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she had three testicles?  That's too many testicles.  especially for a woman.

Jan 19, 14 9:29 pm
ET. The extra testicle.

A girlfriend I once had honestly thought that guys had a random number of balls. Now, wouldn't that be something.
Jan 19, 14 9:37 pm

she had three testicles?  That's too many testicles.  especially for a woman.

She took one from Walter, whether he liked it or not.

A girlfriend I once had honestly thought that guys had a random number of balls. Now, wouldn't that be something.

It could probably happen.  There's a condition called an auxiliary nipple, or a third nipple.  It would probably be easier to hide the scar from removing a third testicle than from removing an auxiliary nipple, but rearranging the plumbing would be the difficult part.

Jan 19, 14 10:21 pm

She took one from Walter, whether he liked it or not.


WTF?  Bea Arthur was going around surgically removing testicles?

Jan 19, 14 10:32 pm

Sorry to interrupt your discussion about testicles, 
but if you are interested in parametric architecture / urbanism this might interest you and help me a lot! :) 

A survey about parametric urbanism! (link to all responses after submission)

Thank you! 

Jan 19, 14 11:06 pm

"parametric urbanism" is essentially adaptive performance-based zoning codes - which is interesting from a policy standpoint - however, the imagery - especially the urban forms - "parametricists" produce is absolutely terrifying and oppressive at the human scale.  PUT SOME TREES AND PEOPLE IN THE RENDERINGS!!!!  Show quality of materials. Show how people will use these spaces and you'll get more converts.  I'm not convinced the parametricists understand experiences of individual users.  The scale needs to come WAY down.


The other main stumbling block with parametric urbanism is individual property ownership - it appears to only work in completely totalitarian political systems.

Jan 20, 14 12:45 pm

Now all we need is a building that resembles parametrically induced testicular sacs.

So, it was Seattle over San Francisco.

Now what?  Denver or Seattle?

You know, since I don't do beer, you wouldn't expect me to follow football, either.  Correct.  However, I typically watch the Super Bowl.

So, will it go coastal or flyover?  Meh.  Actually, Denver is not considered flyover.  It's still the West.

Jan 20, 14 12:55 pm

it's an oldie, but a goodie.

Jan 20, 14 9:37 pm

^^ Nam, that's an interesting perspective on the match up.

Also, we could look at this by "vicarious" stoner factor.

Seattle has 2 earthy-crunchy, stoner college towns near it, in Bellingham and Olympia.

Denver has 1 earthy-crunchy, stoner college town near it, in Boulder.

With this logic, Denver will have it more together and may win.  But I'm hoping not.

Jan 21, 14 7:34 am

Here's another appropriate but VERY SAD example that supports a stereotype.  Mexico?  No way, Jose. VERY SAD.  And only 22 years old and a college student.

Similarly, Venezuela and Colombia are the two biggest cesspools in South America.  The stories of crime in Caracas and Bogota are mind boggling.  I couldn't be bothered.  The only country down there which is edgy and I've been to is Brazil, and it was ONLY to see Rio de Janeiro.  Captivating as it was, I'm not sure whether I'd go back or not.

Jan 21, 14 7:40 am

good grief, observant. who do you imagine is the among the appreciative audience for your numerous and often lengthy pronouncements?

who cares whether you'd discount a whole country - or several - as unworthy of your attention? really.  

so we've made some progress: you're now acknowledging that you're making stereotypes based on isolated incidents and examples. now, maybe you can just recognize that they're ridiculous and stop doing it


[i'm trying so hard to ignore observant's posts, but they just. keep. coming.]

Jan 21, 14 12:36 pm

Polar Vortex 2: just started snowing. Expecting 8-14" tonight and really cold for a week to follow.

Jan 21, 14 1:04 pm

good grief, observant. who do you imagine is the among the appreciative audience for your numerous and often lengthy pronouncements?

No need to be so PC.  Just read those rankings on which countries routinely are in the top 10 lists to avoid.  Since I have friends and acquaintances from these countries, and they have wanted me to go, I have to politely keep telling them NO ... and almost ask what part of NO don't you understand?  As in "You want to me to go a crime infested shit hole where you recently told me your 76 y.o. mother was mugged using a city bus in her own neighborhood?"

Here was a KID on a TV game show going to college. No sympathy here?  So, this doesn't shock you?   If people in the drug cliques are at war with each other, that's one thing.  When it spills over into the general population, and it does, that's terrible.  Read up on Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, right across the Rio Grande from El Paso, TX.  There, the bodies pile up.  Now how is THAT a stereotype?  It's an actual number, and a frightening one.  All those Top 10 Lists are based on numbers, not stereotypes.  Social psychologists and sociologists who conduct research to back up findings on group dynamics use statistics.  Therefore, stereotypes could also be linked to statistics - the likelihood that certain traits and behaviors are more likely to be found in one group than in another.  Even those dumb featured boxes evaluating attitudes on the front of USA Today are based on polling, and not conjecture.  Perhaps we don't want to look at hard numbers because they display things that are not pleasant and shatter the creation of denial and illusion.

Your final comment about "trying so hard to ignore" shows how condescending you are.  It's not as if you own the God damn place.  Have a sip of one of your expensive cherished liqueurs and just get over it.

Jan 21, 14 1:26 pm

anyone else catch this?  skyscraper candles.  pretty clever.

Jan 21, 14 1:33 pm

You must be right. It's not you, it's us. Guys, we should all change so Observant is right. it's the only logical conclusion.

Jan 21, 14 1:36 pm

^  Architects more often than not tend to be ridiculously PC, packaged liberals (and I stress packaged), and snively.  You see it in school.  This sort of stuff doesn't bother a lot of my friends who studied other things and work in other fields, especially those that concern themselves with facts and arriving at quick decisions.  And especially if they are urban.  Are literacy rates and SAT scores lower in Mississippi than they are in Minnesota?  Yes.  Probably read that in USA Today.  Political correctness is a cancer.  It gives people something to do and get riled up about.  It's a bandage of sorts.  It solves nothing.  People got along just about the same before it came into vogue.

Jan 21, 14 1:43 pm

i'm not talking about political correctness at all, observant. i'm talking about boorishness.

you're right that i don't own the place. i was just one of many that made it a great place for non-main-room discussions about life in general - maybe sort of specific to an architecture-related life. discussions in which we all took part and which we enjoyed. 

discussions which have now been muscled out of the way by your overbearing bloviations. it's tempting to leave TC to you and see how long it continues without the rest of us...  

i sort of expect that it would stay on the front page!

Jan 21, 14 1:54 pm

The article I posted and comments about the Super Bowl are just as current as comments about the unpredictable weather these days.  No one complains about those, and they are not at all connected to "architecture-related life," as you say.  Your complaint is more about bad chemistry between some people here.

Jan 21, 14 2:01 pm


Jan 21, 14 2:08 pm

Just returned from a Zoning Variance hearing for a very cool little urban design project by the non-profit (People for Urban Progress) of which I am a board member.  We passed! Yay, I'm looking forward to seeing this thing built.  It touches every aspect of what I think is good in city living, design, sustainability, and public engagement.

Plus: I *love* the variance hearing process.  It makes me choke up a little every time - it's democracy in action, right there in a room like any room in every municipality in the country.  Granted, our City-County hearing room happens to be a fantastic gem of Mid-Century Modern design, and I don't think I've ever not been approved for a variance, so my love of the system might be a little skewed...but it makes me proud and happy.

Jan 21, 14 2:15 pm

When you make your point without derogatory commentary you come across as intelligent, informed person whose points I consider without prejudice. When you inject racist, homophobic, sexist language into your point, you lose all credibility. You're free, of course, to continue to blame society for that, but I think you might want to start looking in the mirror a bit more often. 


That or simply surround yourself with like-minded individuals and keep on blaming some sort of PC devil. I must warn you, though. He's made of straw.

Jan 21, 14 2:18 pm

I've lost track of how many zoning hearings I've been to over the years - on both sides.   I go to the ones in my neighborhood whenever I have a chance, and it's the same cast of maybe a few dozen characters with a smattering of abutters - which is understandable.  I'm not that young anymore, but what really bugs me is that I'm usually the youngest person there by a good decade or two.  There are plenty of 20/30 somethings who live in my neighborhood, and I hear them complaining about all sorts of things, yet they never show up at these hearings.


Participation in a democracy is more than just voting or taking surveys.  You have to get involved.

Jan 21, 14 4:08 pm

new favorite term:

magpie architecture

Jan 21, 14 4:36 pm

Donna - how about some pictures of that project?

The ZBA here is affectionately known as the candy store. > 95% approval rate. Less than maximum possible return on speculative development is considered a headship. Most applications are presented by former town attorneys. 

Jan 21, 14 4:56 pm

Having attended a ZB meeting in the Hamptons recently, I can't say I was particularly impressed with the priorities of the officials.

Jan 21, 14 5:26 pm

SneakyPete you must be a neighbor of Miles.

Jan 21, 14 6:22 pm

^  Or he could have been at one time. 

At any rate, it's gone from MN to PA to NY (present or past).

Jan 21, 14 6:35 pm

Pete, next time you're going to be here warn me ahead of time. 

Jan 21, 14 6:39 pm

When you make your point without derogatory commentary you come across as intelligent, informed person whose points I consider without prejudice. When you inject racist, homophobic, sexist language into your point, you lose all credibility.

That or simply surround yourself with like-minded individuals

Perhaps we need to finesse what these attributes are, why I am not in synch with you, and others on here, on this topic, and why political correctness does in fact come into it.

Racist - stereotyping is not racist, but people have been cajoled into thinking that it is within the last 20 years.  To say that, in a vigorous classroom or studio exchange, Asian students from overseas are not as likely to contribute verbally, and certainly not be involved if the situation becomes more confrontational, is not being politically incorrect and it's profiling.  However, it's reality.  That is one of many valid observations about different groups of people.  I came to learn that people from Russia can talk to each other while taking tests. That convention has been brought over here, unless they were socialized in the U.S. Also, it is now racist to not consider dating or coupling with someone who is not of your race.  How about that?  It isn't the same as refusing to befriend or hire someone.  They may not be within your taste palette based on physicality.  This is highly personal.  And, for a lot of people who cry foul here, their significant others are demographically much like themselves, so the argument doesn't hold.  Nor would they cross the barrier themselves.  Instead, they are paying NIMBY lip service.  Not buying into interracial, intercultural, and interfaith crossovers in relationships is not about racism, but about what you value, what attracts you, and what you have in common.

Homophobic - that's another plum one.  People who were indifferent to and tolerant of gays and lesbians, and any living arrangement they had, are now suddenly homophobic because they don't support same sex marriage.  That's really trendy now and almost ridiculous, seeing that the marriage age has soared upward and people are having fewer children.  When a huge rally against it took place in Paris and was on TV, I looked to see if they were hicks in the crowd.  They did not look like they came from the fields of Provence and from picking grapes for wine.  They looked like conventional, educated urban folks.  All it means is that people want that institution preserved as it traditionally stood and that changing it offends more people, on a religious and others levels, than it helps the very few who will avail themselves of it.  They need to do a statistical catchment study examining just that, but there are no long-term numbers.  What exactly is the viability and longevity of partnerships turning into marriages?  Unfortunately, while it would be valid criteria, it would make a value judgment and thus not be PC.  Also, it's not as form vs. substance as access to drinking fountains was during civil rights.  Then, the fact that a person of another race could not drink from the same drinking fountain as a white person was about "substance," and it was egregious.  The same sex marriage thing is all about "form" - a word.  The substance offered by a civil or registered partnership is the same and, moreover, benefits are even included.  I disagree that benefits such as insurances, pensions, et. al. should be extended to same sex partners.  The union is not a procreative one, by its very nature, and they can get their own jobs and benefits.  There is a huge cost associated with that to appease very few people's hurt feelings.

Sexist - men don't have a problem with women getting paid the same amount for the same job.  Rather, they have a problem with the unpleasant and "butch" attitude that comes with that feminist chip on the shoulder.  Almost half of those enrolled in health fields, law, and commerce are women.  No one is keeping women from becoming doctors or partners in law firms.  If you're doctor shopping post 1-1-14 because of policy changes, about half of the doctors out there are women.  I've had a few women doctors, if their credentials and bios looked good.  If their bedside manner is then not feminine, in my perception, and they act too tough to overcompensate vis a vis a male doctor who is laid back, I will trade them in.  I don't know why it's different in architecture, but it is.  I have never seen women be discriminated against or paid less in the first 5 or 10 years of their careers.  Instead, what I see is that male principals take some under their wing and daddy them, irrespective of their true talent.  And the daddying is especially a shame when these ladies get married, have kids, never license, and go into allied careers rather quickly.  Beyond being given the same pay and the same work opportunities, why should women be entitled to additional white knight (male feminist) treatment?  Don't worry ... the stoic, steely ones can climb the ranks in architecture.  It's the girly girls who thought it would be interesting who leave to do other things.  But then, many men leave, too.

Your racist, homophobic, and sexist accusation is a huge blanket statement, much more than any of the stereotypes I proffer, which have to do largely with idiosyncracies, many of which are rooted in anthropology and cultural legacies.  On the other hand, my viewpoints you deem racist, homophobic, and sexist are because I don't believe in a wholesale carte blanche approach but, rather, one with conditions, exceptions, and caveats.  To accept something wholesale without distilling it to its components and questioning it is exactly the packaging that is so troubling with off the deep (left) end liberals.

I have no trouble finding people who view these topics the way I do, and they're educated and intelligent.  They don't drag their knuckles.  They just feel there's a line to be drawn before pulling down all barriers to favor extremes.  Everything is better in moderation.

Jan 21, 14 10:15 pm

You should stop defining things for yourself which have already been officially defined. You might understand why I use those words to describe you.

Jan 21, 14 10:25 pm

I've laid out my reasoning and have given examples.  Instead, you offer talk that is nebulous, conceptual, and idealistic.

I'm not looking to fetch your approval nor anyone else's on here.  Like I said, many enlightened urban folks I know see it the same way.

Jan 21, 14 10:29 pm

enlightened urban folk ... 

It's difficult to imagine enlightened people listening to you.

Jan 21, 14 10:37 pm

^ Why so?  I listen to them.  That's what friends do. So now there are 2 PC folks from "the Island" which, from all of the people I know, is a cradle of bluntness and the fodder for sitcoms.

Jan 21, 14 10:40 pm

@Steven Ward: "bloviations" - hah, haven't heard that word in years - thanks for resurrecting it. And, I agree with how you directed its use. 

Jan 21, 14 10:46 pm


Some people just need to tell time, but others are indeed needed to build watches.  And even design them.

Jan 21, 14 10:50 pm

observant dude, your name is obviously a leave over from opposite day. When someone as level headed as steven has had enough you really should think twice about why. You are not a PC busting avant garde. It would be cool if you were.  But you aren't.

Jan 22, 14 1:55 am

anyone interested in seeing what it is like to wait for train in Shinjuku station check out this seriously cool video.  11 minutes well spent.

Jan 22, 14 5:34 am

Wow, Will, that was beautiful.

I miss living in a city,  I miss it I miss it I miss it I miss it.

Jan 22, 14 8:08 am

pretty awesome will.  i would have expected more people staring at cell phones

Jan 22, 14 9:29 am
I'm not sure that a straight white man can offer any original insights into racism or gay marriage.
Jan 22, 14 9:37 am
Sarah Hamilton

That video was crazy!  It was long, but I couldn't look away.  Remind me to never pick my nose in public.

Also, I was blown away with how homogenous it was.  I mean, sure, they all had different styles and such, but about halfway through, I realized there wasn't much racial-diversity.  Very strange.

Jan 22, 14 9:55 am

observant dude, your name is obviously a leave over from opposite day. When someone as level headed as steven has had enough you really should think twice about why. You are not a PC busting avant garde. It would be cool if you were.

Look, will, you like to play dad here.  That's not your role.  I'm not PC busting avant garde.  I just think things were pretty good, in terms of social climate, around the mid 90s.  It was neither overly conservative nor overly liberal.  It's been downhill slide and I actually see an increase in tension between different groups because acceptance is force fed and mandated.  I believe what I want to believe and keep company accordingly.  As for cool, that's your job here.  While you don't outright say it, you've got the market on cool cornered here.  Steven can also think what he wants ... another person I'd never be breaking bread, or having a beer with, so it doesn't matter.

I'm not sure that a straight white man can offer any original insights into racism or gay marriage.

That's like saying "Gee, I'll wander into the sub-Saharan part of the Nile River and try to find out if a Nile Crocodile really will eat me."  You don't have to, if you've watched enough animal life documentaries.  Observe and decide accordingly.

Jan 22, 14 10:02 am

The key to observation is using it to reflect upon yourself. 

Jan 22, 14 10:39 am

"I just think things were pretty good, in terms of social climate, around the mid 90s."

That explains a lot.

Jan 22, 14 10:45 am

You actually bothered to read that post?

Jan 22, 14 10:58 am

10 degrees outside, -8 with windchill. 43 in the shop this morning. Got the wood stove cranked now, trying not to fall asleep next to it. More java might help. 

Jan 22, 14 11:01 am

gruen I totally agree that a straight white man - and for the most woman, too - can't offer any *original* insight into racism or gay marriage.  But one hopes, I know I do, that we straight white people can be open to and learn from others' original insights, and that those insights will affect how we think about the world.  Sadly some people don't like to learn.

I think I've said it before here: a book that had a HUGE impact on me and how I view differences between people was Geek Love by Katherine Dunn.  It celebrated "otherness" so beautifully it made me painfully aware of how totally boring and normal (I use that word self-consciously; in the book the family's word for people not like them was "norm", used very derogatorily.  Kind of like muggle, I supppose) I am.

The most courageous thing I've seen on the internets recently is the lady who brought a stone to her city council and dared an anti-otherness councilman to stone her as per his reading of the bible.  Pamela Raintree is her name, so awesome.

Jan 22, 14 11:01 am

Miles put a little booze in that java. Just a bit.

Jan 22, 14 11:02 am

I think that's why I'm nodding off. Either that or reading Quondam's posts. 

Jan 22, 14 11:11 am

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