Balafire flicker bulb

December 5th, 2015 by LB

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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Have we learned nothing from the 60s UK demolitions?

November 20th, 2015 by LB

The urban planning disasters of the 1960s in Britain. We think we have learned from them, but have we?

Start watching the video at 14:00 if you don’t want to watch the whole documentary, which is a sort of myth-busting look at the 60s in England. There’s a fantastic segment on brutalism, the influence of le Corbusier, and the question of who benefited from the wholesale destruction of English towns and cities in the 60s.

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Bush: terrorist No. 1

November 19th, 2015 by LB

A friend and I arrived in Paris in 2005 at the tail end of a an anti-Bush, anti-war protest in the Bastille. This poster had been left behind and I kept it. Bush was in Paris to comemmorate, ironically, the 60th anniversary of the end of WWII.

The war on Iraq (that edition of it anyway) was in 2005 only two years old.

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Harvey Molotch’s “The City as Growth Machine”

November 12th, 2015 by LB


This is sociologist Harvey Molotch: like a handsomer Munch from Homicide: Life on the Street
“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 still 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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…release and just feel the weight of the world on your back and it’s crushing you

November 12th, 2015 by LB


Just breathe, your life means nothing and your children’s lives are worth nothing and the only thing that matters is the almighty dollar

Yoga instructor:
“OK good, now hinge at the hips but don’t flip the tailbone and feel that stretch right from the heels to the tips of the fingers and come into the present moment, and dog stretch, and don’t think about this town, and if I see one more man with a bun, not a ponytail but an honest to god bun with an honest-to-god SCRUNCHIE and those birkenstocks like he’s some kind of homeless samurai… And he’s the one turning me down!

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This is what the 80s were really like: a permanent Rickroll

November 7th, 2015 by LB

I was there; I should know. As one caption to this video read, very accurately, “this is what it was like 24/7.”

I went looking for clothes the other day but everything was 80s, badly printed shirts and high waisted jeans the colour of skim milk.  Looking at this stuff I had a visceral memory of the daily Rickroll that was living through that decade.

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