[Image: A "bizarre double vortex whirls in the atmosphere above Venus's south pole." Courtesy New Scientist SPACE].
There are roughly one million things I want to post about here – but, due to circumstances beyond my control, I'm way too busy to put up anything new. So, in lieu of a real post, yet saving you from another day of staring at Obliteration A.D., here's a grab-bag of BLDGBLOGian things for your intellectual self-pleasure.
First, don't miss Inhabitat's newly-launched weekly look at Green Building 101. This week's installment: rethinking location in an era when daily commuting has reduced Americans' reported number of close friends. For the dark side of eco-urbanism, however, check out this near-catastrophic look at how gangs and serial killers from Los Angeles with no experience of "nature" have turned the nearby National Forest into a kind of murder-plagued wasteland full of corpses. (Thanks, Neddal!) Elsewhere, if you're near Long Island City, stop by Opolis, a "giant-scale miniature city in 13 blocks by 15 artists" (including Leah Beeferman), open through August. Discover the landscape acoustics of Mars. This device "records smells to play back later," so perhaps we can make the streets of Paris... smell like Barcelona. Or like oatmeal, for that matter. And if you, too, are addicted to the World Cup, racing to the TV every mid-afternoon to watch ESPN, then here's an ingenious look at football, John Cage, choreography diagrams, and the labyrinth of steps taken by Argentinian strikers. Meanwhile, The Economist reimagines the Eiffel Tower as a minaret –
– in their recent look at Islam in the cities of Europe; will we someday see a new continent called Eurabia? Finally, read architect Eyal Weizman's take on what could be called the military topologics of urban warfare: according to Weizman, for instance, recent incursions by Israeli soldiers have "used none of the streets, roads, alleys, or courtyards that constitute the syntax of the city, and none of the external doors, internal stairwells, and windows that constitute the order of buildings, but rather moved horizontally through party walls, and vertically through holes blasted in ceilings and floors. This form of movement, described by the military as 'infestation,' sought to redefine inside as outside, and domestic interiors as thoroughfares. Rather than submit to the authority of conventional spatial boundaries and logic, movement became constitutive of space. The three-dimensional progression through walls, ceilings, and floors across the urban balk reinterpreted, short-circuited, and recomposed both architectural and urban syntax." (More to be found in this 4.3MB PDF – thanks, Bryan!).
I'll put up one more post tonight or tomorrow before BLDGBLOG heads off... to Paris. More soon. I hope.
PS: It is apparently safe to dump chemical weapons into landfills.