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BLDG BLOG 2015-03-29 01:43:00
[Image: Unrealized proposal for a "Palace of Water and Light" (1940) designed by Pier Luigi Nervi for the never-held 1942 Universal Exhibition in Rome; view larger. Via Oniropolis. Unrelated but potentially of interest, the "10 Mile Spiral" by Aranda\Lasch].


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BLDG BLOG 2015-03-28 19:52:00
[Image: Pier Two Athletic Center by Maryann Thompson Architects, Brooklyn; via Architizer]. Unconventional sports... A profile of Reebok published the other week on Bloomberg Business?which you needn't read, unless you are really into either shoe design or the global fitness industry?there's a brief but interesting observation about what people seem to want to do these days, in terms of physical activity. …


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BLDG BLOG 2015-03-27 16:50:00
[Image: "Sights" by Shannon Rankin]. I wrote about the map-based work of artist Shannon Rankin a few years back, featuring elaborately cut, pinned, sliced, and remade bits of global cartography. Rankin is currently participating in a group show at the New Art Center up in Newton, Massachusetts, if you happen to be nearby, but I basically just thought I'd use that …


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BLDG BLOG 2015-03-27 03:52:00
[Image: Photo courtesy Nellis Air Force Base]. Black eyedrops made from a "chlorophyll analog" have allowed human subjects to experience night vision?without the use of special goggles. The chemical, called Chlorin e6, "is found in some deep-sea fish and is used as an occasional method to treat night blindness," according to Mic. The group who actually ran the experiment, Science for …


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BLDG BLOG 2015-03-26 19:42:00
You might have seen the news last month that two students from George Mason University developed a way to put out fires using sound. "It happens so quickly you almost don?t believe it," the Washington Post reported at the time. "Seth Robertson and Viet Tran ignite a fire, snap on their low-rumbling bass frequency generator and extinguish the flames in seconds." …


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BLDG BLOG 2015-03-19 20:34:00
[Image: An early design image of Fermont, featuring the "weather-controlling super-wall," via the Norbert Schonauer archive at McGill University]. I've got a new column up at New Scientist about the possibility that privately run extraction outposts in the Canadian north might be useful prototypes?even political testing-grounds?for future offworld settlements. "In a sense," I write, "we are already experimenting with off-world colonization?only …


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BLDG BLOG 2015-03-19 18:43:00
[Image: Via Wikimedia]. The U.S. Secret Service might construct a back-up White House?or, more accurately, a "fake White House to help protect the real one," the New York Times reports. It would be an $8 million "detailed replica" of the presidential residence constructed 20 miles from the existing White House. Secret Service agents could then train in a more accurate environment; …


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BLDG BLOG 2015-03-19 18:35:00
Formless and ancient things from the depths of our planet move beneath Los Angeles, unexpectedly setting fire to sidewalks and burning whole businesses to the ground. Welcome to urban life atop a still-active oil field. This post was originally published on The Daily Beast. Sliding around beneath the surface of Los Angeles is something dark, primordial, and without clear form. …


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BLDG BLOG 2015-03-16 01:18:00
[Image: From "H / AlCuTaAu" by Revital Cohen and Tuur Van Balen]. For a project called "H / AlCuTaAu"?named after the chemical elements that comprise its final form?artists Revital Cohen and Tuur Van Balen created what they call "an artificial mineral mined from technological artefacts." [Image: From "H / AlCuTaAu" by Revital Cohen and Tuur Van Balen]. As they explain …


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BLDG BLOG 2015-03-15 21:57:00
Noted scam artist and "Facebook fugitive" Paul Ceglia, hoping to escape from a recently imposed state of house-arrest, "sliced off his GPS ankle monitor and affixed it to a crudely built contraption in his rural New York residence," Ars Technica reports. The GPS sensor's subsequent movements were then meant to maintain the illusion that he was still at home. [Image: The …


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BLDG BLOG 2015-02-20 03:48:00
[Image: "American Mine (Carlin, Nevada 2, 2007)" by David Maisel]. [Note: The following essay was previously published under the title "Infinite Exchange" in Black Maps by David Maisel (Steidl), as well as in Cabinet Magazine #50]. 1.In a 2011 paper on the medical effects of scurvy, author Jason C. Anthony offers a remarkable detail about human bodies and the long-term presence …


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BLDG BLOG 2015-02-19 00:46:00
[Image: The skyway-to-nowhere while it still spanned the street; photo via the Star-Tribune]. Continuing our irregular look at oddities in real estate, you might be interested to know that you can now buy a skyway. The 280,000-pound steel structure was originally designed by architect Ed Baker, a man apparently also known as "the father of the skyways," according to Greg.org, and …


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BLDG BLOG 2015-02-16 20:22:00
[Image: Photo by & courtesy of Trackrunners, used with permission]. A group of friends, their faces rigorously hidden from public view, find a huge borehole leading down into some tunnels beneath the city. Not content to just lie there, straining to see more than 260 feet into the deep and merely wondering what might be down there, they do what any …


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BLDG BLOG 2015-02-16 18:06:00
[Image: Courtesy of the Los Angeles Times Photographic Archive, Department of Special Collections, Charles E. Young Research Library, UCLA, via KCET]. Nathan Masters remains one of the more interesting chroniclers of life and landscape in Southern California, as evidenced by his "L.A. as Subject" blog for KCET. I could (and should) just link to all his posts, to be honest?lost hills! …


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BLDG BLOG 2015-02-16 17:18:00
[Image: A "wooden textile" by Elisa Strozyk]. You've undoubtedly already seen these, but the "wooden textiles" by designer Elisa Strozyk are a beautiful and surprisingly simple rethinking of the idea of a textile?and they have some interesting implications for terrain modeling and even gaming. First, though, what are these things? [Image: A "wooden textile" by Elisa Strozyk]. Strozyk writes that she …


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BLDG BLOG 2015-02-03 16:18:00
[Image: Courtesy FakeTV: The Burglar Deterrent]. Just a quick note that I've got an article up over at New Scientist about how a "fear of crime and a desire to prevent burglary are transforming the domestic interior into an uninhabited multimedia environment, an immersive videodrome playing randomised loops that can be mistaken for human behaviour." Go check it out if you …


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BLDG BLOG 2015-01-30 20:41:00
[Image: Jasper National Park, courtesy of Parks Canada]. There's an interesting article over at Highline Magazine about a lost hiker named George Joachim whose subsequent behavior in the landscape was so spatially unexpected that he eluded discovery for ten days. He was a "behavioral outlier," we read, and his mathematically unpredictable actions forced a revision of what is, in effect, the …


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BLDG BLOG 2015-01-30 19:13:00
[Image: A drone from DJI]. It's hardly surprising to read that drones can be repurposed as burglars' tools; at this point, just take any activity, add a drone, and you, too, can have a news story (or Kickstarter) dedicated to the result. "Why not send an inexpensive drone, snoop in your windows, see if you have any pets, see if you …


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BLDG BLOG 2015-01-19 21:02:00
[Image: From "Mining Cenotaph" by Alexis Quinteros Salazar; courtesy of the RIBA President's Medals]. Here's another project from the RIBA President's Medals, this one by Alexis Quinteros Salazar, a student at the University of Chile in Santiago. Called "Mining Cenotaph," it imagines an "occupation" of the tailings piles that have become a toxic urban landmark and a spatial reminder of the …


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BLDG BLOG 2015-01-19 20:15:00
[Photo: "Mega Bike" at the Louisville Mega Cavern; photo courtesy Louisville Mega Cavern]. An underground bike park is opening up next month in a former limestone mine 100 feet beneath Louisville, Kentucky. At 320,000-square feet, the facility is massive. Outside Magazine explains, "the park will have more than five miles of interconnected trails that range from flowing singletrack to dirt jumps …


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