Saturday, March 28, 2009

Japanese bird watching

When Ted lived in Japan he suffered from a lack of books in general and a lack of field guides to Japanese birds in particular. Maybe things have changed, but way back in 2004 it was nearly impossible to obtain such a thing in English at a reasonable price (Amazon was happy to sell one for a few hundred dollars, if memory serves me). So while visiting we were struck by this interpretive sign dangling off a rope in a Zen moss garden. It's a picture of a picture and I'm not sure what it says -- my Japanese is that bad.

Friday, March 20, 2009

analog revival

This well-crafted wind-up alarm clock renders electricity obsolete. It's also better for the environment.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

the virtues of low technology

This Sears Craftsman push mower is also powered by humans, so when the gasoline runs out, the lawn will still be trimmed.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

coffee insurance

The famous hand-cranking coffee grinder, in continuous use since 2001. Wooden, made in Poland, purchased in Lompoc, CA. Requires no electricity, so when peak oil hits, and the lights go out, the coffee will continue...

Sunday, March 15, 2009


Or check out this one in Antsirabe.


File:Antananarivo Four Roads c1905.jpg
Heck, even places like Antananarivo, very much in the developing world, have architecture.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

architecture vs. real estate


There is a massive disconnect in the USA between its huge mania for home-owning and its relatively low interest in the field of architecture. (Bergheim, France)

Thursday, March 05, 2009

The Darjeeling Limited

Over the weekend we watched The Darjeeling Limited on dvd. I was drawn to the idea of a train ride through India. On that level, the film did not disappoint; the train, the scenery, everything in the film of Indian origin was pleasing to my senses. The colors, the desert, and the feeling of being on an Indian train: all good. What sucked was everything else. Three dysfunctional brothers, all annoying. Surprisingly, Owen Wilson was the least annoying; he came closest to suggesting the existence of a moral compass. The segment with Anjelica Huston was also OK. But the worst part, the thing that ruined everything for me was the music. Apart from some harmless sitar playing, I will never forgive this film its use of old Rolling Stones and the abominably pretentious faux-Paris song, whatever the hell that was, and the extremely annoying character that kept playing it on his Bose/i-pod.