Indexed by tags Montrose.
The Mutter Museum may not be haunted, but there are plenty of items inside to make tingles go down your spine. The museum is dedicated to showcasing disease and injuries, and general medical abnormalities. There are over 20,000 strange items, ranging from specimens and photographs of Civil War injuries, to the remains of Siamese twins Chang and Eng. Visitors can also see the skeleton of a midget, monkey organs and a 27-foot long colon.
The book is a catalog of well-known and obscure examples of how presidents and prime ministers, CEOs and despots, millionaires and mayors, have exploited architecture. Along the way Sudjic, a British architectural critic who writes for the Observer, takes on such examples of architectural self-promotion as American presidential libraries, Gianni Agnelli's art gallery (designed by Renzo Piano), and Rem Koolhaas' commission for Chinese state television. All underline the fact that, as the author observes, "Architecture defines a regime, but it is never the architect who frames the meaning of the definition."
St. Peter's in Rome was built by popes who were enmeshed in worldly affairs and had lost much of their moral authority; Louis XIV built his palace at Versailles several decades after his great military triumphs and at a time when his power was in decline; exactly one year after the Viceroy of India moved into his new imperial capital of New Delhi, the Indian Congress demanded independence. One can add more. When CBS built "Black Rock," its imposing black granite headquarters in Manhattan, Edward R. Murrow was gone and infotainment was just around the corner. Pan American Airways built its huge headquarters on Park Avenue long after it pioneered transoceanic air travel, but not so long before it ceased operations.
So, contrary to Sudjic's claim, the rich and powerful don't shape the world. They build what are, very often, glorious tombstones. Neither Microsoft nor Google has erected a "world-class" headquarters on Madison Avenue yet; when they do, watch out.
Photo credits: Cira Centre # 18 by Many Cats 4 Me, acquired via Creative Commons license.
Link. This all makes me think of the direction Philadelphia is heading. As I walk through the streets of my fair city, my bosom has been known to swell with the pride of living here at a time with so much new skyscraper construction. The Cira Centre, pictured above, is West Philly's latest and first skyscraper and the home of the firm that may be my employer next summer and beyond. Lucky for them, Parkinson's Law doesn't apply: they didn't have the edifice built, but just moved there. Elsewhere in the city, Comcast is constructing a massive erection known as--dig this--the Comcast Center, which upon completion will be the tallest building in the state by thirty feet. If Rybczynski is right, this does not bode well for cable.
"The curse of St Edmund and St Edmund's reputation for extremely supernatural violence against those who threaten his liberty, abbey, town or shrine, was familiar to everyone in medieval England.
"On St Edmund's day November 20, a formal and public cursing ceremony will take place at Bury to once again summon the avenging saint and dread king to punish his 21st century enemies," the website states.
The Knights of St Edmund claim victims of the curse of St Edmund have suffered madness, blindness, syphilis and being eaten alive inside out by worms.
But town historian Clive Paine said: "They have no historical authenticity – there is no such thing as the curse of St Edmund."
Cllr Stefan Oliver, St Edmundsbury Mayor, said: "St Edmund was noted for his wisdom and piety. For any group of people to suggest that they are calling down his curses is totally at odds with the character of the man. "
The new discoveries include missing parts of the old skeleton - designated LB1 after the caved dig site at Liang Bua - and a collection of other bones, such as jaw and cranial fragments, a vertebra, arm and leg bones, toes and fingers.
. . . .
The researchers say they are now more convinced than ever that Homo floresiensis represents a distinct species and not some diseased individual of modern human (Homo sapiens) as some sceptics have suggested.
[W]hen word leaked out that the recently published second edition of the New Oxford American Dictionary contains a made-up word that starts with the letter “e,” an independent investigator set himself the task of sifting through NOAD’s thirty-one hundred and twenty-eight “e” entries in search of the phony.
. . . .
Six potential [fraud]s emerged. They were:earth loop—n. Electrical British term for GROUND LOOP.
EGD—n. a technology or system that integrates a computer display with a pair of eyeglasses . . . abbreviation of eyeglass display.
electrofish—v. [trans.] fish (a stretch of water) using electrocution or a weak electric field.
ELSS—abbr. extravehicular life support system.
esquivalience—n. the willful avoidance of one’s official responsibilities . . . late 19th cent.: perhaps from French esquiver, “dodge, slink away.”
eurocreep—n. informal the gradual acceptance of the euro in European Union countries that have not yet officially adopted it as their national currency.
Quicksand is not the bottomless pit portrayed in Hollywood films that sucks in unsuspecting victims and swallows them whole.
It is true the more people struggle, the deeper they will sink into the soupy mixture[,] but its buoyancy makes it impossible to be completely submerged, scientists said on Wednesday.
. . . .
They also calculated the amount of force necessary to get a trapped foot out -- and found it was the equivalent needed to lift a medium-sized car. Their findings are reported in the science journal Nature.
If someone falls into quicksand they begin to sink and the sand packs densely around the feet, forming a type of trap. In films people sinking in quicksand usually grab on to an overhanging tree branch or are pulled out just as they are about to disappear under the mucky surface.
Link. Okay, so if you get stuck in quicksand, you're not going to drown, but it is going to be really hard to pull yourself out.
Just remember the words of Homer Simpson: "First I'll reach in and pull out my legs. Then I'll pull out my arms with my face."