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Sunday, April 15, 2007


Creationist Museum challenges evolution, the BBC visits the Answers in Genesis Museum in Kentucky. This is, curiously enough, a quasi-modern structure, reminiscent even of Richard Neutra's threatened Cyclorama or a monumental chunk of Italian Rationalism (construction photos here). Rationalism is, of course, the last quality on display inside, but the decision to build in a modern idiom, and not in a classical one (especially when a strand of theology, espoused in particular by Quinlan Terry, believes in the 'god-given' perfection of the classical orders (quoted here - although to be fair Terry also writes 'Seven Misunderstandings about Classical Architecture' that 'the classical grammar remains neutral'). Then again, who says that Arks have to be traditional structures?

It was a very pleasant surprise to be cited as one of the 'Top 25 Architecture Blogs' by Eikongraphia, apparently rated by some arduous sifting through 'linking blogs (Technorati), subscribers (Bloglines), and hits (Google, and Google Images)'. Thank you very much indeed. The list throws up a host of fascinating places to visit, including white triangle, aggregat 4/5/6, which has a fascinating post on the relationship between the work of Gondry and Hitchcock, ArchiSpass, Kostis Velonis, architecture mnp (which stands for 'my ninja please'), which features the Sliver House designed by Boyarsky Murphy and more. Visit Oscar Niemeyer's Teatro Popular in Niteroi, at marvelous architectures, read the east coast architecture review and doubtless many more which will infiltrate through the referrer logs in weeks to come.

Is mobile phone culture at the heart of an erosion of the division between public and private, politeness and aggression? Certainly the notion of fitting phones with loudspeakers that can act as miniature boomboxes has transformed the city soundscape, especially on public transport. What's fascinating, though, is the way in which the ringtone - a piece of music that's recorded, encoded and broadcast in an identical manner to, say, a current pop hit - has no codification or strata of taste. Wailing babies, ghastly 10-second squelches of happy hardcore techno, familiar yet truncated choruses or worse, all emitted utterly without shame.

Skipping robot, via Justin Blanton. Somehow not so menacing / Battlecat, a weblog / the title says it all, poor taste for rich people / the Treknology Encyclopedia, absurdly detailed descriptions of a fictional world / the work of sci-fi illustrator Don Davis / the Atlanta Time Machine, a collection of then and now shots.

Godlorica, religion and culture / Scraps of Moscow, 'the post-Soviet world as seen from Washington', which links to Steady State, 'Blogging the unresolved conflicts in post-Soviet space' / revisiting King Champ Gillette's vision of Metropolis, an ideal city, which begins 'Under a perfect economical system of production and distribution, and a system combining the greatest elements of progress, there can be only one city on a continent, and possibly only one in the world'.

Bleep Bloop, an excellent weblog. We particularly like the Iranian copy of S,M,X,XL: 'this turned up at the office with a kind note: "dear rem, please don't be angry. we scanned in your book and translated it. we hope you don't mind. and if you do, there's nothing you can do about it because of nonexistent iranian copyright law' / here be Monster Brains, the mythological and the grotesque, in history, fine art and contemporary illustration. Brilliant.

Just recently we were musing on the history of the button; when was the first button? (in a physical, non-computer sense) What devices required push-button operation? Naturally, there wasn't just a website, but a whole URL - History of the Button.com, devoted to the issue of the user interface, real and screen-based. The button might appear an innovative solution, but sometimes it was the answer to a problem that didn't exist, most notably in car design, where the creation of the push-button transmission, like Ford's Teletouch and Chrysler's Torqueflite was systems were explicitly allied to the widespread consumer trend towards ease, automation and convenience. The button site has several posts on Pushbutton driving, an innovation which would apparently 'make driving as easy as flicking a light switch'. See also the equivalent in domestic automation, the Push-Button Manor. Some companies persist with push-button transmission technology, more as a sop to the perception of refinement, not innovation.

Pidgeon Digital, the online archive of architecture and design talks put together by former AD editor Monica Pidgeon (via dezeen). Pidgeon retired last week at the age of 93. AD back in the day / This Blog Sits at the Intersection of Anthropology and Economics. Don't we all / Pigeon Kill / the Pigeon Post into Paris, 1870-1871.

What will happen when the film runs out? / the website of illustrator Danny Gregory, creator of the Sketchcrawl, amongst other things / nothing and all presents a list of 'on this day' type events. Pages are huge / Car Metaphors, 'watching analogies from real life that are wrongly applied to computers' / a cascade of imagery at Randomness, including this 1896 Motorbike / r-echos, worth your clicks / Veritography, a weblog / what's the best song by the worst band? We're travelling a bit next week, so updates will be erratic, perhaps non-existent.