Wednesday, 30 December 2009

Some Chinese Woodworking

The woodworking community buzzes about Japanese woodworking (though not enough!), but what about Chinese woodworking? It's hard to find info, but this is close. In this Nova programme, Bashar Altabba, an an engineer from Boston, and Marcus Brandt, a timber framer from Pennsylvania, travel to China to help Professor Tang reconstruct the Rainbow Bridge, built in the Song dynasty. All they have to go on in a 900 year old painting. I feel compelled to warn you that there is a frustrating bit at the end. Brandt extolls the workmanship and joinery of the Chinese in the last 5 seconds of the programme, but you only see it for a minute, and of course you never see that part of the construction! Another side-point: Professor Tang explains that the aesthetic of the reverse curve is attractive because it resembles the body of a woman. I couldn't help but wonder how the group dynamics would have been effected by having women on the team...and I'll leave it at that.

Tuesday, 29 December 2009

Apartment Grey Water #5 חוסכים מים בירושלים

Here's my first video, shot on my Nano. Granted, it could do with editing, but here it is:

As you can see, the waste-pipe from the washing machine is directed into a black bin. Visible is a sieve stuck into the bin's lid. That's for dumping bucket loads of water into the bin to filter it a bit before the pump (one of those aquarium types) pumps the water into the holding tank above. The water then passes through a normal white tube into the toilet tank.

Because i don't know much (read anything) about physics, and i required a low-tech solution, i turned to the Romans:

This video made clear how pressure moves with gradients, which was helpful in adjusting the tube from the holding tank outside.
How cool is the inverted syphon?!

Sunday, 27 December 2009

Even Old New York Was Once New Amsterdam

Previously, we spoke about Russell Shorto's book on New Netherland. The New York Times has just published a piece on Charles Ghering--the man who made available nearly 12,000 pages of colonial Dutch records--which can be read here. Also, check out the 3D virtual reconstruction of New Amsterdam.

Tuesday, 22 December 2009

Boulle Exhibit

Finally! Cabinetry is being recognised as a visual art with the exhibition celebrating the work of Andre Charles Boulle. The exhibit focuses on his marquetry, and though it's in Frankfurt, details of the exhibit can be seen here. It's a pretty big deal for woodworkers and art aficionados alike. According to the Art Newspaper, this exhibit will be 'one of the major cultural and artistic events of the moment.'

Thursday, 17 December 2009

Pachelbel & Taco Bell

So i was listening to St. Matthew's Passion whilst working from home today, and this particular song sounded familiar:

As i heard accompanying English lyrics in my head, the familiarity turned into shock. Could it be? Nah? That's INSANE!:

Yeah! Paul Simon totally ripped off Bach!

Before the next example, I just want to publicly apologise to my father who is probably tearing his hair out and wondering what he did wrong when his own daughter recognises this:

because she was first familiar with this:

'How burgerlijk!'
According to Rob Paravonian, pop culture has been ripping off classical music for ages:
Oh, and Dad, when i do woodworking, my music of choice is Mahler's Symphony No. 2--it's only appropriate, right? ;-)

Monday, 7 December 2009

A Linguistics Lesson from South Park


A fairly recent episode of South Park addresses the fluidity of language, and how words, especially slang, can take on vastly different meanings over the course of a few years. Of course, this episode, called 'The F-Word' generated much controversy. Click here for an article from the Arts section of the New York Times. By clicking the blog post title, you should be able to watch the episode.