Blog posts

  • Quibbling over the qibla

    James Bridle has been paying close attention to how different airports around Europe try to help Muslim travellers to find the direction to face Mecca:

    [At the interfaith room at Athens airport…] The qibla - the direction which Muslims should face when performing prayer - is indicated by a green stripe on the floor, which terminates at the foot of a vertical strip of white light. This groove serves both as mihrab, the niche in a mosque that indicates the qibla, and a sort of surrogate Dan Flavin, pleasingly echoing both the "diagonal of personal ecstasy" and the Tatlin monuments. […]

    On my last visit, however, there was evidence of discord. Just to the right of the qibla/Flavin, on the carpet and above the skirting board, twin arrows rendered in thick blue biro cross-hatching have been used to indicate a direction some ten degrees further south than the architect's stripe implies.

    When you start to look for them, the qibla-scribblers are all over, as qiblas are apparently a contested part of interfaith chapels. In the Stille Rom at Oslo's Gardamoen Airport, two prayer mats lie alongside one another at angles to one corner of the space, but no qibla is evident, until, once again, you crouch down and peer at the floorboards, to find another set of arrows - this time in black biro - gouged into the woodwork. At least three different hands have been at work here, with another arrow in blue above the skirting board, and the word "قبلة‎‎," itself, in black again, next to it, to remove any doubt.

    It turns out that the widespread use of smartphones may be contributing to the problem.


  • Prince's Own Liner Notes On His Greatest Hits

    For some reason I didn't take a look at Anil Dash's post reproducing Prince's Own Liner Notes On His Greatest Hits when he posted them a while back. My mistake:


    originally recorded with bass, backing 2 sets of keys and guitar. Frustrated with the mix, PRN sat discouraged in the studio (Sunset Sound). Jill Jones came 2 visit, saw the long face and asked what was wrong. PRN was said to have said, "if I had my way the song would sound like this." He then shoved down the bulk of the instrument faders and left up only the drums and the xylophone, when the voices began to sing the chorus. Jill then asked PRN why he thought he couldn't have his way with the mix. There was no reply. Everyone who passed by the studio was enthralled by the strange sound coming out of Studio 3 that day. The next time Jill heard the song it was on the radio and it was bassless and stark. PRN had his way.

    "KISS" -

    PRN after recording this shelved it because he thought it 2 strange a production 4 human consumption. It was included in the Parade album was an afterthought. PRN thought it never quite worked on that album. Every time he plays it live he changes the arrangement. Probably still feels the same about the public’s acceptance of the sound. It concert it’s never sounded like the record.

  • A liberal teleworking policy

    How A Liberal Teleworking Policy Led to the Demise of the Jedi Council.

    The members of the Council really start to take advantage of the policy at the beginning of Episode III. Everyone has watched Obi-Wan hologram-in for months and decides to make up their own bullshit excuse to just hologram into the meeting.

    [Via Extenuating Circumstances]

  • Team GB didn't really think their bag choices through

    Team GB didn't really think their bag choices through:

    Flying brings with it all kinds of tribulations, but one of the most tedious has to be the wait for your luggage after hours in the sky.

    Those interminable moments feel even worse when you keep picking up someone else's bag thinking it's yours.

    So spare a thought for Team GB this week, who discovered a little late that carrying identical red luggage is a recipe for airport confusion. […]

  • Penguin meets Doctor Who

    Doctor Who reimagined as Penguin Books:

    Doctor Who and The Daleks book cover

    Lovely work.

    [Via Pop Loser No. 68]

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