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weblog archives
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Thursday, October 12, 2006
Apologies for the long silence; illness, deadlines, etc., all conspiring against us. We've been thinking about industrialisation today. A pictorial history of Russian Crawlers and Tractors (amongst other sets). The Fordson tractor, developed by Henry Ford in order to turn 'Ploughing [into] a matter of motoring across a field'. Ford was very, very wrong about a lot of things, but his own history of the early Fordson's concludes in an empassioned plea for a return to local production in food: 'Why a steer raised in Texas should be brought to Chicago and then served in Boston is a question that cannot be answered as long as all the steers the city needs could be raised near Boston. The centralization of food manufacturing industries, entailing enormous costs for transportation and organization, is too wasteful long to continue in a developed community.'

'Soviet Tractor Planning', a made-up economics term used to slate Gordon Brown. The First tractor of the soviet Russia (sic). The Volgograd Tractor Factory. Consult TractorData, 'your online source for information about all makes and models of farm tractors'. Related, some exceptional Soviet-era modernism at Pingmag, via Simon Perry. From the comments, The Beauty of Evil, a post at anarchitecture about the strange yet undeniable attraction of bunkers. More industry, this time a wartime look at Soviet industry: Magnitogorsk, from John Scott's essay 'Magnetic City,' Core of Valiant Russia's Industrial Might, from the National Geographic back in 1943.

860-880 Lake Shore Drive, 'a website dedicated to Ludwig Mies van der Rohe's "Glass House" apartment buildings in Chicago' / The Zeppelin's 6,300 miles in 111 hours, the 1928 trans-Atlantic crossing / Grain Elevators those leviathans of the plains that got Le Corbusier and his ilk all excited. At Pruned, via kottke. See also the Silophone project / a gallery of odd watches / pedestria, watching people in the street (via projects).

An Earth without humans. Don't expect to see 'herds of poodles roaming the plains' apparently / Tetris fridge magnets / Confessions of a Bookplate Junkie, 'Random thoughts from a passionate bookplate collector', chock full of absolutely beautiful things / Unique Property for Sale / a bit about the Valley of the Squinting Windows, how an all-too accurate portrayal of a nosy village got a book burnt / massive, a weblog on web fiction, multiplayer games and more.

8 bit, a documentary about art and video games / America ditches handwriting? / Wendy Carlos created the epic electronic soundtrack for Tron / Projectionist, a tumble log / the International Networks Archive at Princeton University: interactive maps, infographics and data, data, data / a bit about satellites.

American Cities, photographs by Catherine Opie at tmn / we're really not sure what flea market to the gods is all about /Lance Arthur's Conspicuous Consumption. See also Kate Bingaman's Obsessive Consumption. Or Paul Lukas's Inconspicuous Consumption / the art source offers some interesting works, like these paintings by John Burke.

A bit about air conditioning. Some more on A/C, a two-part story on the energy hog that is being chilled to perfection: 'The electricity used annually to air-condition America's homes, stores, offices, factories, schools, churches, libraries, domed stadiums, hospitals, warehouses, prisons and other buildings (not including what's used to cool manufacturing processes and military facilities) exceeds the entire electricity consumption of the world's second and fourth most populous nations -- India and Indonesia -- combined.' Neat connection, Magnetic City, is a sound piece 'built out of panoramic audio scans recorded from the rooftops of Barcelona. The main soundsource is [a] huge airconditioning system'. Some other sound pieces by Justin Bennett.