30 May 2007

melted keyboard

BB reader Greg says,

A couple years ago, someone (allegedly, they were never caught) set fire to a lumber mill in 100 Mile House, BC, Canada. Definitely was not a nice occurrence, but at least the heat from the fire created this wonderful keyboard sculpture, which I've photographed in tiny detail. Because someone will surely ask, the keyboard is from an older HP. Vectra, I think.

27 May 2007


Screw Asylum, the home of sad and bad screws on the Internet.
Well, someone’s got to look after them.

running the numbers

Detail of
Shipping Containers, 2007

Depicts 75,000 shipping containers, the number of containers processed through American ports every day.

Running the numbers: An American Self-Portrait

This new series looks at contemporary American culture through the austere lens of statistics. Each image portrays a specific quantity of something: fifteen million sheets of office paper (five minutes of paper use); 106,000 aluminum cans (thirty seconds of can consumption) and so on. My hope is that images representing these quantities might have a different effect than the raw numbers alone, such as we find daily in articles and books. Statistics can feel abstract and anesthetizing, making it difficult to connect with and make meaning of 3.6 million SUV sales in one year, for example, or 2.3 million Americans in prison, or 426,000 cell phones retired every day. This project visually examines these vast and bizarre measures of our society, in large intricately detailed prints assembled from thousands of smaller photographs.

~chris jordan, Seattle, 2007

(Thanks to Heather for the link, good work!)

wifi evils of bad sience

“Ooh its well into the red there,” says reporter Paul Kenyon, holding up the detector (19 minutes in). Gosh that sounds bad. Well into the red on what? It’s tricky to callibrate measurements, and to decide what to measure, and what the cut off point is for “red”. Panorama’s readings were “well into the red” on “The COM Monitor”, a special piece of detecting equipment designed from scratch and built by none other than Alasdair Philips of Powerwatch, the man who leads the campaign against WiFi. His bespoke device is manufactured exclusively for Powerwatch, and he will sell one to you for just £175. Alasdair decided what “red” meant on Panorama’s device. So not very independent then.

Last week's Panorama was on the ''danger" of wifi networks in schools. I missed the show but caught a preview of it on Radio 2 while I was out in the van. It bore no relation to the excellent BBC science reporting of my youth. I grew up on a steady diet of 'Tomorrow's World' and 'Horizon' but these days there is no 'Tomorrow's World' and 'Horizon' has been dumbed down beyond recognition. 'Panorama' used to be the Beeb's flagship current affairs strand but last week it indulged in bad science. I resisted the temptation to don my tinfoil hat and throw popcorn at the screen.

Let's get some perspective here people, the maximum legal output of a 2.4 wifi card in the UK is 100 mW. Your mobile phone can put out a legal maximum of 2W.

8 May 2007

wooden mac

"I am very interested in the far reaching power of nature. We build houses and think that we have controlled space, yet nature winds its way into those materials." Lee Stoetzel