Friday, April 20, 2007

Acropolis: Child of Metropolis

"If the skyscrapers reprsented , as some said, Babel, the implications weren't all bad. Babel was a cacophony of different languages; so were the architecture made itself the host for motifs and styles from widely diverse cultures, present and past. Zigzag designs from American Indian culture and angular geometric patterns from ancient Babylon and Assyria and Africa contradicted and supplemented Gothic towers, gargoyles, and Art Deco ornamentation." - Ann Douglas on Manhattan architecture in the 1920's.

Quasars, Pulsars and Asimovs

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Soviet Architecture Series 2

8 in. X 5 in.

5 in. X 5 in.

8 in. X 5 in.

8 in. X 5 in.

8 in. X 5 in.

"The decorative must be abolished. The problem of Futurist architecture must be resolved, not by continuing to pilfer from Chinese, Persian or Japanese photographs or fooling around with the rules of Vitruvius, but through flashes of genius and through scientific and technical expertise. Everything must be revolutionized. Roofs and underground spaces must be used; the importance of the façade must be diminished; issues of taste must be transplanted from the field of fussy moldings, finicky capitals and flimsy doorways to the broader concerns of bold groupings and masses, and large-scale disposition of planes. Let us make an end of monumental, funereal and commemorative architecture. Let us overturn monuments, pavements, arcades and flights of steps; let us sink the streets and squares; let us raise the level of the city."-Antonio Sant’Elia

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Soviet Architecture. Post 1955

"We must invent and rebuild the Futurist city like an immense and tumultuous shipyard, agile, mobile and dynamic in every detail; and the Futurist house must be like a gigantic machine. The lifts must no longer be hidden away like tapeworms in the niches of stairwells; the stairwells themselves, rendered useless, must be abolished, and the lifts must scale the lengths of the façades like serpents of steel and glass. The house of concrete, glass and steel, stripped of paintings and sculpture, rich only in the innate beauty of its lines and relief, extraordinarily "ugly" in its mechanical simplicity, higher and wider according to need rather than the specifications of municipal laws. It must soar up on the brink of a tumultuous abyss: the street will no longer lie like a doormat at ground level, but will plunge many stories down into the earth, embracing the metropolitan traffic, and will be linked up for necessary interconnections by metal gangways and swift-moving pavements." - Antonio Sant’Elia.
Suggested Listening while viewing: Another Green World by Brian Eno.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Stasi HQ c. 1983

The Ministerium für Staatssicherheit (MfS / Ministry for State Security), commonly known as the Stasi (from Staatssicherheit), was the main security (secret police) and intelligence organization of the German Democratic Republic (East Germany). The Stasi was headquartered in East Berlin, with an extensive complex in Lichtenberg and several smaller complexes throughout the city. Widely regarded as one of the most effective intelligence agencies in the world, the Stasi's motto was "Schild und Schwert der Partei" (Shield and Sword of the Party), showing its connections to the Socialist Unity Party of Germany, the equivalent to the CPSU of the Soviet Union.

Monday, April 09, 2007

Two Guys With Glasses (inspired by, but not resembling Stanislaw Lem and Marcello Mastroianni)


Sunday, April 08, 2007

Zbigniew Brzezinski ['zbigɲev bʐɛ'ʑiɲski]

Zbigniew Kazimierz Brzezinski (born March 28, 1928, Warsaw, Poland) is a Polish-American political scientist, geostrategist, and statesman. He served as United States National Security Advisor to President Jimmy Carter from 1977 to 1981. He was known for his hawkish foreign policy. He is a foreign policy "realist", and considered to be the Democrats' response to Henry Kissinger, also a "realist".

Saturday, April 07, 2007

Ma Weilong

Ma Weilong makes propane tanks in a factory in Shenyang (瀋陽), the capital city of Liaoning Province in Northeast China. I found his picture in a National Geographic I got at Value Village.

Father Ivan Veniaminov and Richard Harris

Father Ivan Veniaminov arrived in Alaska in 1824. On wind swept Unalaska Island he built a Russian Orthodox chapel, set up a meteorological station and taught indigenous Aleuts carpentry, blacksmithing and brickmaking. He also learned their dialect, created an alphabet and translated the gospels for them.

Richard Harris discovered the first big gold field in Alaska in 1880. Along with his partner Joseph Juneau, he established a town he called Harrisburg. A year later, angry miners renamed the town Juneau.

Friday, April 06, 2007

Former Director of Central Intelligence William J. Casey (without bag over his head) 1981-1987

Casey directed the successful presidential campaign of Ronald Reagan in 1980. After Reagan was elected president, he named Casey to the post of Director of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). Gary Sick alleged that Casey orchestrated a deal in 1980 with Iran to refrain from releasing the hostages until after the November presidential elections, in order to deny President Carter credit for their possible release. This came to be known as the "October Surprise."

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Admiral Halsey's Pet Ram

Doc Snock f.k.a. Michael Hurley

Michael Hurley is an American singer/guitarist, reportedly born December 20, 1941. He also plays the fiddle.
Hurley's debut album, First Songs, was recorded for Folkways Records in 1965 on the same reel-to-reel machine that taped Leadbelly's Last Sessions. His 1976 LP Have Moicy, a collaboration with the Unholy Modal Rounders and Jeffrey Frederick & The Clamtones, was named "the greatest folk album of the rock era" by the Village Voice's Robert Christgau. The albums I have of his are:
Armchair Boogie (1971)
Have Moicy (1975)/basically with the (un) Holy Modal Rounders
Long Journey (1976)
Snockgrass (1980)
Parsnip Snips (1996)

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Peetie Wheatstraw & Ry Cooder

Peetie Wheatstraw (December 21, 1902 – December 21, 1941) was the name adopted by singer William Bunch, a greatly influential figure among 1930s blues singers. Although the only known picture of Bunch shows him holding a National brand tricone resonator guitar, his primary instrument was the piano.

Ryland "Ry" Peter Cooder (born 15 March 1947, in Los Angeles, California) is an American guitarist,composer and musicologist, known for his slide guitar work and exceptional blues mandolin playing, his interest in the American roots music and, more recently, for his collaborations with traditional musicians from many countries. Best Albums:
Ry Cooder (January 1971)
Into the Purple Valley (February 1972)
Boomer's Story (November 1972)
Paradise and Lunch (May 1974)
Chicken Skin Music (1976)
Jazz (June 1978)