We noticed that the new layout isn't a fan of our quickie, non-titled posts, so we've taken them offline and collated their tidbits into this single, titled post.
We like storm drain stenciling. They usually read: No Dumping / Drains To River. But how about: Dump Here / Your Kids Get Cancer. Or: You'll Be Drinking That Soon.
“A new type of 'lunar concrete,' made by mixing moondust and carbon nanotubes, could be used to construct buildings, solar power arrays, and monolithic telescopes on the moon,” National Geographic reports.
Watch the films of Rudolph Valentino and Cecil B. DeMille beside their remains at Hollywood Forever Cemetery. Necropolises as occupiable urban open spaces.
Watch David Barrie explain how to
The People's Liberation Army against hydrology —
Charles Holland, of Fantastic Journal, writes:
In his book Looking at the Overlooked Norman Bryson describes the strange impossibility of the scenes depicted in Dutch still life painting. Vases teeming with exotic flowers would be painted in lavish detail despite the fact that the flowers themselves could never have existed together in that state. Coming from different continents and time zones they would flower at different times of the year and their representation together in full bloom is a perverse distortion of nature. The flowers represent both a temporal and spatial collapsing of distinctions and difference. The pictures instead celebrate a new found knowledge and power within the world, they are the product of empire.
In our post-humanist era, the direct descendants of Dutch still life painting — and also this sort of Northern Renaissance genre painting — must be our cloned sheep and GM rice fields and auricular mice and Martian designer plants and transgenic zoos, especially when visually composed for mass consumption via CNN, press releases and blogs.
A 26-ton miniature earth core filled with boiling metal will spin at about 90 miles per hour in a laboratory to generate “the world's first artificial, spherical and self-sustaining magnetic field.” It will help scientists better understand our planet's magnetic climate, which “acts like a protective shield, blocking harmful particles from the sun, which fry the electronics on board orbiting satellites and mess with the electrical grids powering homes and offices.” It will also birth a new industry in magnetic weather modification.
Polar Inertia visits some abandoned swimming pools.
New York's Central Park has turned into a battleground, New York Magazine tells us — joggers vs. bikers vs. dog walkers vs. drivers. “It’s about the politics of public space. Who gets that space? And how is it apportioned?”
We ♥ P-REX.
Is Mother Nature a bulldyke?
According to National Geographic, anthropologists have mapped a “latticework” of “dozens of densely packed, pre-Columbian towns, villages, and hamlets.” Combining local knowledge with GIS and satellite imagery, Michael Heckenberger and his colleagues have identified two major settlement clusters, each with “a central seat of ritualistic power with wide roads radiating out to other communities.” Furthermore, “between the settlements, which today are almost completely overgrown, was a patchwork of agricultural fields for crops such as manioc along with dams and ponds likely used for fish farms.” The organization has similarities to Ebenezer Howard's garden cities, says Heckenberger. This is the mythological city of Z, says another.
So there's this reality show, plainly titled Architecture School, on the Sundance Channel. For six episodes, we get to see students from Tulane University's School of Architecture design and build a house for a low income family in New Orleans. You can catch the first episode on Hulu. Hopefully, it will become a massive success, as it may make television producers more receptive to our own reality series, The Surreal Life: Bungalow Edition.
In Parks and Recreation, Amy Poehler stars as Leslie Knope, the head of the Parks and Recreation department in Pawnee, Indiana. “Knope takes on a project from a nurse named Ann to turn a construction pit into a park, while trying to mentor a bored college-aged intern.” It will be a mockumentary style series like The Office.
Archinect and InfraNet Lab are previewing the first issue of [bracket], On Farming.
“The people of the Carterets Islands, off the coast of Papua New Guinea, are the first entire people to officially be evacuated because of climate change.” And this blog chronicles their plight.
Freshkills Park has a blog.
Atlas Obscura is a growing compendium of “out-of-the-way places that are singular, eccentric, bizarre, fantastical, and strange” from Dylan Thuras, of Curious Expedition, and Joshua Foer, of the long-dormant Athanasius Kircher Society.
“The Dutch Dialogues workshops are the outgrowth of extended interactions between Dutch engineers, urban designers, landscape architects, city planners, soils/hydrology experts and, primarily, their Louisiana counterparts.”
Most likely it was because spring has arrived, but we like to think the recent passage of the health care reform bill and the fact that municipal budgets everywhere are being crippled by the recession (and perhaps even the growing popularity of urban farming and street fruit foraging) may have also instigated The New York Times to commission Thomas Leo Ogren, author of Allergy-Free Gardening, to write an op-ed piece on cultivating an allergy-free urban forest. “Many arborists and landscapers like to plant male trees and shrubs because they’re 'litter-free' — that is, they produce no seeds or seedpods.” No fruits messing and stinking up the streets also mean cities don't have to spend much on clean up. “But male trees shed lots of pollen; that’s their job. And once it’s released, it can be blown around for months,” inducing severe allergic reactions and asthma attacks.
SHIFT, a new print and web publication of the Student Chapter of the American Society of Landscape Architects (SASLA) at North Carolina State University College of Design, is seeking submissions for its inaugural issue, SHIFT: Infrastructure. The deadline is June 1, 2010.
Walton Ford's Bestiarium is marvelous!
Urban Omnibus has posted some of the entries to Minds in the Gutter, a recent ideas competition organized to gather alternative designs for stormwater management systems in New York City.
In an e-mail alerting us to the upcoming broadcast on public television of Children of the Amazon, a documentary which “follows Brazilian filmmaker Denise Zmekhol as she travels a modern highway deep into the Amazon in search of the Indigenous Surui and Negarote children she photographed fifteen years ago,” this brief blurb about one of those tribes particularly stood out for us, considering our longstanding interest in participatory GIS and the synergy between high-tech geospatial technologies and human rights activism:
Through a groundbreaking relationship with Google, the Surui tribe is using GPS, Google Earth, Android phones, and other digital media to document the devastation and connect with activists worldwide.
Learn more about this partnership in this nearly 3-year-old article from the San Francisco Chronicle. The Smithsonian magazine has a longer piece here, while BBC News has a video report.
One of the recipients of the 2009-10 Branner Traveling Fellowship is Eleanor Pries. During her yearlong globetrotting, she will research “buildings and systems that catch, convey, store, and filter water through basic hydrological principles.” These include stepwells, reservoirs, foggaras, qanat and Andalucian gutter-scapes, all of which she'll awesomely catalogue in her blog, drip | dry. Already she's explored some irrigation channels in the Peruvian Andes and geothermal pools in Iceland.
The Los Angeles Urban Rangers had planned to wrap up their 3-year Malibu Public Beach project with 3 mini-safaris last February before canceling them due to rain. They have since rescheduled these “last-hurrah” safaris for Sunday, May 23.
Are you tired of Zuma and Surfrider? Want to find and use the 20 miles of public beaches that are lined with private development? Our safaris will equip you with the advanced skills necessary to find and use the Malibu public beaches legally and safely. Activities include signwatching, trailblazing the public-private boundary, and a public easement potluck.
The safaris are free, and no sign-up is required. Just don't plan to join mid-safari.
We recommend booking a passage on Agnes Meyer-Brandis's Research Raft for Subterranean Reefology.
“When Robert De Niro flushes his toilet in Tribeca, Harlem has to deal with it.”