Sunday, January 27, 2008

Virgin's Mad Spaceship Thingio

Last week Richard Branson unveiled detailed plans for his Virgin Galactic space project. On one hand I think it's great that someone can get off their arse and actually get something like this off the ground. On the other, having used his trains to travel back and forth to Liverpool for 15 years, part of me thinks it'll do well to get past the top of his head. According to Wired, Space Ship One:

…piggybacks into the air aboard a special carrier plane called White Knight before blasting off. It will fly for the first time this summer.

Things I'd want to know before getting onboard:
1) Does the caff open on Sundays or will I have to make do with crap biscuits and warm bottles of water served by a boot with a hangover?
2) If Space Ship One has to go for repairs, is there a bus replacement service?
3) On bank holidays does it stop at Coventry, Northampton and Milton Keynes?
4) If I book early, can I get a blag first class ticket?
5) If there's no sound in space, is there any point in having a quiet zone?

You can book NOW (Yeah!) here.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Bizzies and their anti-riot vans

Coppers always get the best access to the maddest cars and anti-crusty lorries. Dark Roasted Blend has a history of anti-riot vehicles here. If water cannons, policemen pretending they're in the army and students covering their faces with tea cloths is your thing then give it a go.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

The council estate that knocks anything I've ever lived in into a cocked hat

From deputy dog comes an amazing set of pics illustrating this social housing scheme in Vienna. Mr dog says:

Built between 1973 and 1985, this incredible, government-funded 27-storey complex accomodates approximately 10,000 low-income residents amongst a healthy amount of greenery. As you can see, the blocks are topped with outdoor swimming pools (used regularly by 70% of residents), but the facilities available don’t end there. Others include: indoor swimming pools, fitness rooms, solariums, saunas, tennis courts, schools, two medical centres, church, shopping mall, restaurants, 3,400 underground parking spaces and a metro station. The complex even runs its own TV station.

The only thing I can think of that comes close is the recently poshified Brunswick Centre near Russell Square in London (below), which with Stalinist efficiency closed its bookies and the Iceland and got in a load of middle class chains in like Strada and Giraffe to replace 'em. Still, the linguine's to die for…

Saturday, January 05, 2008

Aircraft hangars

The first photo is of NASA's Hangar One, an immense cathedral of space that apparently is in danger of being knocked down. Second is a hangar in Germany that's been turned into some sort of ghastly Centre Parks holiday gaff, while the third one was built for the Frankfurt Zeppelin. More visual treats here.

Friday, January 04, 2008

I wish I'd had this when I was four

A wooden, fully working diggger for the sandpit with levers and everything. Just how amazing is this? I'm 36 and I'd still be made up if I got this on my birthday. Certainly beats getting some sort of "humourous" book. Not fair. Buy it here.

Thursday, January 03, 2008

What New York would look like if they drained the East River

Mad eh? More with the guy who created this at Bldgblog, the best architectural site on the internet.