Monthly Archives: August 2010


IMAGE: Tyler Faber with “Doc,” receiving his grand champion 4-H market steer award from Iowa State Fair queen Lacy Stevensen. Photo by Steve Pope for the Iowa State Fair. As today’s New York Times points out, it’s state fair season in America: a time for deep-fried salad, loosely bolted-together Ferris wheels, and — almost anachronistically […]

Upgrade Excreta

IMAGE: James Gilpin apparently offered visitors samples of his Family Whisky at the RCA Design Interactions exhibition (but Regine was too chicken to try it!). Image courtesy James Gilpin. With apologies to those who might be reading this over their morning coffee or tea, today’s post collects three projects that follow the food chain all […]

Spaces of Prohibition

Historian Daniel Okrent’s recent book, Last Call, tells the story of the Eighteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution — otherwise known as Prohibition. IMAGE: Constitutional Amendment XVIII, ratified January 16, 1919, via the National Archives and Records Administration. “After one year from the ratification of this article the manufacture, sale, or transportation of intoxicating liquors […]

The People of Bushwick vs. Fizzy Drinks

IMAGE: Deprived of a soda tax, New York City’s Department of Health has taken revenge with these ubiquitous, nausea-inducing ads, which show a fizzy drink turning into fat in the glass, complete with “those little blood vessels and things like that” (as described by Cathy Nonas, a dietitian with the DOHMH). Having backed down once […]

Food Truck Whack-A-Mole

One-minute idling ordinances. Restricted streets and inherited parking spots. Minimum pavement width. Health-department inspections. A $500 “refreshment vehicle assistant” licensing fee… IMAGE: New York City’s vending regulations book, photo by Candy Chang for Urban Omnibus. At both Foodprint NYC and Foodprint Toronto, the subject of street food trucks has come up in the “Zoning Diet” […]

In the Time of Full Mechanisation

In 1948, Swiss art historian Sigfried Giedion published Mechanization Takes Command, an epic investigation into the origins, evolution, and impact of mechanisation on human civilisation. Subtitled “A Contribution To Anonymous History,” the book draws on patent drawings, promotional leaflets, and even business cards to piece together the incursion of machines into domestic, agricultural, and industrial […]