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Buy a Los Angeles Sidewalk Corner

[Image: A sidewalk corner in Los Angeles, albeit not the one for sale; via Google Street View]. If you've been longing for a way to satisfy your inner Gordon Matta-Clark—the artist who, among many other things, once purchased an interstitial empire of "odd lots" throughout New York City, including the spaces between buildings and other "unusably small slivers of land sliced from the city grid through anomalies in surveying, zoning, and public-works expansion"—then now might be your chance.

Driving on Mars and the Theater of Machines

[Image: Self-portrait on Mars; via NASA]. Science has published a short profile of a woman named Vandi Verma.

Touring the Gruen Transfer

[Image: Gruen Day 2015]. One of the most interestingly sinister things I studied a million years ago while writing an undergraduate thesis about shopping and agoraphobia is the so-called "Gruen transfer." Named after Victor Gruen, pioneer of American shopping mall design, the Gruen transfer is the moment at which, confronted by an unexpected array of choices—other products, rival goods, similar services, different options—a shopper loses sight of what he or she originally came out to purchase.

Lost Highways

[Image: Reviewing old property deeds and land surveys; photo by Geoff Manaugh]. A story I've been obsessed with since first learning about it back in 2008 is the problem of "ancient roads" in Vermont.

Slingshots of the Oceanic

[Image: A diagram of the elaborate loops and ribbons of self-intersecting movement allowed by gravity-assisted travel, in this case heading toward a comet; original artist unknown].

Transecting Amsterdam

[Image: From Project 360º by Frank Dresmé]. Here's an old project by Dutch graphic designer Frank Dresmé.

A Vast Array of Props

[Image: Thomas Scholes, Sketch a Day series; view larger]. Rock, Paper, Shotgun has posted an interview with artist Thomas Scholes about "how concept art is made." Scholes refers to himself as "an environment specialist," and he describes how he develops the architecture and landscapes for games such as Guild Wars 2, Halo 4, Gigantic, and many others.

X Marks the Spot

[Image: A motif index for lost mines and treasures applied to redaction of Arizona legends, and to lost mine and treasure legends exterior to Arizona by Byrd Howell Granger].

Greek Gods, Moles, and Robot Oceans

[Image: The Very Low Frequency antenna field at Cutler, Maine, a facility for communicating with at-sea submarine crews].

Composite Archaeology

[Image: A laser scan of the Pantheon, courtesy ScanLAB Projects and the BBC; view larger!]. ScanLAB Projects, focus of a long article on Wired last month, are back in the news with a BBC documentary exploring the infrastructure of ancient Rome.

Manhattan Gyroscope

[Image: New York's Cathedral of St. John the Divine under construction, a Piranesian gyroscope of arched masonry and brick; courtesy Museum of the City of New York].

National Color Test

[Image: Lüscher yellow]. By sheer coincidence, I was looking back through the archives of a blog called Unurthed the other day—a great, although seemingly now-defunct site written by Greg Pass—where I read about the so-called "Lüscher color test." The test, according to that font of accurate historical insight, Wikipedia, was "a psychological test invented by Dr.

Culinary Air Pollution

[Image: Cooking with smog at the World Health Organization in Geneva; photo courtesy the Center for Genomic Gastronomy and Edible Geography].

Beneath the Streets, Barrel Vaults

[Image: Barrel vaults beneath Warren Street, Manhattan; Instagram by BLDGBLOG]. I was walking along Warren Street in Manhattan yesterday evening when I saw what appeared to be a series of brick barrel vaults uncovered by roadworks.

The City Has Eyes

[Image: Photo by BLDGBLOG]. In the distant summer of 2002, I worked for a few months at Foster + Partners in London, tasked with helping to archive Foster's old sketchbooks, hand-drawings, and miscellaneous other materials documenting dozens of different architectural projects over the past few decades.

The Town That Creep Built

[Image: A curb in Hayward, California, shows how much the ground is drifting due to “fault creep”; the red-painted part of the curb is slowly but relentlessly moving north.

Terrestrial Sonar

[Image: Via Getty Images]. I found this clipping, below, in my desk again last night, and, as you can tell, it's a clipping from Scientific American that has been following me around since 1998 (!

An Artful Rearrangement of Darkness

A post yesterday over on Rock, Paper, Shotgun described a new game called "Kieru," in which monochromatic ninjas lost in a monochromatic landscape alternately blend in with and radically stand out from their architectural surroundings.

Box Kites, Planes, and Super-Ceilings

Here are some interesting houses by Greek architect Takis Zenetos, whose work we first looked at way back in 2009.

Tree / House

[Image: A tree turned into architecture by the addition of a door.