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July 2011

Blog all bookmarked web pages: Shanghai Diary

Shanghai Skyline from 492 Meters, by Sprengben on Flickr (CC licensed).

News of the high speed rail crash in China last week (which has raised questions about what some perceive as a cargo-cultish rush into modernity) prompted me to dig up some choice quotes I’d saved back in 2004 from Justin O’Connor’s Shanghai Diary on the City of Sound blog. Seven years may have passed from then to now, and the environment may have changed drastically in the interim – but people don’t change that quickly.

From Shanghai Diary #1:

“The men on the construction site work from 6am I think, definitely before 7am. They wake me up, but gently, the drop of metal and scraping of shovels slowly gathering weight around the dreams and then tugging and pulling and then — you’re awake. They work in the sun but drink tea in the shadows. They work until late. It’s hard to tell when, they’re gradually absorbed into the background. Then the flare of an arc welder reminds you. Last night they were laying concrete at 2am. Nobody opened the window and shouted shut the fuck up you fucking inconsiderate fucking fuckers. I suppose they all lay there, tired, hot, that’s just the way it is.”


Blogfodder linkdump part 7

Last items from the 2006 file:


Blogfodder linkdump part 6

Forgot to post these after the last batch. That was four months ago. Oops. Anyway, some more linkage from 2006:

  • Wayfaring / Web service for creating personalised maps (of walking routes, etc). Completely forgot about this!
  • Tom Coates’ notes on the RCA Summer Show 2006 / I attended the same show and thought I’d made some notes on it, but apparently not! I only made note of Availabot and the Saddlebag (a utility belt for your chair that really should be available in IKEA by now; sadly didn’t note the name of the designer and can’t find her/him on the RCA website).
  • ChucK / “…a new (and developing) audio programming language for real-time synthesis, composition [and] performance.” See also: Real DJs Code Live.
  • In Praise of the Hyperlink / “The hyperlink is an amazing solution to an old problem. That problem is classification.”
  • The Urban Etiquette Handbook / More rules for urban behavior. Some good points here, even if many others are over-the-top (thank-you cards to waiters are a bit much, no?).


Weeknotes #494-504

April closed out nicely with Knut and Keelhaul playing a free show at the Button Factory. This is what hardcore’s supposed to be! Knut were quite good, if slightly on the hostile side (their vocalist didn’t seem the warmest of chaps). But Keelhaul blew them off the stage with time changes, awkward rhythms and riffs galore. So happy to have finally seen them live.

More gigs in May. Rush at the O2 was what you’d expect it to be: a show. But what a show! Spaceship lights, fireworks, elaborate sets, videos – the whole package. Even if it threatened to veer into Spinal Tap territory at times (mandolin on a stand, anyone?) these Canucks are no dinosaurs; three hours of hits is a breeze to them (it was much harder on my feet).