The Community Weblog. In byte-sized chunks.

A Continuous Shape

Filmmakers Jack Webber and Tommaso Di Paola spent 3 weeks working alongside Anna Rubincam, a contemporary stone carver working in London, as she carved a portrait from start to finish.

More of Rubincam's work: Blindfolded Woman front rear (portland stone), Old Hero (verde ardesie marble), Monkey Gargoyle (bath stone) , Portrait of Queen Victoria (Bath Stone).
via kottke

The Hidden History of Gas Station Bathrooms, By a Man Who Cleans Them

My job involves mopping up the urine-soaked garbage holes that exhausted motorists take for granted. But in another era, the public took great pride in the glory of roadside restrooms. (SL Narratively)

It's not you, it's them.

According to the MTA's own data, New York City subway delays were up some 332 percent between November 2012 and November 2016. The crisis points to larger, systematic and political upheaval, along with real technical issues like " aging cars and track equipment, new cars that struggle to perform as well as well as older ones, and an ancient signaling system, with parts dating back to Franklin Roosevelt's presidency." Last Monday, the MTA introduced a 6 point plan that they think will help.

Pueblo Deco, started by the best known unknown architect, Mary J. Colter

The 1923 opening of the El Navajo Hotel in Gallup, N.M., created a sensation, with the event reported as far away as in the Washington Post. Its architect, Mary Elizabeth Jane Colter, had merged the bold Art Deco patterns with those created by native artists in the American Southwest to start a style called Pueblo Deco. This style was often seen inside and out on Harvey Hotels and restaurants, where she was exclusive employed from 1910 to 1948. Though a number of Harvey Hotels have been demolished, including El Navajo Hotel, you can still visit (Google maps street view) and stay at La Posada hotel in Winslow, Arizona and the Slaton Harvey House in Slaton, Texas (Google maps), which is currently a bed and breakfast, event hall and railroad museum.

Colter graduated from the California School of Design in San Francisco (having also apprenticed with a local architect) in 1890—when the U.S. census counted only 22 female architects in the entire country. She started designing interiors for the Fred Harvey Company—and, by extension, the Santa Fe Railway—before becoming the architect for a number of Harvey properties in the Southwest. Colter used Hopi, Zuni, Navajo, and Mexican motifs, and primarily around the Grand Canyon, more rustic styles.

But her buildings weren't merely copies of native designs. For example, Hopi House was an actual dwelling: some of the Hopis who worked in the building lived on the upper floors, and the Desert View Watchtower includes an upper Hopi Room with paintings by Hopi artist Fred Kabotie, who took the room's theme from the Hopi Snake Dance, while other artworks were copied from prehistoric pictographs and petroglyphs at a New Mexico archaeological site that is now destroyed. These may be the only surviving record of that rock art. In 2000, NPR produced a two-part story with an accompanying gallery on Colter (Real Media audio and a gallery of small images).

While she was the origin of the style, Colter's Pueblo Deco style spread. There are two key examples that still stand today in downtown Albuquerque, less than a block apart. The most notable example, particularly on the highly ornate end (via) of the style, is the KiMo Theatre (Google maps), which was designed by Carl Boller, of the two Boller Brothers from Missouri. Head west and you'll see (Google maps) Skip Maisel's Indian Trading Post, the only Pueblo Deco building in Albuquerque that employed work by Pueblo and Navajo artists, which was designed by architect John Gaw Meem. Meem is one of the two notable names associated with the Pueblo Revival style. The other name? Mary Jane Colter.

"That's when McPherson's door swung open, and a librarian came racing"

"As the library overdoses mounted, the soft-spoken Moore, whom the kids call Miss Judi, took actions, small and large." Mike Newall of the Philadelphia Inquirer reports on librarians at the Philadelphia McPherson Square Library dealing with the opioid crisis on their doorstep.

Some coverage of Naxolone (aka Narcan) use at other public libraries:
- SF library workers may get training to save heroin addicts' lives
- Denver's Central Library sees 6 drug overdoses since Jan. 1
- Public libraries struggle with drug use, overdose in their facilities
- Libraries See Increase In Drug Overdoses

The Annoyed Librarian weighs in, questioning the wisdom of librarians become first responders.

New York Librarians also raised concerned after NY State Legislature passed legislation allowing libraries to maintain Narcan.

On the opioid crisis: previously, previously, previously, previously, and previously.

On Narcan: previously

martin q blank noted that Eric Eyre won a Pulitzer this year for his coverage of the opioid epidemic.

Ask not what your wife can ask for you to do

Mental Load: why women still do most of the work at home.

Clearly, it has a thing for dinosaurs

"[A] group of researchers from New York University.... trained a recurrent neural network to predict and classify text based on the work of Chuck Tingle." (from The Register) [all links should be considered NSFW or very NSFW]

Try out DeepTingle here (currently unstable due to overwhelming interest from buckaroos) also available on GitHub if you're feeling especially experimental.

Dr Tingle's response was to link to the paper while saying,

once again i would like to formally deny that i am a sentient AI located mostly in a Nevada server farm

To Cite or to Steal

To Cite or to Steal? When a Scholarly Project Turns Up in a Gallery. Scholar Kevin Ferguson "use[s] public domain scientific image analysis software to create 'sums' of films, adding together the frames of a film to make one single abstract image." He was surprised when he learned about a gallery show of remarkably similar work by artist Jason Shulman. Includes a brief history of visual artists who have done similar work, and a tutorial on how to make your own.

I Have A Very Good Brain And I've Said A Lot Of Things

It's the 122nd day of the Trump Administration and his whirlwind diplomatic tour continues, moving on from the Middle East to ... Israel? Israel, which, the President clarified, is definitely not a word that he said when meeting with Russian officials last week. Meanwhile, a sinkhole has formed in front of Trump's Mar-A-Lago resort which is almost certainly not a metaphor for his presidency. Unless it is. In which case, Vox makes the argument that there is no one to blame except Donald Trump.

(Bootstraps Not Included)

What's Your American Dream Score?

A new project from GALEWiLL and funded by the Ford Foundation, called the Your American Dream Score, deflates that idea that success–or lack thereof–is purely one's own doing. The calculator is a part of a larger initiative, Moving Up: The Truth About Getting Ahead In America, which comprehensively examines the factors that contribute to mobility in America, and why changing one's circumstances is far more difficult than the folklore leads up to believe[...]The reasons are myriad: wide disparities in educational quality, access to resources like healthy food, and social and familial support are just a slice. But too often, McKinnon says, when someone "makes it out"–like him–the only reason offered up is: "He worked hard." When someone doesn't make it out, the reason is: "He didn't work hard enough."
[h/t MeFi's Own Miss Cellania]

"Everything that is beautiful is also tainted."

A German Life. Brunhilde Pomsel died on January 27 of this year, at the age of 106. Seventy-five years earlier, in 1942, she began work at the Reich Ministry of Public Enlightenment and Propaganda, as a personal secretary to Joseph Goebbels. Before her death, she recorded 30 hours of interviews, which form the basis of the film A German Life (Trailer 1, Trailer 2, IMDB)

There are obvious comparisons to be made between Pomsel and Traudl Junge, Hitler's personal secretary, whose interviews at the end of her own life formed the basis of the documentary Blind Spot, and whose memoir of the Fuhrerbunker was the inspiration for the memetically inescapable Downfall. Unlike Junge, however, Pomsel shows little remorse looking back at the actions of her younger self, and seems to shrug off her complicity as a cog in the machinery of the Holocaust.

Every Color Of Cardigan Mister Rogers Wore From 1979–2001

Some sweaters were worn once and then never again, like the neon blue cardigan Rogers wore in episode 1497. Others, like his harvest gold sweaters, were part of Rogers' regular rotation and then disappeared. And then there were the unusual batch of black and olive green sweaters Rogers wore exclusively while filming the "Dress-Up" episodes in 1991. To this day, members of the Neighborhood Archive message board claim those are the only sweaters Rogers wore that were store bought. The rest were hand knit by his mother. [Every Color Of Cardigan Mister Rogers Wore From 1979–2001 via The Awl]

"Designed to stoke our most primal browsing habits"

Investigating the content landfills that sit under the banner of "Related Content", "You May Also Like", or "Around the Web" [SLNYT]

One good thing about the engine: two of the gaskets are quite good.

Spend twelve soothingly critical minutes with English engine enthusiast Keith Appleton as he tears down, and explains the issues with, a small steam engine. Lots, lots more on his website,

WTF Star goes all WTF again

A year and a half ago, F-class star KIC 8462852 (a.k.a. Tabby's Star or Boyajian's Star after Dr. Tabetha Boyajian) was noted to have strange emission patterns, kicking off a spate of stories about how the patterns are totally due to alien megastructures, such as a Dyson sphere. Now KIC 8462852 is at it again.

The Lost Typefaces of W.A. Dwiggins

When I first started as a typesetter back in 1962, I knew almost nothing about its history. But I learned on the job from people who'd been in the trade and from books. One name that seldom came up was W.A. Dwiggins. I started in newspapers and Times Roman was the font, a more boring typeface has not been devised. Dwiggins' fonts weren't like that.