Wednesday, April 30, 2008


Bracelets that Katy should own (but that I should be smart enough to make myself).

Ponoko, like Blurb, but with furniture and jewelry instead of books. I wonder how they price compared to the scary guy living in a garage with his laser cutter?

A big camera obscura. Someday I will realize one of these. Maybe in my house. Clever name, too.

You can rent Frank Sinatra's Kauffman House lookalike in Palm Springs.

Nice map. Simple idea.

Pecha Kucha returns to LA.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

aaaaaah punditry

Yet another fabulous installment of the Guilfoile-Warner Papers. To wit:

"My second favorite takeaway (and by “favorite,” I mean the moment that made me swallow back my own vomit) was George S.’s question to Obama: “Do you think Rev. Wright loves America as much as you do?” I can’t blame Obama for acting weary and annoyed by this stuff, given that the question is harder to understand than Ryan Seacrest’s success. Is he asking if Obama loves America? Is he asking if Wright loves America? Is it a logic puzzle to test Obama’s lawyering chops? The question demands some sort of Venn Diagram, or maybe algebra.

If Wright loves America X amount and Obama loves America Y amount and if George Stephanopoulos says Y is greater than X by an unknown amount (Z), solve for Z without your head exploding."

This is what I would write about my political feelings, right at this moment, if I had the ability, the inclination, and the time. Unfortunately, the latter has been spent of late designing plumbing systems and contemplating my soon to be "multiples." Which sounds far too clinical and foreboding to be referring to babies.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

an explanation, and plea for leniency. and a link

By now it should be rather obvious what is occupying the time I could have spent blogging. Double the joy unfortunately also means double the fatigue and nausea in the first trimester, so I've been (poorly) playing the part of cook and housemaid the last few weeks. (Note: I am NOT COMPLAINING. I'd rather be doing dishes than barfing any day of the week.)

But, at the collusion of babies and elegant data presentation, I would like to show you this web application that tracks the popularity of baby names over the last century and a half. It seems that in the last fifty years the explosion of new names (and alternate/misspellings) has outpaced population growth-- there were more Emmas per million in 1880 than 2003, despite it's "Friends"-related #2 status.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

new blog!

I have another blog. Name should be self-explanatory.

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

UCLA: Two Houses and An Observation

The UCLA Open House was this weekend, and among other things we got to visit two houses designed by professors: Neil Denari's Alan-Voo house in Palms and Roger Sherman's own domicile in Santa Monica.

And yes, these pictures are very snapshotty, but I was trying not to be the guy with the enormous camera hoovering up every available image, so I brought a little guy and used him discreetly.

The Alan-Voo house was both smaller than I expected and much more expertly detailed. The house was really a little jewel box-- a tiny addition for a regular couple with the detailing of a much larger and more expensive project. Impressive, although it did seem a lot more like a museum piece than Denari made it out to be in his explanation.

I was trying to explain to someone what I liked about this house and all I could come up with was "Denari's subjective angles are more attractive than other people's."

A perfect counterpoint to the Alan-Voo house was the Sherman residence, a house where seemingly every angle was derived from the program and code. This house could not have been different from Denari's project-- rough, lived-in, tactical rather than strategic. It was also very comfortable, and at times even beautiful. I have to say, I would probably rather live in this house (despite the lack of a door on the master bedroom. I won't try to explain the complicated programmatic layering of the office/house/rental unit/parking, but rather please enjoy the crazy way it stacks in perspective (and the wonderful wallpaper.)

Both of these houses were great examples of local architecture that highlighted the ability of this faculty (and the architects of this city) to not only produce novel theory and form but also to project that in actual built work-- work that was more interesting in experience than in writing. I wish this could be said of all architects and architecture. In the 5-minute presentations by the faculty of their work I was consistently impressed by the depth and completeness of work by people less than a decade older than myself. They set the bar for practice impossibly high, and I can only hope a little bit of their ethic rubs off in my short months at UCLA.