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stories. most of my better ones come from a summer spent alone in countries where i didn't speak the language. the cast includes danish medical students, russian soldiers, an irish U2-wanna-be rock band, and the lady who took admission money at the restroom entrance in the brno train station.

Jun 3, 13 8:56 am

@orhan - any insight into what's currently happening in Turkey?  from what I understand it started off as a peaceful protest against developing one of the last remaining green spaces in a neighborhood into a shopping mall and now tens of thousands of people have taken to the streets.


oops - never mind - just saw your news post.  will comment there.

Jun 3, 13 9:38 am

there is a lot of spin in those clinton comments.  it was a more innocent time in spite of those nasty bits of legislation that got through. i would take those years all back anyday.  even newt. the ray-gun days might even be better than today, if not by much.

my kids all had vaccinations this year.  somehow we don't have many of those curious claims that preventing disease is a form of mind control or whatever. 

anyway, get well donna.  sucks being sick.

Jun 3, 13 10:44 am

in japan or canada will?

the anti-innoculation thing is, or at least was at some point, bigger in japan than the US.

google should be able to point you towards a bunch of more similar articles.

there was a whole thing between britian and japan about vaccinations causing autism.  in 1993 japan stopped encouraging MMR vaccinations, or something along those lines.  i think this has been largely discredited since then, but still, this is not a US thing.

Jun 3, 13 11:28 am

The vaccine=autism link has not only been thoroughly discredited, the doctor who published the study has been relieved of his license and The Lancet printed a retraction.  The "study" was pure bunk.

I did read recently that Japan thought they had reached herd immunity for smallpox (in the early 70s, I think?) and stopped giving the inoculation but then had another significant outbreak.  So they had to restart the program.  That story is a good example of what we now face here in the US: a high enough percentage of people are refusing to vaccinate that our herd immunity is compromised.  Add in the explosion of international travel in the past decade and we see things like an outbreak of measles or an upsurge in whooping cough - diseases we thought were pretty much eradicated.

Jun 3, 13 11:51 am

Will, care to despin those comments?

Those "nasty bits" of legislation led directly to the mortgage crisis and the Iraq invasion. If it was a more innocent time, it's simply because you had no idea what was going on.

Jun 3, 13 11:56 am

Sorry to be on and on about this, but disease vectors and contagion are really interesting to me. Which is why I loved 28 Days Later and all those other contagious disease flicks. I blame an issue of Wired from about 1994 that explored a worldwide outbreak and quickly and unpreventably it could spread across the globe in just a few days.  That issue scared the crap out of me!

Jun 3, 13 11:57 am

There is a board game called Pandemic. It was really fun. After I played it, I dreamed about pandemics all night! You should check it out, get it for Angus...

Jun 3, 13 11:59 am

all the good movies have a few survivors.  i loved steven king's the stand (more the movie than the book.  it was really long)  kinda delved well outside the disease part, but as i recall it was still a pandemic that killed off everyone.  the walking dead, when they went to the CDC in atlanta, was kind of cool too.

all i was saying before is that the immunization paranoia isn't limited to somewhat wealthy middle aged paranoid white men like most of america's problems.  this one came from outside.

Jun 3, 13 12:11 pm

TINT, I will look for the board game immediately!!

curt I think The Stand (I only read the book, not the movie) and 28 Days Later are interesting because they look at what will happen after and how people will try to create a new society.  It seems inevitable that the psychopaths would be able to take control pretty quickly because everyone is scared and getting people to organize responsibly and thoughtfully is a lot harder than forcing people to comply through brute force and scare tactics.

Which is a neat little parallel to the anti-vax debate, huh?

Jun 3, 13 12:17 pm
Has anyone ever read an article or seen a speculative project about what kind of infrastructure would be required for a popolution using jetpacks?
Jun 3, 13 6:14 pm

Have you been keeping up with this Coronavirus thing?  It apparently spread to some parts of Europe already...60% death rate...

Jun 3, 13 6:20 pm
Sarah Hamilton
Corona virus? Deals with eyes, or beer.......?
Jun 3, 13 6:33 pm
Wow I didn't know that about Japan. It's never ever come up. My daughter just had the vaccine for cancer that the republicans think girls shouldn't get cuz it encourages promiscuity. I was thinking more about that to be honest. But maybe its also condemned here for all I know. In my experience on the ground Japanese are pro health prevention measures in any form. Maybe it's one if those fads that swept through and out and I missed it. Our doctors never said boo and our friends certainly didn't either.

About Clinton, he wasn't in control any more than Obama was. There is a back story to each of those laws that needs to be considered. Ad far as i goes i sm certsinly more aware now but still feek those days were better. My brother in law was piece keeper in Sarajevo instead of fighting in Afghanistan and under fire, just to start. Newt was the tip of a fkuced up point of view about authoritarianism, and now the dems have somehow internalized a lot of that right wing nonsense. Canada's the same except worse cuz we went from Chretien to Harper who is working to dismantle environmental protections and open government process like nobody's business.
The shit all started in the 80's but were really living it now. Not fair to say it was Clinton. It was the whole bloody country starting with Reagan and going downhill ever since. We are in some kinda high consumerist age right now that makes no sense. Before it was just consumerism. Lite even. I think lot of the mistakes and especially the ones clinton made were based on ignorance but now we know better and some folks feel like doubling down. It's a wee bit worrying.
Jun 3, 13 7:29 pm
Sorry for spelling mistakes. iPhone is cool but unruly.
Jun 3, 13 7:31 pm

iPhone is cool but unruly  This is my catchphrase lately.  Damn double posts.

Jun 3, 13 7:35 pm

I find it even hard typing on my I-pad....just not the same as a keyboard on a computer.  If Steve Jobs had ever figured that aspect of i-pads out he would have sold a lot more of them.

Jun 4, 13 8:15 am

Re: high consumerist age... I agree.  We just got back from Paris and while there ran into (what else) a demonstration... but this time it wasn't about the usual suspects.  It was a bunch of young teens / early 20s kids protesting in favor of businesses being opened on Sundays.  They were asking to work on Sundays, is what it was.  The idea is that supposedly, if businesses are open more on Sundays, there will be a lower teen unemployment rate.  We stood there watching for awhile and my partner said he wanted to shout at them "wait, listen to us Americans, don't start down that path!  It only leads to you working around the clock non-stop with no guaranteed vacation and the boss will take all the profits anyway!  It only leads to an devaluing of the employee!!  Don't end up like us!"

...and sure enough, as we looked closer, guess what we saw?  All of their tshirts and handouts, everything they were wearing and protesting with, had the name of a business on it.  A business was sponsoring the whole thing.  Telling the kids "everyone should work more, it will be a better world" and selling it that way, but really ultimately it is always about business wanting more profits.  Anyway, we just felt weird to see that there was a business sponsor name on all the tshirts...

(ps while I don't think that working an additional day is in itself is a threat to workers in France, I do think that it contributes in general to an increased sense of the devaluing of labor in France and a higher value on corporations, which is starting to happen... everyone wants to be like America, and that is scary, because the end of that road is not pretty.  The entire sensibility of the French society is different - there is a sense of the dignity of the worker, and respect for his/her rights, that becomes entirely lost / intentionally screwed over when you let corporations rule the show.  And there are other effects, too.  Right now the point of the Sundays off in France is that people spend time with their families-  and they DO.  Everyone eats together, gathers together, fills up the parks and streets strolling along and window shopping.  Once you start to take people out of that equation so they can work, and you open up the businesses, it becomes a day like any other day... and you've lost the one day where collectively, everyone sits together and does nothing but relish each other's company and REST from their work.  The societal ramifications of that time are manifold.  And frankly I'd rather be an unemployed 20 year old than live in a consumerist society where business is king and the worker is a peon with no respect or agency of any kind.  They don't have any student loans or health care costs and they live with their parents through college anyway, what do they need a job so bad for?  It just saddened me to see corporations tempt the young with seemingly-good slogans in order to ultimately reap the reward when the culture changes.

Jun 4, 13 8:22 am

^ Ah, the rewards of globalism.

Jun 4, 13 8:57 am
vado retro

anyone ever read Mary Barton? its a novel that my gf teaches in her lit classes and deals with the inequities of the industrial age in england. she works in a little Marx with it and shows a documentary on the triangle building fire and now there is a great deal of discussion about fast fashion and the recent events in Bangladesh. the more things change...

Jun 4, 13 12:40 pm

Donna that jetpack thread you started is just ....

Jun 4, 13 4:40 pm

Thinking observant went on vacation...

Jun 5, 13 10:08 pm


Do you WANT me to go on vacation?

Jun 5, 13 10:10 pm

Would it be possible for some of you to do me a solid and provide some feedback on my Penn Station thesis thread? I spent most of an evening writing it, and then watched it sink like a rock to the bottom of the page.

Now if I can just put as much effort into re-writing my thesis proposal, which is due in August...

Jun 5, 13 10:10 pm

have any you all seen this already?  if not, check it outs. it's fascinating look at reality of high end design in a world that no longer agrees with the concept.  its a look at life in nakagin by 2 architects from portugal, btw.

manta, thats sad but unsurprising about france.  our world is going all stupid at once and the people with the guillotine poised over their heads are pulling the chord to let the damn blade fall - it's like they (we?) are impatient to be headless and all but dead. Its amazing how people choose to have a worse life in exchange for false security.  seems like the republican party is built on the phenomenon lately...

Jun 6, 13 12:26 am

Excellent read, Will, thanks for that. 

Jun 6, 13 9:06 am

s-d-d WANTS me to go on vacation yet I don't see him forking over tickets for air travel.

Jun 6, 13 1:45 pm
Sarah Hamilton

Donna,  I came across this today, and thought of you!

Jun 6, 13 3:08 pm

Very nice, Sarah.  Thank you.  And it's scarily accurate.

I went to a lecture tonight by Jorge Hernandez, architect and professor of architecture at University of Miami.  he gave an awesome, broad-ranging talk on his work to save Hilario Candela's Miami Marine Stadium.  I'm going to start a thread about it….

Jun 6, 13 10:12 pm

@will - great article - of course you know my love/hate relationship with the metabolists...

Jun 6, 13 10:20 pm
I'm listening to Science Friday on which they are discussing multiple sclerosis. The body's own immune system turns on itself and attacks the myelin sheath, the material that protects the pathways of messages to the muscles. Of course I keep hearing that term as "Maya Lin", as in "We have to stop the Maya Lin attacks" and "A healthy Maya Lin system is within our grasp". It's cracking me up!
Jun 7, 13 3:48 pm

will - Great, link, thanks. Interesting to compare with Safdie's Habitat.

Jun 7, 13 4:32 pm

"We have to stop the Maya Lin attacks"

this is true.  it's getting out of hand.



not really.  i haven't heard much from her in years.  it was funny though.  thanks donna :)

Jun 7, 13 4:35 pm

I want to go see her  "Storm King" project.. I just about went there a few weeks ago but it was opening day for members, so I figured every New Yorker who could escape New York would.  Hoping to get back down there sometime this summer.


Jun 7, 13 5:02 pm

She's been working on What is Missing?  It's supposed to be her last memorial.

I especially like Unchopping a Tree.

Jun 7, 13 9:40 pm

If you didn't know, the manliest men make furniture.

Jun 8, 13 2:05 am

hulu no go in tokyo

maya lin is very cool.  must keep her safe


habitat is in fine shape and occupied by the wealthy or so i understand. it was never so extreme though and also not built on land worth a lot more with the building torn down...

Jun 8, 13 3:43 am
went out on the town on my own last night: outdoor market, galleries, sidewalks all hopping. gallery walk night. every restaurant packed. assumed i'd meet new people.

never really do.

i did run into a lot of friends and acquaintances and visited there on the sidewalk.

must be too old to meet people. not good at small talk anyway.

had dinner with a good friend.
Jun 8, 13 9:24 am

Will, that article was fascinating, thanks.  I wish there'd been more pictures (especially of the bathroom!) but beggars can't be choosers.

I WAS puzzled by one random tiny thing though - the authors mention that they come from a country with no seismic activity........ do they realize they come from Portugal?!  Portugal has tons of seismic activity.  One of the strongest earthquakes in history was centered near Lisboa, IIRC, although it was felt throughout western europe.  Anyway that totally stumped me.

Jun 8, 13 11:36 am

Steven I'm jealous.  I haven't been outside of a building, even for lunch, between early morning and darkness, in a week.  Huge deadline early next week. 

Jun 8, 13 11:37 am

Correction: it was centered off the coast and felt as far as Finland.  There was another big earthquake in the 70s too so definitely a currently active seismic area.

Jun 8, 13 11:40 am

From what I understand, habitat is actually slowly falling apart and the condo association spends a small fortune to keep it up. If it were lower income housing it would have condemned and torn down years ago. Exposed concrete in that climate doesn't hold up well.

Jun 9, 13 1:23 pm

interesting, not one discussion here on the nect about the impact of cheryl sandberg's book Lean In. 

Jun 9, 13 2:23 pm

Who is Cheryl Sandberg?  She related to the poet...tongue in cheeK  Carl Sanberg?

Jun 9, 13 8:42 pm

Yes, they are half-siblings.

Jun 10, 13 9:05 am

morning all,

i spent the weekend at crescent beach turning pink.... lovely weather and waves.

Jun 10, 13 9:18 am

hadn't heard that about habitat.  the units are still selling normally, not like nakagin.  they look odd cuz people have turned them into like greek style bungalows on the inside, but otherwise seem cool enough...habitat is really one of the few constructivist buildings that seems actually timeless to me. 

no idea about the Portuguese and their lack of seismic awareness.  maybe its relative.  we get earthquakes here way too often. like snow in winter and rain in the spring.

Jun 10, 13 11:27 am

yeah - every summer they are doing continual roof and deck repair-work - most of the units have water infiltration problems (from the 200 or so roof decks and from the windows).  It's a pretty amazing building with spectacular views - but without the constant $$ from the wealthy inhabitants it wouldn't have survived this long.


old-timers around here joke that if we were to build habitat today it would be called "perpetual lawsuits '67"

Jun 10, 13 1:06 pm

tokyo doesn't have the extreme freeze-thaw cycles, which is what tends destroys concrete and masonry buildings in this climate.

Jun 10, 13 1:13 pm

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