Archives for January, 2011

Snow Boa

Stockholm, Karlavägen, 20 December 2010.

East Asian child rearing is notorious for the heavy pressure put on children, but also famous for the great feats of technical brilliance and hard work many people who grow up under these conditions perform. Kids are sent to evening classes, weekend lessons, hardly have any free time. And then many graduate at the top…

Weight vs Density of Snow On Your Roof

Boat Hill, where I live since two years back, is a 70s tract-housing estate where roofs are almost flat. Snow thus tends to build up on them. Of course, pile enough snow onto any structure and it will collapse. But I’ve come across a curious notion here. Several neighbours have told me to beware wet…

Dear Reader, remember the remote-controlled Mars rovers, Spirit and Opportunity? How long is it since the last time you thought of them? Spirit landed on Mars seven Earth calendar years ago today, Opportunity on 25 January — and at least Oppy still works fine! Spirit has sadly been stuck on the edge of a small…

Octagonal Sauna

[More about architecture; arkitektur.] View from the west, 9 January. Back in November I blogged about how I helped put a roof on my dad’s octagonal sauna. A reader asked to see the plans of the building. And here, with my dad’s permission, are plans and elevations by architect Ulf Gillberg. Isn’t this pretty damn…

Post-Modernist Historiography

Historiography is meta-history, that is, the historical study of historical studies in the past. It is useful and valuable to historical research as ongoing quality control and provides a kind of user’s manuals for those who wish to use old literature in new studies of the past. Also, it can often help explain political ideas,…

Shrinking City

Check out Yves Marchand’s and Romain Meffre’s poignantly beautiful photographs of abandoned buildings in Detroit! Explains Wikipedia, Detroit has numerous neighborhoods suffering from urban decay, consisting of vacant properties resulting in low inhabited density, stretching city services and infrastructure. These neighborhoods are concentrated in the northeast and on the city’s fringes. The 2009 residential lot…

Sanity Claws

I seem to be on a poetry roll here, kids. When I was 14, Citadel Miniatures put out a small run of a novelty pewter miniature named Sanity Claws: a tentacled menacing monstrosity for the festive season. And now Norm Sherman of the Drabblecast, whom I do not hesitate to call a genius and an…