Category Archives: idle thoughts

Miscellanea: clearing the favourites backlog

These articles and links caught my attention over the last while and have collected in my favourites folder. Time to deal with the link delivery backlog:

International development

A missionary-activist (aka ‘Tarzan agitator’) helping protect Amazonian tribes from oil and mining companies – from The Guardian.

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation vs ‘Extreme humanitarianism’

Is aid doing Haiti more harm than good?

Gardian article: before you pay to volunteer abroad, think of the harm you might do.

Western vs Chinese aid: Which is better? – from Moneyweb

Good interactive graphic of the Corruption Index 2010

Losing our history:

Article chronicling the destruction of some of South Africa’s irreplaceable industrial heritage, through indifference and neglect.

A view on whether Christchurch’s iconic bell tower should be restored after the earthquake –  by Simon Jenkins

Detroit in Ruins – photographs by Yves Marchand and Romaine Meffre (also see this article: Detroit: the Ultimate Food Desert)

However see this grittily uplifting superbowl ad: Imported from Detroit

New thinking and projects in sustainability and design:

A treatment plant that converts sewerage to clean water, biogas energy and compost – by Amaresco in the US. (Expect to see more like this as cities realise that there needs to be a closed loop of resource use if we are ever going to be come sustainable)

Beyond food miles – from the Oil Drum.

Interview with John Egan on the importance of design

Article from Fast Company on roll-out of electric car charging stations

Also from Fast Company: The rise of the Aerotropolis

Civil and infrastructure engineering:

‘Civilised streets’ – A report from CABE (which has subsequently been shut down by the UK govt in a misguided attempt to save money)

Fantastic website on mini-roundabouts by someone who really understands his craft.

CSIR guide to Potholes

A guided tour of London’s sewer system

A Guide to South African Passes and Poorts. (More comprehensive than the Getaway book thats currently on sale)

Local:

An article in the Financial Mail that shares my scepticism on High Speed rail in South Africa. (Lets rather spend the money on urban rail)

Interview with Charles Taylor of Ballito

Nomkhubulwane – an Andries Botha elephant

The above two are from Comment from the Couch, a blog dedicated to hot-dipped galvanising.

Dennis Guichard – architectural and engineering photographer

Random:

Two articles you get when you google ‘design efficiency’: here and here. I always though the process of design could be efficient to varying degrees, hence the name of this blog, but I never considered actually trying to measure it, as they have done.

An incredibly smart guy who solved a Cypher Security Challenge. (He won a season ticket to Bletchley Park for his efforts…)

An ode to butter and butter making

Advertisements

NCP Photo Competition

This has great potential: the NCP Focus on Concrete photo competition. Concrete is so varied and can be a great subject with a bit of imagination and skill. The 2010 winner is shown here.

I want a balcony like this

This is on the Abercrombie & Kent Nile Cruiser – via Out and About in Africa.

Bill Mclaren

Although he retired from rugby commentary ages ago so I hadn’t hear him for years, its always sad when someone finally moves on – here is a tribute to the Voice of Rugby.

(Brian made me do it…)

Skill, craft, talent, trade, vocation, metier

This talk has relevance to the construction industry. Does the skill ofthe builders and other craftsmen get propor recognition for their input on the final product? I don’t think so and here are some reasons why:

Manhole Art

Manhole Art

Bridges to nowhere: a collection

bridge to nowhere

 Bridges to nowhere