Monday, September 17, 2018

September 17th Links

  • Sketching in a foreign city is not simply a matter of plonking yourself down in front of the local masterpiece, Baedeker in hand. First you need to find the building or view that is genuinely interesting and this may be a building unknown to the art historians. My father always took great pleasure in drawing a great work which was never written up. All too often people are led to appreciate architecture through the eyes of art historians or the celebrity status of the architect. This my father sometimes took to extremes. I remember once in Borromini's St Ivo in Rome he took great pleasure in rendering a fairly banal picture frame rather than the church itself. [Quinlan Terry]
  • [T]he best building materials are practically inert, whereas the great defect of all modern materials is their high coefficient of expansion, as shown in the chart. This means that their seasonal and diurnal expansion and contraction is such that expansion joints are essential. Even a modern brick wall has to have expansion joints every 30ft. This in turn breaks up the monolithic nature of any structure into little isolated blocks with expansion joints. The weathering and attrition at these joints is an obvious long-term weakness, whereas a traditionally built structure has none of these problems because the matrix is lime instead of cement. Think of the Pantheon in Rome, built in brick and lime mortar. It has a diameter of 142ft and has stood for nearly two thousand years. No reinforced concrete structure could last anything like so long because once air and moisture have penetrated to the reinforcement there is nothing which can permanently inhibit its breakdown. It does not even make a good ruin! [Quinlan Terry]
  • The traditional materials, brick, stone, lime mortar are all virtually inert to changes in temperature and therefore have an A rating, whereas modern materials like reinforced concrete, steel, glass, aluminium and pvc get a B or C rating. This is because they have such a high co-efficient of thermal expansion that they require expansion joints at regular intervals. This is the main cause of their short life span, because the expansion joint (filled with mastic which breaks down under sunlight) cannot protect the building from driving rain and water ingress. [Quinlan Terry]
  • Without any maintenance at all, a new bottom-mount-condenser refrigerator will run with no problems through the five-year warranty period and then will be likely to conk out in the sixth or seventh year. "However, if just once a year, you'll take the time to clean the accumulated dust off the coil, you can prevent compressor failure and extend the life of your refrigerator to 10 to 15 — maybe even 20 — years," Richter explains. [link]
  • If money is no object, get a Sub-Zero and keep the coils clean. You'll be very happy. But don't expect it to last longer. Sub-Zeroes have a habit of losing their gas. So plan on a $500 repair every ten years. [link]
  • There are many people for whom the ornately carved and richly upholstered furniture made for the French royal palaces between 1680 and 1790—a span that encompasses the Enlightenment, rococo, and neoclassical periods and the reigns of Louis XIV, XV, and XVI—represents a high point of Western culture. The designer Patrick Hourcade has called it "the period when furniture became art for the first time." Leon Dalva, a prominent New York dealer in French antiques, describes the era's output as "the finest expression on earth of natural materials and man-made artistry." In the preface to Pallot’s book, Karl Lagerfeld, an early mentor and prominent collector, wrote, "With the exception of Watteau, Fragonard, Chardin, and a few others, the language of these craftsmen was almost more universal than the language of French painters of the same period." [Vanity Fair]
  • Essential facilities doctrine has traditionally been applied to infrastructure such as bridges, highways, ports, electrical power grids, and telephone networks. Given that Amazon controls key infrastructure for e-commerce, imposing a duty to allow access to its infrastructure on a nondiscriminatory basis make sense. And in light of the company's current trajectory, we can imagine at least three aspects of its business could eventually raise "essential facilities"-like concerns: (1) its fulfillment services in physical delivery; (2) its Marketplace platform; and (3) Amazon Web Services. While the essential facilities doctrine has not yet been applied to the internet economy, some proposals have started exploring what this might look like. Pursuing this regime for online platforms could maintain the benefits of scale while preventing dominant players from abusing their power. [Yale Law]
  • Senator Sherman stood before his colleagues in Congress, determined to free the American economy from the grip of anti-competitive practices and entities. "Monopolies," he declared, are "inconsistent with our form of government... If we will not endure a king as a political power, we should not endure a king over the production, transportation, and sale of any of the necessaries of life. If we would not submit to an emperor, we should not submit to an autocrat of trade..." [DOJ]
  • Mr. Bradley's height score—like his actual height—was an extreme outlier (4.2 standard deviations above the mean). This appears to be driven by an increased proportion of homozygous genotypes for SNPs associated with increased height when compared to the average ADNI and Cache County genotype values. Despite this, his height score only predicted him to be 10.32 mm taller than average. This suggests that while Mr. Bradley's extreme polygenic score could accurately rank his height amongst 1020 individuals, it does not accurately predict his actual height measurement, demonstrating that there are significant factors unaccounted for. [link]
  • Studies of mortality are an important tool in the identification of occupational hazards. Previous studies of mortality in physicians have found increased death from brain tumors and suicide in pathologists; leukemia, pancreatic cancer, lung cancer, and skin cancer in radiologists; and suicide, accidental death, and drug related death in anesthesiologists. In the case of radiologists, the recognition of increased cancer risk associated with occupational exposure to ionizing radiation led to institution of fundamental radiation safety practices. In the case of anesthesiologists, the recognition of increased risk of drug-related death and suicide led to institution of intervention programs aimed at identification and rehabilitation of at-risk physicians. [J Neurosurg]
  • For 46 years, from 1951 to 1997, we were no more and no less rich than our economy grew. That's the neutral vision of monetary policy, where you're not trying to pull forward future growth through leverage and easy money in order to create more wealth today. For the past 20 years, however, we have had a series of wealth bubbles – first the Dot-Com bubble, then the Housing Bubble, and today the Financial Asset Bubble – that have made us (temporarily) richer than our economy grows. [Epsilon Theory]
  • A col is the lowest point on the saddle between two mountains. Graham Robb has spent years uncovering and cataloguing the 2,002 cols and 105 passes scattered across the British Isles. Some of these obscure and magical sites are virgin cols that have never been crossed. Dozens were lost by the Ordnance Survey and are recorded only in ballads or monastic charters. The eleven cols of Hadrian's Wall are practically unknown and have never been properly identified. [link]

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

My private college was a White/Asian oasis next to a poor, gang-ridden black ghetto. The cops and security people could easily play the color-coded “you don’t belong here” game when the gang bangers started coming across the railroad tracks into town. Now, with all the new vibrancy on campus and the trends of the times, that sort of enforcement is out the window. Guess what comes next? No doubt it will be blamed on the attitudes of the occasional white conservative males on campus, who must be behind it all.

I worked the dining halls on campus, to help pay the bills. My boss was a sweet and sassy black single mother from the other side of the tracks. She was freaked out one day, because her tenage son joined a street gang. He was dead within weeks, didn’t come home one night. They found him a few days later, stuffed into the trunk of an abandoned stolen car. People on campus had no idea this stuff was going on, blocks from their front doors.