The Alexander Arrangement is a three-dimensional paper sculpture of the periodic table designed by Roy Alexander, with whom I collaborated on this version. For the first time this clever form of the table has been combined with my photographs of real element samples, resulting in a quite lovely object. (...)"It takes about 10 minutes to put together if you don't read the instructions," Theodore tells us. "No idea how long if you do read them, that's not the kind of thing I would stoop to." Read the rest
The Alexander Arrangement deals with the fundamental problem of gaps in the traditional arrangement of the periodic table by wrapping the transition metals and the lanthanides/actinides into loops, so all the elements that are supposed to be next to each other actually are next to each other. You can read it as a complete spiral loop through all the elements without any gaps.
The table is printed on top-grade, heavy paper printed on both sides, and includes detailed instructions for assembly. The result is a sturdy object you can carry around, put on a table, hang as a mobile, or, if you're like me, use as a tree-topper for a festive seasonal science tree.
The San Antonio Express-News reports that a mall shopper who brandished a handgun on a dude trying to cut in line was within his rights, according to police, because he had a permit for the weapon and was using it in self-defense.
San Antonio police officers were called to the Sears location around 9pm on Thanksgiving Day, before the turkey was even cold, in response to a call about a shooting. Read the rest
On Passport to Dreams Old and New, FoxxFur continues her unbroken record for highlighting insightful, deep design truths by examining the minutae of the design and evolution of the Disney theme parks. In the current post, "The Awkward Transitions of Disneyland!", she looks at the way that the designers of Disneyland managed their space-constraints when butting up one themed area against another (comparing this with the much more spacious, and relaxed, transitions in Walt Disney World). By reconstructing the history of these transitions, she's able to reconstruct the history of the theory and practice of using physical cues to signal mood-transitions in built environments.
I seriously can't wait for FoxxFur to write a book about this stuff some day.
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Disneyland built things where it could, and so very often buildings are dropped down perfunctorily, only very rarely placed to achieve any specific pictorial effect. Depending on where you are, there can be three levels of themed design occurring around you on different registers. This makes Disneyland visually dense while retaining a somewhat prosaic thematic effect. This is what people mean when they say Disneyland is charming: it's a massive pile of ideas slammed down, one atop the other, with very little room to spare. This means that it's very common to find areas where one kind of texture or surface treatment just ends because it collides with another. This is what I mean when I say Disneyland is naive....
...What you're seeing here more closely resembles a movie set than a theme park - which makes perfect sense since this is the first theme park and it was built by Hollywood craftsmen.