Sunday, 26 May 2019

europawahl

Though Angela Merkel’s party, the Christian Democratic Union, did lighten up on their messaging somewhat, having taken this particular poster out of circulation early on after the campaign began in mid-April, the notion that freedom is not a guaranteed matter of course and that elections have consequences still is a crucial one.  Representation is important and illiberal forces are counting on your political disillusionment and disenfranchisement to forward their agendas. If polling has not already taken place where you live, please get out there and vote.

hægri dagurinn

A year after a far more logistically challenging switch-over had occurred in Sweden, all vehicular traffic in Iceland switched from left-handed chirality to right on this day in 1968.
Owing to the relative absence of congestion on the roads prior and to the stationing of British military forces during and after World War II which significantly overrode civilian activity, Iceland was not compelled to choose or to align itself until it began hosting more guests from continental Europe and America. As for Sweden, the change was imposed in hopes of reducing traffic accidents and while indeed accidents decreased right after the transition due to an abundance of caution and over-compensation, the benefits were not long-lasting.

Saturday, 25 May 2019

towel day

First observed two weeks after the death of Douglas Adams (previously here and here) in 2001, this day since has been designated as such as the author’s practical advice for interstellar hitchhikers to carry a towel with them at all times, even if they are without any other gear and otherwise quite out of their element. Widespread since 2006, this day has also been set aside as Geek Pride Day and although the two came about independently (the latter probably selected in deference to the premiere of Star Wars on this day in 1977), there’s surely some shared heritage among them.

Friday, 24 May 2019

material and motif

The always brilliant Nag on the Lake introduces us to the repertoire of architect Bruce Alonzo Goff (*1904 - †1982) through his organic, harmonious commission for artists and educators Nancy and Eugene Bavinger completed in 1955 (making the cover of LIFE magazine due to its immediate status as a tourist attraction) in Norman, Oklahoma, far off the beaten path.
Set in the woods and using a re-purposed oil derrick drill stem as the central spire a single locally-sourced sandstone wall spiralled to the ground like a Möbius strip, the only division separating indoors from outdoors, rooms were suspended platforms at graduated heights with curtains that could be drawn for privacy and the ground floor was the forest itself. This icon of habitation integrated with its environment was sadly ultimately demolished in 2016 overgrown with vegetation and after a decade of vacancy and a tornado that damaged the structure’s anchor as plans for restoration were discussed. Other examples of works by Goff survive and enjoy protected status.

a white flag with an insignia that looks like an eagle vomiting two strips of bacon

Via Coudal Partners’ Fresh Signals, the American state of Illinois may have been saddled with a pretty awful banner, but it is heartening to know it is far from alone in that category with quite a few others having some quite poorly designed flags. None, I think could top the city flag of Tampa, Florida for the sheer volume and density of vexillological violations.  More to explore at the links above.

number 10