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May 31, 2005

Disappearing Forests


Clear-cut land in British Columbia, Canada, as viewed from the space shuttle.

May 31, 2005 | Permalink | TrackBack

Airliner No. 4 and More


This spectacular flying-machine never flew. It's one of many fantastic aircrafts that never made it off the drawing board, much less the runway. The most grand of the bunch is probably Norman Bel Geddes' (designer of Futurama) steamship-sized Airliner Number Four. Geddes' multi-storied gargantuan of the skies could have comfortably held over 600 passengers in hotel-like suites. It was designed with a full dining-room, bar, games-deck, gymnasium, cafe, two large foyers, a nursery, dressing rooms, a shop, a doctor's office and much more. But alas, all that was just a dream. A figment. Lost... to the cramped, sardine-styled airplane-hell of today.

Stop by the Adventure Lounge to browse through many more planes that never flew (and some that probably did). Fun stuff. But my own favorite fantasy aircrafts are those that are born out of Hayao Miyazaki's fantastic world's.

UPDATE: Puny plane, the Airbus A380, completes test flight. It does manage to cram 840 passengers into a claustrophobic cylinder, but offers no private suites, no dining orchestra and no promenade deck. Bummer. (thanks RSJM).

UPDATE 2: What's this? First class suites in the A380 after all? We're impressed. (thanks again RSJM)

May 31, 2005 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

May 26, 2005

Futurama Continued


For those of you who can't get enough Futurama... go here, here or here.

May 26, 2005 | Permalink | TrackBack

May 25, 2005

Big Happy Futurama


If you had been lucky enough to visit the New York World's Fair in 1939-1940, you might have seen a sci-fi metropolis, similar to the the one shown above, at General Motor's Futurama exhibit. I'm talking the real Futurama. The original Futurama. The incredible 37,000 square foot Futurama, stuffed full of over 2,000,000 miniature buildings - Norman Bel Geddes' miniatized, ultra-modernized city-of-the future. The hit of the show! Lines to get in grew up to over a mile long!

Tiny cars, small waterfalls, little puffy clouds, miniature airplanes hovering by - all within an incredibly intricate landscape. Future, baby, future.

A second Futurama was created for the New York World's Fair in 1964-1965. Here, terrestrial cities, undersea communities and lunar colonies were displayed side-by-side, in one big, happy General Motors universe. Wow!

For more info on Futurama, check out The Journal of Ride Theory Omnibus, edited by Dan Howland.

May 25, 2005 | Permalink | TrackBack

May 24, 2005

Gallery of Junk


The junkyard photo-gallery of Richard Vander Wende.

May 24, 2005 | Permalink | TrackBack

May 23, 2005

Incense Amoung the Trees


This is a typical cemetary in Kyoto, Japan. They've been described as feeling "packed close and nearly vertical," where a scarcity of real estate "crowds the dead in as if they were standing up."

May 23, 2005 | Permalink | TrackBack

City of the Dead


This is the endless, sprawling cemetary - the City of the Dead - where families make their homes alongside their dead ancestors, and where people live in tombs. Cairo has a City of the Dead populated by over a half a million people.

May 23, 2005 | Permalink | TrackBack

Tangled Maze of Caddo


Growing up in East Texas had its advantages. Caddo Lake was one of them. Named after the Caddo Indians, the lake is shrouded in mystery and myth. The legend of the lake tells of the Caddoan Chief. Warned in a dream to move his village away to higher ground, he refused to listen, and so the violent-earth-spirits shook the ground and swallowed up his village. Ergo Caddo Lake.

Scientists say it was just a big earthquake.

In any case, the result is something otherworldly: a tangled maze of swampy passages that seem to stretch on forever and ever. Maps can't begin to help (not even Google Maps). Comments like, "don't get lost out there; you'll never find your way back," used to give me the distinct impression that there were countless numbers of forever-adrift canoeists out there – bewitched by the fog and magic of the quiet, alligator-infested waters. And every once in great while, a mysterious, white Ghost Ship would wander along to gather them all up for one last long ride.

May 23, 2005 | Permalink | TrackBack

May 21, 2005

Beloved Monstrous Mine


Welcome to Mirny, Eastern Siberia, just below the edge of the Arctic Circle, where your average day is a cool -40 Celsius, where you (the outsider) are watched with grave suspicion, and where diamond miners are left to stare into the depths of their beloved, monstrous mine: the 500 meter very-deep, now-abandoned, largest diamond mine in the world.

(via growabrain)

May 21, 2005 | Permalink | TrackBack

May 19, 2005

Endangered Machinery


The photography of Haiko Hebig.

May 19, 2005 | Permalink | TrackBack