People who have read The Daily Parker know I have strong feelings about Le Corbusier, the French architect who nearly destroyed central Paris and who designed the vertical slums that packed in impoverished Americans like cattle. So I found it interesting when I received this email:
I saw that you were interested in Le Corbusier when I stumbled upon your page - www.thedailyparker.com/PermaLink,guid,a36518c4-5f44-4e64-813a-2a9c08ef9c9d.aspx By happenstance, I’ve been working on something that you might find compelling.
For the past two years, Artsy has developed a beautifully designed informational page for Le Corbusier. It includes beautiful images of his work, exclusive articles, and up to date information about his exhibitions. Artsy offers a new way to explore art around the world. I’d like to suggest adding a link to Artsy's Le Corbusier page as I believe it will give your audience a fresh perspective on art.
Oh? Well, I come to bury Corbi, not to praise him. My response:
Thanks for reaching out, and for sending the link. I’d like to post your message (with identifying information removed).
The thing is, though, I really despise Le Corbusier. His architecture was almost anti-human both at a macro and a micro level. He advocated destroying some of the most livable and inviting urban areas in the world—Greenwich Village, the 5th Arrondissement of Paris—in favor of concrete slabs surrounded by dead zones that no sane person would ever want to inhabit. Where he succeeded in this vision, the results have been disastrous. Here in Chicago, for example, the Corbusier-inspired Robert Taylor Homes and Cabrini-Green housing developments became vertical slums within a year of opening, and no amount of evidence that this was happening could convince Le Corbusier to change his approach.
Without Jane Jacobs to shut down his soul-destroying efforts in New York, he and Robert Moses would have destroyed the city. Here in Chicago we’re only now clawing back the damage his ideas did to our environment.
As intellectual exercises his buildings are interesting. As structures that people live and work in, they’re harmful.
So, OK, link posted, with both perspectives as presented. But as I've said before, I look forward to the day when people generally hold Le Corbusier in the same esteem they hold Pachelbel and Kinkade.
Via Jeff Atwood, this is very cool:
Algorithms are a fascinating use case for visualization. To visualize an algorithm, we don’t merely fit data to a chart; there is no primary dataset. Instead there are logical rules that describe behavior. This may be why algorithm visualizations are so unusual, as designers experiment with novel forms to better communicate. This is reason enough to study them.
But algorithms are also a reminder that visualization is more than a tool for finding patterns in data. Visualization leverages the human visual system to augment human intellect: we can use it to better understand these important abstract processes, and perhaps other things, too.
Six and half hours at Rockefeller Chapel, a Euchre tournament (my first—middle of the pack), a dinner party, and yet more rehearsals for an April performance all left my weekend kind of full. Somehow I managed to walk Parker enough times and to do laundry.
So, good weekend, full weekend, not exactly the Daily Parker's finest hour.
Regular posting will resume presently.
Following up on the previous post, this is what my bus stop looked like at 7:45 this morning:
Yes, it's pretty, but we're really over it already.
Tom Skilling started his Explainer column today by depressing the hell out of me:
Chicagoans haven’t seen a temp above 8°C since late December. And a reading of 12°C or higher has been a no-show here since Nov 11th when the mercury last made it to 14°C. As if that’s not been bad enough, the city’s sat beneath a cover of snow that’s been at least 125 mm deep since Feb. 1—a run which moves into a 34th consecutive day Friday. Thursday’s bone-chilling and unseasonable -9°C high–a reading 14°C below normal and just 2°C shy of tying a 1901 record for max temp—only poured salt in the wound. It qualified as the coldest March 5th daytime high in 114-years. And, following Thursday morning’s lead, overnight temps [dipped] to sub-zero [Fahrenheit] levels over much of the metro area away from Lake Michigan one last time in the current cold siege–an arctic blast which has produced significantly below-normal temps for 22 consecutive days.
Yes, this has been our third really bad winter in five years. But it is March, so something has to change eventually right? Right:
[B]eyond this weekend and barring unforeseen changes going forward—the sudden appearance of a Chicago-bound backdoor cold front capable of turning winds off Lake Michigan’s icy waters would be an example—the area is in for one impressive warm-up by Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday next week. It doesn’t signal that cold air or snow is completely finished for the season—history shows the area has been vulnerable to snows of some substance into April in some years— but it sure marks a major step in the transition from winter the the warmer days of spring.
How much warmer? Estimates by the four major weather models range from 28°C to—no kidding—41°C warmer than last night's -18°C low. Given that the lake is mostly frozen and we still have 125 mm of snow on the ground, the current forecast for The Daily Parker predicts 10°C on Tuesday and 12°C on Wednesday—warm enough to walk to work. And with above-freezing temperatures predicted from tomorrow forward, all that snow should melt.
Since the middle of August, before I got my Fitbit but after my Android phone started tracking my steps, I've lost 7.6 kg, finally hitting my goal yesterday. This morning I was only slightly above the goal; and also for the last three weeks I've been barely creeping towards it; so I figure this might be permanent.
I only made two adjustments that I'm aware of: one, I pretty much stopped drinking beer in favor of other things; and two, I'm much more likely now to make detours that add walking distance to whatever I'm doing. I might have gotten more disciplined about food, but I don't think so, as the meals I eat now are pretty close to the meals I ate a year ago.
It does make sense that a small change can, over time, have an effect like this. So I think beer and the Fitbit probably did cause the weight loss.
Of course, if it turns out I have some horrible illness instead, I'll be very annoyed. But a 250-gram-per-week loss is more consistent with tweaks to diet and exercise than it is with, say, tapeworm.
NPR takes a look at how the Internet never forgets and what that means to people who find themselves going viral:
Some unwitting meme celebrities embrace their fame. Earlier this year the Washington Post profiled Kyle Craven, more popularly known as "Bad Luck Brian," a meme about a boy with hilariously and often very dark bad luck. Craven, who was always a class clown, capitalized on his fame. The Post reports that between licensing deals and T-shirts, he has made between $15,000 and $20,000 in the past three years.
Others have tried to use their Internet fame as a catapult for an entertainment career. Laina Morris' picture is easily recognizable — the bulging, crazy-looking eyes and loopy smile made her best known as the Overly Attached Girlfriend who makes ridiculous demands and accusations. Morris has tried to create a comedic career out of her online celebrity. She has a YouTube channel where she posts skits, and a Twitter account.
But for others, it's a nightmare. Perhaps one of the most notable cases is Ghyslain Raza, "Star Wars Kid," who in 2003 became one of the first viral memes. This was before YouTube launched, and Raza did not even post the video. He simply taped himself doing Star Wars-style fighting for a school video club. His classmates secretly posted the video online, and it spread like wildfire. By the end of 2006, it had been clicked on more than 900 million times. It has more than 27 million views on YouTube and was parodied on Family Guy, The Colbert Report and South Park.
Oh, poor "Star Wars Kid."
My question is, how long until people adapt and wonder what was this "privacy" thing the old people keep babbling about?
On only six occasions in recorded history has Chicago experienced a temperature below -18°C in March.Tonight could be the 7th:
A sub-0 reading at O’Hare by daybreak Thursday would be the latest a low temp has dropped below 0 [Fahrenheit] here in the 33 years—–since 1982. The -19°C reading being predicted is hardly a common occurrence so late in a cold season. In fact, of Chicago’s 1,041 sub-0 readings in 144 years of official temp records, only 6 have occurred beyond March 5th (Thursday’s date). And on a broader scale, only 12 of the 144 Marches on the books since official records began here in 1871 have managed one or more sub-zero temps.
Daytime highs could register as much as 28°C warmer in a week
What’s to happen in the wake of the frigid late-season chill of the next two days is the most significant pattern change across North America since December. Major warming is projected. The pace of the warming will depend on the speed with which snow melts and on wind direction, since any “easterly” winds at this time of year deliver a very chilly brand of air off ice-cluttered Lake Michigan.
Oh, and we've had snow on the ground now for 34 days straight, which isn't a record but is unusual this late in the year. It's not the snow on the ground I find objectionable, either; it's having to keep a pair of shoes at the office and clomping to work wearing boots every day. I hope next week's warm-up finishes that phase of the year.
Yeah, when my friend sent me an email about "Spocking the five" yesterday, I read it a couple of times before giving up, too. But the Bank of Canada has no problem with it:
It turns out there's not a lot of logic in the belief that it's against the law to Vulcanize Sir Wilfrid Laurier's likeness on the $5 bill.
The death of Leonard Nimoy last week inspired people to post photos on social media of marked-up banknotes that show Canada's seventh prime minister transformed to resemble Spock, Nimoy's famous "Star Trek" character.
For years, Canadians have doodled Spock's pointy Vulcan ears, sharp eyebrows and signature bowl haircut on the fiver's image of Laurier, the first francophone PM.
Contrary to popular belief, it's not illegal to deface or even mutilate banknotes, the Bank of Canada said Monday -- although the publication of a banknote's likeness is still prohibited, except under certain conditions.
In other words, you're allowed to do this:
Photo: Tom Bagley, The Canadian Press
CitiLabs' Feargus O'Sullivan thinks London should stop looking to New York for guidance and concentrate on a city closer to home:
[L]et me outline the difficulties the U.K. capital faces. London's property prices are spiraling, products of a housing drought that's turning decent apartments affordable on a working class wage into urban legends. The city's inequality chasm is widening inch-by-inch, and once economically diverse neighborhoods risk becoming monocultures. This has helped to deaden and marginalize aspects of the city's cultural life that made London vibrant in the first place—a lesser point than displacement, no doubt, but a problem nonetheless. Meanwhile, the city's regenerative energies are ignoring the small print of daily livability and being channeled into ridiculously flashy grand projects that see the city as a mere display cabinet in which to cluster expensive, largely functionless infrastructural tchotchkes.
Does this all sound familiar, New Yorkers?
What makes [London mayor Boris] Johnson's NY-LON obsession more frustrating is that London actually has a far more relevant role model closer to home. It's a place that has strong historical connection with London, a city whose architecture and cultural life London long strove to emulate. Obviously, I'm talking about Paris.
It's worth a (quick) read.