Archive for October, 2006


Tuesday, October 24th, 2006

Want to be more productive? I visit a Blog called Lifehacker regularly. It is full of helpful hints, tricks and software to accomplish just about anything, from interview tips to hacking into your ipod or getting better gas mileage. Whenever a friend asks “How do you know all this stuff” chances are I found it on Lifehacker. Check it out.


Thursday, October 19th, 2006


Hatred or fear of change or innovation.

Numbers, counting and sensationalism in the Media

Tuesday, October 17th, 2006

The last few days I have read, watched or listened to a lot of news stories whos only apparent raison d’ĂȘtre are numbers or stats. This morning as I completed the “repeat” portion of lather, rinse and repeat in the shower, the reporter on the radio informed me in breathless tones that at that exact moment [7:46AM] the US population had crossed the 300 million person mark. I was told to remember what I was doing for posterity. How absurd! The truth is the “event” may have happened last week or will in actuality happen next month. I may have happened at [7:56AM] while I was looking for a pair of socks. The whole “event” did not merit such special coverage. Next came speculation as to whether the 300 million person was a birth or the current political whipping boy an immigrant. Amazing.

Another story involved counts, body counts to be exact.The news story concerned the number of US Military casualties for the month of September. The reporter claimed there were close to 60 casualties. I always find a reporter chortling about “temperatures tomorrow being near 100 degrees” or after a disaster estimates that “the Katrina death toll could reach 10,000″ very disturbing. Does the news agency not know what the casualty number was last month? Was it 54 or 58 or 50? All three are close to 60. Is it that difficult to just say last month there were 56 casualties without sensationalizing it? Is the temperature tomorrow really going to near 100? Will it be 99.8 and thus the merit in the use of near? Or will it be 97 or 98? Can a human tell the difference between 97 and 99 degrees anyhow? A 100 degree day I guess makes for bigger news than 98. How about disaster death tolls, can the death toll really reach 10,000? What was the final count? I remember reporter practically salivating as they used words like massive to describe the possible death toll. I guess that if we were to discover tomorrow that a rogue astroid was heading toward earth the media headline would probably read “Massive Astroid headed toward Earth: Death Toll could reach 6.7 Billion.” I wonder where they will put the camera?

Specialization is for Insects

Thursday, October 12th, 2006

A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects.

Robert A. Heinlein (Science Fiction Writer)

In The Mind Of The Architect

Tuesday, October 10th, 2006

Came across this website called In The Mind Of The Architect that explores how spaces get designed and built. Very interesting site.
From the website:

In The Mind Of The Architect is a three-part television documentary series and multimedia presentation about the thing we call architecture..but more particularly about us.

This is the story of how buildings and public spaces get to be made, told principally through an exposure of the public and private realms of a number of very different Australian architects.

This series is about politics, art, history, poetry, philosophy…about dreams and despair. The passions of complex individuals, their colleagues, detractors and admirers.

These documentaries aim to trace the spirit and politics of these artists in our predominantly secular Australian culture. They will enable us to tell a different story, to shed some of our simplistic notions of ourselves and our cultural worth.

Effect of forgetfulness

Monday, October 9th, 2006

Grey Squirrel

Gray squirrels bury their acorns all over the place (“scatter hoarding”), then forget where. Forgotten acorns become trees. This forgetfulness is the main way oak and other hardwood forests grow and spread, scientists say.

So squirrel forgetfulness causes forest…..Cool.

Architecture Books by Ching

Wednesday, October 4th, 2006

Recently I came across some books I had not looked at in a while, all written by Francis D.K. Ching. One of my favorites is “A Visual Dictionary of Architecture”.

Like all of Ching’s book it is filled with wonderful sketches. Ever wonder what the “hole” at the top of the Pantheon in Rome is called? How about the clasical orders and their proportions? I use this book whenever I can’t remember and architectural term.
Visual Dictionary of Architecture

Another book that I use as a resource is “Building Construction Illustrated”. Every time I need to show a student or intern the basic construction of a wall or floor assembly I reach for this book. I find this book much more useful than the very expensive, and for a student intimidating, “Architectural Graphic Standards”. Again the graphics and layout make it very user friendly.
Building Construction Illustrated

If you are an architecture student or interested in learning about space design check out “Architecture: Form, Space, and Order’ . Again great sketches and examples.

Form Space and Order

And for those “old school” draftmen who learned this craft pre AutoCAD there is “Architectural Graphics”. This book shows and describes what a lead holder is, how to use a triangle, drawing lead types and how to draw different types of views. This book show what was involved in drafting by hand production environments and the skills and tools required.

Architectural Graphics

More Quotes

Monday, October 2nd, 2006

Man is the only animal that can remain on friendly terms with the victims he intends to eat until he eats them.

Samuel Butler (1835 – 1902)

A conservative is someone who believes that nothing should be done for the first time.


It is well to remember that the entire universe, with one trifing exception, is composed of others.