Archive for December, 2007

Building A Yurt Kazakh Style

Found this while Stumbling around this morning…Can’t wait to try one of my own.

TrailerWrap by Michael Hughes

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Love this idea, though the economic model does not seem to work. Trailer parks exist to fill a gap in the market. Anyone who can afford to will buy a stick-built house. Not to mention the fact that trailers actually depreciate in value rather than appreciate. But this one does look good:

"To Hughes, trailer parks offer an architectural opportunity to address questions of affordable housing. And he believes that trailers simply make sense as high-density alternatives to suburban sprawl. But first, they need to be made into attractive living spaces. "This is refabricated housing," Hughes says. "What does it mean to have light pouring into your home, with nine-foot instead of seven-foot ceilings? We wanted to highlight what’s possible even on a small house."

Read the rest here

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Jackson Pollack or The Mammalian Neocortical Column

bluebrain.jpg

When I saw this I was sure it was yet another generations attempt to re-envision the genius of J. Pollack. To my great delight, it is in fact a ridiculously complex computer model of the cerebral cortex of the human brain. Fabulous, right? Because the connection is uncanny; Pollack and his AbEx cronies were all about the dissolution of filters between the mind and the work of art. You know, painting the ego or even id. It was all about the inner workings of these guys and now, fifty years later we get a (nearly)working model of the actual organ they were metaphorically representing and they look nearly identical! Damn!

"A visual representation of a mammalian neocortical column, the basic building block of the cortex. the representation shows the complexity of this part of the brain, which has now been modeled using a supercomputer. the visualization is part of an ambitious project to create a biologically accurate, functional model of the brain using IBM’s Blue Gene supercomputer.

"the visualization of the neurons’ shapes is a challenging task given the fact that a column of 10,000 neurons rendered in high quality mesh accounts for essentially 1 billion triangles for which about 100GB of management data is required. simulation data with a resolution of electrical compartments for each neuron accounts for another 150GB. as the electrical impulse travels through the column, neurons light up and change color as they become electrically active."

[link: technologyreview.com & epfl.ch & epfl.ch (movie)|via visualcomplexity.com]

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Classic Board Games at Games Gone By – lol!

Shmo2Remember those rainy days when you spent hours with your siblings sitting around beat-up board games, rolling dice, dealing cards, sinking battleships, getting into fights? My brother and I played the 70s classics: Clue, Twister, and Battleship. Toss Across was always a favorite, and of course the checkers/Chinese checkers combo.

But most of the games on Games Gone By are new to me. If Only we’d had SHMO when we were kids…

Check out the rest here.

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On Ugliness by Umberto Eco

UglybettyJust read a great review of Eco’s "On Ugliness" in the Telegraph. I confess a weakness for Eco’s essays and fiction, but Brian Dillon pulls no punches in his attempt to put Eco into historical place. Worth the read, made me want ot read him again:

"By the Romantic period, the grotesque and the sublime were established as aesthetic categories, and the decadents of the late 19th century loved nothing more than a deathly consumptive countenance. In the wake of 20th-century avant-gardes, unadulterated beauty looks saccharine, immature or kitsch. We seduce only with our faults, wrote Baudrillard. Or as Johnny Rotten put it: there’s nothing so boring as a pretty face."

read the rest after the jump HERE

Doris Lessing’s ’07 Nobel Prize Acceptance Speech

Dorislessing"The storyteller is deep inside everyone of us. The story-maker is always with us. Let us suppose our world is attacked by war, by the horrors that we all of us easily imagine. Let us suppose floods wash through our cities, the seas rise . . . but the storyteller will be there, for it is our imaginations which shape us, keep us, create us – for good and for ill. It is our stories that will recreate us, when we are torn, hurt, even destroyed. It is the storyteller, the dream-maker, the myth-maker, that is our phoenix, that represents us at our best, and at our most creative."

read the rest after the jump…via The Guardian

Edith Piaf and Django Reinhardt

PiafreinhardtDon’t know what it is about this photo that moves me. Edith Piaf and Django Reinhardt sitting for a portrait no doubt but they both seem miles away, absorbed in the intimacy of touch. She is reading his palm and as I lacerated my own right hand in a fit of rage last night and ended up in urgent care, I am particularly sensitive to the fragility of my body and indeed my life…

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Proverbios y Cantares by Antonio Machado

Caribbeansea_sugimotoYour footsteps are the path, and nothing else;
there is no path, paths are made by walking.
Walking makes the path, and on looking back
We see a trail that never can be walked again.
Traveler, there is no path,
Only a wake in the sea.

- Antonio Machado
Proverbios y Cantares

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Earthdesk

Earthdesk Forget that boring desktop! Turn yours into a real-time map of mother earth complete with twilight shading.

I saw this over at CH and had to have it. It really is great.

Earthdesk

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