This blog covers everything except sports and gardening, unless we find a really good link about using dead professional bowlers for mulch. The author is a StarTribune columnist, has been passing off fiction and hyperbole as insight since 1997, has run his own website since the Jurassic era of AOL, and was online when today’s college sophomores were a year away from being born. So get off his lawn.

Today's worst comic is . . .

Posted by: James Lileks under Architecture, Newspapers Updated: August 12, 2013 - 12:23 PM

It’s debatable. There are so many choices. Some strips have gone on so long, for no apparent reason other than they’re bolted in place with some sort of cultural superglue, and can’t be pried loose. Mother Goose and Grimm comes to mind. Today’s punchline:

 

Yes, that’s our bid for getting those younger readers! Nixon references!

OOPS Two years later, everyone who lived in the building had the most amazing legs ever seen in Spain:

The builders of the InTempo skyscraper in Benidorm, Spain, what was supposed to be a striking symbol of prosperity amid the country's financial crisis, forgot to include a working elevator.

It had been slated to be the tallest residential block in the European Union.

El País reported the 47-story building has been plagued by construction and economic woes since the project began, calling InTempo "an incompetence of high stature."

Gizmodo explains how this happened, although you really can’t:

The original design obviously included specifications for an elevator big enough for a 20-storey building. In the process of scaling things up, however, nobody thought to redesign the elevator system—and, naturally, a 47-storey building requires more space for its lifts and motor equipment. Sadly, that space doesn't exist.

It would seem to be the sort of thing that would become obvious rather quickly, no? Of course it was. Yet everyone went on building up and up it as if somehow the shafts would materialize. The architects responsible probably stayed in their offices and let the calls go to voicemail.

It looks like this, if you're curious. Interesting building. 

  

What did the architect do after he ran to another country to start a new life? Got a job as a crane driver, I guess.

 

 

 

PEACE AND QUIET This sounds like hell for some:

The town of Bomont outlawed dancing in the movie Footloose, but the kids in Green Bank, West Virginia live with much worse: no electronics.

That's because the small town of 149 people lies in the middle of the 13,000-square mile National Radio Quiet Zone.

Scientists use this space to project satellites into space for research, and they can't have waves from personal electronic devices interrupting their signals. That means no radio,  TV, WiFi, cellphones or bluetooth.

Okay, well, I suppose you like it or you move. I was on vacation for the last two weeks, and the vessel had internet that made you long for the blazingly fast days of dial-up 300 baud modems. I have to think it’s faster on the bridge. Otherwise they’d do better to get weather information by carrier pigeon. My daughter won a raffle for 100 free minutes the first day, and she used it all Instagramming pictures to her friends. I think she managed to upload one. I had my phone turned off, lest you get a a $9386 roaming charge. Didn’t miss a thing. It’s a good lesson. When we got home the DSL had gone out, and wasn’t repaired for two days; I could use my phone for internet, but I’d gotten out of the habit of checking EVERYTHING ALL THE TIME, and found myself reading a book, writing more.

Highly recommended. 

NO, NO NO For some reason the NYT did a piece on that notorious reel of nightmare fuel, “Foodfight.” I don’t know what’s better in the trailer: the announcement that Charlie Sheen plays the hero, or the line “it’s a battle between the world’s most beloved brands and the forces of darkness.” The article doesn’t have the clip. Really, this is all you need to know.

 

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