December 2018

It Sounds Exhausting

by Don Friedman on December 31, 2018

Meticulous Records

December 30, 2018

Twice – in the 1940s and in the 1980s – the government of New York has photographed every single building in the city in order to improve tax records. The 1940s photographs have been digitized and are available online. The Times went with a then-and-now approach, which is somewhat interesting. More importantly, this makes researching […]

Read the full article →

An Analysis of Rooftop Farming

December 29, 2018

The construction of buildings does not remove or destroy land acreage, it simply converts some of it to rooftops. People have had plantings on roofs for a very long time – the Hanging Gardens of Babylon, one of the seven ancient wonders of the world, were planted terrace roofs – and one of the reasons […]

Read the full article →

An Old Problem Resurfaces

December 28, 2018

Innovations sometimes don’t work well. The Millennium Bridge in London, which was a new twist on suspension bridge design, moved noticeably when it was built and needed a retrofit to reduce the sway. An article on the intersection of structural dynamics, statistics, and the biomechanics of the human gait – Walking Crowds on a Shaky […]

Read the full article →

A Lucky Path

December 27, 2018

The way in which we decide on college for ourselves is, frankly, weird. When you’re 16 or 17, you make decisions that can affect the rest of your life and you do so without the information to make the decision properly. You do so without even the knowledge that you don’t have the¬†information to make […]

Read the full article →

More On The Passage Of Time

December 26, 2018

That’s another one of those here’s-a-little-bit-of-everything photos, taken from near downtown Brooklyn. We have some small late-1800s tenements in the foreground, a 1950s high-rise housing project on the left, some 2010s expensive apartments on the left and right mid-ground, with the downtown Brooklyn skyscraper group in-between, the new World Trade Center way off past those […]

Read the full article →

Book Review: The Shock of the Old

December 26, 2018

The most interesting non-fiction books I read have something in common with the most interesting project we get in the office: they fall in between usual categories in a manner that requires thinking in more than one discipline at a time. The Shock of the Old by David Edgerton is a book on the history […]

Read the full article →

Holiday Art

December 25, 2018

Thomas Nast’s 1881 Santa Claus.

Read the full article →

Observed path of meteor of Christmas Eve Dec. 24th 1873

December 24, 2018

From halfway between Philadelphia and New Castle, Delaware, to rural Virginia, southwest of Centreville.

Read the full article →

Elephantine

December 23, 2018

The underside of the approach spans of the Manhattan Bridge, in Dumbo. Thanks to the spiffy new paint job, the horizontal-plane cross-bracing is the most visually prominent element; but I love the ridiculously short and squat masonry piers that support the two spans (one above my head, one further away).

Read the full article →