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Sunday, April 29, 2007


The above image comes from this forum thread: 'what are the weird/strange/extreme/incredible engines have you seen meant for 2 wheeler or 4 wheeler closed circuit racing?' Appropriately huge page, many pictures of bizarre racing cars. Also a link to Jay Leno's Garage / a short history of the laugh track / the Wikipedia Reference Desk, something we'd not found before, full of answered (and unanswered) questions / we love Michael Jantzen's architecture, a mixture of the organic and the space age.

We took a trip to Shanghai last week (images to follow). Sadly we didn't get to visit Thames Town. Vaguely related, a resurrected piece on new Chinese architecture at Business Week / hyperkit in Vienna / this is the sort of thing we want to do: tag photos by location / the The 10 Most Puzzling Ancient Artifacts. No answers, unfortunately / Backwards City, a weblog / Radical Cartography.

The megastructure is back: H and de M's behemoth for Portsmouth FC looks set to squash a large chunk of the city's historic dockyards, taking its cue from the frankly rather shabby Spinnaker Tower, a refuge from the Dubai waterfront (and previously discussed here) / Dutchman's Noah's Ark opens doors. Not the only divinely-inspired ark replica in the world; check the Frostburg, Maryland ark/church, just off I-68, or even this scale model.

The Imaginary Foundation, 'a think tank from Switzerland that does experimental research on new ways of thinking and the power of the imagination.' I.e. they seem to sell Magritte-inspired T-Shirts / Wallpaper from the 70s, actual designs you can paste on your wall / a grungy Gimnasio Ecologico, via Edgar Gonzalez / fake is the new real, not a weblog but a collection of links and other things / an aircraft for an oligarch / Cheesedog, a weblog / the ruins of Himley Hall Model Village. More info at the Bekonscot website, the king of all model villages.

Portfolio is a bit like a slightly drier Monocle / Folderol, a weblog / Do You Remember Life Before the Segway?, The Onion helps a grateful nation look back / dedalo, a Portuguese architecture blog / culture evolves!, a weblog / interactive evolutionary design / Gigaswarm, architecture and digital culture / galleries from Wisconsin Historical Images, including Angora, Rabbit Raising in German Concentration Camps; the Wisconsin State Fair; businesses in the City of Madison, from the 20s through to the 60s. Especially show windows.

Something Stinks, Austin Williams on how 'bad design is being blamed for a range of intractable social problems,' a contemporary update of the Victorian discovery of the link between disease and dirt. Only today, poor-quality environments, ambiguously graded by 'design czars' and government commissions, are seen as a prime cause of low self-esteem, anti-social behaviour, lack of respect, etc. etc. Williams is having none of it, but although he has a point, his rebuttal perhaps lurches wildly too far to the opposing view. The site itself, Future Cities, declares itself as a welcome blast against the stifling PC of modern urban debate. But in their rush to denigrate the status quo - their particular bugbear is sustainable development - the FC team becomes almost dogmatic in equating 'green' with gullibility and regressive ideas. 'Having to innovate without causing environmental harm maybe a noble goal in some respects, but when environmental safety is the driver for innovation it ceases to be innovation, almost by definition.' A statement that begs to be engaged with.

Music. A collection of free downloads from the Wu-Tang Clan / The Perfumed Garden offers Peel Sessions / Shortwave Music trawls the spectrum for unusual music transmitted on SW / Who's driving the bus?, music and videos / Desperately I need a sound, an mp3 blog / into the groove, another mp3 blog.