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Thursday, May 03, 2007


The story of cinematic smoke and mirrors: Human Computer Interaction in Science Fiction Movies, a paper by Michael Schmitz (via me-fi). The above image is from Vintage Computing and Gaming. See also the Heathkit Virtual Museum / The Re-Birth of MG, a weblog by Paul Stowe, in charge of quality at Nanjing Auto Co (NAC)/MG. Fascinating look at cultural and economical ties and differences, and how MG, a relatively marginal marque towards the end of its life, is projected to do big numbers in the Chinese market / the Monocle Skeppshult bicycle is rather lovely / Cognitive Daily, developments in cognitive psychology.

The end of the road for the Nakagin Capsule Tower, a slice of early 1970s utopianism designed by Kisho Kurokawa. Few architects have clung to their early theoretical and aesthetic statements like Kurokawa, but the main problem with the Metabolist movement in architecture - essentially a forerunner of high-tech that foresaw cities formulated as vast collection of removable components - was that the theory contained the seed of its own destruction. Whereas someone like Cedric Price would simply have harrumphed and called for the structure's removal, Kurokawa wanted the Nagakin to be refurbished - 'unplugged' and rebuilt with units that reflect modern materials and technology (micro compact homes, perhaps?). Kurokawa's Sony Tower has also bitten the dust recently.

Over at tmn, A Mystery of Violence, perceptions of London. Not my title, but a good one / the Fife Slide Collection of Western U.S. Vernacular Architecture, e.g. ornamental mailboxes / random knowledge, a weblog / Marginal Utility, a weblog / design your own roller coaster / a power station that harnessing the sun.

BLDGBLOG, City of Sound and Subtopia come together to present Postopolis, a NY-based event to discuss how 'blogging has helped to expand the bounds of architectural discussion; its influence now spreads far beyond the internet to affect museums, institutions, and even higher education.' See also City of Sound's Penguins. Mental note to do the same / architecture, 'and anything else that matters...', a weblog / Process Recess, illustration.

Retroviews / terrifying development: the Minisode, a 5-minute long distillation of a 'classic' TV show for mobile phone users (via X-Series Blog) / Inside the Hollow Earth, at strange maps. See also the TOry Atlas of the World / The roundest objects ever built by hand, '... only the size of a ping pong ball, but its surfaces are so smooth that were it blown up to the size of Earth, the tallest mountain would be only eight feet high'. Collision Detection on ultra-precision engineering by NASA.

To Dye For. Why do Australian cricketers prefer blondes? 'Freud's conclusion, according to Melbourne academic Dr John Armstrong, would be that they were all, in fact, one woman. "The men are bonding by having one woman who they share between them," Armstrong says.' (via Sleepy Brain) / play dress-up with Gucci's Spring 2007 collection (via kottke) / the world's shortest music video: You Suffer, Napalm Death's opus, finally set to moving images to celebrate the 20th anniversary of their debut album, Scum. You can download the song here .

Thousands sign up for journey beyond death: Gunther von Hagens' Body Worlds is inspiring people to get themselves plastinated / one of the last ever British airships was called The Bournemouth, built for the Festival of Britain but destroyed in the late 1950s, according to a historical nugget found on Blimp Info (which is the only web reference to the intriguing 'English Airship Club'. Related, Festival Object list / Snowcruiser, the story of the original land yacht. Found via Avi Abrams' Blend images contain hours and hours of Photoshop time. The reference pages are also worth flicking through; Russian Presidential Plane interior.

Festoon, a photographic project by Katrin Kur, 'depicting personal possessions remaining in private cars parked at night [in London], which become more than indexical and, depicted in these images, gain a cinematic charge.' (thanks Sean) / Cardmation is an analogue company in a digital world. Check this old Wired piece from 1999 on punchcards and discover the Douglas W. Jones Punched Card Collection (found via Coudal). Punch cards have a certain beauty. Punch cards also crop up at the Columbia University Computing History. Off for a few days, updates erratic.