Tag Archives: social movements

Things I Learned this Week

Among the things I learned this week:
* It’s illegal to import non-Brazilian coffee into Brazil. (Courtesy: James Freeman et. al., The Blue Bottle Craft of Coffee)

* The history leading up to the southern WV mine wars. (Courtesy: PBS’ Mine Wars)

* Ebenezer Scrooge, before his Christmas revelation, may have been a proponent of self-use renewable energy. (Courtesy: George C. Scott’s A Christmas Carol)

These are garments, Mr. Cratchit. Garments were invented by the human race as a protection against the cold. Once purchased, they may be used indefinitely for the purpose for which they are intended. Coal burns. Coal is momentary and coal is costly. There will be no more coal burned in this office today, is that quite clear, Mr. Cratchit?

Things I Learned this Week

Among the things I learned this week:
* There are 500 demonstrations per day in China. (Courtesy: New York Review of Books)

* The Chinese pioneered goldfish. (Courtesy: Wikipedia)

* There’s no obvious way to get around the new USPS requirement to enter a destination address into a computer system to mail a package. (Courtesy: Personal experience)

* At least some USPS employees deny the existence of the Mail Isolation and Tracking system. (Courtesy: Personal experience)

Finding Causes Of Contention In Architecture

I started this post when the article was originally published. Now, however, I have forgotten what additional points I wanted to make. The article, despite it’s confusing writing, is interesting and worth reading, especially for fans of contentious politics and/or architecture, which is why I am posting the article and my intro to it.

In the a past New York Times’ Magazine, Christopher Caldwell wrote an article (“Revolting High Rises”) that suggests part of the cause for the recent Paris riots may be in the architecture of the city. He writes:

The Swiss architect Le Corbusier, as Francophobes have been more than ready to explain, bears some of the blame[…]. His designs inspired many of the suburbs where the riots of October and November began. In fact, he inspired the very practice of housing the urban poor by building up instead of out. Soaring apartments, he thought, would finally give sunlight and fresh air to city laborers, who had been trapped in narrow and fetid back streets since the dawn of urbanization. But high-rise apartments mixed badly with something poor communities generate in profusion: groups of young, armed, desperate males. Anyone who could control the elevator bank (and, when that became too terrifying to use, the graffiti-covered stairwells) could hold hundreds of families ransom.

I have posted the entire article below the jump.
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