Archive for April, 2005

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Saturday, April 23rd, 2005

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Saw this and thought of you,

Saturday, April 23rd, 2005

The West Midlands car modding fraternity has a lot to learn from their
peers over in japan; where class and subtlety is no longer an issue, the
japanese seem to win.


Dear Rob,

Friday, April 22nd, 2005

This is just a short note to let you know I am rather busy at the
moment, and although I would like to spend more time amusing you, for
now you will have to make do with something amusing I made for
you(although I know you already have it.)


stepping aside

Friday, April 22nd, 2005

Dear no, too self

We’ve been expecting too much of each other of late, I think we need to
take a break.

No, wait, don’t get upset. It’s not about you, it’s me, it’s my fault.
I’ve promised you so much and let you down so often. You deserve better.
I think we need to take a break.

Just a week, maybe two. We could have an open relationship and see some
other people. Remember
last year?
We needed some space and it worked out OK.

What? No, I meant just you really. You could see some other people if
you like. I shan’t. I’ll be too upset, probably.

I’ll ask Tom to get in touch. You remember him – he’s the guy who gave
me the
key to MI5
and went off to Spain to
build a cave
. Alfie‘s in town
too. You’d like him, he’s
a skater boy
, he can take your picture and
make you say cheese. Maybe Peter could
tell you all the things I should have said. Ask Joel to write to you. He knows
how to write. Maybe, just maybe, I could persuade Alexis to
drop you a line. He’s always got a story to tell and he
makes great tea

It’ll be good for you. I’ll come back. I promise. Just tell me that they
meant nothing to you and I’ll come back. Otherwise just let them in, all
of them and I’ll never bother you again.

You wouldn’t do that though, would you?



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Thursday, April 21st, 2005
  • StompBox Project

    ‘…it’s a compact little box that gets data from cellular towers and re-shares it for multiple computers to use…’

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For Pat

Thursday, April 21st, 2005

We’d journey, seemingly forever, from the town to the country. Darkness would fall, the headlights of the car only just winning the battle against the rural pitch black. Sleep. Breakfast in a farmhouse kitchen. Tea towels draped over the handles of the range. Spot, the farmhouse dog whose name is all that’s necessary to describe his appearance, darts frantically around at your feet. A Jack Russell’s demeanour never seems to change.

Out to the yard to fetch the sheepdog, between the barns there’s a mist trying hard to be fog. In the back of a Land Rover dog and I climb, I perch on the wheel arch, this is his space not mine. He eyes me suspiciously, I’m not his master; he suspects I am quick but he knows he is faster. The four by four vehicle forces dirt tracks to yield. Supermarket? School run? No. Sheep in a field. He’s given the order and carefully slinks. Slowly at first then a whistle says FLY! Surgical precision. Away. COME BY! I fill pockets with stones that I find on the field. There are millions, they’re worthless, I’m told it’s called flint. They can make sparks and fires – now that’s worth a mint.

My memory grows hazy, it’s a new time of year. I climb on a tractor – a Ford? A John Deere? Lambs I would later be able to eat – so cute, so cuddly – now my favourite meat. Some fed on bottles, I feel no remorse, knowing little of gravy, spuds or mint sauce.

Here comes the harvest, a barn full of grain, protected from splashes of autumnal rain. I ride on the trailer towed by the tractor; it’s bumpy, hilarious, dangerous even – but all thoughts of accidents don’t seem to factor. Marks from the tractor scribed on the mud, straight lines and arcs, circles round trees, I’d repeat their perfection with a pen if I could.

Back at the farmhouse a pheasant’s our feed. Shot by the farmer, he carves it in tweed.

A pipe. Pipe cleaners. The smell of tobacco.

Spot jumps. We go home.

I learnt last night that my Mother’s best friend – whose husband was my Father’s best man at their wedding and whose daughter was born on the same day as me – died this week of a heart attack. As a child I would visit their farm and, unsurprisingly, images of the place began to return when I heard the news. Tainted by the passing of time, some may be idealised fabrications; most are as vivid as if they were only days old. The slightly bouncy rhythm I’m going to blame on the fact that I was recalling a time when everything was a form of play.

Every child deserves to have the opportunity to see the life blood of all of us – the products of working the earth – nutured and harvested. Yet I doubt I’ll even be able to provide that experience for my own kids today. How many of you know someone who works with the land?

Not many of you I’ll wager.

as early as you please

Tuesday, April 19th, 2005

An article I was reading about the current exhibition at the V&A in London reminded me of a book I have by John Ruskin, which, in turn, reminded me of some photos I took during a trip to Tuscany. Returning to the 101 year old book and the 3 year old digital photos, it seemed only fair to bring them together and share them with you.

Here’s a brief excerpt to wet your appetite. If you ever travel to Florence, let me know and I’ll lend you the book.

Mornings in Florence by John Ruskin (1904)

Today, as early as you please, and at all events before doing anything else, let us go to Giotto’s own parish-church, Santa Maria Novella. If, walking from the Strozzi Palace, you look on your right for the ‘Way of the Beautiful Ladies,’ it will take you quickly there.


Do not let anything get in the way of acquaintance, sacristan, or chance sight, stop you in doing what I tell you. Walk straight up to the church, into the apse of it; – (you may let your eyes rest, as you walk, on the glow of its glass, only mind the step, half way;) – and lift the curtain; and go in behind the grand marble altar, giving anybody who follows you anything they want, to hold their tongues or go away.


You know, most probably, already, that the frescoes on each side of you are Ghirlandajo’s. You have been told they are fine, and if you know anything of painting, you know the portraits in them are so. Nevertheless, somehow, you don’t really enjoy these frescoes, nor come here often do you?

The reason of which is, that if you are a nice person, they are not nice enough for you; and if you are a vulgar person, not vulgar enough.

Well, now you must ask for the Sacristan, who is civil and nice enough; and get him to let you into the green cloister, and then into the less cloister opening out of it on the right, as you go down the steps; and you must ask for the tomb of the Marchesa Strozzi Rifoldi; and in the recess behind the Marchesa’s tomb – very close to the ground, and in excellent light, if the day is fine, – you will see two small frescos, only about four feet wide each, in odd-shaped bits of wall – quarters of circles; representing – that on the left, the Meeting of Joachim and Anna at the Golden Gate; and on the right, the Birth of the Virgin1.

No flourish of trumpets here, at any rate, you think! No gold on the gate; and, for the birth of the Virgin – is this all! Goodness! – nothing to be seen , whatever of bas-reliefs, nor fine dresses, nor graceful pourings out of water, nor processions of visitors?

No. But there’s one thing you can see, here, which you didn’t in Ghirlandajo’s fresco, unless you were very clever and looked hard for it – the Baby! And you are never likely to see a more true piece of Giotto’s work in this world.

If, however, you no longer have a single romantic bone in your body and you have no interest in holding the slightly yellowed pages of the original in your hand – unable to turn the pages due to the blisters on your mouse finger – you could simply download the whole thing from the Gutenberg project.

1. this image doesn’t appear to be the one Ruskin is describing as the details are slightly different, the general theme is the same though and it’s all I’ve been able to find so far – I’ll have to go back again!

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Monday, April 18th, 2005
  • freesound

    ‘…The Freesound Project aims to create a huge collaborative database of audio snippets, samples, recordings, bleeps, … released under the Creative Commons Sampling Plus License…’

  • Spatial annotation projects / elastic space

    ‘…A list of spatial annotation projects and platforms…’

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mvrdv are go

Monday, April 18th, 2005

The VPRO building by MVRDV:


Thunderbirds Tracy Island Rescue Mat – £9.98 from Asda:


(photo source:


Sunday, April 17th, 2005

On the arrogance of architects (from the comments on an article entitled ‘Why architects give me the willies’):

I’m a graphic designer at an architecture firm, and am currently setting up a new business-card template to send to the printer. The templates had been designed to accommodate long, hyphenated last names as well as multiple professional accreditation initials.

After entering in all 100+ names into the forms, one person’s name did not fit.

This person used their full first name—not unusual—but then also their full middle name, whereas most chose to forego even a middle initial. And then, this person wanted “Associate AIA” after his name, which I suppose is OK, but it’s sort of like putting “almost AIA” after your name. (“Associate AIA” means you have an architectural degree and are paying dues but haven’t yet passed the certification exam.)

So, in the interest of trying to get all the information to fit, I asked if he wouldn’t mind either using just an initial, or else maybe getting rid of “Associate AIA.”

He declined to omit any information, explaining that “It’s not ‘Frank L. Wright.’ ”

(posted by salvomania)

Found via a mammoth piece of wrinking over at