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Current Topic: Local Information

In Vietnam, World's Largest Cave Passage
Topic: Local Information 8:09 pm EST, Jan  3, 2011

National Geographic:

There's a jungle inside Vietnam's mammoth cavern. A skyscraper could fit too. And the end is out of sight.

Sean O'Neal:

The same Kansas salt mines that protected over 3,300 hours of The Tonight Show With Johnny Carson from the ravages of time and Injuns has now given us another worthy pop-culture artifact: 17 "lost" minutes from Stanley Kubrick's 2001: A Space Odyssey that have been unearthed by Warner Bros. Douglas Trumbull, the film's special photographic effects supervisor, made the revelation while discussing Beyond The Infinite: The Making Of A Masterpiece, a behind-the-scenes documentary he'd been working on with David Larson.

See also, Modern Times, by BC2010.

In Vietnam, World's Largest Cave Passage

sleepycity | photography urban exploration | Demolition of the Paris Metro
Topic: Local Information 11:47 am EST, Jan  2, 2011

The Paris Metro and the service it provides are deeply intertwined into the fabric of the city. As the 4.5 million passengers who ride it every day will probably attest it's the quickest way around whether it's for work, for play or both. The metro's distinctive art-nouveau style is unmistakable and the plant like green wrought iron entrances topped with the orange orbs and Metropolitan signage designed by Hector Guimard which sprout up all over the city lead one down to the gleaming white tiled platforms to be whisked away all over the city. On my first trip to Paris I arrived into Gare du Nord and entered the dense maze that is the metro. Despite the crowds, the noise and the distinct odour of piss, I was in love. The kind of love which inspires one to risk life, limb and deportation to get up close and personal.

sleepycity | photography urban exploration | Demolition of the Paris Metro

The Wilderness Below Your Feet
Topic: Local Information 11:47 am EST, Jan  2, 2011

It must have been the third or fourth day -- time, by that point, had started to dissolve -- when I stood in camping gear on Fifth Avenue, waiting as my companions went to purchase waterproof waders at the Orvis store. We had already hiked through sewers in the Bronx, slept in a basement boiler room, passed a dusty evening in a train tunnel; we were soiled and sleep-deprived, and we smelled of rotting socks. Yet no one on that sidewalk seemed to notice. As I stood among the businessmen and fashionable women, it dawned on me that New Yorkers -- an ostensibly perceptive lot -- sometimes see only what's directly in front of their eyes.

I suppose that's not a bad way to think about the urban expedition we were on: a taxing, baffling, five-day journey into New York's underground, the purpose of which, its planners said, was to expose the city's skeleton, to render visible its invisible marvels. The trip's conceiver, Erling Kagge, a 47-year-old Norwegian adventurer, had ascended Mount Everest and trekked on foot to both the North and South poles. His partner, Steve Duncan, a 32-year-old student of public history, had logged more than a decade exploring subways, sewers and storm drains. Last month, the two of them forged a new frontier: an extended exploration of the subterranean city, during which they lived inside the subsurface infrastructure, sleeping on the trail, as it were.

The Wilderness Below Your Feet

Church and 30th St. San Francisco MUNI Construction
Topic: Local Information 6:46 am EDT, Oct 18, 2010

Ken Murphy:

This is a time-lapse video showing the replacement of the MUNI tracks in front of my house. Demolition began on the evening of Friday, October 8, and work continued around the clock until early in the morning of Tuesday, October 12.

Richard Sennett:

Doing a job properly takes the time it takes.

Penelope Trunk:

Stop talking about time like you need to save it. You just need to use it better.

Nir Rosen:

"You Westerners have your watches," the leader observed. "But we Taliban have time."

Virginie Tisseau:

I ride the tram because every day it takes me to a place less familiar.

Church and 30th St. San Francisco MUNI Construction

California is a place.
Topic: Local Information 7:52 am EDT, May 18, 2010

California is loaded. From Disneyland to farmland, we've got Scientology and superstars, Silicon and silicone, crips and bloods. The border. Krunkin' Clownin' Jerkin'. The surf and the turf. The boom and the bust. California is humanity run amuck and then packaged, branded and sold. California Cuisine, California Love, California Casual, California Gold, California Girls, and of course, California Dreams. If it exists in the world, it exists here and it does so with pizzaz.

Obviously, we love this stuff. That's why we're doing this project. Simply put, California is sensational. And the closer we look the better it gets: words and images, stories and songs, opinions and ideas. This project is ongoing. We hope you like what you see and say so. We plan to post often. So until that day, when we finally float off into the Pacific, California is a place. Stay tuned.

William T. Vollmann:

Across the border, the desert is the same but there are different secrets.

David Lynch, on Interview Project:

It's something that's human,
and you can't stay away from it.

California is a place.

Train Runs Through Bangkok Market
Topic: Local Information 8:24 am EDT, Jun 11, 2009

A train runs through it

Train Runs Through Bangkok Market

Personal Income for Metropolitan Areas, 2007
Topic: Local Information 7:12 am EDT, Aug 11, 2008

Personal income growth slowed in 2007 in most of the nation's metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs), according to estimates released today by the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis. On average, MSA personal income grew 6.2% in 2007, down from 6.8% in 2006. Personal income growth slowed in 208 MSAs, increased in 144, and remained unchanged in 11 MSAs.

The twenty slowest growing MSAs were all in the Great Lakes Region (Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, and Wisconsin). Personal income growth in most of these MSAs was one-half the national pace or less as compensation declined in the durable goods manufacturing sector, often by substantial amounts. In some cases, compensation in 2006 had been boosted by the acceptance of employee buyout offers from automakers while 2007 compensation reflected a smaller workforce and pay concessions in the auto and auto parts industries.

From the archive:

A substantial portion of our workforce finds itself in direct competition for jobs with lower-wage workers around the globe, and leading-edge scientific and engineering work is being accomplished in many parts of the world. Thanks to globalization, driven by modern communications and other advances, workers in virtually every sector must now face competitors who live just a mouse-click away in Ireland, Finland, China, India, or dozens of other nations whose economies are growing.

"We're in so deep that it doesn't seem like anything will help," said Rebekah Ao, 33, a pregnant homemaker who lives in a new four-bedroom home in Avondale with her husband, Otto, a truck driver. The Aos, with $50,000 in income, owe a total of $607,000 on mortgages for two houses they bought since they moved to the Phoenix area about two years ago.

Personal Income for Metropolitan Areas, 2007

America's Fastest-Dying Cities
Topic: Local Information 7:12 am EDT, Aug 11, 2008

Atlanta is hosed, yes, but Ohio is really hosed.

The turmoil of the mortgage market granted a temporary reprieve from hearing about the woes of America's Rust Belt. That doesn't mean things are better. Despite a decade of national prosperity, the former manufacturing backbone of the U.S. is in rougher shape than ever, still searching for some way to replace its long-stilled smokestacks.

Where's it worst? Ohio, according to our analysis, which racked up four of the 10 cities on our list: Youngstown, Canton, Dayton and Cleveland. The runner-up is Michigan, with two cities--Detroit and Flint--making the ranking.

From the archive:

As no repairs have been carried out for 34 years, all of the buildings are slowly falling apart. Nature is reclaiming the area, as metal corrodes, windows break, and plants work their roots into the walls and pavements.

Andrucha Waddington directs this epic drama that explores how daughters ultimately become their mothers.

The bubble cycle has replaced the business cycle.

Income and net worth are two important factors in determining economic well-being in the United States. This report looks at net worth and asset ownership by various socioeconomic factors, including monthly income. The data come from the Survey of Income and Program Participation.

Welcome to the new Korean craze of "well-dying". In a country infatuated with "well-being" - living and eating healthily, even to the point where tobacco-makers offer vitamin-enriched "well-being cigarettes" - training companies are now offering courses on dying a good death.

We should expect a prolonged, grinding decline in home prices, back to more or less their pre-bubble inflation-adjusted levels.

America's Fastest-Dying Cities

Topic: Local Information 7:45 am EDT, Aug  7, 2008

PolicyMap is a revolutionary, easy, new way to explore geographic data through maps, tables and reports.


RE: Citysense - Powered by Sense Networks
Topic: Local Information 8:26 am EDT, Jun 24, 2008

Decius wrote:

Unless there is some detail that I'm missing, this sounds positively orwellian.

According to Sense Networks, all the location data that it gathers from mobile phones, GPS and Wi-Fi is completely anonymous so privacy should not be an issue.

It's not an issue, okay?!?

See also, from recent NYT:

Sense’s models were developed initially from sources like taxicab companies that let it look at location data over such a period. Sense also uses publicly available data, like weather information, and other nonpublic sources that it would not disclose.

Reality mining raises instant questions about privacy, especially when cellphone data is involved. In the United States, it is illegal in many cases for cellphone companies to share customers’ location data without their consent.

Mr. Skibiski says that Sense is interested only in aggregate data and that it’s looking for broad patterns, not the specific behavior of individuals. But he recognizes the privacy issue.

RE: Citysense - Powered by Sense Networks

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