Markings and territories

The Enfield Poltergeist made for an an interesting episode of The Renunion / a map of Europe’s Roman roads / South Hill Park, a Brutalist masterpiece in North London, for sale / on hull markings and plimsoll lines: the secret language of ships / old meets new at Mapjunction our kind of site (via tmn) / buy the Pope’s Lamborghini / win a HUF house / the Watercolour World is an amazing resource of scanned watercolour paintings, many of which served as records of flora, fauna, people and places / How slime-crazed kids made gunk a booming business. Depressingly relevant / paintings by Samuel Peacock / pixel art by Romain Courtois / William Osman makes things / An A-Z of Feminist architecture, events, actions, spaces, subversions and practitioners.

Posted in architecture | 1 Comment

Many lane blacktop

Brutal Destruction, for masochistic concrete lovers / impressive animated VR illustration by Matt Schaefer, via the Lawnmower Metaverse tumblr / fantastic auction of classic cars, prosaic and spectacular (including some great camper vans) / Conserve the Sound, remembering the sounds of technologies past and passing (via Coudal) / depressing interactive bomb blast simulator, via just about everywhere. Bring back the Nuclear Slide Rules, calculating the end of the world with style / Streetmix, simple diagrammatic representations of how much space stuff needs (via Kottke). Start with an eight-lane highway and work your way down.

Posted in history | Leave a comment

Two theatres and an ice rink

The Fighting Fantasy books are back, courtesy of a new title written by Charlie Higson. FF rivalled the Choose Your Own Adventure series, but both didn’t weather the rise of first computer text adventures and then just video gaming in general. A few hang on with digital alternatives such as Choose Your Story. Our favourite elements are the analogue ones, like these Fighting Fantasy Maps / The dizzying story of Symphony of the Seas, the largest and most ambitious cruise ship ever built. Cruise liner cutaway drawings are endlessly fascinating (by illustrators Kevin Hulsey and Beau Daniels, respectively) / is the Line 6 DL4 the most important guitar pedal of the last 20 years? / the cinematic return of 2001: A Space Odyssey (related Fanfare thread) / spend a while browsing around the Sociological Images site and blog / donate at Kickstarter to preserve Mimoa.

Posted in architecture, design | Leave a comment

The right to roam

The rise of the ‘walking simulator‘ suggests virtual tourism is a thing, albeit a thing in its infancy. The most intensive and sophisticated virtual worlds tend to be those created as the backdrops for big budget games, so the news that Assassin’s Creed has a ‘discovery tour’ mode points to a second life for all the long-forgotten and abandoned imaginary realms that have served their purpose for the gaming community. Virtual ruins, if you like. It also suggests a different approach to the blunt instrument of first person gaming – as someone points out in this MeFi post about the newly-released Far Cry 5, ‘… it’d be awesome if photographer or scientist or reporter were also available options, armed only with cameras or sensors or notebooks’. Anything to get away from the heavy weaponry.


Other things. The Walworth Road, a photographic essay by Sylvie Goy / Love Hultén’s ‘bivalvia’ is a small toy synthesizer in a handmade wooden box / the worst things for sale / two forgotten classics: the Volvo 780 Coupe by Bertone; the Citroën SM Espace by Heuliez, and its variations / paintings by Brian Rego; Ralph Fleck

Posted in ruins, technology | Leave a comment

Rows and rows

The evolution of flying to Australia / Daniel Eatock’s Repaired Cars / On the trail of Dougal Douglas, walking the Ballad of Peckham Rye / Cars Matching Homes, a tumblr / Volkswagen desert art installation / handy quick links to information about yourself / ‘The stench of it stays with everybody’: inside the Super Mario Bros movie / photographs by Julien Mauve / real-time strategy with Bad North (via RPS) / A Tale of Two Strikes, Popbitch on the law of unintended consequences in the world of entertainment / Self-storage: How warehouses for personal junk became a $38 billion industry / Adrenaline Hangover / the Quarry Hotel, China, from render to reality / Puerto Rico, post-hurricane, then and now / post-apocalyptic Rolls-Royce, by Khaled Alkayed.

Posted in art | Leave a comment

More nostalgia, carefully sequenced

A selection of things from around and about. ‘I looked through all 14,227 Apollo photos… and made GIFs‘ / The Overwhelming Emotion of Hearing Toto’s “Africa” Remixed to Sound Like It’s Playing in an Empty Mall. Seen also at MeFi / Anton Ego Tastes Ratatouille, part of the ‘Script to Screen’ put out by Disney•Pixar / idealistic but attractive camper vanning / Soapbox Productions, a YouTube channel awash with Hollywood nostalgia / a questionable collection of Russian avant-garde art / Bugaboo culture: Perfect prams for perfect parents: the rise of the bougie buggy / a web audio synth (for Chrome) / the 1965 Autonova, also in Design Magazine.

Posted in nostalgia | Leave a comment

Going underground

Manod: The Nation’s Treasure Caves, an exhibition about wartime picture storage, featuring photographs by Robin Friend / Side-By-Side Photos of Paris and Its Chinese Knockoff, by Francois Prost / an exhibition about The Great British Seaside. Could have done with some of Sheila Rock’s Seascapes UK project / the photographic life of Masha Ivashintosova / Google’s Art Palette is fun to play with. Related, the palette of Pillow Talk / How we made 2001 / What America looked like before the EPA, in photos (via the 20 year old Kottke! Finally out of the troublesome teenage years) / PutinPunishesUK / robotic Rubik’s Cube solver, ultra-fast edition / Why You Wouldn’t Want to Fly On The Soviet Concorde – The TU-144 Story, one of several aviation videos at Mustard’s page (via Jalopnik).

Posted in photography | Leave a comment

Pale Bulbous Eyes

Why it’s Impossible to Accurately Measure a Coastline (via Nag on the Lake) / photographs of the Martian North Pole / For 10 Years, I Read the Comments: ‘Farewell to my stressful, dispiriting, but occasionally awesome life as an internet comment moderator.’ / collecting classic car books, not cars / the life of production designer Syd Cain / more 8-bit nostalgia: Thorin sits down and starts singing about gold.

Posted in esoterica | Leave a comment

Obsessed with archives

The British Library is in the process of saving old sound recordings, often on obscure formats. The Museum of Obsolete Media has a timeline of audio formats (the data format timeline is just as intriguing. Related, the Sinclair ZX Microdrive story / Old books we saw at markets but didn’t always buy (2010-2016) at Present and Correct (via Meanwhile) / as Living Architectre’s Thames-side ship sails away into storage, read the story of Building a Room for London / cartographic paintings by Carol Rhodes / enjoy this interactive evolving Earth / a collection of cutaway infographics. Related, another Meanwhile pick, 3D maps of every Underground station / James Brittain’s photographs of Habitat 67.

Posted in collections and archives | Leave a comment

Under the bridge

Drokk: Music inspired by Mega City One, by Geoff Barrow and Ben Salisbury (who also soundtracked Ex Machina and Annihilation) / a heavy metal restaurant / beautiful little animations of voxellated catastrophes by ultek85 / photographic projects by Jason Eskenazi / a huge collection of YouTube videos of journeys along London Streets. And more / related, Hearing Through Maps: Mapping London’s Hidden Waterways, a look at the London Sound Survey’s Sound Maps of London / British Airship Bases of the Twentieth Century, includes details of the ‘Daily Mail Airship Garage’ that was once located on Wormwood Scrubs / Office/Hospital, a photography project by Tim Davis / the abandoned cars of Hong Kong. Related, Were Dubai’s Abandoned Supercars Ever Really Abandoned? / Spaceport America, still waiting and watching the skies.

Posted in ruins | Leave a comment

In living colour

Unseen photos of East End London in glorious colour / sort of related, SHE F ELD, a tumblr devoted to glorious archive imagery of Sheffield / the Handbook of Tyranny deploys infographics to chart the world’s ills, inequalities and pressure points. Designed by Theo Deutinger / Debunked best-sellers of days gone by / New Yorker musing on Heatherwick / ambient soundscape by Theodor Wilhelm Zanetti

Posted in architecture | Leave a comment

Scaled down

Bitsy is a game-maker (via RPS) / more small things: Artifact series, the Forbidden Realm keycap. A little world on your keyboard / also small: tiny origami / in praise of random, passionately researched ephemera, with less web-based failed UX design / nuclear power plant cooling tower reverb: snare drum, bass guitar / The Disposition of Drones, making art from the art of UAV training.

Posted in art | Leave a comment

All over the place, again

Random bits from here and there. Julia Set Explorer, fun with fractals / Coffee Lids, a new book by Louise Harpman and Scott Specht, is subtitled ‘Peel, Pinch, Pucker and Puncture’. A taxonomic trawl through the many variations of the humble plastic coffee cup lid, it’s also a sobering look at the disposable nature of extreme ingenuity (via Kottke) / Cypher is a puzzle game (via RPS) / the National Galleries of Scotland are giving you access to beautiful hi-res imagery / Landscape Stories is a magazine awash with amazing photography, e.g. Daniel Stier’s Ways of Knowing / images of derelict Australian real estate by Jade Nolan, via tmn / learn to play along with alt 80s and 90s indie rock guitar / illustration by Benjamin Flouw / Biblioteca, photographs by Susannah Hays / Micah Lexier has an excellent instagram of found images, numbers, and other things / the Viking Series cars, a history of the concepts built by the Vehicle Research Institute at Western Washington University.

Posted in design, ephemera | Leave a comment

Trap street

A real mix. The world Chinese social credit (via MeFi) (and why Black Mirror isn’t helping) / a trip to the Aston Martin factory, circa 1999 / a well-curated Instagram from Caroline Reekie / NASA spends a lot on leaning launch tower. One for Musk-o-philes / mining the deep, from Howard Hughes to hairy crabs / record-breaking car salesmen start to fight dirty / landscape paintings by Tor Falcon / a booklet about the QE2, at Rob Lightbody’s lovingly crafted website about ocean liners. See also Ocean Liners: Speed and Style at the V&A / many, many historic maps of London.

Posted in cartography | Leave a comment

Spinning around

A depressing piece about New Zealand’s potential future role as a home for disenfranchised billionaires (via MeFi) / the most interesting modern houses in Yorkshire / The Best Things Found Between the Pages of Old Books, at Atlas Obscura (via kottke) / Anthony McCall (via) / art by Hanna ten Doornkaat / beautiful paintings by Piet Raemdonck / an interactive map of Grim London. Wikipedia’s Timeline of London does a similar job without the gothic interface / explore space with Space Engine / Hit the Road, the book of van living /, a CAD programme for building with Lego / modern ruins, yet again / Poly, Google’s 3D search engine.

Posted in ephemera | Leave a comment

Things to watch

Things to watch. Night Windows, a short film by Ian Cross / a performance by suitmanjungle / Love Sport: Love Paintball, a short film by Studio AKA / a lovely film about the late architect Neave Brown / related, is planning a book, A Guide to Modernism in Metro-Land via Unbound / NASA flight test videos, a repository (via Coudal).

Posted in photography | Leave a comment

A year in review

How machine learning and “computer vision” will transform our cities / Micro campers from Japan / intricate drawings by Nicolas V. Sanchez (via tmn) / Alvaro Siza on Living in a House, at Reading Design / photography by Gerco de Ruijter / ‘The Znamya project was a series of experimental orbital mirrors’ / artificial star condemned by astronomers / starman in space / a list of hoaxes on Wikipedia / how do you picture a year in your mind?

Posted in ephemera, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Merciful release

‘The boat’s been found and he’s not on it’: tragic sailor Donald Crowhurst’s final voyage, by his son. The Crowhurst story is endlessly fascinating. We especially love Tacita Dean’s book, Teignmouth Electron, and its associated imagery (e.g. Aerial View of Teignmouth Electron, Cayman Brac 16th of September 1998, located here) / Concussion Protocol is a moving and eerie look at one season’s worth of catastrophic injuries rendered on the American football pitch, mostly in slow-mo, mostly in reverse. No gore, but just a very stark reminder of the fundamental insanity of a contact sport that requires helmets to make it ‘safe’. Also linked at Kottke, which has been doing quiet but sterling work on the NFL’s ongoing and increasing problem with the sheer violence of its sport / classics-style video games at Locomalito, including L’Abbaye des Morts, which you can also play online / Dr Who vs Electro Harmonix / random sound generator.

Posted in history | Leave a comment

The house on the hill

A View From a Hill, over one hundred two minute sound snippets, ambient noises and short pieces from all around (via Transpontine) / Pentagram has designed this beautiful book about East London / a typical slice of the wit and wisdom of Mark E. Smith, early 1991: “Shoulda finished the bastards off…. We’re going to live with this forever now. For the next 20 years. Your children will probably be fighting Iraqis in 25 bloody years. You want to look up on your history, man.” Related, The Wire MES Portal / a playlist of Financial Classic Films / Urban pastoral: ‘playful photo collages by Felicia Simon that celebrate Romania’s eclectic homes’ at The Calvert Journal / recommended VR experiences for your phone.

Posted in ephemera | Leave a comment

Down in the city

The Tube is really noisy / this is what an abandoned high-speed train looks like / a bit of both: abandoned Tube trains / we liked the story of the US bases revealed by eager joggers (via MeFi, etc.) / histories of St John’s Wood / jobs of the future, visualised at designboom.

Posted in architecture | Leave a comment