Friday, 26 February 2010

redefining the landscape

Chris 'Blane' Rowat from Parkour Generations.

Guest post by Shaelena Morley

Somewhere there is a toe tapping to music on the tube, a ballerina is practicing her port de bras, a child is testing gravity in an effort to jump the highest off the swing set. There is grace and fluidity to the simplest of movements. And in these movements a fascination takes root when we take that first step as infants and begin to understand our body in relation to the space around us.
With adjectives such as bustling and fast-paced, the city, like the body, can be described through movement. Listen closely and you can almost hear her thrum as her individual components move about in the daily grind. Ironically, with traffic and people and queuing, the individual components (that’d be us city-folk) are rarely moving freely so much as constantly bumping into one another in a sometimes maddening staccato rhythm. We’ve all this energy and nowhere to go, and somewhere along the way we lose that spatial connection with the city.

And yet the “we” I refer to doesn’t apply to all city dwellers. A community dedicated to movement has been developing slowly over the years and more recently is coming to the forefront and establishing itself as its own culture. What began as le methode naturelle in France at the turn of the 20th century, a kind of physical training emphasising both body and mind, has evolved into l’art du déplacement more commonly known as parkour. Where the spatial connection of the city is lost, in parkour it is found by providing a new vantage point for engaging with the urban environment. For a parkour practioner, known as traceurs, the name of the game is efficiency of movement and continual engagement with the present and its surroundings. In moving from point A to point B in the city, the traceurs knows no obstacle, only the straight line in plan, the undulating line in section. Leap over the wall, onto the next, under the rail and over the path only to land with cat-like precision on the rail’s edge and drop almost silently to the ground far below. L’art du déplacement is executed with astounding agility (and certainly with more grace than I can muster).

I recently had the privilege of witnessing the discipline in action when I attended a “jam” in Southwark hosted by Parkour Generations for research. What became immediately apparent to me was the fact that this is very much a community. The morning began as an outdoor training session teaching very particular skills, but as the day wore on little by little people trickled into the abandoned estate from all directions for what would turn into an afternoon jam. With varied skill levels and virtually every demographic you can imagine, parkour veterans and newcomers alike practiced their skills, learning from and teaching to each other despite frigid temperatures and calloused hands.

Physical intensity is inherent in parkour and the nimble movement receives well-deserved attention. More than once I’ve heard parkour referred to as, “the jumping guys.” But with physical tribulation there lies mental trial, brain the foil of brawn. It is the mental discipline – the preparation, the focus, and the incredible awareness of the body and its surroundings, which is most impressive and likely the bigger challenge. It is with complete awareness that the mind can redefine its surroundings and the body can run free. And what does London look like through this new set of eyes? Why, like a psychogeographic playground, my good Millennium People. Suddenly the scale of the city revolves around the scale of the body - the grip of the hand, the breadth of the foot; distances are measured in human strides. And in continual oscillation from earth to building to wall to earth again, London is flat no more. She is a new landscape.

Here’s to new freedoms.

Thursday, 25 February 2010

shooting the messenger

Lea Towers proposal, Stratford: Richard Rogers. Via SkyscraperCity

This short post owes much to a class discussion had this morning with Mark Cousins...

There is a temptation, when gazing up at the monstrosities of contemporary "post-architecture" (in the words of Sinclair), to let blame fall at the feet of the architect. Starting in earnest from perhaps the post-war period onwards, architects have been branded as cack-handed dreamers – belonging to a hopeless profession that is neither pragmatic nor artistic yet claims to be both. Their overpriced megalomanic schemes, fundamentally flawed at even the level of basic services and waterproofing, inflict upon every generation new social problems at ever-increasing scales. And yet it is rarely remarked that it is not architects that choose their site, their scale or their budgets.

Architects, and what is called architecture, is largely defined by the fulcrum of urban-planning and capitalist development. Neither of these forces is any less naive than the architect. Architecture's rise as a saleable commodity can be attributed, at least in part, to the transformation of the patron into the client. The patron, unlike the client, has no fiscal objectives in commissioning a project. In saying this I am perhaps extending my thoughts on Specular Architecture, which is both specular in a visual and iconic sense as well as being founded on financial speculation. Read: Zaha.

The scale of architecture responds to the scale of capital. And since a modern market economy demands constant growth, the scale can only increase. Larger and larger sites, larger and larger sums, larger and larger profits. I'm no apologist, but I think it is quite clear that architects, like any service profession, will rise to the expectations of whoever is footing the bill and giving the orders.

Tuesday, 23 February 2010

iain sinclair on nostalgia & forgetting

Olympic Park Cranes – Hackney, by Sam Cadby.

“Architect’s are very interesting because they’re on the brink of obsolescence…”

So saying, Iain Sinclair – psychogeographer, author, and self-nominated figure for the perpetuation of East London’s history – grouped architects with similarly defunct notions like ‘the spirit of place’, industry, integrity, common sense, community, etc, etc, etc. In short, everything that was once good and noble and is now rotten to its core. Boo, hiss, down with the modern world.

While I think the man is right about architects (I will elaborate presently), I am suspicious of anyone who would dissimulate a wild nostalgia (in which he seems veritably marinated) as a “fear of forgetting”. Certainly there is a fine line between wishing to engage meaningfully with the past and simply invoking history as a means to bombast an audience about the piteous state of the present. For me, this really distinguishes him from the other great psychogeographical author of our time, Will Self. Unlike Sinclair, Self is no moral pedagogue…

Sinclair’s subject was East London, its history, its architecture – a rose-tinted people fighting the good fight against the idiot developers and villainous politicians. In black and white terms he outlined the clear superiority of the city “as a human entity, as an organic entity” over the “post-architecture” imposed on the East by the coming Olympic-scale fuck-up. While I found his tone vaguely self-righteous, I nonetheless found his content interesting and his arguments extremely convincing (in several cases indisputable).

Readers from outside of London may not be aware of the Olympic situation, in a nutshell: the site is a vast tract of ex heavy-industrial land falling between Stratford and Hackney Wick (think fairly far east), towards the lower end of the Lea Valley (a rambling and beautiful wildlife park composed of marshes and canals). As Sinclair noted, it has always been thought of as an ‘edge’ of London – and it is psychologically disturbing to now realise that Stratford’s development will turn the nature reserve into an island, besieged by an ocean of urban nightmare.

The site beforehand, subject of the pamphlet referred to in this post on Cedric Price, was littered with industrial ruins, leftovers from a time when London still manufactured on any appreciable scale. What I did not know is that over 12,000t of radioactive material has been retrieved and re-buried at the site (evidence of a business that made glow-in-the-dark watch dials during the 60’s).

Like all Olympic games there has been scandal: £40million of “missing” funds, cost (and corner) cutting measures abound– the UK is in full recession mode after all. And yet the ridiculous promise of the developers is that they are attempting to give back a park to the public realm. This debased simulation of the wild beauty that existed before is indicative of modern ‘regeneration’ methods (e.g. an artistic drinking-hole is demolished to make way for an art-themed hotel, as at Old Street).
It would be hard to overstate either the incompetence of the architects or the stupidity of the clients involved in this venture. I’m not even going to touch that sensitive subject in this post, but simply let history validate my words. Sinclair could not find words to describe the process by which the client approaches an architect in the same way they would a hairdresser or a plastic surgeon, saying, “yeah, I like it, but I want a bit more of a curve over here – hey presto!”

Two final points, I had intended to write a short post, but the subject really fires me up:

was recently told that a town hall in Stratford was demolished in order to make way for a Tesco’s supermarket. I am now shocked to discover from Sinclair that there is a plan to extend the site to include apartments – residential zoning as an appendage to commerce: the possibility of perpetually living inside a mall. What then, mused Sinclair, is to stop all of Hackney from becoming an inner suburb of a supermarket?

the architect, that figure in decline, no longer has any control over the built environment, then what is his domain? This observation is not at all unique to Sinclair, and it is obvious that the profession is approaching a critical turning point. I would argue what we have to salvage is an architectural mode of thinking, a way of looking laterally at problems (the solutions to which often do not include buildings). The role of this coming generation of architects is to convincingly establish their dominance as the only and supreme profession of holistic thinkers… or else face professional extinction.

fistful of links

View From My Window, via olya.ivanova on Flickr.

A fine fingerful more like: some news.

Hydrogen cabs for London; the world's biggest dog. Beautiful drawings inspired by life in a Japanese-American interment camp (Roger Shimomura); Manhattan as the storm approaches... Bolus, a tumblr. Koolhaas, a houselife and a good review thereof; Awesome tapes from Africa (as it sounds); Territory of the Senses... the work of BERG London.

Like I said, a short one this week...

Finally, Sky via Philip Bloom on Vimeo:

Tuesday, 16 February 2010

fistful of links (20th)

California on fire, via Flickr.

A soft roll of links into the gym mat that is our lives: some news.

That's how Fistful started, 20 editions ago (August 09), and it has become over time the bread and butter of MP – weekly hits are never so strong as on a Tuesday... There's a set format to the F-O-L in case you hadn't noticed: cool image: whack phrase: some news: some links: and finally, a badass video. Here are some leaders from the last 20 fistfuls:

A nice cup of tea and a sit down: some news; The locus of links that leads straight to our hearts: some news; Slicing it up and dishing it out – the 'net, just like yo'mama used to make: some news; The loose links in the ghetto gold that keeps us real: some news; An iron fistful of the weekist links: some news. And so on and so forth... Although sadly to say I've long since abandoned the time-consuming witty banter of earlier Fistfuls and now simply list those links: some news.

Word of the day with Wordsmith; need shit shipped to space privately? Visitors to the Burj Dubai stuck at 124th floor... Ballardian-inspired nightmare? The problems of long-term digital data storage; the beautiful cave photography of Christopher Colville via But Does It Float?

Did Alexander the Great fight with yeti? Or was it more likely to be the Neanderthals of central Asia? If you like jogging and phallic structures this is for you. 70's graphic design of Jeremy Pettis; photo-comic web-phenomenon Something Softer; a powerful idea; printeresting, veerry printeresting... oh, great, this guy worked out the problem with the world and thoughtfully printed it on a t-shirt for us all...

The Demotivating Times; crazy crazy photoshop; tactile maps and geographies (as mentioned by Kate Davies); Johansson is all over the net right now (almost as popular as chatroulette - but minus the male exposure) trust Colt+Rane to put up a good compilation; National Geographic photo of the day... you know, nature and shit... flights of fancy at A456; solar eclipse image; sex without a backbone; crushed planes; BLDG BLOG on the Long River (amazing photos), related: as the bubble bursts. Not related, Hamas kills mickey mouse. Not related, new images of 9/11. Turns out what conspiracy theorists called 'remote control choppers' designed to fly the two planes into the towers were... news helicopters. Surprised? Me neither. The Bird Book; photos of moth trails; Space Shuttle concepts, related, STS-131 at sunset...

Second to last (via Cessums):

And finally, a spot of Carl Sagan with my dawg Hawking on backing vocals...

Sunday, 14 February 2010


I don't believe in Valentine's Day + I'm not single = no hypocrisy on my part.

Wednesday, 10 February 2010


We first got the Internet in our house in about 1996 – a 2kb/s dial-up. By the late 90's it became evident to me that what had essentially been simply e-mail (at 2kb even browsing for text information just wasn't time efficient) was evolving. The public gaze had turned to Silicon Valley and the Dot Com boom, with an expectation that what was going on there was going to revolutionise... something. Oddly, even though people began to speak openly about the Internet Revolution (also Digital Revolution) and already refer to it in its historical context next to the Industrial Revolution, what this so-called revolution was overturning remained obscure and indeterminate.

The Dot Com Bubble can be largely attributed to the failure of these web companies to find a convincing way to make money from the Internet – the sentiment that "everything on the Internet should be free" had already taken deep roots. The Internet failed to fit into a market-based capitalist system because the fundamental basis of producing valuable information for free was economically nonsensical. And yet it exists. Further, today you can't stop people from doing it – as I am right now in this blog post.

So for several years the struggle to find a way to make money from the web continued, culminating in web2.0 and an acceptance that the only way to make money was from advertising. Simultaneously to this was a sharp rise in Internet piracy as peer-to-peer filesharing networks (napster, kazaa + limewire will always hold a special place in my heart) began to become endemic. But the direct sharing of files had its problems, it relied on parties being connected directly to each other for as long as the download took to complete, which could be quite a while back then. In the early 2000's the other major problem was the great inequality in Internet speeds – my own connection had barely gone up (~25kb/s) while those in the States and Japan had greatly improved.

The invention of large online storage hosts (rapidshare, megaupload, etc) largely solved these problems. However, I feel it was the torrent that really revolutionised peer-to-peer sharing (a torrent works by dividing a file into, say, 1000 pieces and then allowing a user to download multiple pieces from multiple users, effectively multiplying the speed of the download, and removing a dependence on the downloader of remaining connected to a stable uploader).

Flattr comes from the creators of the infamous Pirate Bay (one of the largest torrent sites) and I think its power to shape the future of the web (either directly, or through copy-cat and subsequent developments of the idea) is obvious. With all this talk about the death of the newspaper, I wonder if the fate of the print-media isn't going to be some sort of Flattr future, where content producers are equalised, where a good blogger can earn as much as a NYT writer...

There's a speculation on the new now for you.

Tuesday, 9 February 2010

fistful of links

Photo by Rob Hann.

I'm behind on my posts: some news.

A fast and furious fistful this week, in preparation for next Tuesday, which will be the 20th week of Fistful of Links (coinciding roughly with the 8th month marker of this blog's humble origins). Google Zurich's courteous bathroom instructions. Also Google, the End of the Road (a streetview-inspired blog). Still roads, even ET knows you shouldn't drink and drive; Moving a house in Chile with oxen because the land it was built on is haunted; Getting over oil one town at a time (a la grassroots). I would love to hear some real examples. 365 ampersands (as it sounds), also nominal 299 children. Also children, an idea to pack students in shipping containers & the controversy of Rio's sexy seven year-old.

The art of Alex Gross, Marquis, Ori Gersht. Not related: Nazi Gold. Re-designing the boarding card; Paul Rudolph drawings; Create your own motivational posters, and an analysis of what they all mean. Just in case the interweb was getting all too predictable: a blog for tribal african turn of the century photography. Also, Angry People in Local Newspapers.

London's new freesheet (or free-shit). It should go down well with the building based on a flip-bin (I also find it ironic that an East London art pub will be demolished to make way for an art-themed hotel). The Bear Chair. A new blog about mis-reading architecture: deepthroatdiary (safe for work). If you're a geek what you going to do with 5 iphones? A short film collaboration between Dali and Disney. Wigs for children: Baby Bangs. No final film this week.

Saturday, 6 February 2010

the state of the union, by peter eisenman

Galicia City of Culture model, Eisenman Architects.
“When I was a boy I used to buy my clothes at Brooks Brothers on Madison Avenue. Not especially because it was Brooks Brothers, but because if you wanted the best clothes in New York, everyone knew they were to be found on Madison. But the genius loci of Madison Avenue has been destroyed: I can now buy Brooks Brothers in any place, in Newark Airport, in Macau, and so on…”
Eisenman, who spoke at the AA on Friday, made a convincing argument for the non-existence of place, or as he put it “the dissolution of the Hegelian dialectic of Zeitgeist versus Genius Loci” through the destruction of the latter by capital. And in this sense he essentially prolonged the arguments of Fukuyama’s Death of History (and to a lesser extent also those of Derrida).

The absolute dominance of capital as the driving force of contemporary global society is indisputable, and it has been the case for some decades. Saarinen’s TWA building at Newark (a magnificent structure even today) has been abandoned for no other reason than that it fails to serve capital any longer. A more contemporary example would be that of Dubai.

In Rem Koolhaas’ Junkspace he tells us explicitly what capital inevitably produces: ubiquitous, atopical detritus.

Eisenman recently won a competition in Milan, and the client came and asked him for a 40-storey building. The size of the site did not necessitate it, nor the context of the city lend itself to such a proposal. “Does the desire for a tower stem from theories of living?” he asked, and the client replied, “No, we want to make a statement.”

There can be no spirit of place to a 40-storey tower, or a 100,000m2 mall, because the scale upon which the building is founded is not that of architecture, but that of global capital. This demand requires larger and larger projects from larger and larger firms, with a necessary homogenisation of planning and degradation of detail quality. Additionally, we do not have a grammar to describe this contemporary situation: what is the grammar of a 40-storey tower?

Eisenman paused. “At what point do you refuse? Have I sold out? Is this the end of Eisenman as an architect? I don’t know…” In any case, the result will be a shed with signage, where the signage is the word ‘Eisenman’.
This degradation leads to an architecture that abandons space and concerns itself only with surface (he gave Zaha in the front row a pointed look).

When Denise Scott Brown and Robert Venturi flew to Las Vegas in 1968 they classified the architecture they found into two categories: the ‘decorated shed’ (a block volume with elaborate signage) and the ‘duck’ (a building whose form resembles its economic purpose, as in the giant duck that sells ducks). The two terms subsequently became widely accepted metaphors to broadly describe the approach of contemporary architectural projects.

“If you were a young Scott Brown or Venturi today where would you go to re-enact ‘Lessons from Las Vegas’? You couldn’t go anywhere, because Las Vegas is everywhere – it is New York, it is Milan, it is Singapore, and we have to ask ourselves… Is this where we want the world to go?”

Rem argued that, since Junkspace was unavoidable, better to embrace it. As a consequence his more recent projects (CCTV, Seattle, Casa de Musica) are really nothing more than ducks, albeit somewhat decorated-ducks. Although, and Eisenman didn’t mention this, it could be said these were conscious decisions on Rem’s part, foreshadowed in S,M,L,XL.

Ultimately the main problem with the dominance of capital in architecture remains the question of scale. Architects trained in the design of domestic-scale buildings struggle to imagine the scale of modern capital.

For Eisenman’s City of Culture in Galicia he was asked to design not one building, but six: “how can an architect conceive of 6 buildings simultaneously?” He mentioned a man he knows building a city in China for three million and he wondered how such a thing could be possible.

The other day Gehry was around Eisenman’s place trying to hawk his Catia program, saying how a program designed to realise architecture was indispensible for a practise like Eisenman’s. This set Peter on a rant: the younger generation behave like computers – they have lost the capacity to develop creative response, and instead limit themselves by the programs they use, like rhino, or maya, or max. These programs are not designed to describe space and time, but for film animation, or for other media, or whatever. He calls this thinking the “Parametric disease”, which is spreading, and whose origin is found under the thumb of capital… At one student crit recently a young woman had produced a script to generate a certain type of building, and Eisenman asked her which one she was going to choose. She responded “but choice is no longer the issue, any one will do!”

Peter’s comments about the spirit of our age, and particularly the prolongation of Hegelian history, seemed too good not to pick out and roll into Millennium People’s second post on the Digital Dialectic, scheduled for the 10th Feb. Be sure to check back on us then…

Cultural City at Galicia, under construction.

Friday, 5 February 2010

supercritical #2

AA Words series 1-4.

I don't want readers thinking I'm being overly supercritical – even though the meeting between Rem and Peter (see below) was a poor excuse for a conversation, this is neither indicative of Supercritical as a volume or the AA Words as a series. Millennium People reviewed Anti-Object (the second book in the series) September last year, and thoroughly enjoyed it (featuring two guest reviews by M. Rosin-Melser – late of ETH, recently returned to Sydney). In a sense, the failure of Koolhaas and Eisenman to establish a dialogue is practically inevitable given the intensely complicated history of these two figures. This is all by-the-bye, and I am no apologist.

The series aims to "deflect" the force of an architectural culture dominated by the endless production and consumption of images by means of "direct language, concise editing and beautiful, legible graphic design". As a concept it works – as much for its visual appearance as its content. I suspect (and in several cases this suspicion has been confirmed) that quite a lot of the students I've seen buying the Words series do so initially for the Underground typo and bold primary colours, only to find that the text is pretty alright too.

That said, in response to Brett Steele's claim that it's "really a magazine in disguise", its really only issue one, Supercritical, that feels like a miniature magazine, and I think this is due to the diversity of its content, even if it does largely revolve around Rem and Peter. Apart from the disastrous dispute there is a great discussion between Robert Somol and Jeffrey Kipnis, moderated by Mark Cousins, (the highlight of which is when the two critics impersonate Koolhaas and Eisenman and have the "conversation they might have had if they had been honest with each other"), a really interesting discussion between Alvin Boyarksy and Peter from 1975 (broadcast on AA radio, which, though fascinating, shows that Peter was just as difficult back then as today), a 1976 interview between Koolhaas and Peter Cook, and a 100 point document by Brett Steele analysing the nature of Peter and Rem's work, rise and success, writing, as individual entities and in comparison to each other.

The result of these varied chapters is to present a snapshot of the two architects not just at one moment (one discussion, one night) but over time. The nature of the starchitect is to have their popularity reinforced by the present – this method of displaying a timeline of vignettes goes a long way to removing something of the aura of the two men and presenting them in a more critical light. What becomes very evident from the 'miniature magazine' is that Koolhaas and Eisenman are only human after all...

I highly recommend the series.

Wednesday, 3 February 2010

supercritical #1

“I wouldn’t want you to cry for having had to come here tonight for this conversation, because nobody dragged you here.”
Peter Eisenman to Rem Koolhaas.

So ends Supercritical, a little volume that documents the rare meeting of two architect friends/enemies/rivals/(whatever) – Rem Koolhaas & Peter Eisenman. It accurately transcribes the two’s complete inability to say anything meaningful to each other, and their ultimate decline into dressed-up name-calling. This spectacular failure on the part of their dialogue has forced me to split this review into two posts: one on the discussion itself, and one on the novel medium through which this piece presents itself (“its really a magazine in disguise” says Brett Steele).

While I was really disappointed by Eisenman, I don’t want you to think that Koolhaas – who preaches a type of internationally-informed, nationally-dictated, culturally-sensitive, global-metropolitan architecture – is any less narcissistic or arrogant.

Eisenman constantly compares himself to Koolhaas, at times absurdly, almost farcically so: he compares Delirious New York to his own 1963 thesis The Formal Basis of Modern Architecture; S,M,L,XL to his forthcoming Eisenmanual. Then he spins off into reflecting on this discussion as comparable to Corbu meeting Mies. Rem’s response is blunt: there is no comparison to be made, the terms are not exchangeable.

Further, Koolhaas is not interested in discussions of semiotics or form, and does not engage in the tallying up of personal achievements. Eisenman compares his Max Reinhardt Haus to the CCTV on formal grounds, and Rem interjects: “For us [OMA] the diagram is no longer only a device that triggers architecture [that is, it is no longer simply intellectual]. It is also a device with which to look at the world and to try to represent some of the bizarre conditions we observe.”

Left: CCTV by OMA (Rem Koolhaas); Right: Max Reinhardt Haus (Eisenman Architects).

Koolhaas defends CCTV not formally, but programmatically. The importance of the building, he says, is not its iconic form, but its role as informing a new era of Chinese media communications. “We’re interested in people… not in an intellectual, humanist or architectural sense… but simply how they exist in flows and behaviours of global culture today.”

The contradictions run thick and fast: “Peter is arguing for an optical, thinking individual–” “no, I am against opticality.”… “Peter you just said you see yourself withdrawing from things like magazines and journals to focus on buildings?” “No, no, no. Let me make sure that we get this straight…”

The discussion ends with Eisenman saying he conceives of every building as a one-off, unlike Richard Meier, who has a signature, reproducible and intellectually vacuous style. “We’re dummies, you and I” says Rem, and asks Peter not to intellectually belittle Meier. He reminds him that they met for the first time at one of Meier’s lectures, and that Peter’s dismissal of Meier makes him want to cry… “every time Meier gave a lecture at that time he came to Peter’s office beforehand so that Peter could basically prepare the lecture and write the script for him. And the reason Peter was angry with me was that I was attacking the script, not the dumbness of Meier.”

Tuesday, 2 February 2010

fistful of links

The Chloride Lake, via English Russia.

Cha Chink: some news.

Some big news actually: we will find Earth's twin by the end of the year. Yeah! Related, fusion energy is on the way. Still related, Mammoth's top 10 architecture list from the last decade (including the LHC at CERN). A store in London with no packaging, I think its sad that I find this actually novel. Still London, my local cinema turns 100. What school grade would you give Obama? (asks Fox). Pop quiz, should the US sell weapons to Taiwan? Or, like, what's the deal with that? Haiti Ghetto Biennale; One frame per day: that's very, very slow television.

"Like Jeff Koons or Damien Hirst, the success of their blatant shit-ness speaks volumes about the state of their field, its ideologies and economies." Entschwindet und vergeht on Zaha Hadid Architects... Other dystopic visions: a construction update on Harry Potter World at Universal Studios; 24 abandoned hotels, derelict soviet structures, (which look a bit like 1960's Birmingham) and the last tourists are air-lifted out of Machu Picchu. Also, one that just won't go away – I hear about Fordlandia about once every 6 months.

"Future Olympic Park (2007)" by Bas Princen

Death: Sir Terry Pratchett, of the Discworld series, reveals he wants to be a test case for state assisted suicide in Britain; Holden Caufield lives on, but Salinger is decidedly catching in the rye. A bit of a shock to hear Nick Dewar is dead too. He was only 37. That's one of his on the left...

On a lighter note, a dictionary of blogger rhetoric. "Barred: If you have been barred from a blogger's comments thread it is always because you 'reminded them of some uncomfortable truths', you 'told it like it was' etc, never beccause you were an insufferable troll or (for example) a tedious prick whose diversionary ramblings and clumsy put-downs were an embarrassment to all but yourself." Also web, I hope you didn't miss Google Data Privacy Day 2010. Still related, the new Apple iPad (just a big iPod really). Also, how Apple thought it would look in 1988.

Finally, something sent in by an old friend of Millennium People:

Monday, 1 February 2010