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BLDG BLOG 2016-01-07 14:52:00
[Image: A "Lunar Rendezvous Simulator" (1962), courtesy NASA]. After much ado, including multiple near-moves and failed attempts, I have finally gone over to Wordpress, with BLDGBLOG now residing at bldgblog.com. Please update any bookmarks or links you might have to the site?but please also be sure to update your RSS feed:http://www.bldgblog.com/feed/You can also find individual tags and categories that you might …


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BLDG BLOG 2015-12-31 19:00:00
[Image: Russian troops in Grozny, February 2000; image courtesy of AP]. ?U.S. land forces will eventually find themselves locked in fights within huge, dense urban environments where skyscrapers tower over enormous shanty towns, and these troops need more realistic training to operate within these future megacities,? Brigadier General Julian Alford of the U.S. Marine Corps Warfighting Laboratory explained earlier this month, …


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BLDG BLOG 2015-12-28 23:34:00
[Image: Courtesy of SpaceX]. Last week?s successful demonstration of a reusable rocket, launched by Elon Musk's firm SpaceX, ?was a critical step along the way towards being able to establish a city on Mars,? Musk later remarked. The proof-of-concept flight ?dramatically improves my confidence that a city on Mars is possible,? he added. ?That?s what all this is about.? Previously, of …


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BLDG BLOG 2015-12-11 20:05:00
[Image: From "Cropped" by Gerco de Ruijter; view larger]. The "Grid Corrections" of Gerco de Ruijter, as seen in the previous post, reminded me of de Ruijter's earlier project, "Cropped," previously seen here back in 2012. [Image: From "Cropped" by Gerco de Ruijter; view larger]. The images seen here are all satellite views of pivot irrigation systems, taken from Google Earth …


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BLDG BLOG 2015-12-11 19:26:00
[Image: From "Grid Corrections" by Gerco de Ruijter, courtesy of the Ulrich Museum of Art]. In case this is of interest, I've got a new article up over at Travel + Leisure about photographer Gerco de Ruijter, who recently undertook an exploration of sites where the Jeffersonian road grid has to go askew in order to account for the curvature of …


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BLDG BLOG 2015-12-06 01:24:00
[Image: Yodaville, via Google Maps]. All the Google Maps sleuthing of the Los Angeles "ghost streets" post reminded me of stumbling on a place called Yodaville?seen above?as previously explored here back in 2012. Yodaville is a simulated city in the Arizona desert, deep inside the Barry M. Goldwater Air Force Range, used for targeting exercises. It is truly in the middle …


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BLDG BLOG 2015-12-05 19:37:00
[Image: The old submarine listening station, Isle of Lewis, via the BBC]. This is the most awesomely surreal architectural proposal of 2015: an extremely remote Cold War-era submarine surveillance station on the Isle of Lewis in the Scottish Outer Hebrides might soon be transformed into a kind of benthic concert hall for listening to whale song. "A community buy-out could see …


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BLDG BLOG 2015-12-05 18:07:00
[Images: From The Elephants & Bees Project "Beehive Fence Construction Manual" (PDF)]. Designing for humans, insects, and elephants at the same time, University of Oxford zoologist Lucy King has developed "the honey fence system," Edible Geography explains. [Images: Via The Elephants & Bees Project]. A honey fence is "a series of hives, suspended at ten-metre intervals from a single wire …


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BLDG BLOG 2015-12-04 17:33:00
[Image: Isochronic map of travel distances from London, from An Atlas of Economic Geography (1914) by John G. Bartholomew (via)]. "This is an isochronic map?isochrones being lines joining points accessible in the same amount of time?and it tells a story about how travel was changing," Simon Willis explains over at Intelligent Life. The map shows you how long it would take …


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BLDG BLOG 2015-12-04 01:23:00
[Image: Via Google Maps]. In a short story called "Looking for Jake" by China Miéville?a text often cited here on BLDGBLOG?we read about a spectral network of streets that appear and disappear around London like the static of a radio tuned between stations, old roadways that are neither here nor there, flickering on and off in the dead hours of the …


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BLDG BLOG 2015-12-04 01:20:00
I watched this video with the typical ennui of your average internet user?expecting to hear nothing at all, really, before going back to other forms of online procrastination?but holy Hannah. This is a pretty loud building. Although I would be making surreptitious ambient field recordings?and rhapsodizing to my sleepless friends about the unrealized acoustic dimensions of contemporary architecture?I have to …


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BLDG BLOG 2015-12-03 17:05:00
[Image: Unrelated image of incredible floral shapes 3D-printed by Jessica Rosenkrantz and Jesse Louis-Rosenberg (via)]. A story published earlier this year explained how pollinating insects could be studied by way of 3D-printed flowers. The actual target of the study was the hawkmoth, and four types of flowers were designed and produced to help understand the geometry of moth/flower interactions, including how …


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BLDG BLOG 2015-12-01 21:16:00
[Image: Via Curbed LA]. Citing a new report in the Journal of the American Planning Association, Curbed LA points out that "parking infrastructure takes up about 200 square miles of land in LA county." That's more than four San Franciscos' worth of space (46.87 square miles) and nearly five times the size of Paris (40.7 square miles). Or, as Janette Sadik-Khan …


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BLDG BLOG 2015-12-01 17:08:00
[Image: Photo by Kai Caemmerer]. I've got a new article up over at New Scientist looking at the so-called "ghost cities" of China, and where exactly they can be found. This is not as straightforward as it sounds:It seems hard to lose track of an entire city. But that appears to be what?s taken place?and not just once, but over and …


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BLDG BLOG 2015-12-01 14:23:00
[Image: Courtesy Criola]. "Afro-Brazilian civil rights group Criola is taking racist comments posted on Twitter or Facebook, identifying the location of the commenter, and then buying billboard space near that person?s home in order to display the comment in huge letters."


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BLDG BLOG 2015-12-01 14:08:00
[Image: One of Google' Loon balloons; screen grab from this video]. "The lab is 250 feet wide, 200 feet deep, and 70 feet tall. It?s a massive space where Google?s scientists can simulate the negative-60 degrees Celsius temperature of the stratosphere." Alexis Madrigal on Google's Project Loon balloons. The future of the internet is cereal bag technology in the sky.


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BLDG BLOG 2015-11-25 00:12:00
[Image: A rose-circuit, courtesy Linköping University]. In a newly published paper called "Electronic plants," researchers from Linköping University in Sweden describe the process by which they were able to "manufacture" what they call "analog and digital organic electronic circuits and devices" inside living plants. The plants not only conducted electrical signals, but, as Science News points, the team also "induced roses …


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BLDG BLOG 2015-11-24 18:05:00
[Image: Model by SITU Fabrication; Instagram by BLDGBLOG]. The Homestake Mine in Lead, South Dakota, was once "the largest, deepest and most productive gold mine in North America," featuring nearly 370 miles' worth of tunnels. Although active mining operations ceased there more than a decade ago, the vast subterranean labyrinth not only remains intact, it has also found a second life …


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BLDG BLOG 2015-11-24 15:49:00
[Image: Mars's moon, Phobos; courtesy NASA /JPL/University of Arizona]. Oh, to live another 40 million years... "One day," Nature reports, "Mars may have rings like Saturn does": The martian moon Phobos, which is spiralling inexorably closer towards the red planet, will disintegrate to form a ring system some 20 million to 40 million years from now, according to calculations published on …


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BLDG BLOG 2015-11-23 18:34:00
[Image: By Spiros Hadjidjanos, via Contemporary Art Daily]. Artist Spiros Hadjidjanos has been using an interesting technique in his recent work, where he scans old photographs, turns their color or shading intensity into depth information, and then 3D-prints objects extracted from this. The effect is like pulling objects out of wormholes. [Image: By Spiros Hadjidjanos, via Contemporary Art Daily]. His experiments …


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