the page). Learn how to spot the many fuel depots and ammunition stores dotted around the country. Question the existence of 'secret junctions' on the M4 (and other motorways), leading to places unknown (all taken from page 2). We were saddened to see that the MoD is no longer using the Metropole Building, just south of Trafalgar Square. In UFOlogy, this is where the UK's stash of top secret information reputedly lay, although my father, who worked there in the late 80s, denied everything.

The Metropole lies on Northumberland Avenue, once the site of the original Northumberland House (the Victorian building took the same name). This was the last surviving seventeenth century 'river palace', cut off from the Thames by Bazalgette's amazing Embankment and surplus to Victorian needs. It was a grand building, painted by Canaletto in 1752 (more information), and some interior views as well: grand staircase, quadrangle and gallery. A fire hastened its end, and it was ultimately demolished in 1873 to make way for the new street, which was lined by grand hotels built by the Northumberland Avenue Hotel Company, mostly for visiting Americans. Northumberland House will soon become a student hostel for the LSE.

Ballardian, definitely. The Crash Car Girls (nsfw, in all probability. Via me-fi). There's also Smash my Viper (via Autoblog), one of many, many imitations of the Million Dollar Homepage) and a sort of self-flaggellant homage to Wendy O.Williams. Read this 1984 Creem piece, '1984 will be a little early', for an account of her destruction of a Chevy Nova: 'What you didn't see was Tom Snyder hugging his producer with joy and the fourth floor NBC executives running downstairs certain that Puerto Rican nationals were blowing up the building.' (Creem has the article in its own archive, but there's lots more interesting stuff at the first place, Modern Atomic, including pin-up girl matchbooks and vintage images from Aberdeen, South Dakota).

A map of the 1906 San Francisco Earthquake and Fire (via me-fi) / Photos at Pulpo, via gatsu gatsu, which also links the strange Golf? game, a vector graphics extravaganza which we have no idea how to run, let alone play / more photography at Heudnsk Log / beef up your flight simulation experience with Visual Flight. Alternatively, wait for Microsoft's forthcoming Flight Simulator X, which promises some incredible graphics / vote for the Stupidest Daily Mail/Daily Express headline of 2005. Tough to make a choice, but interesting that they both went with 'You can kill a burglar' at one point.