Backhanders and bunkers

The Sochi Project: ‘Sochi is the Florida of Russia, but cheaper. It is famous for its subtropical vegetation, hotels and sanatoria. People from all over the Soviet Union associate the coastal city with beach holidays and first loves. The smell of sunscreen, sweat, alcohol and roasting meat pervades the air. Nothing happens here in the winter. But that’s about to change. The Winter Games are coming to town…. Sochi is a remarkable choice. The train journey from Moscow to Sochi takes 37 hours. Thirty-seven unbroken hours of birch forests, wheat fields, farms, factories, abandoned land and here and there a village or town.’ Related, Sochi 2014: the costliest Olympics yet but where has all the money gone?: ‘The initial $12bn (£7.5bn) cost has risen almost fivefold, with critics putting much of the inflation down to the corruption endemic in the Russian construction industry.’


Sale No 397 – The Robert Elliott Meteorite Collection / Dear Customer Relations, a book about the art of complaining / London Blitz then and now, a gallery with one picture in it. Infuriating / the making of a home4self. The story behind a house design and the story of its build / a short film about Convent de la Tourette / imagined digital landscapes at Dead End Thrills / Unintended Consequences of Design: Cargo Ships’ Hidden Cargo Leads to Ecological Disaster: the scourge of the zebra mussel.


The unofficial guide to The Pyongyang Metro, a network that doesn’t just include stations and track: ‘The underground square, built as a bunker command post for the Supreme Command of the People’s Armed Forces and a space for storing manpower and equipment during a war, is located in Anhak-dong, near the Rakwon Subway Station, famous for the Central Zoo at the foot of Mount Taesong. The square is said to be comparable in area to the Kim Il Sung Square, which can accommodate a rally of over 100 000 people.’

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