It's been four years since Cory posted a supercut of video game bathrooms, but the industry hasn't been slacking since. Curious Reviewers posted a series collecting the typically revolting, sometimes deluxe, always weirdly spacious virtual pissoirs of videogaming.
Here are the three episodes, in reverse chronological order. Note that many of the clips show nudity, violence, grossness and other things you might expect to find going on in ludological lavatories. Read the rest
Atlas Obscura has rounded-up seven different libraries that offer online virtual tours. Read the rest
Murray Berrill Constructions in Bendigo, Victoria, Australia created this wonderful "easy access wine cellar" in the dead space under a stairway. With a few modifications to the design, it could be entirely secret storage!
(via Laughing Squid) Read the rest
In 2018, Barry Lawrence Ruderman, a rare map dealer from California, bought a folder of documents and blueprints related to the Statue of Liberty. What they didn't realize is that the lot contained almost two dozen original engineering drawings for the Statue produced by Gustav Eiffel's workshop. Ruderman and Alex Clausen, director of Ruderman's gallery, hope to eventually show the drawings at a museum but for now you can inspect scans they posted online. Greg Miller writes in Smithsonian:
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Berenson thinks the drawings may nail down something that historians have long suspected but not been able to prove: that Bartholdi disregarded Eiffel's engineering plans when it came to the statue's upraised arm, electing to make it thinner and tilted outward for dramatic and aesthetic appeal. Several drawings appear to depict a bulkier shoulder and more vertical arm—a more structurally sound arrangement. But one of these sketches (below) was marked up by an unidentified hand with red ink that tilts the arm outward, as Bartholdi wanted. “This could be evidence for a change in the angle that we ended up with in the real Statue of Liberty,” Berenson says. “It looks like somebody is trying to figure out how to change the angle of the arm without wrecking the support.”
The date on that sketch, July 28, 1882, as well as dates on several pages of handwritten calculations and diagrams pertaining to the arm, suggest that this change was made after much of the statue had already been built. “It’s really late in the game,” Berenson says.
Starting in 2007, photographer and visual effects artist Dimitris Tsalkanis has been building a digital 3D model of ancient Athens. The result is an immersive historical recreation where everyone online is invited. How did Tsalkanis handle this Herculean (rather, Heraklean) task? He learned as he went. From Sarah Rose Sharp's article about Ancient Athens 3D in Hyperallergic:
“I had no previous experience on 3D and I started experimenting in my spare time,” said Tsalkanis in an email interview with Hyperallergic. “I always liked archaeology and since I am from Athens, I was always interested in its monuments and history. During my research, I realised that up until then no one had attempted a complete 3D reconstruction of ancient Athens..."
Tsalkanis stays up to date with his fantasy city, updating reconstructions constantly for better quality of models and better archaeological and historical accuracy...
Visitors to the site can browse reconstructions that date back as early as 1200 BCE, the Mycenaean period — or Bronze Age — through Classical Athens, featuring the rebuilds made necessary by the Greco-Persian War, and ages of occupation by Romans and Ottomans.
"Explore Ancient Athens Online Through 3D Models, Created by One Animator Over 12 Years" (Hyperallergic, thanks Mark Dery!)
Images below: "Aerial view of the Library of Hadrian" and "Panoramic view of the Acropolis," Dimitris Tsalkanis/Ancient Athens 3D
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Many of the world's most famous buildings sport spires, masts and other bullshit designed to make them superficially taller without adding to the expense and difficulty of construction.
Pictured below is the classic example: The Petronas Towers, which captured the title of "world's tallest building" from Chicago's Willis (then Sears) Tower in 1998 despite being obviously 60m shorter.
This video shows the world's towers appropriately denuded of their dirty, lying spires. Read the rest
A 15th-century cesspit found under Somerset House in London has been lovingly recreated as a 3D model that you can explore in your web browser. [via Londonist]
Archaeologists from MOLA also uncovered a number of interesting objects from the pit:
"These include a rare 14th century ‘Penn’ floor tile – a decorating material of choice for palaces and monastic sites – pottery drinking vessels and tableware dating from the 14th and 15th centuries, as well as a range of metalwork artefacts including a finger ring, iron spur, belt buckle, bone-handled fork and pendant."
Cess not included. But there's lots of other historical architectural delights on Sketchfab. Read the rest
Brooklyn lighting designer/artist Adam Frank's Reveal product is a projector system to create a gauzy, ethereal effect of sunlight streaming through shadowy trees. This will be ideal for my underground lair and loaning out to the neighborhood haunted house on Halloween. The Reveal is $280 for halogen $320 for the LED model. It includes five different window slides and five different tree slides. From the product description:
A light breeze appears to move through trees in the cast image. REVEAL implies the presence of a real window by simulating sunlight entering through an imaginary window.
The image projected by REVEAL is unique and cannot be recreated by any other device. Multi-plane analog images create real depth of focus. Air currents through the projector create organic, non-repeating movement in the background.
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The latest installment of the always-delightful McMansion Hell (previously) departs from the usual format of mercilessly skewering the tasteless custom homes of the contemporary super-rich and instead delves into their historic precedent, the 1970s-vintage "proto-McMansion," AKA the "Styled Ranch."
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Last year, McMansion Hell (previously) inaugurated its annual gingerbread McMansion competition, inviting America's bakers to challenge themselves to build the largest, most ostentatious, most ill-conceived McMansion in gingerbread form.
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It's hard to believe, but the latest installment of McMansion Hell's (previously) tour through the architectural monstrosities of America's tastleless elites is even better than the previous ones -- possibly that's because in this edition, editor/critic Kate Wagner is visiting Virginia's Fairfax and Loudoun Counties, these being affluent DC suburbs where beltway bandits and other swamp-dwellers make their dens.
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Realistic tiny rooms by Mozu Studios:
It's almost dizzying seeing how far the staircase continues behind the wall:
This video shows the creation of a tiny museum with several exhibits:
The Mozu Studios webshop is here. Read the rest
This is the former Newark, Ohio headquarters of The Longaberger Company, a basket manufacturer that went under last year. This week, the developers who bought the property announced that it will become a luxury hotel. According to WCPO, "project officials say the exterior look of a basket will remain intact." Well duh.
The seven-story, 180,000-square-foot building was designed by The Longaberger Company, and executed by NBBJ and Korda Nemeth Engineering. The building opened in 1997. The basket handles weigh almost 150 tons and can be heated during cold weather to prevent ice damage. Originally, Dave Longaberger wanted all of the Longaberger buildings to be shaped like baskets, but only the headquarters was completed at the time of his death.
(Thanks, Charles Pescovitz!)
image: Derek Jensen (public domain)
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In California, we're looking at power outages in the North and South as the only way to avoid massive wildfires. Meanwhile, in Copenhagen, there's a new power plant "embodying the notion of hedonistic sustainability."
Known both as Amager Bakke and Copenhill, the site is a waste to energy plant designed to convert enough tons of waste to provide clean energy for 150,000 homes. The giant chimney was intended to blow giant smoke rings, but that plan was abandoned.
The interior looks ready to star in a Bond movie:
And the exterior features enough facilities to host the X-Games, including a ski slope, freestyle park, climbing wall, and running trail.
The project is the work of Bjarke Ingels Group. Ingels promoted the project, and several other clever designs, way back in this 2011 Ted Talk: Read the rest
Cyril Borovsky purchased a 16-foot wide strip of property in Toronto. Then he built a 3 bedroom, 3 bath, four-story house. Borovsky says his design approach could be used to turn parking spaces into homes. You could also buy Borovsky's house for $3 million.
More here: 154 Hamilton Street
And other impressively slender Toronto homes: "Three buyers who found narrow plots of prime real estate and made it work" (Toronto Life)
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