Thursday, December 6, 2012

Connections, BLDGBLOG blog, and Architecture


Connections are interesting.  You're in Panera Bread with friends, you see other friends up at the counter, and quickly discover one friend from the first group knows your friend from the second group.  But how? Did they go to school together? Attend the same church? Meet at a convention?

Connections fascinate narcotics detectives, writers, and the Center for Disease Control.  I recently blogged about THE QUANTUM THIEF, a science fiction novel.  In the acknowledgements at the back of the book, the author mentioned something called BLDGBLOG.  Building blog?

I imagined someone living in a vast hive of public housing, blogging about their experiences with broken elevators, and rooftop gardens.  But BLDGBLOG is about architecture.  And lots of other things.  In the same way that chimpwithpencil is about monkeys and other things.

Architecture is a wonderful blend of science and art.  When you see a building for the first time, it's much like seeing a painting.  You react instantly, and either like it or don't.  But unlike a painting, a building or a bridge has to function as a practical construction.  So even if you don't like how it looks, you can appreciate its sturdiness, its use of space, or its lighting design.

At BLDGBLOG, author Geoff Manaugh has created something eclectic, interesting and a little weird.  For instance, when blogging about a new cyberwarfare training center that uses a replica city, he wrote:

"I envisioned whole empty streets and bank towers—suburban houses and replica transportation depots—sitting there in the rain whilst troops of code-wielding warriors hurl electromagnetic spells from laptops against elevator circuit boards, sump pumps, and garage doors, flooding basements, popping open underground gold vaults, and frying traffic lights, like some gonzo version of The Italian Job wed with the digital wizardry of a new sorcerer class, the "first-line cyber defenders" who will be trained in this place, our 21st-century Hogwarts along the freeway. Then they clean it all and start again tomorrow."

Good stuff.  So when you're done here, go check out BLDGBLOG.

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