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.

"Actually, it's two"

Posted by: James Lileks under Architecture, Restaurants Updated: January 24, 2014 - 12:09 PM

. . . is what you'd say when somoene remarks "Man, that's one ugly building."

While it’s great to see more development downtown, yikes:

Could be just an initial design, a concept, and the final result will be something that commands the site with authorit, yet varies the facade to delight the eye and provide an interesting detail to the skyline. Right now it looks like a humorless early 80s dullard, and the lighter-colored lines remind you of the white piping on the lapels of a disco-era tuxedo. What are they supposed to mean, other than “here’s some lines we stuck on to keep it from being a featureless expanse”? Is that a detachable section of the building that can be removed and placed elsewhere, if need be?

If you’re curious, here’s what used to stand on the site. The Temple Court.


You’re thinking, what’s so special about that? You’re right. Let’s fix it:

Ah. MUCH better.

GHOST SHIP UPDATE The Smithsonian debunks the cannibal-rat ghost cruise liner, and It also points to a blog whose sole reason for existence is tracking the ship. If you like what they’re doing and would like to contribute, they take Dogecoin.

That may be the oddest paragraph on startribune.com today.

This Quartz piece looks at other ghost ships, and mentions a new book about the Joyita, another maritime mystery.

”At 5 a.m. on 3 October 1955 the MV Joyita, a 69-foot unsinkable wooden fishing boat, slipped out of the harbour at Apia, Western Samoa, heading for Fakaofo in the Tokelau Islands," it says. "There were 25 people on board, and the voyage should have taken just under 48 hours, but the Joyita never arrived at its destination.

Cue the Gilligan theme. Also: no one in charge of the boat called it unsinkable. Who would say such a stupid thing? You’re asking for an iceberg to show up when you come out of the Panama Canal.

SCIENCE! Here’s another headline from Quartz: “2014 can be the year you give up food forever.” Hey, could be the reason I bookmark the site for regular visits, too. Don’t expect either to happen. The piece is about Soylent, a food replacement for people who are opposed to food. Its maker sets forth a problem you may have previously not have encountered:

Food is the fossil fuel of human energy. It is an enormous market full of waste, regulation, and biased allocation with serious geo-political implications. And we're deeply dependent on it.

How did we get to the point where we’re deeply dependent on food? And how do we get out of this mess? Why, Soylent, a slurry of stuff that has everything you need to live without worring about biased allocation.

A description of Soylent:

There are no meats, fruits, vegetables, or breads here. Besides olive oil for fatty acids and table salt for sodium and chloride nothing is recognizable as food.

This is intended as one of its more impressive features, I guess. Elsewhere he defends his decision to give up Food as we know it:

Most meals involve little to no ritual or social experience.

You don’t know that, and because you don’t, I assume you’re young and single, and don’t understand the role of meals in family life.

Most meals will be forgotten.

Perhaps that was true before Instagram.

If we had an ultimate staple food replace these we would be much healthier and happier and not have to worry as much about the nutrition of the experiential meals we enjoy for pleasure.

There’s a perfect example of a proposition I have no interest in validating.

I do not enjoy grocery shopping, cooking, or cleaning dishes and I shouldn’t have to. I do not like to repeat myself and I do not like having things that I do not need. No one asks me to make my own clothes. Why should I be expected to make my own food? Of course I respect a good designer or chef, I just have other skills and hobbies. Food is great, but most of the time I find what is on my computer or in my books far more stimulating than what is in my refrigerator.
 

Again, whatever floats your rat-infested ghost cruise ship, but it really doesn’t rise to the level of a society-changing idea, especially since most people shrug at the idea and think “I like pizza. Whatever.”

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