Archive for the ‘design’ Category

Dad’s foolproof parallel parking method (take note, atrocious drivers in fancy cars)

Thursday, August 18th, 2016

OK. Having witnessed perhaps the most staggeringly incompetent parallel park of all time by the driver of the $500K US Lamborghini Aventador above—something like a 17 point turn that took about 4 minutes, all at a roaring 90-100 decibels—I feel it’s time to share my father’s foolproof method of parallel parking.

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Double-ended passionflower arrangement

Sunday, August 7th, 2016

While disentangling a rampant passionflower vine from my cherry tomatoes, I accidentally broke off a section. It broke at both ends, and then I couldn’t figure out which end needed to be in water, so I just hedged my bet with two vases. I still don’t know which direction the plant’s hydraulic system is going but it doesn’t matter, because it is surviving surprisingly well.

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Stripes on those parking lot pillars: urban design

Wednesday, June 8th, 2016

I was parking in a tiny parking spot today and suddenly noticed these stripes at side view mirror-height on the pillar I was squeezing next to. Multiple scrapes in different colours, on a paint job masking previous scrapes. While it’s true that some people don’t know where their cars are in space (I want to start looking at people’s side view mirrors now before I get into their cars), I think it’s also fair to say that when parking spots are much too small, you’re inevitably going to get cars mashing concrete.

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Endangered 5000 year old ancient practice of making silk made from mollusc slime

Friday, January 15th, 2016

“Haste doesn’t live here,” says one sign on the door. Another inside says “Nothing in this room is for sale.” An Italian woman named Chiara Vigo is the last living master of the ancient textile tradition of spinning “baysuss” or silk produced from the fibres exuded by a giant mediterranean mollusc. The craft is referenced in the holy books of more than one religion and is said to go back 5000 years.

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Balafire flicker bulb

Saturday, December 5th, 2015

This is a “flicker light” from my childhood. The green lacquer coating on the bulb is coming off, but amazingly it still works. It makes a soft tinking sound as the filaments hit the glass on either side. You can still find these on occasion, though increasingly seldom as they burn out one by one.

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Harvey Molotch’s “The City as Growth Machine”

Thursday, November 12th, 2015

Sociologist Harvey Molotch
“A city and, more generally, any locality, is conceived as the areal expression of the interests of some land-based elite.”

Harvey Molotch‘s seminal 1976 article “The City as Growth Machine”—which is equally applicable today—just happened to be published the same year of the UN Habitat Conference on Settlements that took place in Vancouver (and is the subject of my upcoming book).

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