Fire and Information

by Don Friedman on October 28, 2017

I have nothing to add to this interview other than I found it to be a fascinating read. Fire fighting isn’t just about putting out fires, it’s about learning how to prevent them and how to reduce the risks they cause. 

Obsolete But So Very Beautiful

October 9, 2017

  My family went to the Old Rhinebeck Aerodrome recently and spent an afternoon surrounded by planes from the 1910s and 20s. Here are four of them flying stunts in formation (click to enlarge): Everything there was great – has there ever been a better name for an airplane than “Tiger Moth”? – but there […]

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Repurposing Obsolete Technology

October 8, 2017

Mechanical mice benefited from the use of trackpads: the pad surface let the ball on the mouse underside roll smoothly and the pad was likely to be a bit cleaner than the surrounding desk and so slowed the ball getting clogged with lint. Optical mice don’t need pads most of the time. It never even […]

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Mapping The Center of the World

August 20, 2017

Two oddball maps that work great together… First, the Antipodes map, which shows you where in the world is exactly oppose your location. When I enter our office address, it tells me that 90 Broad Street is at 40° 42′ 13.7″ N, 74° 0′ 43.2″ W; the opposite point is of course 40° 42′ 13.7″ S, 105° […]

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Future Tools

August 4, 2017

Attribution Didier Descouens: Debra Laefer, a friend of ours, has been working on adapting LiDAR the technology to building work. LiDAR has been around for a while and has a lot of applications, but has not been seen as a useful technology for buildings in part because the data wasn’t dense enough. In its broad uses, […]

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Drawing Pulled In Two Directions

July 31, 2017

I found this to be an interesting article on the use of iPads in creating and working with drawings. We use iPads pretty heavily for field survey work – taking notes on PDFs of drawings, taking notes in general, creating annotated photos – but have not got very far into using them as drawing tools. […]

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New And Obsolete Beauty

July 23, 2017

Very few people draft by hand any more, and I haven’t done so in 25 years, but I still want this brand new drafting table.

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Different Eras With The Same Technology

July 14, 2017

There is so much going on in this picture that it’s going to take me two or three posts to cover it all. In case it’s not intuitively obvious to even the most casual observer* that’s a piece of the Manhattan approach of the Brooklyn Bridge, specifically the bridge over Pearl Street. The Brooklyn Bridge […]

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Tragedy in Context

July 6, 2017

A fire engine on its way to the Triangle Fire, 1911: I’ve been reluctant to discuss the fire at the Grenfell Tower in London, largely because I didn’t see that I had anything original to say about it. I’m only slightly familiar with codes and practice in the UK and this horrific tragedy doesn’t lend […]

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The Turning Point In Frame Technology

July 5, 2017

Ben Evans has a very nice piece on the evolution of technology here: Not Even Wrong. It’s not a completely new idea, but he states it well: there is evolution of a given technology within a type, and there’s development of new types that require new ways of design and analysis. These two kinds of […]

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