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Awesome Mountain Bike Riding in Scotland Filmed April '09

Amazing mountain bike artistry. California and British Columbia riders, check out mountain biking in Scotland. The following description of this video is from damncooltopics:
"Filmed over the period of a few months in and around Edinburgh by Dave Sowerby, this video of Inspired Bicycles team rider Danny MacAskill features probably the best collection of street/street trials riding ever seen. There's some huge riding, but also some of the most technically difficult and imaginative lines you will ever see. Without a doubt, this video pushes the envelope of what is perceived as possible on a trials bike."
-Sent us by Jan Janzen

Camelbike at Burning Man 2008

From: Hokulele

Now's the Time To Renovate a House

Photo: Peter DaSilva for The New York Times
Excerpt fom article by Julie Scelfo in NY Times, Apr. 23, 2009:
"Across the country, even as many people are being more cautious than ever about spending, some homeowners with a little extra cash on hand are deciding that it’s a good time to renovate. Prices are down for both labor and materials, and contractors are readily available and able to lavish more attention on individual jobs.
Alexander Stoltz, an architect in Brooklyn, says experienced contractors who used to have waiting lists are now willing to take on any job they can find. “We’re getting cold calls from contractors who have been in the business 20, 40 years asking us for leads,” Mr. Stoltz said. “Before, they would take a month to get back to you and would have turned down small jobs. Now, they’ll take anything and start right away…”

From here

Staircase, Hôtel Tassel, Brussels, belgium

"Main stair hall on the ground floor, Emile Tassel House in Brussels, Belgium. Victor Horta was the architect for this sophisticated home, built from 1893-97. His mastery of composition speaks for itself in this lovely interior view. From David Dernie and Alastair Carew-Cox's fabulous book, Victor Horta, 1995." From cupola.com

Aquarium Building in France

Aquarium Building
School of Nancy Museum in Nancy, France
- Photograph taken in 1982 by Howard J. Partridge.

"Lucien Weissenburger is attributed as the architect of this clever pavilion, which stands in the gardens of the former J. B. E. Corbin estate. Designed around 1904, the structure was originally built with a subterranean level containing grottos for fish; a ground floor featuring windows lined with fish-tanks; and an upper deck sporting a glass canopy. The fish and tanks were removed in later years. In 1999, the building underwent a major restoration, allowing it to house fish once again." -From cupola.com

Gravel and Gold, Cassie McGettigan, Stewart Brand, and 24-Hour Donuts in San Francisco

Yesterday I met Cassie McGettigan, who happens to live in my home town, and is one of the owners of Gravel and Gold in San Francisco, of which a fan writes: I really couldn't love this tiny shop more--every time I walk in, I find something that makes me look over my shoulder to make sure I don't have to fight someone else off for it. It's the perfect place to find an unusual gift for someone or, say, yourself...I love the mix of perfectly chosen antiques and vintage clothes, and great stuff by local designers, some of it commissioned by the owners. These ladies have great, great, great taste. -By Arwen O., on Yelp

Not only did Cassie turn me on to a 24-hour donut shop in SF (Bob's Donuts at 1621 Polk) as well as other cool places for food, coffee and wi-fi access (and I'm an SF native!), but her blog turned out to be SO in tune with my sensibilities.

Among items: a link to an article on Stewart Brand, Whole Earth Catalog founder in the NY Times by Edward Lewine, with Stewart's typically spare, haiku answers to questions. Photo: Jason Madara for The New York Times

Builders of Pacific Coast Slide Show San Francisco Tonight

I'll be at Get Lost Travel with my roadshow slideshow of our recent book tonight. It's at 1825 Market Street, 7:00 PM. Get Lost is a great travel book, gear, and info store — way beyond Lonely Planet. Their informative website here.

More NorCal Beach Graffiti

Taggers are a lot like skateboarders. They're on their own. No parental support. No art school. No grant money. No academic or organized support. Peer-encouraged excellence.

NorCal Beach Graffiti

Shot this morning. Powerful stuff. Real art.

Act Naturally –Buck Owens, Dwight Yoakum, Patty Loveless

A film crew from Stanford is doing a short (6-min.) documentary on shelter and coming out to film me this week. On the occasion of which, Lew sent me the below youtube link of Buck Owens, Dwight Yoakum and Patty Loveless doing "Act Naturally," first performed by Buck in '63, then made famous by Ringo in '65.
Click here

Drawing of Buck Owens by artist Mark Stivers, who has a witty and unusual website Click here (and a book I just ordered: There Is Only Unibrow and Other Cartoons).


•In Friday's NY Times, in a review of State of Play (Russell Crowe et al), critic A. O. Scott referred to Ben Affleck "…wielding a Philadelphia accent as thick and inauthentic as low-fat cream cheese." NYT, 17 April 09
•Dashiell Hammett:
"Smoke Stink. Heat. Noise...." -Red Harvest
"Beginning night had reduced night to a thin smokiness when Spade sat up…." -The Maltese Falson
"A bullet kissed a hole in the door-frame close to my noodle…." Red Harvest
•California license plate the other day: OBVS
•Jonathan Greene just wrote to say that the quote I attributed to Mark Twain ("I didn't have time to write a short letter, so I wrote a long one instead."), was in fact by Blaise Pascal, and research turned up the following:
"Je n'ai fait celle-ci plus longue que parce que je n'ai pas eu le loisir de la faire plus courte."
Translation:" I have made this [letter] longer, because I have not had the time to make it shorter."
Blaise Pascal, Lettres provinciales, letter 16, 1657:
•Words I dislike: veggie/yummy/goody/munchies/impact (as a verb)/"have a good day"
•Mel has a sign on his studio door saying Don't Tell Me What Kind of Day to Have!
•Just leverageing some content here…

Treehouse by Terunobu Fujimori

"Fujimori's architecture is international but vernacular. It is not tied to any particular stylistic category but goes back to a time before there were nations, national peoples, and architectural styles. He participates personally in the construction process with the Jomon Company, a group made up of friends and benefactors...." -from operacity.jp

Terunobu Fujimori - Wow! What an Architect!

Tanpopo House (Dandelion House), 1995
Terunobu Fujimori+Yoshio Uchida (Shusakusha)
photo: MASUDA Akihisa

"The architecture of Terunobu Fujimori - houses with real dandelions or leeks planted on the roof, a tea room like a bird house perched on tall tree trunks with the bark still attached - is extremely original. It combines new concepts quite different from those of conventional architecture with a sense of nostalgia that evokes memories of a distant past.... " -from operacity,jp
-recommended by Marcia Miner