Category Archives: people

Happy Birthday, Mr Darwin

” Charles Darwin ” 1840. Chalk and water-colour drawing by George Richmond (1809-96). Today, February 12 2009, is the bi-centenary of Charles Darwin‘s birth, a fact that cannot have escaped our educated readers. We’re glad to see there are no shortage of celebrations and we’ve already paid a visit to our monument in our local […]

The Grinning Smithsons

As their greatest and most heroic project is about to bite the dust after decades of slow demolition by neglect, Alison and Peter Smithson’s remaining body of work increasingly looks like the Cheshire cat’s grin – exactly at the point when they seem to be vanishing they are also achieving a prominence they haven’t enjoyed […]

Reviving Newcastle

It can take a heroic effort to bring an ailing city district back to life but often all it takes to spark it off is one person or one small group. Marcus Westbury‘s efforts to revive Hunter Street, the ailing main street of the Australian industrial city of Newcastle (think rustbelt if you are not […]

Charles Darwin was here

It’s the 150th anniversary of the first public exposition, to the Linnean Society, of Charles Darwin’s theory of the evolution of species by natural selection, or at least it was on July 1 and we are just running late as usual (we’ve been working on a couple of large projects that we’ll talk about later). […]

The joy of apocalypse

Recent announcements by Exxon-Mobil and George Bush indicate that we are now moving out of the climate change denial phase and into the sabotage-and-delay-by-spurious-solution phase (with a good dash of solutions-that-are-worse-than-the-problem like nuclear power and sunlight blocking). It all means that serious catastrophe looks increasingly likely. We don’t really believe it will end in apocalypse […]

Don’t waste your energy

Part One There is nothing new about pedal power electricity in Australia, in fact throughout most of the twentieth century the adaptively reused bike pedal was essential to two of the mainstays of outback life, the Flying Doctor Service and the School of the Air. Both relied on radio powered by a pedal generator invented […]

Have a Merry Izzy Stone Day

One way to adaptively reuse Christmas would be to move it back a day. December 24 2006 would have been the 99th birthday of Isidor (Izzy) Feinstein (Stone), probably the greatest investigative journalist that ever lived and a birthday far more worth celebrating than Christmas – after all, at least we know Izzy Stone actually […]