Monthly Archives: July 2013


Jo Burzynska, aka Stanier Black-Five, dropping her hydrophone into a wine barrel. Photograph from the Stanier Black-Five website. Jo Burzynska is a New Zealand-based wine critic who also happens to be an experimental sound artist working under the name Stanier Black-Five (in honour of her favourite-sounding steam locomotive). Her most recent work is a twenty-one-minute […]

Starbucks Urbanism

This is too much fun not to share: Slate is challenging its readers to identify world cities purely by the geographic pattern of their Starbucks locations. In the interest of not spoiling your fun, I won’t post any of the answers, but I will say that if you know the basic shape of the city […]

Summer Soup

Writing in The New York Times, author William Bryant Logan describes the contents of the dense blanket of air that descends over the city during a heatwave — a “summer soup” made up of “tiny particles of silicon, organic matter, threads, starch, spores, bacterial cells, and tire rubber.” The “miscellany of flavors, solids and liquids” […]

Mapping McDonald’s

McDonald’s recently opened its 34,492nd restaurant, which was also its first in Vietnam. In response, The Guardian crunched some data in order to make its own McMap of the world. IMAGE: Number of McDonald’s by country at the end of 2012, from an interactive infographic showing expansion from 2007, built by The Guardian. The full […]

The White Noise of Aquaculture

IMAGE: Seaweed farming rafts off the coast of the Chinese province of Jiangsu, south of the city of Qingdao, Bing Maps, via Mammoth. Via Mammoth’s Rob Holmes, we learn that the coastal city of Qingdao, China, is experiencing what local officials, channeling Don De Lillo, have called “a large-scale algae disaster.” According to The New […]

Voters Bearing Forks

IMAGE: Of New York City’s eleven 2013 Mayoral candidates, six attended the city’s first ever Food Forum. Original photograph via The New York Times; red Xs added by me to mark non-attendees. Those of us who care about the human and environmental inequalities, injustices, and insanity in the American food system are often encouraged to […]

Eat, Play, Golf

Golf, with a couple of hacks, can be a surprisingly delicious-looking game. Cutting golf balls in half, for example, reveals delightfully bonbon-esque interiors. All golf ball cross-section photographs by James Friedman. These cross-sections are the work of Ohio-based photographer James Friedman, who does not actually play golf. The variety of colours and flavours adds to […]

Menu Accession

I am somewhat astonished to find that I haven’t written about the New York Public Library’s amazing menu collection on Edible Geography before. IMAGE: A pizza delivery menu from Radisson Hotels, 1987. NYPL Menu Collection. NYPL Culinary Collections Librarian Rebecca Federman spoke about it during Foodprint NYC, describing the ways in which researchers have used […]

Perishable: An Exhibition

A couple of years (!) ago, I mentioned that I would be working with the Center for Land Use Interpretation on an exhibition exploring the U.S. cold chain. I’m delighted to announce that the result of that collaboration, Perishable: An Exploration of the Refrigerated Landscape of America, is now on display at CLUI’s Los Angeles […]

Requiem for a Lettuce

A couple of months ago, Leonardo Amico, an interaction designer based at Fabrica, connected romaine lettuce leaves into an electrical circuit, attached a CMOS logic chip and a couple of oscillators to transform the voltage into tone, and recorded the result. Although lemons and potatoes are better known for their science-fair double life as batteries, […]