Sabres drawn

Spam-erican Apparel, or how automated customisation just increased your choice to the point of utter incoherence (via MeFi, where someone notes sagely: ‘Zazzle, the Cafepress for people late to the internet’). There is something to be said about the work of art in the age of mechanical reproduction here, but we can’t formulate it just yet. Zazzle vendors exist to amplify the confusion by splicing public domain stock photography with Zazzle’s extensive inventory of objects, creating tens of thousands of things with no precedence in the history of design. From the article: ‘ShroudedLake basically arranges miniature versions of a fairly limited number of everyday objects in a seemingly endless number of combinations: square of grass with a tiny shoe on it, square of grass with a golf tee on it, square of grass with a golf ball on a golf tee on it, square of grass with a golf ball next to a golf tee on it, etc.’

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Amazon has over 700 books about the history of Route 66. The British road system hasn’t inspired quite such attention, but there are a few classics in the genre. Pieter Boogaart’s A272: An Ode to a Road, for example (reviewed back in things 12) and Edward Platt’s Leadville, a biography of the grimy ribbon of asphalt destruction that is the A40 in West London. Now there’s a new A-road biography for the pile, A303: Highway To The Sun, the book of the film. More on the A303 at the wonderful SABRE, The Society for All British and Irish Road Enthusiasts, with its incredibly maps and forums. Are there any other minor British roads that deserve their own monograph?

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3 Responses to Sabres drawn

  1. Colin says:

    Only pretty well every road that lies atop a Roman one. The stones poke thru in places, and you know you’re probably on one (or section of) when you hit a dead straight line of older bitumen for more than a km. Distinctive slope cuts are often still there on backroads too.

    http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roman_roads_in_Britain#section_5

  2. Pingback: Lazy Reading for 2012/05/06 – DragonFly BSD Digest

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