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Strange Daze

We Interrupt This Broadcast to Bring You an… | McMansion Hell     Looks normal, right? Looks like the same low-brow New Jersey McMansion we’re all expecting, right? Oh, oh dear, you couldn’t be more wrong. Guess who’s making a list and checking it twice? Guess who’s gonna find out who’s naughty or nice? Guess who’s coming to town? Guess who’s coming to town to drag your ass into hell?

Denver mayor tells residents to ‘avoid travel’ for Thanksgiving – then boards flight for a family gathering moments later —   Pass the potatoes, not Covid,” Hancock said in a tweet on Wednesday morning, urging Denverites to “stay at home as much as you can” and “avoid travel” for the holiday, among other recommendations amid the health crisis. About 30 minutes after the tweet, however, Hancock boarded a plane bound for Mississippi, where he would spend Thanksgiving with family – directly at odds with the advice dispensed from his Twitter handle just moments earlier – according to a local NBC affiliate.

Fear And The Need To Feel Safe: A Coronadoom Tale – William M. Briggs   People like Governor Nepotism of California or The Godmother in New York, or even Governor They Laughed At Me In High School of Michigan aren’t punishing us for our good. No. None of them give a damn for the masses under them. They only want to exercise power, to show who is in charge. They can’t be bothered to follow the rules their underlings have set, probably for the simple and good reasons that nobody can keep up with the changes, and they know the rules are nonsense.

“All that they did was to keep alive in him the belief, or hope, that others besides himself were the enemies of the Party. Perhaps the rumors of vast underground conspiracies were true after all–perhaps the Brotherhood really existed! It was impossible, in spite of the endless arrests and confessions and executions, to be sure that the Brotherhood was not simply a myth. Some days he believed in it, some days not. There was no evidence, only fleeting glimpses that might mean anything or nothing…” 1984, by George OrwellWe Do Lockdown – Miriam Elia’s Brilliant 1950s Spoof

“Burn It Down”     Though these programs are ideologically aligned with revolutionary goals, they have failed to serve as practical replacements for the “formal justice system.” In one high-profile case, prosecutors diverted a youth offender named Diego Carballo-Oliveros into a “peace circle” program, in which nonprofit leaders burned sage, passed around a talking feather, and led Carballo-Oliveros through “months of self-reflection.” According to one corrections official, prosecutors and activists paraded Carballo-Oliveros around the city as the “shining example” of their approach. However, two weeks after completing the peace circle program, Carballo-Oliveros and two accomplices lured a 15-year-old boy into the woods, robbed him, and slashed open his abdomen, chest, and head with a retractable knife. The victim placed a desperate phone call to his sister and a passerby called an ambulance, but the youth later died at the hospital.

It is only the infinite mercy and love of God that has prevented us from tearing ourselves to pieces and destroying His entire creation long ago. People seem to think that it is in some way a proof that no merciful God exists, if we have so many wars. On the contrary, consider how in spite of centuries of sin and greed and lust and cruelty and hatred and avarice and oppression and injustice, spawned and bred by the free wills of men, the human race can still recover, each time, and can still produce man and women who overcome evil with good, hatred with love, greed with charity, lust and cruelty with sanctity. How could all this be possible without the merciful love of God, pouring out His grace upon us? Can there be any doubt where wars come from and where peace comes from, when the children of this world, excluding God from their peace conferences, only manage to bring about greater and greater wars the more they talk about peace? — Thomas Merton

An Atlas of the Cosmos  Given how new to the planet humans are on the grand scale, we’ve figured out quite a lot about the cosmos. We know the Earth is about 4 billion years old, we know that 13.8 billion years ago there was nothing and then there was everything. We know absolutely nothing about the first one ten millionth of a trillionth of a trillion of a trillionth of a second but after that we have the timeline worked out to minutes. Very shortly after the universe came into existence it inflated like a balloon and very quickly spread the matter around. But this inflation was brief and the universe continued to expand but not accelerate. So everything is fine, stars are being formed and eventually galaxies begin to coalesce and then galaxies huddled together and made galaxy clusters, and the objects in the version of the universe we know were born. So here is where things get weird.

All of this matter was gravitationally pulled toward each other, just as you’d expect matter to behave. As a result of all of this matter clumping together, the expansion of the universe slowed down. But then suddenly around seven billion years ago, the expansion started to speed up and it’s only gotten faster since. Sometime between 11 billion years and seven billion years ago, dark energy turned on and began dominating the universe. For a sense of scale at how fast this expansion is going our universe came into existence 13.8 billion years ago. Without dark energy and expansion, the diameter of the universe would then be 13.8 billion light-years wide, but, we do have dark energy and because of this expansion the observable universe is now 91.32 billion light-years across.L’Enfer de Dante Alighieri by Gustave Dore   As early as 1855 Doré envisioned “chefs-d’oeuvre de la littérature,” an illustrated series of classics including Homer, Ossian, Byron, Goethe, Racine, and Corneille. His first title was Dante’s Inferno from his Divine Comedy. When Doré suggested the idea of an oversized folio of the work to his publisher Hatchette they refused it. Although Dante was popular in 19th century France – it wasn’t that popular. Undeterred, Doré financed and published the edition himself, with Hatchette acting simply as the printer. Hatchette even suggested printing only a 100 copies to save on binding cost. When the original edition sold out within two weeks Louis Hatchette sent Doré the infamous telegram: “Success! Come quickly! I am an ass!”

Doré, supervising a team of up to 40 engravers, illustrated more than 200 books and produced more than 10,000 engravings during his life. He also one of the first artists to fully embrace the electrotype to reproduce his woodblocks, resulting in a dizzying array of editions. The Inferno was published in more than 200 editions. Don Quixote in more than 300 editions and the Doré Bible in more than 700 editions. Van Gogh called him “an artist of the people.”

California is halfway to becoming Venezuela, or as I shall term it, Calizuela. The former Golden State has gone from national leader to national embarrassment, with squalid tent cities for its burgeoning homeless population, complete with needle- and feces-strewn sidewalks. Amazingly, this observable failure is counted as a great political victory by the Democrat party. Calizuela is proof that flooding a state with government-dependent foreign idiots and rewarding them with driver’s licenses and voter cards can turn a formerly conservative Republican state into a one-party Democrat stronghold in a single generation. The proven Calizuela formula is blazingly clear to the Democrat Party bosses in the other 49 states: import as many poor and illiterate foreign immigrants as possible, because over 80 percent of them will sooner or later become reliable Democrat voters. (And this is the reason that Nancy Pelosi and the Democrats refuse to pay more than one dollar for an actual, physical border wall or barrier.)

One consequence is the breeding in the slums of our great cities . . . of a hoard of semi-barbarians, whose unskilled labor is neither required in our present complex industrial organization nor capable of earning a maintenance there.— Sidney Webb, The Difficulties of Individualism (1896)The Beirut Port Explosion ← Forensic ArchitectureWith Gareth Collett CBE, an explosives expert for the UN, we mapped the different kinds of smoke emanating from the warehouse. An analysis of the colour and location of the source of smoke plumes and fires helped estimate which material were burning at which time and roughly where in the buildings they were located.

Mr Collett contended that from an engineering perspective, the arrangement of goods within the building was the spatial layout of a makeshift bomb on the scale of a warehouse, awaiting detonation.

We Do Lockdown – Miriam Elia’s Brilliant 1950s Spoof Mocks Covid-19 – Flashbak

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  • Buddy Whozit November 27, 2020, 9:57 AM

    Regarding the Big Bang and expansion of the universe, the theory as I pretend to understand it is that EVERYTHING in the ENTIRE universe compressed to a single dot and then exploded. What if it wasn’t the ENTIRE universe (which is INFINITE, isn’t it?) that compressed to a single dot, but everything that was within a certain sphere of influence? Who’s to say there aren’t OTHER Big Bang’s occurring all the time in different parts of the INFINITE universe? Maybe the expansion of our universe is now being affected by adjacent Big Bang’s.

  • PA Cat November 27, 2020, 11:14 AM

    McMansion Hell is giving us a sneak preview of the Biden House, bought and paid for by the DNC, and decorated by Hunter himself for the Winter Solstice Festive Occasion.

    A small editorial footnote on the post about Gustave Doré: the name of his publisher is Hachette, not “Hatchette.” Hachette has been in the news twice this year because of employee protests about its publications, first because the soibois were opposed to publishing Woody Allen’s memoir, and second because of Hachette’s commitment to J.K. Rowling, that infamous transphobe. Perhaps Hachette should reissue Doré’s engravings of Hell, updated to identify the condemned sinners as its erstwhile employees.

  • ghostsniper November 27, 2020, 11:27 AM

    What happened BEFORE the big bang?

  • Dan November 27, 2020, 1:21 PM

    From McMansionHell website:
    About the Author
    Kate Wagner is the creator of the viral blog McMansionHell, which roasts the world’s ugliest houses from top to bottom, all while teaching about architecture and design. Since its launch in July 2016, the blog has been featured in a wide range of publications, including the Huffington Post, Slate, Business Insider and Paper Magazine.
    Outside of McMansion Hell, Kate has written for Curbed, 99 Percent Invisible, The Atlantic, Architectural Digest and more. She recently graduated from Johns Hopkins with a Masters of Arts in Audio Science, specializing in architectural acoustics. Her thesis project examined intersections of acoustics, urbanism and Late Modern architecture.
    Kate prefers the pronouns she/her or they/them.
    [My comment] So exactly how do you want me react to these childishly annotated photographs — including the one where our MA, Audio Sciences, she/her/they/them, expert arbiter of taste mistakes the Kohler whole-house backup generator for an air conditioner?

    Do I, because this house dares to exist, join Kate in burning it down, just because? Do I help her drag the owners to a Great Reset gulag? Do I sit smugly in my superiority as I gaze upon my Johns Hopkins diploma in Audio Sciences, dreaming how someday I may be able to recommend improvements to the acoustics of Joe Biden’s or Bill Gates’ or John Kerry’s tenth mansion?

    Or do I smolder in anger, hatred, bitterness and envy that some people have that kind of money while I’m merely a broke blogger with a HuffPost credit and a huge college loan debt (unless daddy is a hedge fund executive and I got a free ride to JH)?

    Do I hate *all* rich people, or only those with too many Christmas decorations in their home and too much rock on the outside? Should I hate the wealth of a Jack Dorsey, Zuckerberg, Bezos, Bill, Hillary and Chelsea Clinton and Barack and Michelle Obama? Or are they the “cool” billionaires who own “good” mansions in multiple countries, along with their personal jets?

    Just askin’. Not sure who I’m supposed to hate these days.

  • H (science denier) November 27, 2020, 2:16 PM

    On the old charts, unexplored areas were labeled “there be dragons.” Now repurposed as “dark energy”, whatever that is. Yeah, right. We are informed that dark energy can’t be seen or touched, but it is huge, larger than everything else even, and more of it not being discovered all the time, but the enlightened ones “know” it is out there, someplace, awaiting discovery. Possibly the source of all these fictitious votes for Biden? Oh ye of little faith.

    I call bull-schidt on that. So it’s like this:

    “Yesterday, upon the stair,
    I met a man who wasn’t there!
    He wasn’t there again today,
    Oh how I wish he’d go away!”

  • Buddy Whozit November 27, 2020, 6:25 PM

    Ghostsniper, perhaps you misunderstood. I suggest multiple local Big Bangs followed by local gravitational contractions followed by more Big Bangs. Rinse and repeat.

  • gwbnyc November 28, 2020, 3:46 AM
  • veeze November 28, 2020, 3:56 AM

    Ah, the unfettered hubris of science. The “Big Bang” theory is just that, but now seems to be taken as fact. Spare me all this hyped-up speculation.

  • ghostsniper November 28, 2020, 7:23 AM

    @Dan, as someone who has walked the walk for many decades I have long learned to not waste much time dealing with critics of other people’s property. I have designed thousands of buildings since 1972 and less than 10 percent of them were up to my liking. Some I was embarrassed to place my name in the titleblocks. In the bigger picture there are those that do and those that are incapable that go on to chastise others while secretly confessing their short comings. Kate longs to have the where with all to have her own McMansion and if she ever does find a way to con herself into one it will be, in her opinion the finest McMansion in all the land. She points her crooked finger accusingly at others never realizing she is also pointing at herself. I’ve never seen her but she is ugly – on the inside. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gvjT8BRHCqM

  • EX-Californian Pete November 28, 2020, 9:03 AM

    Considering that there are quite a few well-educated and independent thinkers here on A.D., I’m surprised no one has yet posted anything about Gödel’s Ontological Proof- a mathematical formula (and a VERY intense and complicated one) that actually proves that our universe was CREATED, and by INTELLIGENT DESIGN.

    In other words, Science has literally proven the existence of God.


    Since most Agnostics and Atheists seem to think they’re so damned smart, have them analyze and try their best to challenge Godell’s equation- IF they have the mental capacity.
    They will find out that they’re not really smart, they’re just damned.

  • Elmo November 28, 2020, 10:32 AM

    The gun twirling scene above is from the 1953 movie ‘Shane’ starring Alan Ladd. This is just after Shane has killed gunfighter Jack Wilson (credited Walter Jack Palance) and Rufus Ryker (Emile Meyer).
    That actually wasn’t Ladd doing the twirling. It was Rodd Redwing. Ladd wasn’t all that good with a gun. The scene in the corral when he’s showing Joey how to shoot took 119 takes.

  • ghostsniper November 28, 2020, 10:37 AM

    “In other words, Science has literally proven the existence of God.”
    Uh, no.
    The notion of god is probably the biggest provable/unprovable thing ever concocted.
    Anyway, I thought it was kinda funny on one of the links it referred to god as “he or she”.
    I was under the impression the gender thing was already settled.

  • Snakepit Kansas November 28, 2020, 2:43 PM

    My simple logic proves to me the existence of something greater than ourselves. Physics tells us that something cannot be made from nothing, yet here we are. Also, at what time did our starting point begin? We have now twice defied physics as I understand it. Even a big bang would have had to been given energy and a trigger point in time. God has unsearchable ways that our minds cannot understand and are not meant to. An all powerful God is the only thing that makes sense to me.

  • Dan November 28, 2020, 4:27 PM

    @Ghostsniper — I sensed the same for Mx. Wagner. Her mansion will be The Best. And the odor of a Big Mac will never enter its doors. The French Laundry or nothing. https://thefoodxp.com/french-laundry-menu-prices/

    But I’m still upset about McMansionHell and her majesty Kate Wagner.

    Since her life’s goal, after years of studying the “intersection of acoustics, urbanism and Late Modern architecture,” is to “roast the world’s ugliest houses from top to bottom,” perhaps she should photograph, document and then thoroughly mock the “urbanism” of the Kibera district — home to 700,000 souls — in Nairobi, Kenya, and then visit and mock the nine other worst slums of Africa. I mean, LOOK at them! They don’t even have access to clean drinking water, sanitations, roads, jobs or basic security. The annotated photographs positively write themselves. What losers, right, Kate? You said “world’s ugliest” didn’t you? Well, gaze upon genuine ugliness and true despair.

    The houses, obvious to any Johns Hopkins graduate, possess a noble, if ragged, Late Modern panache, to be sure.


  • ghostsniper November 29, 2020, 8:30 AM

    A slum occurs when you have a collection of lazy, low intellect people in a concentrated area. Most US cities with over 20k population have them. As far as the relationship between acoustics and architecture goes the intersection is so narrow as to almost be non-existent. Where’d she get her education, from a Foley Belsaw 6 week correspondence course? Perhaps her website is a celebration of her life failure? shrug

    Don’t get me started on that nitwit that came up with that gargantuan farce known as “The Not So Big House” awhile back. In alt.architecture I raked her ass across the coals and she broke down and inadvertently admitted she was full of shit like experienced people already knew. She sure did con the publisher though, but then, by looking at the number of, and quality of, books on the market of late you can see the publishing field too is in the shitter.

  • EX-Californian Pete November 30, 2020, 8:40 AM

    So, did you actually review and analyze Godel’s formula?
    It’s pretty intense and elaborate, and takes a considerable amount of time to go through each and every facet of it, but its more than worth the time and effort it takes when you reach the conclusion.

    I guess the “he or she” thing IS kind of funny- there must have been a “militant feminist” involved in making that reference. Heck, there are some folks who believe there are “37 genders,” despite Science and DNA proving there are only 2.
    By the way, “God” is correctly spelled with a capital G.

  • ghostsniper November 30, 2020, 2:34 PM

    Funny thing about those formulas, you start the conclusion you want then work it backwards til you get to the natural end. I do it all the time when I design buildings. I know what how big the building is supposed to be, what it’s use is, and all the materials involved, so it’s just a matter of filling in all the blanks in my AutoCAD program and VIOLIN!, a formula with a conclusion! And the crowd goes wild!!!!! Gets em every time.

  • EX-Californian Pete December 1, 2020, 9:27 AM

    Um, I guess that’s a “no” answer?