Will the Chinese really rebuild the Crystal Palace? Probably not, especially as no architect is yet attached to the project, although the renderings show a modernised version of the original design (although admittedly the re-built structure was substantially different from the one used for the Great Exhibition). There was some half-hearted attempts at rebuilding the Palace back in 1996, with Ian Ritchie’s concept the front runner for a while. A few years later, Wilkinson Eyre’s proposal for a floating glass blob garnered quite a lot of attention. See the Crystal Palace Campaign for more information.
This superb ephemera collection from Kindra Murphy pointed us towards the publishing phenomenon that is the Little Blue Books. More information about these eclectic volumes can be found at the extensive site dedicated to the books and publisher, Emanuel Haldeman-Julius:
‘Promoted as a “University in Print,” the Little Blue Books covered a vast range of subjects including literature, politics, religion, history, sexuality, economics, self-help, and fine arts. As the popularity of the Little Blue Books grew, so did the scope of material, eventually bringing in to the fold volumes on cooking, stock prices, and contemporary humour, to name but a few.
At the time of Emanuel Haldeman-Julius’ death on July 31, 1951, the Little Blue Book series boasted an inventory of over 1,800 booklets, and had seen some 2,300 unique titles grace the ranks. Responsibility for the Little Blue Book enterprise then passed to Emanuel Haldeman-Julius’ son, Henry, who would shepherd the series until 1978, when the Little Blue Book publishing plant in Girard, Kansas, was destroyed by fire.’
The site has a massive gallery of covers. There’s only one text at (archive.org (#145 – Great Ghost Stories from 1924) and one at Project Gutenberg (#1195 – First Love, And Other Fascinating Stories of Spanish Life), so for now all you have is the promises of the splendid titles: #1814 – How to Choose a Mate Scientifically.
The Mir and Buran space programs, two flickr sets / Matchboxes from the Subcontinent, a collection gathered in Bangalore by Matt Lee / related, Flame / on manipulation in architectural photography, including Julius Shulman’s notorious ‘portable garden‘, the means by which foliage could creep into shot / the flickr stream of the Royal Australian Historical Society
Design in Film: The Modern House. Houses old, new and entirely imagined from the cinema / The Organ, one of the oldest ongoing music ‘zines in the UK / Fraudulent Mediums Act 1951: ‘An Act to repeal the Witchcraft Act 1735, and to make, in substitution for certain provisions of section four of the Vagrancy Act 1824, express provision for the punishment of persons who fraudulently purport to act as spiritualistic mediums or to exercise powers of telepathy, clairvoyance or other similar powers’ / Houdini: Art and Magic / fool around with Cloudpaint, the classic MacOS drawing program / a great collection of Dr Seuss books and ephemera / You Are Here, a weblog about photography and adventures / A Dolls’ House. 20 of the world’s best architects and designers build a dolls’ house for KIDS.
Old but gold, the Endor Holocaust: ‘Objects larger than a few meters will impact upon the surface. Pieces which are the size of starships will land with explosions comparable to thermonuclear detonations. Pieces which are several kilometres wide will flatten vast tracts of forest, cause tremendous groundquakes, create craters up to hundreds of kilometres wide etc. Big impacts will inject vast amounts of dust and soot into the atmosphere.’ / Adventures of a serial trespasser / Lavatory Self-Portraits in the Flemish Style by Nina Katchadourian / yet another daily delivery of culture, Milk Bar Magazine / above, Claudius Ptolemaeus, Geografia cioè Descrittione Universale della Terra, 1598
Posted in ephemera
Photographs of old Bucharest, with the looming Palace of the Parliament emerging out of the old city, obliterating all that had gone before it / Reasons why London is the worst place ever. See also, crap London / Richard Meier houses then and now / The snottiest, snoggiest Jesus and Mary Chain interview ever, 1986 / Wire to the Ear, a blog about music technology and more / see also Matrix Synth / more synthy things at Music Thing Modular / tips on collecting / all the data and information on the Costa Concordia operation / extraordinary paintings – all unusual perspective and freeze-framed action – by Nicola Verlato / the smooth blog to travel drawing, Moleskine excerpts / History of Engineering and Technology, a machine-obsessed tumblr / OKOLO make and observe things.
The Sagrada Familia in 2026, an official animation showing the next stages of construction / sort of related, No, you will never have skyscrapers with trees on them / An Insider’s View Of 19th-Century Paris (Even The Urinals) / a Lego Calendar that syncs with Google Calendar. Looks complex / sort of related, Sounds of the Office, a long-playing record from 1964 (at Smithsonian Folkways Recording / Extraordinary Collection of Counterculture Literature Up for Auction.
Sifteo Cubes, a stackable gaming system / Space Engine, a universe in less than 700 mb (via RPS) / related, Frontier Astro, ‘dedicated to Elite, Frontier and Astronomy’ (when you could fit a universe on a floppy disk) / walk the aisles of the Woolworths Museum / Civil Disturbances, 1975. How to keep the peace in the event of a national crisis / the Writer’s Hub, advice, articles and more / Fourth Door presents ‘an in depth view of Nature and Culture’ / Zero Hours, the life of a Londoner in 2023 / the city now at the London Landscape Observatory, which links to Karen Russo’s installation featuring the Hackney Mole Man.
Posted in design
Choose your own adventure: smartphone manufacturer’s edition / fun with flexi discs / tiny microscopic worlds created by Takahiro Iwasaki (at Bored Panda, a site which revels in digital esoterica / speaking of which, Clive Thompson’s new book looks at the transformative power of internet culture: ‘There’s a global polylogue going on, so immense and transformative that we can’t quite understand its implications, not yet.’ / The Fat White Duke, memoirs of a musician and A&R man, at Unbound / Lot 9, blink and you miss it pop-up culture. We missed it / Old Book Covers, a flickr set (via Projects). Many, many gems here / Ken Adam and the Architecture of Apple.
Twenty years seems to be a trigger point for all sorts of nostalgia, a drag net through the past that scrapes at the lingering memories of pop culture and then hauls them, kicking and screaming, into the light of the present day. Sometimes it’s a welcome illumination. Sometimes that light is too harsh. Sometimes you have literally no idea as to what the light will reveal. Related, Steve Albini talks Nirvana, and the letter he wrote when originally asked to produce the album.
That’s All Folks: ‘Every generation gets the fictional doomsday it desires’. On contemporary concerns in science fiction cinema / related, Seinfeld and Sci-fi, on the ‘pornography of infinity’ in The Parking Garage / An American WW2 boxed warship recognition set / Box, a short film exploring the current state of projection mapping / fave versus save / the last Twentieth Project is upon us: write and record a song in a day / Walter Gropius House for sale in Chelsea.
Proof, a new photography-focused site from the National Geographic / Hanger // Hiatus, a tumblr about a pause in fashion / Punched & Ruled, a tumblr / the inspiration blog of Dimitris Polychroniadis, art and architecture / the Phoenix Van, a compact VW-based camper. See also the Brubaker Box. Sort of related, Sweet Post-apocalyptic Rides (1970s Edition) at JK Muir’s Reflections on Cult Movies and Classic TV.