Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Interactive Noli Map

Giambattista Nolli (1701-1756) was an architect and surveyor who lived in Rome and devoted his life to documenting the architectural and urban foundations of the city. The fruit of his labor, La Pianta Grande di Roma ("the great plan of Rome") is one of the most revealing and artistically designed urban plans of all time. The Nolli map is an ichnographic plan map of the city, as opposed to a bird’s eye perspective, which was the dominant cartographic representation style prevalent before his work. Not only was Nolli one of the first people to construct an ichnographic map of Rome, his unique perspective has been copied ever since.
The map depicts the city in astonishing detail. Nolli accomplished this by using scientific surveying techniques, careful base drawings, and minutely prepared engravings. The map's graphic representations include a precise architectural scale, as well as a prominent compass rose, which notes both magnetic and astronomical north. The Nolli map is the first accurate map of Rome since antiquity and captures the city at the height of its cultural and artistic achievements. The historic center of Rome has changed little over the last 250 years; therefore, the Nolli map remains one of the best sources for understanding the contemporary city.The intention of this website is to reveal both the historical significance of the map and the principles of urban form that may influence city design in the future. During the last half of the 20th century, architects and urban designers have shown a renewed interest in what the Nolli map has to offer, leading to new urban theories and a model for the study of all cities

Features of the Nolli Map

The Nolli map consists of twelve exquisitely engraved copper plates that measure approximately six feet high and seven feet wide when combined (176 cm by 208 cm). The map includes almost eight square miles of the densely-built city as well as the surrounding terrain. It also identifies nearly two thousand sites of cultural significance. Nolli’s map is an extraordinary technical achievement that represents a milestone in the art and science of cartography. Modern surveys and sophisticated satellite images have confirmed the accuracy of Nolli’s map within the very smallest margin of error. The map not only records the streets, squares and public urban spaces of Rome, but Nolli carefully renders hundreds of building interiors with detailed plans. The detail of the map representation ensures the map's continuing value as a unique historical document, and it gives the viewer a glimpse into the ancient metropolitan center during one of its most illustrious periods.

The Interactive Nolli Map...

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Monday, October 13, 2008



Saturday, October 11, 2008


Friday, October 10, 2008

The Brocken Spectre

“A wild tale has long circulated about a giant specter seen by mountain climbers on the Brocken, a German mountain. As the story goes, there was once a climber working his way along the precipice who suddenly saw an immense human figure rise out of the mists toward him. In his fright he lost his footing and fell to his death. Doubtless this is just a story, but the Brocken specter does exist, not only in Brocken but wherever shadows are cast upon mist, fog, and fine water droplets” -Willim R. Corliss, from The Handbook of Unusual Natural Phenomena.
From Great Disasters and Horrors in the World's History c. 1890

Interestingly, the Brocken figures prominantly in Goethe's Fauste when Mephistophales and Faust are led by a humunculus to Walpurgisnacht on the Brocken.

From Young Folks’ Library, Volume XI c. 1902.

Thursday, October 9, 2008


"Member of Peddy Ca$h Beats high jump record by jumping VHS copy of Major League"

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Only the Right Kind of Cheap Beer

Fixed Gear Bike: What is it?

A fixed gear bike is a bike with fixed gears. Until recently, they were seen only in velodrome racing.
Here is an example of an uber-hip fixie utilizing an ancient frame (carefully spray-painted gold and then scratched) with all new components. It does however lose some hip points with the addition of the front brake.

Many young people, often tattooed, have chosen to forgo technological advances made in the past 120 years in the field of human-powered vehicles. Eschewing such mechanisms as derailleurs, freewheel hubs, and brakes, they choose to ride fixed gear bikes. On a fixed gear bike, the drive wheel and the rear sprocket are fixed together and always rotate at the same rate. Consequently, the front sprocket and pedals rotate whenever the bicycle's rear wheel is rolling. The effect is that the rider may never "coast" with feet on pedals. (In olden times, before the invention of the freewheel hub, bicycle frames had footrests. The rider could rest his or her feet on these and allow the pedals to spin wildly as he or she descended a hill.) This also means that the fixed gear rider can stop his or her bicycle by applying reverse pressure to the pedals to slow the rate of rotation. Elite riders can skid their rear wheels by hopping them off of the ground and stopping the spin entirely. Really cool kids can "track stand," or remain balanced with no net forward velocity, by pedaling forward and backward and turning the handlebars. (The name is mysterious, as riders in the velodrome never stand still.)

A claim often heard is, "Fixed gear bikes pedal themselves! They make it so much easier to climb hills and cruise!" This virtue of fixed gear bikes is extolled by fixed gear riders who failed high school physics. It is true that the pedals do continue to turn when the rider is no longer putting energy into the system by converting the body's stored chemical energy into kinetic energy applied to the pedals. However, the kinetic energy of forward motion is turned into potential energy and entropy at the same rate as a freewheeling bike of the same mass coasting up the same hill.

The Relation to Late Capitalism

In societies where modern conditions of production prevail, all of life presents itself as an immense accumulation of spectacles. Life is reduced to survival: a life reduced to economic imperatives. All real, lived experience is replaced with the consumption of commodities, and the whole life is replaced by the assumption of roles. Fixed gear riders are particular about their consumption of commodities produced by the Spectacle and their part in the spectacle of production. Their role, like all roles, is based upon the consumption of commodities. However, this role restricts and prescribes its members' consumption in much greater detail than roles such as Soccer Mom or Mainstream Hip Hop Dude. This may because some aspects of the culture are linked to the DIY music and fanzine community of the 1990's. In fact, many participants from that community--at least, many of those who remained slim and attractive--have picked up on fixed gear bikes as a way to "stay young 'til [they] die."


Only the right kind of cheap beer. To be caught with a brand consumed by those who are actually poor is in bad form.

Old, heavy bike frames fitted with the newest, lightest components.

Downwardly mobile employment that allows late-night recreation, such as cycle messenger, bartender, or working for a non-profit.

By SteveR of the Landsquids

Monday, October 6, 2008

Red October 5

Breakfast with the Bandits

Hung-over Bandits

We depart for the long ride to the Cider Mill on Saturday

This dude crashed

My ride.... (s)

Jake from the Bombardment Society filling up in Anne Arbor

Yes, that is a duck...

At the Cider Mill

Cider and donuts
Ready for the night ride back to Ypsilanti

Riding in Anne Arbor

Sunday night Burrito...

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Creatures Rally Drag Race

Mopeds are getting faster and faster...

Motion What was that?!

Motion Left Sue at 66.7 mph (GPSed). This is the fastest girl in the moped army. Only Tommy of the Latebirds has her beat at 70 mph.

Sue is running a Puch Pinto with an 80cc Metrakit, 21mm phbg carb, and geared... tall.

The Grand Mere Rail Station

Here is my final presentation for the train station in Michigan. These are 22x30 inch sheets of watercolour paper drafted in graphite, then stretch on plywood, and finally rendered in watercolour.
Main facade and Plan

Elevations and Section

Bridge, Details and Pespective

The Review Presentation

Here are some pictures from the process:

Drafting on Watercolour Paper

The Pespective Taking Shape

Drafted and Ready For Stretching


Running a Sky Wash