Saturday, July 30, 2005
Quote of the Day
“Someday, after mastering the winds, the waves, the tides and gravity, we shall harness for God the energies of love, and then, for a second time in the history of the world, man will have discovered fire.”
Terrorism for Dummies
The bombers arrested in London barely live in the present. They wander around in a medieval, Crusader-like fog thinking God is guiding and protecting them as they murder, or try to murder, their innocent fellow men and women. The look on the faces of two of them when arrested seemed to say, "How can God allow this?"
All four live in the West, because they have fled the violence in their own countries. But in their fog, it is their sanctuary that must be punished.
Friday, July 29, 2005
This is a view of the lobby in an apartment house by the developers of the apartment building below. Note to the young designers participating in the Fifties Revival going on now: I remember the Fifties — they sucked. They were The Man In The Gray Flannel Suit, Gentleman's Agreement, What Makes Sammy Run, Ozzie and Harriett and Donald O'Connor. Why would anyone want to go there?
You can download RealPlayer clips from the real 1950s here.
Thursday, July 28, 2005
Dog Bites Man
VIA Curbed and Triple Mint we have another exercise in graph-paper origami. Every other New York City building announced these days seems to be one of these "folded plane" glass-skinned things (Frank Gehry's Atlantic Yards, Gehry's InterActivCorp headquarters, David Childs' Freedom Tower, Childs's TimeWarner center, the Bank of America building, Bernard Tschumi's Blue, Christian de Portzamparc's 400 Park Avenue South, Zaha Hadid's Olympic Village...) but this won't stop New York Times
architect's agent architecture critic Nicolia Ouroussoff from saying these buildings "aim to challenge the formal order that has ruled mainstream architecture for a century" — or something like that. Somehow we will understand that they are avant-garde and daring and socially revolutionary.
Even though every architect is designing one of them and most people think they look like Houston on steroids. How revolutionary is that?
And how revolutionary that they're designed to sell to Yuppies for $1,200 per square foot?
Wednesday, July 27, 2005
“Why Real Player Sucks”
I groaned when I had to download the latest RealPlayer to watch some NPR clips. I don't know why NPR techheads have such bad taste that they almost always pick the worst Windows products. My experience is below.
- RP software is notoriously buggy and badly documented.
- RP software is notoriously invasive and problematic for the system.
- RealMedia tries to sell you many services with the software, and includes extra charges they try to conceal.
- I’ve downloaded many versions because of corruption and failures.
- Then the new download has a hard time with the previous version, which is hard to uninstall.
- I had trouble with RM not canceling my account and improperly charging me for several months.
- That’s precisely why they use to force “trial subscriptions” for “free software” -- it’s a scam.
- I couldn’t download the latest software without the last four digits of my credit card even, though I canceled my account in 2003
- It took RM 4 hours to respond to my download problem.
- Then I had to wait on the phone for 15 minutes to talk to an RM representative.
- “What do you mean?” he said, “your account was canceled in 2003.”
- RM stole iTunes code in an attempt to force Apple into letting them into the iTunes market
- Installing the latest version crashed my browser.
The latest version of RP won’t run without keeping an icon on my desktop -- unlike all my other applications.
- AFTER running a file I downloaded it told me there were two security updates available.
- Apple tries to make QuickTime compatible with the newest file type, but RP doesn't update them -- intentionally, because of the iTunes lawsuit?
- The new RP crashed the first 3 times I used it.
Hot Time, Summer In The City II
YOU CAN'T SWIM at New York's Water Taxi Beach (or at the Lower East Side beach Richard Rogers has proposed). Why don't we get pools like the floating pools in the Seine in Paris? All the Hot Young Planners in Lindsey administration (Jaq Robertson, Bob Stern) proposed them 40 years ago.
The Piscine Deligny was the last one in Paris. It sank 12 years ago (here's a picture of it by Helmut Newton before its plunge). But the Mayor of Paris has proposed a new floating pool. Pictures of the old and the new "after the jump."
Much of the Paris we love so much was not yet built.
good addition to the city, but the government
building in the background shows that the French
have forgotten many of the principles of
urbanism they used to know so well.
Monday, July 25, 2005
Hot Time, Summer In The City
(back o' my neck gettin' dirdy 'n gritty...
TOMORROW it's supposed to "feel like" 105 in New York. Maybe it's time for Water Taxi Beach. But you can't swim there—a movie doubleheader in the afternoon might be better (The March of the Penguins and ?), followed by the Bohemian Hall Beer Garden at night. Water Taxi Beach and Bohemian Hall are both in Queens.
Uh-0h: The Beach is only open Friday, Saturday, Sunday.