Saturday, 29 January 2011
Friday, 28 January 2011
Meanwhile, back at the ranch, the US response to the revolt in Egypt is mild, cordial to the old despot, as if in these past three decades, he could most heinously be called the Grinch who stole Twitter. The sympathy is creeping although, and however shameful the lack of support and commitment may be for revolution, it is perhaps more telling of America’s dwindling relevance.
Thursday, 27 January 2011
The gathering of the World Economic Forum annually in the alpine retreat, exclusive and guarded, is a very strange, ornamented ritual, and I wonder if Thomas Mann's The Magic Mountain (Der Zauberberg), set in a sanitorium in the same village, is required reading for any and all attendees.
Tuesday, 25 January 2011
Since the shuttering of the stunning Tempelhof city airport of Berlin in 2008, a rather sad winding down of a historic place--built on lands owned originally by the Knights Templar and witnessed the Airlift of Berlin during the Cold War when the Western exclave was blockaded by the Soviets, people have been trying to come up with good ideas for use of this massive space.
Sunday, 23 January 2011
house-hunting and seriously entertained the idea of renting another nearby
Saturday, 22 January 2011
Admiral Akbar would proclaim, "It's a trap!") there is no floor, no levels, only a steep drop to the bottom for any unlucky visitor, but with an escape hatch in the back. Hopefully, eventually, the birds will discover that this is here for them.
Speaking of architectural idylls, I came across a very elegant website that showcases the strange and innovative in design spaces, with recent stories featuring plans for a nuclear-powered garrison-town under the ice of Greenland, a London underground map that reflected climate change and the sea level rise, and council-housing for London's future working-class robot population.
Thursday, 20 January 2011
Not wanting to see just a tribute, kareoke cover, I kept on and discovered that one is offered a rather incongruous and pregnant explanation, offered to learn more, which seemed a bit more apt than for all its emptiness and evasiveness, given what all can be delivered and what little cannot. Even doling out this rather insincere though mostly harmless excuse was a bit ironic since the music video has the backdrop of a vaguely European, totalitarian regime. The art work is from Patrick Nagel, who also graced the album cover for Rio (like the Wolf) and also from haircut catalog fame, which harks something of art deco but is at the same time a significant point of departure, prefiguring the minimalism of Anime and Manga. I spent the cold day with a lonely satillite.
Wednesday, 19 January 2011
Tuesday, 18 January 2011
Monday, 17 January 2011
Saturday, 15 January 2011
Sean Hartter. What fantasy casts would you bring together?
Friday, 14 January 2011
Scorpio--in a bit of an unfair turn of events--has been nearly edged out, in favour of the now more prominent Ophiuchus, the snake-handler and identified with the Father of Medicine, Aesculapius. None of this is new or novel, and there have always been purists and different schools of astrology. Incidentally, mythological, it is the Scorpion that crouches at the foot of Orion, as he embarks on his Great Hunt. While sporting with the other safari gods, Orion threatened to hunt down every last animal on Earth, but Mother Nature (Gaia) sent the Scorpion to sting Orion and stop the violence. According to some versions of the legend, it was Aesculapius (Ophiucus) who was able to heal Orion, though the party was called off. I guess that is why all these figures were banished to the night skies to chase each other forever. It seems especially unfair, though, considering Scorpios' ruling planet, Pluto, was demoted not too long ago.
Thursday, 13 January 2011
Wednesday, 12 January 2011
Tuesday, 11 January 2011
The gradual warming trend here is melting the accumulated snow and the cold, cold ground and rivers cannot accommodate much more of the water. It is strange to think that the chief weapon against flooding the world-around is the humble sandbag and neighbours helping neighbours, and not something novel, unwieldy and dangerous like Ice-9, especially considering the weather-weirding factors that are most likely contributing to the extremes.
European communities along major rivers, particularly where the waters have been straightened and manicured for shipping and are more prone to flooding because of these alterations, are equipped, however, with impressive retractable retaining walls, steel panels that rise out of the harbour automatically and as articulated as the sluices of the canals that they guard. It is potentially tragic and certainly nerve-wracking but always handled with poise and steadfastness, and not the same breed of stubborn prospectors on eroding beach-front property. Venice and Amsterdam have endured below sea level for centuries, recognizing that the constructs and artifices encroaching on the environment bring the floods regularly, and even harnessing the power of the waters wanting to be untamed.
Sunday, 9 January 2011
Friday, 7 January 2011
The other night, I listened to an infomercial to its conclusion, or at least its unabashed sales push, regarding the precarious situation that the US and world economy is still in. The report was not terribly original and a bit pandering, underestimating the devious and willful intent of the rich and the allure of joining the rich.
Wednesday, 5 January 2011
legal footraces big banks are running to minimize damage, from snatching up domain names that could be potential outlet for disgruntled and outraged customers, what could the next big shocker be? From bypassing real estate registrars, instituted centuries ago to prevent kings from easily seizing the lands of his subjects, gambling with the money of others, squandering public treasure, and bald thievery, what could possibly be the gasping news that might make these great houses blush? Months ago, a major credit card company, was shown to practice discriminatory rate hikes based on customers' shopping habits: if a card-holder frequented an establishment that demographically suggested poor credit-worthiness, like discount stores, the card-holder might see his or her interest rates rise. Maybe the banks are doing the same, but taking it a step further and selling one's shopping lists to marketing departments, captured through ubiquitous bank cards. What other depravity and betrayal could be put on full display?
Monday, 3 January 2011
History is littered with countless examples of despotic regimes wielding high treason, unilaterally defined and investigated, as an effective political tool to remove inconvenient people and inopportune laws, and the people who drafted the founding documents did not want their republic to devolve in that manner. Let us hope that America never again goes down this path, and if already committed to that course, can at least be turned. Apparently, the incoming US Congress, led by those same fundamentalists and literalists, wants to open their session with an unprecedented reading of the US Constitution in chambers. I wonder how much of more choice parts will be mumbled over, or what amendments, including the Bill of Rights, will be skipped to reinforce the myth that their constitution is eternal, sacred and infallible, especially if construed to one's own ends.