• Green Scarf Dispatch Company

Weekend 214.0 (Almost)

The Art of The Secret World of Arrietty(1) The scan is from The Art of the The Secret World of Arrietty. I can’t scan the entire book BUT will add the abandoned gazebo (not tea house) in the garden that was featured in the final shot of the film.

(1a) A Dollhouse Fit for a Queen

(1b) Spoils!

(2) A Bicycle Built For Speed (WSJ)

(2a) ‘Stupid’ and Oil Prices (WSJ)

(3) A Pattern Emerges (WSJ)

“They’re innovating original prints that stand out more than any logo could. And because you must know fashion to recognize a print’s meaning, they have become a secret handshake to an undeniably stylish club.”

(4) On being an Anglophile…

Friend: So why do you seem to always want to be a redcoat? That doesn’t seem very American.

Limestone: Just something about the smell of EMPIRE!

Friend: Eew, OLD empire. Musty!

(4a) Londoners: The Days and Nights of London Now–As Told by Those Who Love It, Hate It, Live It, Left It, and Long for It

(4b) A Short History of England: The Glorious Story of a Rowdy Nation

Weekend 213.0 (Arrietty)

ArriettyMy one sentence review of Arrietty.

“Arrietty is adorable, diminutive, and special and the last scene features a tea house with stained glass windows.”

I can’t draft anything that isn’t biased. I love Miyazaki and small things. The backgrounds were gorgeous and the music and characters were great. I love it (for very personal and sentimental reasons) when she givers her hair clip to Sean.

The benefits of the quiet mind (or my first borrowing):

Found this tiny pin on the train platform this morning. It would fit inside a quarter.

Borrowed time, but time well spent: Animation god crafts ‘Arrietty’ from classic story

Miniatures

“The passion for tiny things–and miniatures were as popular among ordinary dads and secretaries as they were with royalty–is explained by the customary reaction to these dollhouses for grownups. How intricate the workmanship! How miraculous the detail! And all made my hand! Imagine that! Mrs. Thorne’s little rooms in San Francisco, and a second set on simultaneous view in New York in 1939, were handwrought rebukes to the machine age idolized by World’s Fairs.”

Mini (Kingdom Hearts Birth by Sleep) – Temporarily reduce the size of enemies. You can step on them while they are shrunk to deal damage.

“In all of Mrs. Thorne’s rooms, objects pertinent to the absent owners were scattered about like clues in a country-house mystery: a discarded book, the open door of a cabinet, a chair turned toward a window, a tiny cup and saucer abandoned on the very edge of a table. And the things they left behind conjured up stories in the heart of the observer. Love letters unanswered. A sudden quarrel. A three-dimensional world that could charm and delight and tell a story; in an odd way, this was animation without the quarrelsome animators who would throw up a picket line around the new studio on May 29, 1941.” – Imagineering the Disney Theme Parks by Karal Ann Marling

For D23 Fans: See Walt’s Missing Decade by Timothy S. Susanin and Persevering in Troubled Times: A Walk With Walt 1941 by Jim Fanning

Weekend 201.0 (WSJ Edition+)

Passenger Car(1) Mastermind of the Mega-Coaster

(2) Great Books Matter

Culture – A catchall for any group of things or persons that one wants to link together for the purpose of discussion.

(3) Building a Better Future

(3a) Back to the Future

(3b) “There were two factions of TMRC (Tech Model Railroad Club). Some members loved the idea of spending their time building and painting replicas of certain trains with historical and emotional value, or creating realistic scenery for the layout. This was the knife-and-paintbrush contingent, and it subscribed to railroad magazines and booked the club for trips on aging train lines. The other faction centered on the Signals and Power Subcommittee of the club, and it cared far more about what went under the layout, This was The System, which worked something like a collaboration between Rube Goldberg and Wernher von Braun, and it was constantly being improved, revamped, perfected, and sometimes “gronked”—in club jargon, screwed up. S&P people were obsessed with the way The System worked, its increasing complexities, how any change you made would affect other parts, and how you could put those relationships between the parts to optimal use.”

(3c) “Imperfect systems infuriate hackers, whose primal instinct is to debug them. This is one of the reasons why hackers generally hate driving cars—the system of randomly programmed red lights and oddly laid out one way streets causes delays which are so unnecessary that the impulse is to rearrange signs, open up traffic-light control boxes…redesign the entire system.”

(3d) Peter Samson

Excerpts from Hackers: Heroes of the Computer Revolution by Steven Levy

(4) Tom Sachs

(5) How Harrisburg Borrowed Itself Into Bankruptcy

“The Harrisburg case raises fundamental questions about the way cities and states increasingly use debt to finance speculative development that private investors or lenders won’t touch. From minor league stadiums to arenas, museums, downtown redevelopment and waste plants with unproven technologies, billions have been spent on schemes of questionable value. Some projects are backed by unrealistic economic projections, which leave taxpayers on the hook for bond payments or operating subsidies. These deals are one reason why state and local debt outstanding has ballooned from $1.3 trillion to $2.5 trillion in the last decade, according to the U.S. Federal Reserve.”

(6) Quote: “Passionate love, I take it, rarely lasts long, and is very troublesome while it does last. Mutual esteem is very much more valuable.” — Anthony Trollope

Weekend 200.1

Box Car IFound a pamphlet from the 1948 Chicago Railroad Fair at the Housatonic Model Railroad Club / Fairfield Historical Society train show this morning.

From the pamphlet

Retracing The Growth of a Nation
As American railroading has grown so has the nation. Steel rails have been the veritable backbone of our country in its development from a loosely-knit federation of infant states on the eastern seaboard to a thoroughly united empire.

The B & O’s initial efforts shortly after the War of 1812 making American railroading a practical reality for the first time…the history-making debuts shortly later of such famed early trains as the old DeWitt Clinton in upper New York…the Pioneer puffing its way out of Chicago on its maiden trip only a century ago to open up the plains of the West…and the great streamlined mammoths of recent years have all played their part in American destiny.

In Chicago this summer, the Chicago Railroad Fair graphically retraces this parallel history of railroading and the nation to give America its first great outdoor exposition since the war.

1948 Chicago Railroad Fair: Connection to Walt Disney
“Walt mused that Ward Kimball, a railroad enthusiast himself, always seemed relaxed, so he called Kimball and asked if he wanted to accompany him. They took the Super Chief from Pasadena…The president of the Chicago Museum of Science and Industry, Lenox Lohr, who hosted the fair, let Walt and Kimball backstage at a pageant called Wheels a Rolling, presented on a 450-foot platform off Lake Michigan embedded with tracks for historic locomotives. Walt was even allowed to run several of the old engines and appeared briefly in the show…In addition to the show, the fair featured exhibits—”lands,” one observer called them: a replica of the New Orleans French quarter erected by the Illinois Central Railroad; a dude ranch; a generic national park with a geyser that erupted every fifteen minutes, sponsored by several of the western railroads; and an Indian village set up by Santa Fe…But for all the fun and diversion Walt enjoyed at the fair, it was, like the trip to Goderich the previous summer, a journey into the past as well—a journey to rediscover himself and to rekindle his passions…Once they were in Chicago, Kimball, a musician, wanted to visit some jazz clubs. Walt refused. Instead, one night Walt coaxed Kimball into riding the elevated train with him as Walt, looking out the window, described the scenes of his youth in the city.”

Excerpt from Walt Disney: The Triumph of the American Imagination by Neal Gabler

Historical Context
“Hansen’s economics were part of a broader return to the frontier in the 1930s. Richard Slotkin has written of the revival of the Hollywood Western in 1939 as a renewed engagement with the idea of the frontier at precisely that moment when the United States had to negotiate its role in the new war in Europe. The frontier, as a myth about expansion, boundaries, borders, or more generally about national identity understood in terms of territory, provided a fertile trope for filmmakers to editorialize on the politics of the day. The frontier, as an inherently American experience, provided a conceptual border between Old World Europe and native traditions. As Slotkin argues, repetition over time conventionalized the frontier myth, creating a “deeply encoded and resonant set of symbols, ‘icons,’keywords,’ or historical cliches. In this form, myth becomes a basic constituent of linguistic meaning and of the processes of both personal and social remembering…The home front turned to the frontier as a persuasive keyword that helped “Americanize” planning by couching it as a modern, urban descendant of manifest destiny, the next stage in the development of “American Civilization.” Linking planning to the frontier connoted expansion, progress, freedom, and rugged individualism, all of which posed important counterpoints to the Depression and to the totalitarian associations of of fascist or communist planning. Frontier rhetoric also fed American desires to frame their experience as exceptional, rooted in the character of the land itself and therefore inevitable.”

Excerpt from 194X: Architecture, Planning, and Consumer Culture on the American Home Front by Andrew M. Shanken

Lilly Belle

Just as he loved to play soda jerk, he loved to play engineer. He would don an engineer’s cap and a plaid shirt, straddle the tender behind the engine, which he had named Lilly Belle, in Lillian’s honor, and fire up. Guests to the Disney home were invariably invited to take a ride on the train, and Walt would issue passes to “vice presidents” of the Carolwood Pacific—a list that included Walter Wanger, gossip columnist Hedda Hopper, ventriloquist Edgar Bergen, singer Dinah Shore, actor Dick Powell, and even Salvador Dali, who thought the detail so perfect that he feared the train would have accidents that mimicked real train crashes “or even sabotage…like miniature train wreckers!” Dali told Walt, “Such perfection did not belong to models!” But that had been the whole point. With his train Walt Disney had regained perfection.

Walt Disney: The Triumph of the American Imagination by Neal Gabler

Weekend 187.0

London Bus III“But if flight represents freedom, reinvention, and self-renewal—and barring all of that escape—then the terminal itself has evolved into something resembling a destination…They’re amnesiac places with no future and no past, only a continual present offering the same choices—flights, duty-free, and fast food—day after day after day.

The reason we mourn that vanished era so is that the Jet Age was the all-too-brief flowering of our romance with speed. Later, we fell for seamlessness instead, spurning the freedom to go anywhere for the ability to be nowhere all the time. We traded the clouds for the cloud, and we’re living in an instant age.” — John D. Kasarda / Greg Lindsay, Aerotropolis: The Way We’ll Live Next

Related
(1a) Hubs by Douglas Coupland

(2a) Airlines Promise: It Will Get Better (WSJ)

(3a) As You Light It: Jet Lag – Ideas of time, place, and travel within the modern cityscape.

Unrelated
(4) Take A Walk Through Square Enix’s Japan Office

Weekend 186.0

Playmobil Tulips IV(1) Morris Mini Cooper S (Flickr)

(2) The Terrifying Truth About New Technology: Do robots and Twitter make you nervous? Growing old is what you’re really afraid of

(3) Kumho Tires 2009 Commercial “Missing Something?”

(4) “…paving tarmac was never enough. There needed to be some kind of catalyst present, whether it’s the Warfare State, the Pentagon, the Internet’s trunk routes, or the guaranteed connections of a monster hub like O’Hare, which handled more people back in 1960 than Ellis Island did in its entire existence.” — John D. Kasarda / Greg Lindsay, Aerotropolis: The Way We’ll Live Next

(5) Tel Aviv, Azrieli center

(6) Beauty in a Dark Time by Michael Potemra

Weekend 183.0

Train Station III(1) Easter Eggs!

Related Photos from the Limestone Archives

(1a) London Bookstore
(1b) London Taxi

(2) Beyond Spandex: Chic Styles for Cyclists Take Off (WSJ)

(3) Roma sets sights on Landon Donovan?

(4) “Woke up in London yesterday…found myself in the city near Piccadilly.”

(5) Samsung Infuse 4G “Spider”

The Greek language has two words for time: “chronos,” time measurable in years, and “kairos,” time of opportunity, time of grace.

(6) 3D Scenery by Jeremy Vickery

Weekend 181.0

Model Building Lobby(1) Knuffingen Airport, World’s Largest Miniature Airport, Goes On Display In Germany

(2) Sherwin-Williams “Daybreak” Commercial 2011

(3) Felipe Neves Photography

(4) Riding the Rails of Locomotive Maps (WSJ)

(5) Love books? Spend a weekend in NYC at BookExpo America (BEA).

(5a) Utopia Forever: Visions of Architecture and Urbanism

(6) What’s So Great About Frank Lloyd Wright’s Fallingwater? (WSJ)

(7) Walt’s Wonder Years

(8) Building a Thinking Room (WSJ)

“Today, it turns out, the real cutting edge of architecture has to do with the psychology of buildings, not just their appearance. Recently, scientists have begun to focus on how architecture and design can influence our moods, thoughts and health. They’ve discovered that everything—from the quality of a view to the height of a ceiling, from the wall color to the furniture—shapes how we think.”

Spring Thunderstorm Rainy Day Ideas

(9) Theme Park Design: Behind The Scenes With An Engineer [Paperback]

(9a) K’NEX Thrill Rides

(10) Schwinn Magic Bell

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