Sabtu, 31 Oktober 2009

0 New Local Worlds in Section

[Image: "Moravian Mount" from New Local Zlín by Margaret Bursa].

In a recent post I included an image from Margaret Bursa's project New Local NY, which she produced while a student at the Bartlett School of Architecture. Bursa's tutors for that project were Mark Smout and Laura Allen, of Smout Allen; and I should right away that I'm consistently amazed at the quality of work coming out of Smout Allen's studios.

I thought, then, that I should take the occasion to share more images from Bursa's projects. You can check out her website here.

[Images: From New Local NY by Margaret Bursa].

New Local NY features "a ‘landscape of movement’," Bursa writes. It "takes the form of a condensed urban playground on the west side of Manhattan, overhanging onto the River Hudson," and it was at least partially inspired "by the ongoing relocation of immigrants and cultures to America, in particular Sokol, a Czech mass-exercise movement, promoting togetherness, flocking, fresh air and cultural pride."

The result is an intensely colorful, wind-powered megastructure, sitting comfortably astride the worlds of home craft and experimental architecture.

[Image: From New Local NY by Margaret Bursa].

Here are some amazing sectional sketches:

[Images: From New Local NY by Margaret Bursa; larger version one and two].

Then there is New Local Zlín, an earlier companion piece to New Local NY.

Zlín, Bursa explains, is the fading capital of the Bata shoe-making empire:
    The Czech town of Zlín is the site of a social, industrial and architectural experiment begun by Tomas Bata in 1894. However, his shoe-making factories that were once the town’s driving force no longer operate and so the social and commercial structure of the town and its suburbs are in decline. Responding to the New Local Manifesto, a layer of facilities is laid over and interwoven into the residential neighborhoods where seven housing typologies are afforded dual functions of work and domestic life such the House of Drink, where both production and consumption are combined.
The images, again, are drenched in color and extraordinarily detailed.

[Images: "House of Drink," "Greenhouse," and town plan from New Local Zlín by Margaret Bursa].

The next project is a kind of tube-diorama: you look into the miniature landscape and see autumn trees, a ruined Greek temple, and a many-windowed architectural section standing in silhouette.

The project seems to come with the implication that, when you look inside a telescope, perhaps it's possible that you might simply be seeing a world inside the telescope—that is, an optical device that, instead of revealing new worlds from afar, actually contains local worlds within it.

[Image: From Layered Landscapes by Margaret Bursa].

Called Layered Landscapes, the project is a "compositional map," Bursa writes, and it comes complete with hardcover book and poster.

[Images: From Layered Landscapes by Margaret Bursa].

Finally, I have a weird affinity for sketches of archways, and so I'd be remiss if I didn't include this short series of brick studies—called, unsurprisingly, Brickscape.

[Images: From Brickscape by Margaret Bursa].

In any case, there's some great work in there. Check out Bursa's site for a bit more.

0 Mine / Stack / Vertigo

[Image: Michael Light, Bingham Pit photograph mounted and on display].

A beautiful new book of photographs by Guggenheim Fellow Michael Light has been released. Called Michael Light: Bingham Mine/Garfield Stack, and released by Radius Books, it includes an essay by "experimental geographer" Trevor Paglen.

[Image: Two photos from Michael Light: Bingham Mine/Garfield Stack].

Light, well known for, among other things, his aerial photographs of the American west, "pursuing themes of mapping, vertigo, human impact on the land, and various aspects of geologic time and the sublime," as Radius Books describes it, has put together a collection of 22 images from his surveys of the Bingham Pit and the Garfield smelter stack.

The sheer scale of each site—one a void excavated into the surface of the earth, the other one of the tallest structures in the United States—is mind-blowing:
    Located at 8,000 feet in the Oquirrh Mountains—20 miles southwest of Salt Lake City—the Bingham Canyon copper mine is the largest man-made excavation on the planet. Its hole reaches more than half a mile deep and its rim is nearly three miles in width. It has produced more copper than any mine in history.
[Image: Michael Light, "Garfield Stack, Oquirrh Mountains and Ancient Beach of Great Salt Lake" (2006)].

Meanwhile:
    The mine’s Garfield smelter stack, situated at the edge of the Great Salt Lake about 10 miles away, is the tallest free-standing structure west of the Mississippi River, and is only 35 feet shorter than the Empire State Building.
In a nearly 9-page interview with Afterimage, Light comments:
    I work with big subjects and grand issues, and I am fascinated about that point where humans begin to become inconsequential and realize their smallness in relation to the vastness that is out there. In my archival work I also enjoy inserting a certain kind of revisionist politics into big iconic subjects that are owned by the world, where I can tell a story through my particular prism, in a way that hopefully offers a fresh perspective.
This is part of his ongoing interest in taking apart "the fundamental building blocks of landscape perception and representation."

The book is available through Radius.

Jumat, 30 Oktober 2009

0 Watch New Videos!

XIAXUE'S GUIDE TO LIFE



Guide to Emergency Household tips!!

My very own special method of hiding period stains
on your skirt!! LOL!!



Guide to photoshop part II!!

Many of you have requested for this...

More ways to lie and cheat your way to internet chioness!



CHICK VS DICK



Kaykay and Paul are forced to phone their
parents and blabber the most vulgar words!

Watch to find out why!



THE SHAN AND ROZZ SHOW



Shan and Rozz interviews Ris Low, who turns out
to be a bit ding dong!

This episode even made it to The Newpaper (2 pages can?)
and she even strips down to her bikini... You just HAVE to watch it!



NUMBNUTS




Poor boys... Numbnuts indeed - forced to sit naked on ice cubes...

Loser gets pepper sprayed in the face!

Really, you should watch it just coz they suffer so much...




The boys get into a cage fight.

LOSER EATS A FUCKING BALUT!!

That fucking thing is how muthafucking gross!

I gagged like five times watching this.



p/s: You guys need to chill about the promised blog entries ok? I'm gonna write them, but a good entry needs inspiration and time!!

0 7 Must Read Productivity Steps to Finally Getting Things Done

I wrote this article as a “master guide” to productivity. Well OK, I don't know about a "master guide" but one thing is for sure: implementing these steps will help you increase your output if you implement them towards the tasks that you’re passionate about.

The process I’ve documented below is the one that I personally use, and frankly, I have had excellent results. Before jumping in, try not to treat this like every other article (scan, consider, forget). Write down the steps, see how they specifically apply to your situation, and by all means, be sure to put them into action!

Remember, nothing changes until you change, or as I like to say, change isn’t change until you change!

Here are the 7 Master Steps to Productivity
  • Step #1: Write Down What You Want to Accomplish and Give it a Deadline
    Most people know to do this but few actually put this step into action. It’s critical that you define each task that you want to accomplish and give each task a deadline.

    Paul Meyer said, “If you’re not making the progress that you would like to make, and are capable of making, it is simply because your goals are not clearly defined.”

    Written goals with deadlines (when seen daily) will drive you to be more productive. Without knowing “exactly” where you are going, you will most likely stagnate.

    Let’s use the example of me “losing weight” for illustration purposes:
    • It certainly wouldn’t be productive for me to think, “I want to lose weight.”

    • The best thing for me to do is to give myself a deadline to accomplish the goal. Then place my desired weight with the respective deadline in a place where I will see it daily (like my vanity mirror). Finally, I should create a picture in my mind of “me” at my ideal weight. This picture will help drive my actions.
  • Step #2: Create a Simple Plan for Getting Things Done
    It’s obviously not enough to just have a written goal with a deadline. Having a goal is like having “the address” to where you want to go. The address will certainly help you get to your destination, but it’s not enough. You also need a “plan,” or “directions” to get you from where you are, to where you want to be.

    Do you have a plan for achieving your goals? Where is your plan documented?

    Back to our weight loss example:
    A weight loss plan may look something like this:
    • Run on treadmill for one hour daily
    • Plan all meals (limiting calories to 1700 a day)
    • Read motivational “weight loss” material for 10 minutes daily prior to lunch.
    Your plan should be detailed, specific, and have a direct impact on your goal.

  • Step #3: Schedule Critical Tasks Daily
    Having a goal and a plan is still not enough. Now you must schedule your critical task! Critical tasks are tasks that directly impact the achievement of your goal. If your goal is to write a book, a critical task may be to write for 2 hours a day.

    In our weight loss example, here’s how we would schedule our critical tasks:

    • 7:00am – 8:00am – Run for one Hour on Treadmill
    • 11:00am – 11:10am – Read Motivational Weight Loss Material
    • 8:00pm – 8:15pm – Plan Meals for Next Day and Track Progress
    Have you scheduled your critical task? Do you know what they are?

    Note: Never have more than three critical tasks.

  • Step #4: Eat that “Ugly Frog” First
    The “ugly frog” represents a critical task that you are reluctant to perform. The best thing to do with an ugly frog is to eat it first.

    In our weight loss example, the ugly frog would be:

    • Running on the treadmill at 7:00am.

    Eating the ugly frog daily is usually the difference between success and failure. Do yourself a favor and eat that ugly frog at your first available time-slot.

  • Step #5: Focus on the task at Hand
    Broken focus is the number one reason goals aren’t accomplished.

    Paul Meyer said, “Productivity is never an accident. It is always the result of a commitment to excellence, intelligent planning, and focused effort.”

    You must stay focused on your critical tasks just as the sailor is focused on the port in the harbor in which he is headed. Don’t let anything side track you from completing your critical task on a daily basis.

    Back to our weight loss example - Here are a couple of things that could break my focus if I was trying to lose weight:
    • A family member brings donuts over to the house

    • At 7:15am (while on the treadmill) I remember that I need to return a friends phone call and decide that is more important.
    The key is to remain focused in the face of distractions. Distractions will come, just as sure as you’re reading these words right now. You must expect distractions and maneuver around them.

    What distractions do you have? How can you maneuver around them? You must carefully allocate your time. Your daily task selection is critical.

    You should always ask yourself:
    • Is what I’m doing right now in alignment with my goals?
    • Is this a level 10 on the critical scale, or just a level 5?
    • Am I focused on my top 3 critical tasks?
  • Step #6: Just Say “No”
    Just say no to tasks that are not in alignment with your goals. The word no is probably the biggest time saver there is so increase your “no” ratio if you want to increase your productivity.

    The number one person you’ll probably have to say no to is yourself. Your mind is good at coming up with new things to do to get you off track. So remember, just say no, because the quickest way to stop a man with a good idea, is to give him two.

    Back to our weight loss example; there will be many opportunities for me to say “no:”
    • If I’ve planned a healthy lunch (based on my diet plan), and someone asks me to join them at a steak house…
    It’s best if I just say no, in a nice way, as eating a steak for lunch is not in alignment with my goals.

  • Step #7: Track and Report Your Progress
    Finally, there’s nothing like some good ole’ peer pressure to get you motivated. Tell someone about your goal and keep them posted on your progress!

    This is how the tracking and reporting process would work in our weight loss example:
    • I would tell my wife, “I will lose 16 pounds by December 31. This is how I’m planning on completing this task, and I will update you on my progress every Saturday at 8:00am.”
    Knowing that I have to be accountable on a specific goal, on a specific day, to a specific person, is a great motivator. This level of specificity is a very important part of productivity.

    The goal and deadline should be clear, the plan should be clear, the critical task should be clear, the scheduling of the task should be clear, and the reporting process should be clear. If there’s clarity, there will be progress.
In conclusion, don’t let this article be just another good article. Decide to put these steps into action to significantly increase your productivity. Remember nothing just happens, you have to make things happen and you start by getting into action!

Written on 10/30/2009 by Mr. Self Development who is a motivational author that offers a practical guide to success and wealth; support him by visiting his blog at mrselfdevelopment.com. .Photo Credit: Alex Osterwalder

Kamis, 29 Oktober 2009

0 Who would want to be an architect?

"Who would want to be an architect?" the Times asks. In answering that question, the article focuses more or less entirely on London's Bartlett School of Architecture—whose students have been producing some amazing work lately, work that I have often posted about here on BLDGBLOG. Here, here, here, and here, for instance.

But, the article claims, "Leave the future to Bartlett students and we’ll all be living in car-crash spaces that occasionally come into focus as giant mechanised spindly crustacea."

[Image: "Oops" by C. Loopus].

Reading such things easily prompts the familiar zing of schadenfreude—but it also seems totally inaccurate. If only it were as cut-and-dried as mistaking student work for what someone will produce professionally later; if only it were as easy as extrapolating from someone's earliest university sketchbooks to see how they'll someday end up.

I'm reminded here of Lebbeus Woods's recent short essay on the work of Rem Koolhaas: there was "another Rem," Lebbeus writes. Looking back at one of Rem's early projects—an unsuccessful bid for the Parc de la Villette in Paris—Lebbeus suggests:
    This project reminds us that there was once a Rem Koolhaas quite different from the corporate starchitect we see today. His work in the 70s and early 80s was radical and innovative, but did not get built. Often he didn’t seem to care—it was the ideas that mattered.
Over on his own blog, Quang Truong puts it more simply: "Young Koolhaas was just so punk."

(Of course, parenthetically, Truong's formulation opens up a whole series of possible readings through which we could interpret Rem's ongoing career moves; we could say, for instance, that Rem is still "punk," to use that term deliberately, but his decisions to work for clients like the Chinese government are just him giving the finger to you. That is, if punk is a universal form of energetic rebellion, then don't assume that every punk will remain forever on your side).

[Image: From Rem Koolhaas's unbuilt proposal for the Parc de la Villette in Paris, via Lebbeus Woods].

In any case, my point in citing Lebbeus's essay in this context is to agree with the Times that student work can often stand on the absolute fringes of incomprehensibility, charged with the energy of poetry, myth, or confrontational politics, even verging on functional uselessness—but it's also an ongoing joke at nearly every architecture crit I've been to over the past few years that, upon surviving their final day of project criticism, those students "can now get back to designing minimalist boxes." In other words, there simply is not the assumption in these studios that now you are prepared only for the construction of rhizomes and biomorphopedic multi-agent typology swarms. There is obviously a problem if that is all you have been taught to do; but it's not one or the other. Being taught how to make short films about architecture—more on this, below—doesn't mean you can't simultaneously be taught how to renovate a kitchen or how to market yourself to new clients.

The fact of the matter, anyway, is that very few clients today will actually pay to construct "car-crash spaces that occasionally come into focus as giant mechanised spindly crustacea." If architecture school is the only time and place in which you can have the freedom to explore that sort of thing, then I don't see any reason why you should be told not to do so. Again, if that's all your architecture school offers you, leaving you alone to sort out the business of client management as you go, then of course your educational track needs reconsidering.

However, much of the Times's criticism seems predicated on the assumption that, if architecture is a vocational trade, similar to plumbing, then it cannot simultaneously be an expressive art, akin to film, painting, or literature. But, of course, it is both. In fact, the controversy more or less instantly disappears: architecture is the imaginative production of future worlds even as it is the act of building houses for the urban poor or the obtaining of technical skills necessary for rationally subdividing office floorplates.

[Image: From a project by Margaret Bursa for the Bartlett's Unit 11, taught by Smout Allen].

Having said all this, the Times article ends up being a formulaic list of reasons why such-and-such an industry is doomed to fail—too many people want to pursue it, we read, not enough people want to fund it, and hardly anyone understands anymore what made it so popular in the first place. But replace the word "architecture" with "writing," and "Bartlett School of Architecture" with "Iowa Writers Workshop"—or use "music" and "Mills College"—and you'd get a nearly identical article.

There are some very real questions to ask about the nature of architectural education today—and, when it comes to things like how architects write, I am probably in agreement with the author of the Times article (and with many of the students quoted in the piece)—but holding up the overall profitability of the industry, and the likely financial success of its individual practitioners, as the only criteria by which we should judge an architecture school seems absurd to me.

I'll end this simply by citing some provocative statements made in the article's comments thread—provocative not because I agree with them but because they're well-positioned to spark debate. I'll quote these here, unedited, and let people discuss this for themselves.
    —The Bartlett "seem to want to be an architecture school and a school of alternate visual media culture at the same time. More often than not these agendas work against each other... They should make a choice and be clear about it. Are you training students to be architects or something else that has to do with architecture? What should a student expect to learn when they finish school? What are you being prepared for. If bartlett graduates go on to become film-makers, and video game designers, and such, maybe its a good idea to say it is not an architecture school and say it is a school of visual media. Then you will attract students with that goal in mind."

    —From the same commenter: "Consider, if a school opens up and starts teaching alternative medicine (acupuncture, aromatherapy, Atkins diet, chiropractic medicine, herbalism, breathing meditation, yoga,etc), gives its graduates medical degrees and sent them off to hospitals and emergency rooms to perform surgery, a lot of people would have a problem with that. This is, in effect, what the architectural profession is doing when it allows schools like the Bartlett to give architecture degrees."

    —"architectural education is still a leftover of that idea of the businessman/artiste producing unusual shapes for art critics"

    —"The profession does not work. It’s economically non viable. Our work is pure iteration. Far too time consuming, and as a result, it’s impossible to charge anyone for the work we have actually done."
And on we go...

(Spotted via @brandavenue and @ArchitectureMNP).

Rabu, 28 Oktober 2009

0 10 Tips for Navigating the Waters of Life

While some of us might fit the stereotype of Jeff Spicoli beach bums who don’t care about anything other than riding waves, there is an entirely spiritual and zen side to the sport of surfing that gives us a chance to really understand how to navigate the waters of life. In fact one of the most common things you’ll hear a surfer say when asked about how much time they spend in the water is “Of course I surf every day that I can, it keeps you from going nuts.” So, here it is, in no particular order:

10 Tips for Navigating the Waters of Life
  • Trust Your instincts
    If there’s anything I’ve realized over 31 years on this planet and 6 months in the ocean, it’s that your instincts are almost always right. I’d like to think that your instinct is the higher self speaking. Instinct is something that is really hard to quantify or define. It’s something you just feel or know. If you look back over your life you’ll notice that in the moments when you trusted that feeling, you ended up in positive situations. When you go against instinct you almost ALWAYS end up in a complete mess.

  • Bail out when you think you won’t make it
    In many ways this is similar to trusting your instinct. While some might argue against this and say that failure is necessary to learn, this is more about knowing when it’s just time to bail out. If you’re about to take the plunge into a situation and feel like you are on the brink of a severe wipeout, you are almost always right. In life and in surfing this tends to hold true.

  • Be Present
    Last summer when I was working as a marketing intern at Turbotax.com, one of the executives gave a speech to all the interns. When I asked her what they key to making fast progress in your career was, she gave me an answer that seemed counter intuitive to everything I’d ever heard. She told me “Don’t worry about getting ahead, focus on what you’re doing right now. Be present. The rest will take care of itself.”

    Presence is at the root of almost any spiritual text that I’ve come across and every personal development guru seems to be a huge advocate of it. When you are present, you achieve peak performance in whatever it is you are doing in the moment. Too much focus on the future and too much dwelling on the past is a recipe for mediocrity.

  • Shake the wipeouts right away
    Sometimes despite trusting your instincts, bailing out when you think you should, and being completely in the moment, you will fail. It’s just part of life. But, how you deal with that failure is what makes the difference between whether or not you achieve what you are truly capable of in this lifetime.

    Sometimes the 2nd wave of opportunity is better than the first: If you’re a surfer then you know exactly what I’m talking about. Sometimes you take the first wave in a set and when you look back at the second wave, it’s bigger and better. Life kind of works the same way. There are moments that seem like your friends and everybody around you is getting ahead faster than you are. They are on that first wave of opportunity. If you keep comparing and competing then you’re likely to miss out on the 2nd wave opportunity which is often better than the first. Be OK with the order in which things occur.

  • Be Patient
    Patience is something that I’ve never been very good at. I actually think we live in a world that discourages patience to some degree. Bigger, better, faster seems to be the mantra of the technology and information driven society that we live in today. Wayne Dyer said something really interesting in one of his books: Today it takes more time to get from one side of London to another, than it did before the automobile was invented." Yet, the whole purpose of the automobile was to speed up the rate at which we get to places. Sometimes slowing down will get you where you want to go much faster, and is less likely to get you into an accident.

  • Small adjustments make a big difference
    It’s amazing how often the smallest adjustments can make huge differences. With surfing, a minor adjustment in your stance can make all the difference between staying on a wave and wiping out. If you look at the design of a car, sometimes it’s literally inches that make a dramatic difference in performance. For a musician, one minor change in the melody, can completely change the sound of a song. If you can find that one small thing that makes a big difference, you’ll expend less effort for more results.

  • Timing can make the difference between a great ride and a severe wipeout
    You’ve probably heard the phrase about many things in life that “timing is everything.” In the worst of economic times, people have made some of their greatest breakthroughs. It’s known that many people became extremely wealthy during The Great Depression. Tough economic times tend to force innovation and this just happens to be timing at work. On the flip side, college students who graduate into a recession may have been better off by graduating even one year earlier.

  • Wave selection can make all the difference
    Success in any endeavor is largely dependent on the choices you make. Choose the right wave and you’ll catch one wave after another. Choose the wrong wave and you’re in for a great deal of time with your head under water. Life is kind of the same way. Choose the right boss and you’re setting yourself up for a successful career. Choose the wrong one and you’re in a losing battle. Choose the right partner, and you’re in a for a joyful relationship. Choose the wrong one and you’re setting yourself up for drama and heartache. So, make sure you choose wisely.

  • Laugh and Smile every single day
    After all is said and done if you don’t laugh and smile, then it doesn’t really matter how much of the above you incorporate into your life. Laughter and smiles are great medications that you won’t find in any pharmacy. Yet, they have more power than most synthesized drugs that we’ve learned to manufacture with the advances we’ve made.
The waters of life are interesting in that they go through phases of stillness, turbulence, peace, and serenity. But in the end, what makes the ultimate difference is how you navigate the waters of life.

Written on 10/28/2009 by Srinivas Rao. Srinivas is a volunteer for the Quality of Life Project. The website shares best practices on getting the most out of life from well known types like Richard Branson and Tom Skerritt to lesser known but equally interesting individuals. The mission of the organization is to help people live more enjoyable, purposeful and contented lives. Srinivas also writes at www.theskooloflife.com.Photo Credit: mikebaird

Selasa, 27 Oktober 2009

0 Isolation or Quarantine: An Interview with Dr. Georges Benjamin

[Image: An emergency hospital ward in Kansas during the 1918 flu].

Dr. Georges Benjamin is executive director of the American Public Health Association (APHA) and former Secretary of Maryland's Department of Health and Mental Hygiene; there his responsibilities included updating the state’s quarantine laws in response to the threat of bio-terrorism. Dr. Benjamin is publisher of both the American Journal of Public Health and The Nation's Health.

He is also co-editor, with Laura B. Sivitz and Kathleen Stratton, of the 2005 report Quarantine Stations at Ports of Entry: Protecting the Public's Health. That report consists of more than 300 pages of policy guidelines for how the United States can operate, maintain, and even expand its network of national quarantine stations. The very idea of a national quarantine policy, let alone phrases like the international "Quarantine System," can inspire, at the extreme, all manner of conspiracy-laden theories—including the specter of fully militarized, FEMA-administered concentration camps on U.S. soil. In reality, however, "today's quarantine stations are not stations per se, but rather small groups of individuals located at major U.S. airports. Their core mission remains similar to that of old: mitigate the risks to residents of the United States posed by infectious diseases of public health significance originating abroad."

A jurisdictional map of CDC quarantine stations is available online, complete with informational PDFs ready for download.

[Image: Map of the CDC's U.S. quarantine stations].

As part of our ongoing series of quarantine-themed interviews, Nicola Twilley of Edible Geography and I spoke to Dr. Benjamin about the APHA’s policy recommendations for pandemic flu quarantine, about the role of eminent domain in the medically-motivated seizure of private property, and about the architectural challenge of designing dual-use facilities for public emergencies.

• • •

Edible Geography: I was interested to read the American Public Health Association’s flu policy recommendations from 2007—in particular, to see the APHA’s emphasis on mental health support for people held in quarantine. What led to that being included in your official guidelines?

Dr. Georges Benjamin: If people are going to be confined for some time within a facility, then you want to make sure that you’re identifying those people who are already being treated for mental health issues. You want to make sure they’re getting their therapy and their medications, and you want to deal with any issue that might occur when someone has to stay alone under that level of stress.

Remember that someone who is quarantined is different from someone who is isolated. Quarantined people aren’t sick; they’re people who may get sick. They’re people who have been exposed to a disease but who are not physically ill. In many cases of voluntary quarantine, people are being asked to stay at home by themselves, or to stay self-isolated, and we need to make sure that someone is paying attention to them. We want to identify people who are not able to handle being by themselves or being in a relatively confined space—even if it’s inside their own home.

We were also concerned about making sure people have the basic needs of life: food, water, access to medical care, and access to social services. You want to make sure that you’ve addressed whatever those needs might be. All of these things were part of our package for people who might be quarantined.

BLDGBLOG: Who were the specific constituencies that called for those guidelines, and did anyone try to push you in another direction?

Dr. Benjamin: These guidelines come from our members. A lot of these discussions started way back when we were talking about smallpox, rather than pandemic influenza. We were thinking seriously about the idea of having people stay at home and be isolated, if they’re ill, or quarantined should there be a terrorist attack.

No one actually has access to smallpox now, but we were going out and vaccinating people against a potential terrorist threat, anyway. So we started having these discussions around the idea of whether or not you really needed to reinstitute large-scale—primarily voluntary—quarantine. In addition, we were talking about the risk of a pandemic.

Then, as you know, Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans. You had people there who, by virtue of the fact that they ended up in the Superdome, did not have all of the things they needed. Certainly a lot of that stuff had been planned for, but it hadn’t been done as robustly as it needed to have been—and, obviously, they had more people in there than they could take care of.

Our thinking, based on that experience in New Orleans, was: in an emergency situation, how do you make sure that people have what they need? And, quite frequently, the mental health needs of people are something that matters in every kind of large-scale public health emergency—whether that’s a tornado, a hurricane, the flu, or an event where large numbers of people have died. It’s one of those things that people don’t really think about ahead of time, unless you remind them to think about it.

Our recommendations don’t just apply, by the way, to the people who are confined; there are huge stresses on the people who are managing those events. The EMTs, the paramedics, and the public health personnel who are all actually managing things can be really challenged—and you have to pay attention to them, too.

[Image: Sample covers of the American Journal of Public Health; design by Kropf Design].

BLDGBLOG: The APHA has also written about who exactly should have the authority to make decisions about who goes into quarantine and why. Can you talk us through your policy on that issue?

Dr. Benjamin: First of all, we try to guide by the least restrictive policy possible—and, to the extent that someone can be voluntarily in quarantine, that’s our first principle. Voluntary quarantine and the least restrictive quarantine possible is what we think is the most important way to start.

Simply giving people the facts about a disease process and keeping them well-educated and well-informed long before you’re going to need to take any action is the best policy. We, as an association, along with our colleagues in the federal agencies, have been trying to talk to the public about what the risks are for various diseases. How do you catch a disease—and how do you not catch it? How you protect yourself? How do you protect your loved ones? Usually, armed with this information, most people will follow the basic recommendations.

However, to the extent that you have to have compulsory quarantine—because you have someone who is continuing to put people at risk—then that is imposed, in the United States, by public health authorities. They have powers, mostly at the state and local level: those powers give them the authority to incentivize people not to put others—or themselves—at risk. In some cases, they can do that by having the police authorities act; in other cases, they have to go to court first. It depends on the individual jurisdiction.

In most cases, federal authorities’ powers end at the borders of the nation and then at the borders of each state. They can deal with issues across state lines, in some cases, and, of course, at our national borders and at ports of entry; but most of these quarantine authorities rest at the state and local health officer level.

BLDGBLOG: Has any of that legislation been revised in light of SARS, H1N1, or even the anthrax attacks?

Dr. Benjamin: There has been a national effort to modernize our public health laws. A lot of them were written years and years ago.

For instance, I was a state health official in Maryland from 1995 to 1999, and I was the secretary of health in Maryland from 1999 to 2002. During that time we began a process, which we finished when I was secretary, to update and modernize our laws. We had started talking about it before 9/11, but after 9/11 and the anthrax attacks , we realized that biological terrorism was a significant risk, and we really worked to strengthen the public health laws.

To give you an example of the kinds of changes and updates we made: we worked to put in some additional patient protections. The law at that time gave the health secretary enormous police powers to hold and to quarantine individuals—but there were no rights or rules for those individuals, or regulations about what they needed to receive while they were in confinement. The assumption was, of course, that they would get reasonable support and care—but we felt it was very important to guarantee that.

So we worked with several members of our advocacy community to strengthen the authority that the health officer had, and to make the authorities that I had at the time, as secretary of health, much clearer. But, on the same token, we were writing in protections. We guaranteed people due process. We guaranteed that, if we had to forcibly confine someone, then they would get medical care, social services, and social supports that they actually need. We put that in writing.

Other states around the nation have begun doing the same thing. There have been some public health law centers set up through various foundations, and they have also been working very hard to strengthen the various laws. There was a model public health law—I think it was produced with a grant from the Centers for Disease Control and several of the public health groups working with them. That law was then shared with all of the states and their elected officials, and it was used as a template through which states could look at their own laws and see how they matched up to the model.

Some states simply took the model and implemented it, exactly as it was written; some took pieces of it out; others took it and said, no, compared to the law we currently have, ours is better and we like ours. Either way, it served as a useful catalyst for people to begin looking at their own public health laws—not only in terms of the authorities that the public health officer had around isolation and quarantine, but also about reportable diseases, which diseases ought to be reported, and how, and who should do the reporting. There were also things that we added around patient protections, citizen protections, and due process. And there were sections that meant to clarify existing law, based on case law in the state, or nationally.

That work has been going on since late 2001, and it continues to this day in a variety of formats.

[Images: Hong Kong's entire Metro Park Hotel was put under quarantine for seven days after an H1N1-positive Mexican tourist stayed there in May 2009; "psychologists were on standby," we read. All photos courtesy of the China Post].

BLDGBLOG: In terms of these public health laws, where can quarantine occur? It was interesting during the SARS outbreak in Toronto, for instance, to see that hotel rooms were simply repurposed as temporary quarantine facilities.

Dr. Benjamin: Quarantine can occur anywhere—that’s the short answer.

Remember that quarantine is basically telling someone who has been exposed to a disease, even if they haven’t come down with that disease, to stay away from others, and to stay somewhere that we can observe them and see if they get sick. Functionally, that can occur anywhere—as long as you have the support that you need, and as long as you’re not kept somewhere where other people will be at risk. For someone who’s quarantined, a hospital is probably not a good place for them, because there are sick people in that hospital and, in any case, the hospital will usually need those beds.

Let’s say I travel to England for a business meeting, and there’s a big infectious disease outbreak. They’re not quite sure what it is, but I could theoretically have been exposed. They don’t want me to travel back home because they don’t want me on an airplane; I could expose people on that airplane. So they ask me to stay in my hotel room, and to get room service. That’s probably a perfectly reasonable request—as long as you know that, in everybody who’s had this disease, it shows up within 48-72 hours. It might be very inconvenient, but, in the interest of public health, somebody could ask me to do that. Now, there are issues around the air circulation in the hotel, and whether or not that’s appropriate—but let’s just assume that it is. From the APHA perspective, that request would be fine, particularly if you have somebody who can call and check on you a couple times a day and make sure that you’re not getting sick in the hotel room.

Now let’s say this happens at a wedding party taking place at a small hotel. For all practical purposes, if everybody at that hotel had been at the wedding, it would be reasonable to ask everybody to stay at that hotel—and, actually, they wouldn’t even have to stay in their rooms. They could be out and amongst each other, as long as they were fully informed about the symptoms that you get when you start to come down with whatever this disease process is. If those symptoms start to show, those people would then self-isolate, call public health authorities, and tell them, “I’m in my room, and I’ve got a cough and a fever, and I didn’t have that yesterday.”

If it turns out that this disease process is something mild, and we know you can take care of it there in the hotel room, then we’d probably just say, OK, isolate yourself in the hotel room. Before, you were able to get up and walk around the hotel—no big deal—but now you have to stay in your room. We’ll have the concierge send up your meals, and we’ll give you some Tylenol for your temperature. If it was something like H1N1—or some other viral illness that we knew is susceptible to antiviral agents—then we may very well give you antiviral agents, too. Of course, we’d also have the hotel doctor come up and see you. However, we would still ask you to stay in your room. That’s a voluntary isolation, now, within a quarantine facility, because you’ve been separated from everybody else.

The people who run the hotel, on the other hand, could say that they really don’t want this sick person staying in the hotel, for whatever reason. We’d then actually ask you to come out of the hotel; we’d come pick you up; and we’d take you to someplace else where people are being held and provided with medical care. At that point, you’re in isolation. It could be a hospital; it could be another facility. It could be a hotel; it could be a home. It could be anyplace where they’ve designated that as an isolation point. Again, in most cases it would be voluntary.

So it depends—these examples show that quarantine could take place anywhere, in a variety of forms.

[Images: (left) Reporter Will Weissert, quarantined in China, receives his lunch sealed in a plastic bag; (right) Weissert's wife receives a medical check-up in the hotel room].

BLDGBLOG: Things like eminent domain and the government seizure of private property—these legal issues surely play a role in quarantine guidelines?

Dr. Benjamin: You’re right—and we’ve had long discussions about those issues.

For example, let’s say we have to isolate people due to a very severe disease process. In most cases, when people are sick enough, they need to, and are willing to, go to a hospital—but one of the challenges we’ve found is that hospitals don’t want to be known as the “X-disease hospital”: the SARS hospital, the swine flu hospital, the smallpox hospital. There’s some history there—in the United States, it began with places that became known as tuberculosis sanatoriums. If the public begins to shun a place because they’re afraid of catching a disease that has somehow been associated with that hospital, then it takes that hospital out of business—even if you only have one or two cases.

We saw this during the anthrax attacks at hospitals where somebody had been exposed, in whatever way, to anthrax. Even though we know anthrax is not a contagious disease, we had patients who were very concerned—at OBGYN services, in particular. Pregnant women just wouldn’t go to that hospital. As it turns out, we only had a very few cases of anthrax, but the press got onto this, and they publicized the fact that a person with anthrax had been at this particular hospital. Then that hospital had patients who were concerned about going there. So, of course, what we had to do was get on TV ourselves and say: “No, no, you don’t need to worry about that. It’s not contagious. That’s not how you get anthrax. You can still go there; you can still deliver your baby there.” But reassuring the public is sometimes very difficult. In many cases, it’s more about fear than anything else.

The other piece of this is that, if you have a disease outbreak that is so widespread that you have lots of sick people, then it’s unlikely that you’ll have only one hospital impacted. One of the fallacies of people worrying about their hospital being the SARS hospital, or their hospital being the smallpox hospital, or the flu hospital, is that, in most cases, those diseases are so infectious that lots of cases are already in the hospital environment. They’re in the ER, in the outpatient clinics, etc. One hospital might have an intensive care unit, and the very sick patients may end up in that unit—but the other hospitals in the area will end up taking care of the outpatients. The likelihood of only one hospital being the hospital with a particular disease process, and being stigmatized because of that, is very low.

There are exceptions, of course: let’s say you’ve got a research hospital and it has a novel therapy, and the only way to get that novel therapy is by going there—well, that hospital is going to end up with a disproportionate number of those patients. That’s one of the communication issues that hospital is going to have to manage with the public.

Now, to your question, many of the public health laws do have statutes that allow for the taking of stuff. In Maryland, for example, the state can confiscate your facility—and it’s not just your facility: it could be your pharmaceuticals; it could be your box of syringes. If the state declares an emergency, and it has the authority of the law and it goes through the proper procedures, then, yes, it can confiscate things.

But what we did in Maryland was we clarified a few things: firstly, that you would be compensated. We thought that was very important to put in. We also wanted to make sure that it requires extraordinary efforts to make it happen. In Maryland, for instance, a disaster has to be declared by the governor, and there’s a legal process that one has to go through in order to confiscate someone’s stuff.

A lot of the plans in the U.S. for where we’ll put sick people raise some interesting issues. For example, some of these plans say that if we need to expand bed-space beyond the hospitals, then we need to use schools, gymnasiums—anyplace where you have a wide-open ward. Of course, there’s a big debate going on about whether those are the best places for these folks—and the reason for that debate is that they’re not built as health facilities. You couldn’t put your sickest people there. You might be able to quarantine people there—people who are well enough to get up and wash their hands and go to the bathroom, etc.—and you might be able to put people there who are moderately ill, but you couldn’t put very sick people there. It’s simply not set up as an intensive care unit.

The other thing to remember is that, even though you’ve got a disease outbreak going through your community, you still have the other, baseline disease processes. There are still heart attacks and strokes and people with seizures and kids with fever unrelated to the flu or unrelated to the infectious disease going on. You still need beds for people at ICUs for heart attacks, and you still have to treat cancer. The management challenge is to make sure that local providers don’t set up a process, of either isolation or quarantine, that deprives them of the resources they need to maintain their ongoing health system.

Edible Geography: Where are the gaps, as you see it, in public preparations for quarantine?

Dr. Benjamin: There are a couple of things I can think of right away. There’s the public education aspect that we and our colleagues are continuing to work on—there’s always more that could be done there.

The other thing is that we need buildings and facilities that have multiple uses. When you build hospital emergency rooms, for example—and it’s been fascinating watching this shift occur—we’ve gone from a situation where people had individual rooms in the ER to open-bed concepts. But what you need is flexibility. You need facilities flexible enough to accommodate multiple purposes.

You remember I talked about a gym being utilized as a potential quarantine spot? Well, some of the issues that get in the way of that are that there are not enough electrical outlets. You can’t bring up walls to partition the place in a way that easily allows you to isolate one group and quarantine another. There also isn’t the plumbing, and there probably aren’t enough bathrooms. You’ve put a lot of people together who may have a disease—and now you have a problem, because not everybody can wash their hands. We’re all using hand sanitizers today, and they’re wonderful, and they work; but, frankly, good old soap and hot water is the best thing to use.

Then again, most elementary schools were designed for little people, and now you’re about to put a bunch of adults in there; they might not have as many soap dispensers as you need, or the bathrooms are too large, or the toilets are too low, or there aren’t enough sinks. Or, again, maybe the sinks aren’t in the right place: they’re not by the bedside where infection-control needs to occur.

Building an environment that thinks about these other potential uses is extremely important, for places like hotels or gyms or the other big spaces that might be used to hold a bunch of people. And, by the way, quarantine is only one need for those things: as part of our overall public health preparedness, we have to look at putting people up because of a hurricane, or floods, or a tornado, or a big infectious outbreak.

The single-center principle means that a place needs to be flexible enough for large numbers of people, and in which you can have adequate infection-control, adequate toilet facilities, and adequate food facilities so that everyone can eat.

If we build places that do those kinds of things, then they’ll meet all the needs for isolation, all the needs for quarantine, and all the needs for housing people in an emergency.

[Images: Shuhei Endo's "tennis dome/emergency center" (left), photographed by Kenichi Amano, next to the New Orleans Superdome, post-Katrina].

BLDGBLOG: That actually reminds me of some stadiums in Japan that were built both as sports stadiums and as earthquake-disaster centers. There’s food and water stockpiled in the basement, the entryways are sized for emergency vehicles, and so on. How would you recommend this sort of architectural adaptation, on a policy level?

Dr. Benjamin: We wouldn’t have much trouble convincing the presidents of universities today, who are already challenged with a disease process big enough to affect the whole student body. In the United States right now, with H1N1, the number of sick kids is big enough that they’re having to manage those kids on campus. For a disease process in which people are going to be sick for five or seven days, it’s unrealistic to send them home once they’ve shown up on campus. Colleges are having to deal with accommodating them right now. You can bet that, at least on college campuses in the United States, they would be very sensitive to this idea of dual-use facilities, because there’s an operational need for it.

The second thing is, if I was trying to do this, I would be working directly with architects and engineers, convincing them of the need to do it and then letting them sell it. They can say how best to do this, in a way that does not obstruct the primary purpose of the facility. We don’t want to interrupt anyone’s football games, but at the moment, everyone says, yes, we can put people here but it’s only going to happen once or twice in my lifetime, when the truth is that, if you design it that way, then you could use it much more frequently for that purpose. You could get dual-use out of it. Getting the people who design these places to tell us how to do it, in an appropriate and cost-efficient manner, and then having them make the case to the owners and users, so that they know that this is value added to their facility: that’s how I would get this message across.

Then I would talk to elected city and state officials about ways they could leverage tax-payer dollars to get these dual-use facilities built. Let’s say I’m in city government and I have someone coming up to me wanting the city to put up tax-payer dollars to support the building of a football stadium or a basketball stadium or a new school. If I get this additional bonus—this dual-use that helps my emergency-preparedness—I’m more likely to want to use taxpayer dollars to support it. Increasingly, as you know, private sector guys are coming to the government and asking for fiscal support to build these facilities. If tax-payers are going to be paying for things, then the city or the community needs to get something out of it.

I can tell you that a lot of work had to be done to fix and clean the New Orleans Superdome—but if you had built it so that it could be much more functional in an emergency situation then you would have had less damage. And from an image perspective, a dual-use sports facility now has much more of a public value.

That’s my personal view, not the Association’s view; but I think it’s an effective argument.

• • •

This autumn in New York City, Edible Geography and BLDGBLOG have teamed up to lead an 8-week design studio focusing on the spatial implications of quarantine; you can read more about it here. For our studio participants, we have been assembling a coursepack full of original content and interviews—but we decided that we should make this material available to everyone so that even those people who are not in New York City, and not enrolled in the quarantine studio, can follow along, offer commentary, and even be inspired to pursue projects of their own.

For other interviews in our quarantine series, check out Extraordinary Engineering Controls: An Interview with Jonathan Richmond, On the Other Side of Arrival: An Interview with David Barnes, The Last Town on Earth: An Interview with Thomas Mullen, and Biology at the Border: An Interview with Alison Bashford.

More interviews are forthcoming.

0 Robotism, or: The Golden Arm of Architecture

For the past four weeks, an orange robotic arm has been constructing a brick wall in south Manhattan.

[Image: Pike Loop by Gramazio & Kohler].

Neither a new Berlin Wall nor part of a delayed realization of Superstudio's Continuous Monument, the machine was, in fact, built and programmed by Swiss architects Gramazio & Kohler. It is now the focus of an exhibition, called Pike Loop, at Storefront for Art and Architecture.

Tonight—Tuesday, October 27—at 7pm, Storefront will be hosting a public event in celebration of the project, down at the wall itself, free and open to the public. Here's how to get there from Storefront. Be sure to stop by.

0 100

Even knowing how much it annoys certain people whenever I mention The BLDGBLOG Book on this website, I'm ridiculously excited—and admittedly quite stunned—to see that the book is #92 on Amazon.com's list of the 100 Best Books of 2009.

[Image: Six of Amazon.com's 100 Best Books of 2009].

To be on a list that includes J.G. Ballard, Thomas Pynchon, Nicholson Baker, A.S. Byatt, William T. Vollmann, and many more is just totally astonishing to me. But it's a fantastic testament to the strength of the architects, photographers, writers, illustrators, historians, artists, cartographers, musicians, geologists, and more whose work appears in the book, as well as to the book's designers, MacFadden & Thorpe. So thanks, Amazon!

In fact, there have been many fantastic books published this year, all worth checking out if you get a chance, including China Miéville's The City & The City, David Gissen's Subnature: Architecture's Other Environments, Owen Hatherley's Militant Modernism, Leslie Chang's Factory Girls, James Lawrence Powell's Dead Pool: Lake Powell, Global Warming, and the Future of Water in the West, Tom Zoellner's Uranium, Stephen Asma's On Monsters, the paperback reissue of Infrastructural City, Greg Grandin's Fordlandia: The Rise and Fall of Henry Ford's Forgotten Jungle City, and a million more.

(Thanks to Lauren Gilbert for pointing out the list!)

0 The Sphere and the Labyrinth

[Image: The cooling towers of the Ferrybridge power station; photo by Eric de Mare].

The above photo has really stuck with me since seeing it last week over at Millennium People—not only its juxtaposition of architectural types (the narrative ornamentalism of a small English church almost literally overshadowed by the minimalist hyper-functionalism of the cooling towers) but the photo's implied collision of material activities (prayer, say, vs. the illuminative processing of rare fuels).

I might even suggest that it presents us with some strange, nuclear-Anglican revision of what Manfredo Tafuri would call the sphere and the labyrinth—that is, the altarpiece meets the reactor core—but the station is actually coal-powered, not nuclear at all. The image is nonetheless quite stimulating.

Imagine disused cooling towers repurposed as a church—or a library—or Chartres Cathedral put to work as a nuclear power station, its filigrees of saints and masonry trembling as atoms split and machines spin wildly in the basement.

0 How to Free Yourself From Limiting Beliefs


“From this instant on, vow to stop disappointing yourself. Separate yourself from the mob. Decide to be extraordinary and do what you need to do – now.” - Stoic philosopher Epictetus

Whether you want to believe this or not, we all have the capacity to be extraordinary, to live our passion, to realize our full potential. When you get right down to it, what holds us back are limiting beliefs that run through our minds. These are mental habits repeating in an endless loop, making us believe that we are incapable and that our dreams are impossible to achieve. They trick us into thinking we are less than we actually are.

It is absolutely the case that when these beliefs are seen in the light of day and put to rest, our lives begin to soar. Whatever is in us that is begging to be expressed finally has a conduit into the world.

When you are free of limiting beliefs, you experience the following:
  • Space for creativity to flow through you
  • Clarity about your everyday decisions as well as your life path
  • Happiness and confidence
  • Energy for the activities and people that bring you fulfillment
  • Greater ability to focus
Sounds great, right? So how do we free ourselves from these beliefs once and for all? The two-part answer is:
  1. Identify the beliefs that hold you back.

  2. Break up with these beliefs. That's right – let them go, it's time to walk away.
Step #1: Identify the beliefs that hold you back
We all have our version of limiting beliefs that creeps into our minds and keeps us small and constrained. To help you identify your mental habits, see if you recognize yourself in any of these common patterns:
  • The perfection-seeker is hard-driving, critical, and pushy. The tone of this inner voice can be very harsh as it tries to motivate you through judgment and ridicule. It starts sentences with, “you should...,” “you really need to...,” “you have to...,” “you better...,” “if you don't...”

  • The naysayer is negative about everything – you, your abilities, your ideas. It's signature phrase is, “I can't.” It tells you you are worthless or stupid and finds every reason in the book for you not to be succeed. It says your ideas are too difficult to carry out, they cost too much, you will have to work too hard, other people will think you are crazy, and on and on.

  • The doubter is full of worry and mistrust. It incessantly questions everything, as in, What if I fail?...Should I do it this way or that way?...What will they think?...What do I think?...I should have...I shouldn't have... The doubter second-guesses so much that you are paralyzed to take any action.

  • The procrastinator's favorite word is mañana, tomorrow. It constantly encourages you to put off taking action until another time that never comes. The procrastinator can be seductive because it loves watching TV, surfing the internet, and having a few beers. It also turns dreams into chores, as in, “Do I have to join the networking group?”

  • The blamer holds other people and circumstances responsible for your failure to shine. Everyone and everything else is at fault, while the blamer feels victimized and powerless. The blamer says, “If only...” - if only someone or some situation were different, then you would be able to move forward.
Step #2: Break up with the beliefs.
These limiting beliefs have incorrectly defined who you are. If you give them attention, they will continue; if you disregard them, they will eventually lose their power over you. You have had a relationship with them for a long time, and now that relationship is coming to an end. Make it a gracious breakup. Thank these thought patterns for trying to protect you, for that is why they have been present in you. Let them know they don't serve you anymore, then move your attention away. This is the key. Tell yourself:
  • They are not true;
  • I don't need them;
  • They hold me back;
  • They bring me unhappiness;
  • They are distortions of reality;
  • They keep me from realizing my potential.
Here is a technique that can sometimes help. I'd like you to stand up and feel the full effect of these limiting beliefs on you. Now, take a step to the right, and as you do, leave all of these unwanted beliefs behind. You are standing in a fresh place unencumbered by old stories of inadequacy and negativity. See how this is possible?

You may find a resurgence in your inner voices when you begin to walk away. Know that this is just more limiting mind activity that doesn't deserve your attention. Recommit to the freedom you truly long for, and politely turn from these beliefs – every single time. I promise you that you will be liberated from them once and for all. Break up with these beliefs, and watch your life sparkle.

Can you identify your own limiting beliefs? Have you been able to let them go? I'd love to hear your stories, insights, and questions.

Written on 10/27/2009 by Gail Brenner, Ph.D. Gail offers practical wisdom for clarity, freedom, and happiness on her blog, A Flourishing Life, focusing on real solutions for self-defeating habits.Photo Credit: zakulaan@zainiabdullahpjk

Senin, 26 Oktober 2009

0 Wolves in the photographer's clothing

NSFW


Today I was just thinking to myself... Why the hell is it that all these male, "amatuer" photographers all like to photograph these "models" in lingerie or bikini??

If they are so interested in photography, then why don't they shoot other things such as... family portraits, close-up shots of a fly's eyes, a droplet of water dropping into a pool of water etc etc other artsy fartsy nonsense?

WHY GIRLS??

And the most puzzling of all... Why do they like to shoot FLAWED girls??

Ok I know. Firstly, they would of course want to shoot flawless girls if possible, but flawless girls are unlikely to want to be shot by amatuer lechers, plus they are of limited stock.

Secondly, I know even people like Megan Fox have their flaws, but I don't mean like a clubbed thumb...

I mean like... They are trying so hard to ooze sexuality and then it's like they are hideous.

I know I sound fucking elitist or something, but it just seems to me that it's totally silly to allow a girl's armpit fats to ruin an otherwise good piece of photography!

I mean, if you changed the subject from a race queen with terrible black roots to, say, a butterfly or an elderly woman pushing a cart, it just won't be RUINED that way, you get what I mean??

Anyway that's not what I'm gripping about. I'd get back to this later.

I am actually really annoyed with the increment of these "photographers" around, who are actually just wankers wanting to snap a sexy shot for his evening stroke.

Honestly man, if you are a fucking pervert, just fucking admit it instead of parading around with your E05 or whatever and pretending to care about the fucking proper lighting!

Let's see... If we let them choose between shooting a fat tou geh plucking auntie with the most fabulous lighting and equipment... or shooting a nude race queen with a compact camera, which do you think they will pick?

Please leh! The nude of course! You know why? Coz they are fucking wankers!


The whole "models" photography culture is just sick.


If you go to Clubsnap's forum, you will see pages like this.


Girls, whored out by these organisers... Enticing these "photographers" with either lingerie, bikini or sexy fashion shoots... Guess which is the most expensive?


For $100 you can snap snap snap away at a model of your choice while you try to entice her to give even more smothering looks and jut out her ass more.

Then you can go home and wank to the close-up boobage shots, while imagining having a kinky photographer-model relationship with her.


After that, even better still, you can add the "artistic" shots to your portfolio and earn respect as a PHOTOGRAPHER!!!!!!!!


Not.



I don't know what these men are thinking when they snap all these slutty photos, but here's what I think when I see some of them.




"How did she manage to get such a hideous bikini?"




"Invisible mirror squishing monster!! HAHAHA!
Ass distractingly flat."




"MUST... GIVE... SMOTHERING... LOOK... No matter what...."





"Why is she wearing a bra to shower? That doesn't seem to make much sense?

Hard to dry... Imagine all the padding heavy and soaked with water. Urgh!
Must bring the bra home in a plastic bag.
If she got no other bra and wears the bra home
she will look like she is lactating HAHAHAHA!"




"Fine I'd buy you that LV bag now please put your clothes back on."





"AHAHHAHA I REALLY don't think you fit into the S sized top!"




"Surely that beach is not very clean..."




"I open the toilet door and URGHHHH!!!!
What sort of person sits on a toilet bowl with underwear on?
You peeing through it??"




"You are facing the wrong way."




"Is her ass cold on that table?
When she stands up, will the table have ass-shaped steam marks?
Did they photograph that? Coz that would be FUNNEH!!!"





"No."





"Really now... Don't ever wear a thong again."





"The phone must be ringing and she REALLY doesn't want to pick it up.
Ooohh... Label on shoes? How much?"




"My god woman, put your pants back on!
And next time, please wear matching lingerie for christ's fuck sake."





"Her asscrack is entirely too short."



"She is surely not very comfortable..."




"WTF? And honestly, who you trying to bluff with
BOTH bra straps falling down 'accidentally'??"




So anyway... My point is... Do those photos show off great photography skills? Not one bit. They just show how fucking perverse the photographer is.

If you have real talent, why would you try to distract from it with all these sexual vibes?? I don't think anyone is looking at the composition or whatever is important in photography coz everyone's trying to find nipple slips!!


I must, of course, credit the photographer whom I got all these photos from.



Dunno his name but at least he is not a hypocrite - he did go semi-naked himself complete with come-hither eyes.



Check out his photographer 'friends'....












They are buzzing around these car shows like flies on corpses... Gross.


p/s: I have nothing against girls taking such photos. As you all would possibly point out, Kaykay also does such shots. What she does is her business and if it earns her money without hurting anyone, why not?

Hell even I took bikini shots for Maxim before.

My disdain is for the lecherous photographers, not the models. Although, it is still fun to laugh at the ugly models when they do stupid poses.

What? They dare to take then dare to be criticised lah! Nothing wrong what! You all also criticise my Maxim shots - and I totally deserve it. They are horrid to the max.

And of course, these photographers' natural defence will be that I am JEALOUS coz nobody wants to shoot ME.

Yes, yes, I wrote this post coz I am fat and jealous. Because every girl would love a pack of perverse, scary middle-aged uncles photographing them.


p/p/s: Why can't all these men control their penises?!
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