The Man in Seat 61

This website was so good I bought the book. The
Man in Seat 61
tells you how to travel from the UK to anywhere in Europe and
beyond. My first journey planned using this site starts this Thursday, a fairly
simple three-train affair from London to Copenhagen, involving my first ever
night in a sleeper carriage.

This website makes you realise just how easy
and quick it can be to travel Europe by train, it's also not that expensive. My
sleeper train cost £40 – that's not bad considering it's my “hotel” too, and
hopefully I'll be refreshed as it pulls into the Denmark's capital early the
next morning.

There's something romantic about travelling by train, plus
it's less stressful with less hanging around in queues than airports, and that's before getting smug about environmental issues. Well
that's the theory, I'll report back on my first major train trip here next
week.

You can visit the website here, http://www.seat61.com, and buy the
book here
.

Seat 61?? – The reason why the site is named that is
revealed here.

Street View – The Photographer

Essay from ArtFagCity about the type of photographer Streetview is, as if it was an artist. In fact of course we know it's automated photography, so it should feel totally objective – not influenced by moods, feelings and reactions to surroundings.

However the observer, looking through images produced by Streetview can find from the millions of images created, an image that aesthetically they align to – even though there is no artist decision behind the decision of how the image was taken, the framing, colours etc.

http://www.artfagcity.com/2009/08/12/img-mgmt-the-nine-eyes-of-google-street-view/

Isokon Flats

At the weekend I was fortunate enough to get invited to a party at the Isokon Flats, a building I had admired in passing several times though didn't really know much about. The flats clearly stand out from the other Edwardian buildings in the road and it was great to have a good excuse to look around them.

The building, situated between Belsize Park and Hampstead in Lawn Road, was the first Modernist designed building in the UK and is now a Grade 1 listed building. They are compact and practical inside, and were originally designed “with special reference to the circumstances of the bachelor or young married professional or businessperson“.

They were also home to Agatha Christie 1940-46, something which apparently local people know but I didn't. They were rennovated in 2001 and sold and rented to key-workers, indeed the party host was a paramedic.

More information here on Archidose here
http://www.archidose.org/Aug05/082205.html

Google Street view of Isokon Bulding


Photo by
Steve
Cadman

Why blush?

New Scientist magazine has piece on 10 things we still can't explain about humans, and blushing is one of them. Why do humans give out a visible signal that we are either embarrassed or lying, what purpose does blushing actually serve?

For some it's a real problem, and they'll blush at the drop of a hat and avoid social situations because of it. Can we control blushing? Apparently so according to stop-blushing.com, who tell sell you how. More seriously the Guardian recently covered a new treatment that could help those who have severe blushing (erythrophobia).

http://www.newscientist.com/special/ten-mysteries-of-you