A lustre of charm

Amazing Retreats, a specialist in renting out castles for corporate retreats, is about to open Spitbank Fort, one of the Solent Forts scattered across the water between Portsmouth and the Isle of Wight. The fort is being extensively redeveloped: ‘The old gun emplacements will now house the new 10 person hot tub’ / Cities in Retro, a tumblr. No shortage of source material / What Happened to the World of American Psycho? Fine dining and clubbing in late 80s NY / tomblr, a tumblr / on collecting every book every published, in physical form / a visual timeline of the International Space Station development / Mr Molasses, a tumblr / 10 bad habits, a weblog / Where it all went wrong. Exactly.


Meet the Last Generation of Typewriter Repairmen, a Wired photoessay. Includes a link to this film of ‘the official user interface of hell,’ the Mignon Index Typewriter from 1905 and details of clear typewriters still manufactured by Swintec ‘specifically designed for use by inmates incarcerated in correctional facilities’. Memory capacity varies by state: the Michigan Department of Corrections allows a 128,000 character memory. Washington State approves a 64,000 character memory. While New York State only allows a 7,000 character memory. Related, modelling the Olivetti Praxis 48 typewriter, designed by Ettore Sottsass in 1964.


For our earlier speculative fiction: The Time Machine, and how to build a time machine / how to build everything else: use Makedo, a connector set for junk modelling / instructions for meeting time travellers / a Primer timeline. Or timelines / digging for buried treasure hunting on Oak Island, how a sink hole (?) tricked generations of treasure hunters / the cyborg arboretum / hooray for Herb Lester and their new Nature Notes / What should spaceships look like?


Is Pop Culture Consuming Itself? Simon Reynolds Discusses Retromania at The Quietus: ‘And also in a different sort of age group, there’s a kind of aesthetic they have in their houses of things from old diners, old bottles that were actually mass-produced, like Coke bottles or whatever. No one is collecting energy-drink bottles or current commercial crap, but as time goes by it gets a lustre of charm to it and it becomes something you can actually decorate your house with. In the same way that things like old sewage works, which may have been considered blots on the landscape, develop a sort of charm.’ And concluding: ‘At the very least it’s an interesting time we’re living through for culture. If you want to talk about something unprecedented – and while it may not be for music, in that what’s being made out of this situation rarely sounds unprecedented – the conditions themselves are. And all the things digital culture, the internet and archiving are making possible – that in itself is the new landscape of music culture. So I’m wondering what’s going to come out of that. I’m curious.’

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