467.1 (Tyres and Bricks)

My post on Walt Disney (August 2nd) was interrupted by some pretty significant changes in my personal life but there’s still a crude draft taking shape in my notes.

I’m currently reading Brick: A Social History by Carolyne Haynes. I found this title at the London Transport Museum and it’s a page-turner! Did you know there’s a museum dedicated to the humble brick? The Brickworks Museum at Bursledon is close to Southampton and on my can’t miss list.

I also want to write a post about 2020. I’m certain everyone has a story of hardship to share. My story isn’t necessarily unique, but a departure from my usual list of eclectic interests will be cathartic.

Weekend 467.0

(1) A quote from Brick A Social History by Carolyne Haynes:

“Bricks do not stand alone, they work best with a sticky material to bind them together. So, wound into this story of bricks is an exploration of the use of lime. If bricks are mostly ignored, lime is rarely mentioned at all. Even the literature about it is thin on the ground, and yet arguably it is right up there as one of the most important chemicals in our history. Still widely used today, lime was the material that allowed us to build our houses, fortifications, churches and other structures for hundreds of years. Without lime it would have been very much harder to make brick walls strong. There are alternatives. We could have stuck them together using clay, but lime is long lasting, versatile, relatively easy to use and surprisingly strong. It’s an unsung hero that played a huge part in our history and I think it is time that we took a bit more notice of it.”

“The stones for these early churches were rarely freshly quarried out. With Roman ruins near to many monastic settlements there was generally a rich source of materials to plunder. Scavenging building materials from these ruined settlements was easy. The builders were able to bring in dressed stone, window and door surrounds that were already carved and ready to be fitted into the new buildings.”

“The first monastic settlement there had been built using timber, but as the abbey grew in importance so did the buildings. In the tenth century, the church [St Albans Abbey] was reconstructed using stone and bricks. With a dearth of available new stone in the area, the Roman ruins of Verulamium became the adopted ‘quarry’. Probably in part because of the lack of stone, the Romans here had used bricks extensively and as these were still in good condition they were used alongside the stone.”

(2) Poems on the Underground: Note by Leanne O’Sullivan



Walt Disney

Do you remember being younger and hearing old geezers tell you things like ‘that’s a slippery slope?’ What happens if we’ve slipped and are now in the midst of a mudslide? What does this have to do with Walt? Quite a bit actually and this post involves a cast of heroes like Mary Blair and Ray Bradbury.

Weekend 466.0

Obedience Leads to Heaven
God has promised to lead us safely heavenward in spite of all things being against us. But the infirmities which beset us, these He still ordains should try us and humble us and should bring us day by day to the foot of His Cross for pardon. Let us simply obey God’s will whatever may befall us. He can turn all things to our eternal good. He can bless and sanctify even our infirmities.

Dear Jesus, ever assist me, by Your grace, to accept whatever hardships come my way. For they will lead me to you.

Lead, Kindly Light: Minute Meditations for Every Day Taken from the Works of Cardinal Newman


A quote from Out Of A Fair, A City by Ada Louise Huxtable:

“It is a formidable tradition, for the achievements of the nineteenth-century International Expositions were unique. In art, architecture, industry, and culture, they were the common exchange around of all that was interesting and new. Intensely competitive, each successive exhibition attempted to cap its predecessors in the daring of its progressive constructions and the magnificence of its artistic displays. As industry leaped forward, its advances were proudly advertised, and the world came to see and learn. If industry frequently outran art, the Fairs still were the showcase of all the important technical and aesthetic experiments of the age. Today, the mementos of their prestige are collectors’ curios, but the most important souvenir of the World’s Fair was ideas.”

Weekend 465.0

“The danger of these expeditions was no doubt very great, but the spoils were in proportion, and there was not a boy or man of the seafaring population of Devon who would not gladly have gone with the adventorous captain.” — Under Drake’s Flag by G.A. Henty

(1) Scan from ‘American Historical Playing Cards’ with portraits from Douglas Gorsline.

(2) A lost Maxis “Sim” game has been discovered by an Ars reader, uploaded for all (Ars Technica)

Weekend 464.0

“The real artist’s work is a surprise to himself. The big painter is the one who has something to say. He thus does not paint men, landscape, or furniture, but an idea.” — Robert Henri

A couple of YouTube videos with a common thread (it’s a riddle).

(1) La Petite Ceinture: What Happened to Paris’s Lost Railway? (The Tim Traveller)

(2) Yesterworld: The Troubled History of Epcot’s Abandoned World Showcase – Part 1 (Yesterworld Entertainment)

(3) The CED: RCA Selectavision Videodisc (Technology Connections)

Weekend 463.0

(1) France to pay 50 euros per person for bike repairs to boost cycling post-lockdown (Reuters)

Weekend 462.0

(1) Boston Symphony Orchestra Launches HEROIC PERFORMANCES to Honor Front-Line Workers

May 3 @ 3:00 PM EST: Seiji Ozawa, in his final Symphony Hall concert as BSO Music Director (April 20, 2002), leading Mahler’s Symphony No. 9.

>>> BSO at Home

Modernity in miniature

(1) I’ve clipped the blog post title from a chapter in the excellently written British Rail Architecture 1948-97 by David Lawrence.

“For centuries architects have used miniature versions of their designs to communicate their ideas to emperors, oligarchs, magnates, civil servants and audiences who must be engaged to ensure a project is approved for development. They may be the device which convinces a client to provide substantial investment for a project.”

“Many modelers will choose a station as one of their first buildings because it is a simulacrum of the interface between trains and human activity. It is an archetype for all stations. In this way the model — in fact an assembly of sundry materials and adhesives — is an imaginative threshold into the tiny world of the model railway, inviting the modeler and audience to step, like Alice in Wonderland, into a perfect version of an imperfect world.”

>>> Source File

(2) Continental’s BIG CITY H-O Scale Modern Architecture Series (Flickr)

I have the ‘Entrance Building’ (Model No. 104) which inspired this photo at Walt Disney World. What do you think happened to Continental Models at 1 Dupont Street in Plainview, NY?

(3) Artist rendering of the new concourse for Liverpool Street (1987) from British Rail Architecture 1948-97 by David Lawrence. I love the vintage engine. It reminds me of Playmobil 4052.

Tomorrowland Speedway

(1) A scanned image from The Art of Walt Disney World Resort. The design is from Disney Imagineer George McGinnis.

(2) #10 from the Limestone Roof Photo Archives.

Weekend 461.1

(1) A quote from Walt Disney and the Quest for Community:

“The EPCOT philosophy continued in other ways. Disney’s favorite community topic was transportation, be it model railroading or promoting the monorail. It should come as no surprise that the EPCOT concept’s most lasting influence would be in the area of public transportation. Community Transportation Services was formed as a subsidiary of Walt Disney Productions in 1974.”

(1a) Passenger Launch Seminole (The Art of Walt Disney World Resort)

“These pretty little launches ply the Seven Seas Lagoon between Magic Kingdom Park and the Contemporary, Polynesian, and Grand Floridian resorts, one of the most satisfying simple experiences that Walt Disney World has to offer.”

(1b) Disney’s Contemporary Resort Concourse Interior (The Art of Walt Disney World Resort)

(1c) Abandoned – Disney’s Fort Wilderness Railroad (YouTube)

Weekend 461.0

(1) Miss Prim At Clear Creek (The American Conservative)

“It is a simple tale that speaks of something that has been in the human heart since always: the search for paradise lost, that indefinable nostalgic sense that we all have engraved in our hearts. A nostalgia that at times savors of childhood, and which neither noise, nor frenetic activity, nor the massiveness of a world that no longer has time to reflect about the perennial ancient questions, can completely muffle.”

(2) The Art of _______________________

The Limestone Library (on libib) features a nice collection of these books and I’ve listed a couple of my favorites. The one missing is the ‘Art of Kingdom Hearts Universe’ which has never officially been published.

The Art of Robotech – This is the first ‘art of’ books in my library and special because it was acquired on a trip to Boston with my Dad. Robotech remains one of my favorite anime series. The story was great and the characters remain some of the most memorable (e.g. Miriya Parina Sterling) in all of anime.

The Art of Cuphead – A relative newcomer in the library. The story of Chad and Jared Moldenhauer is very inspirational.

The Art of Atari – Nolan K. Bushnell is one of my heroes. The intro of this book was written by Ernie Kline. The history of Atari is an amazing story and features Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak. The book is like a companion to Atari: Game Over. I would include this title in my history of computing curriculum with the others like Hackers: Heroes of the Computer Revolution by Steven Levy. Is there a link between Rick Guidice and Claudio Mazzoli?

The Art of Empires – A visual companion to Age of Empires 3.

The Art of Cars / The Art of Cars 2 – I love cars (even anthropomorphic), signs, postcards, and classic advertisements (even fantastical). These titles wouldn’t be included in my history of computing curriculum but the foreword was written by John Lasseter and The Pixar Touch: The Making of a Company by David A. Price would be.

The Art of the Disney Parks / The Art of Walt Disney World Resort – I’ve tried to scan every page in these books. The latter includes work by Herbert D. Ryman and Mary Blair.

The Art of Miyazaki’s Spirited Away / The Art of The Wind Rises / The Art of the Secret World of Arrietty – A troika of books linked to Hayao Miyazaki and Studio Ghibli.

The Disney Art of Animation – There are probably hundreds of similar titles but this modest work by Bob Thomas is a decent primer.

The Art and Flair of Mary Blair – Mary Blair was named a Disney Legend in 1991. Her mural at the Contemporary Resort is awe-inspiring.

The Art of Disney’s Musical Years – This title includes some rare sketches from a Hans Christian Andersen project that predated the Little Mermaid.

I didn’t include The Walt Disney Film Archives. The Animated Movies 1921–1968 from TASHEN. This is a gorgeous book and the Land of Symphony / Isle of Jazz from Music Land (Silly Symphonies) were inspiration for the Inkwell Islands in Cuphead.

I have this…

…exact image burned into memory IRL. Freaky.

Van Wyck

Related: Van Wyck Expressway