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Weekend 213.3 (bits and bobs)

En Route on the Sloped Road(1) “What other commute can compete with the sights of the limestone Landwasser Viaduct and the Piz Bernina peak?” – MONOCLE, February 2012

(2) Kibun is NO Toast but he’s squishy nonetheless

(2a) PRICELESS: “Botan! Plushie mode. This is one of Botan’s seven tricks. When she’s like this people will think you’re a plushie enthusiast rather than someone smuggling a boar into class.”

(3) Can a Papermaker Help to Save Civilization? (NYTIMES)

(3a) Ed!t

Weekend 209.1 (Tires/Tyres)

Yeah. I’ve added a category for tires/tyres because of my obsession with vulcanized rubber. Photographs of tires/tyres for me are like hi-res food shots to foodies.

I watched Tokyo Story last night and Noriko [Setsuko Hara] was employed by the Yoneyama Trading Company whose business was tires apparently (?).

Yasujiro Ozu's Tokyo Story

Speaking of pron; here is some new bike pron! The first is an illustration/drawing by Scott White from Bermuda Journey. The second is from another movie with Setsuko Hara called Late Spring.

(1) Get-Tough Policy on Chinese Tires Falls Flat (WSJ)

(1a) The reincarnation of the Playmobil Classic Car (6240) with accompanying tire pron!

This has nothing to do with tires but was part of my weekend reading:

(2) Boardroom Conquerors (WSJ)

“The good life, Mr. Kluth suggests, is not to be found by trying to imitate those we consider leaders and successes, who are rarely all they seem. It consists of doing what we must, as well as we are able, perceptions and consequences be damned.”

Thanksgiving 2011

(1) Playmofan

(2) The Original Disneyland Hotel

(2a) Disneyland Hotel interior lobby area

(3) Christmas and winter photoshop styles

(4) “We are writing a primer on planning for the same people which probably is an indication that the American industrialists are replacing the intellectual liberal in whatever his role is as defender of the intangible that never materializes.” – Oscar Stonorov

(4a) Schroeder playing a Beethoven sonata from A Boy Named Charlie Brown (1969)

(4b) “There are several important consequences of Walt’s unconventional approach to architecture. Because of his devotion to tangible things, for instance, the Disney theme parks are full of compelling, believable detail: they seem more real, somehow, than the world outside the berm, even though the 1800s have vanished, along with the last of the unexplored jungle rivers, and the future still lies up ahead, muffled in hope and the trappings of a thousand bad science-fiction movies. But a creative technique based on models and pictures also favors style over content, clear and simple emotions over a range of more difficult choices.” – Imagineering the Disney Theme Parks by Karal Ann Marling

(5) Subway Depths, Lit by Art (WSJ)

In the mezzanine, commuters will walk past life-size images of New Yorkers from the 1940s. A shimmering cityscape, as viewed from the old elevated platforms, will be re-created in glass.

In all, Ms. Shin’s pieces are expected to cover about 1,900 square feet. “I hope, as commuters go through this new technology and this new subway line, the new will be the old and the old will be the new,” said Ms. Shin, 40 years old.

(6) An Artist Amasses a Rare Collection (WSJ)

(7) Things Fall Apart

(7a) “The Second Coming” by W.B. Yeats

(7b) The Fight Between Carnival and Lent at the Kunsthistorisches Museum by Pieter Bruegel

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

Weekend 188.0

(1) Magnetic Color Cubes® by The Orb Factory

(2) Festival of colors (Design You Trust)

(3) Birth by Sleep (KH 358/2)

(3a) Disney Epic Mickey Digicomics

(4) Television: Pan Am Promo Trailer

(4a) Community without propinquity: Communities without a sense of place formed by professional, familial, and recreation ties, bound by avocation instead of location.

(4b) Kasarda’s Law of Connectivity: Every technology meant to circumvent distances electronically, starting with the telegraph—the original “nervous system of commerce”—will only stoke our desire to transverse it ourselves. For every message we send—whether by phone or e-mail or some handheld fusion of the two—there’s a chance it will lead us to meet face-to-face. Facebook friends drop in to and become real ones; stray tweets on Twitter breed followers, contacts, and business trips. Ergo. trillions of connections yield billions aloft. The more wired we are, the more we fly. Not less. At the current rate, the Internet will render business travel obsolete at about the same time it replaces paper.

Community without propinquity

(5) Tribute to Bob Gurr & Cars 2

(6) Spatial Fix: The shape of cities is determined by how they’re used and how we move around in them (a function of the state of the art in transportation at the time). Cities are fixed in time and place and each fix creates a landscape suited to its era.

Weekend 168.1

(1) Model Train Collector’s One Track Mind

(2) Now Arriving: A Giant Toy-Train Offering

The Greenes want the collection to go to a single buyer who will leave it intact. They can also reject a bid in favor of someone who pledges to build a museum for the collection, which they say is their preference. Ms. Greene adds, “We would not want a museum with our names on it. That’s not the kind of people we are.”

Limestone Commentary: I really hope this collection ends up in a museum. For many, it may be the only chance they have to experience those “train stations, bridges and buildings destroyed during World Wars I and II” dimensionally.

Weekend 167.0

(1) An exceptional PLAYMOBIL display at the Pacific Science Center in Seattle, WA.

Arranging PLAYMOBIL tyres in a pile makes me a bit giddy. Daran habe ich gar nicht gedacht. I got a serious thing for PLAYMOBIL tyres.

(2) “We dreamed dreams and the dreams all came true. We stimulated the world. We did our best to prove that nations can live in peace and freedom.” – Grover Whalen

(2a) “People who love gardens are happy people, and it is possible to bury many a difference of opinion when we bury the roots of a plant together.” – Harriet Barnes Pratt

(2b) Playmobil Botanical Gardens

Weekend 163.1

Right on Kalidor. I like the Maison de campagne and the Caravane.

Christmas Toys (Just Window Shopping)

(1) Villa Sibi Modernist Dollhouse


(3) Xtreamliner Cab

(4) Domus Stone Scale Structures

(5) Anker Construction Kit

(6) ArcheToys

Weekend 150.2

Neat. The Fisher Price airplane is featured in the AT&T BlackBerry Torch commercial.

Some related links…

(1) History of the Fisher-Price Airplane
(2) An original Limestone Roof project

On the periphery…

(3) Hamlet’s BlackBerry: A Practical Philosophy for Building a Good Life in the Digital Age
(4) Information Overload Is Nothing New (Wall Street Journal – Registration Required)
(5) Sprint Ad re: connectedness
(6) Silence Descends by George Case
(7) “The Machine Stops” by E.M. Forster

Skaters in Central Park

“New York blends the gift of privacy with the excitement of participation; and better than most dense communities it succeeds in insulating the individual (if he wants it, and almost everybody wants or needs it) against all enormous and violent and wonderful events that are taking place every minute.”

E.B. White

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