Kids Room Designs

We came across an outstanding designer from Barcelona who visualizes and creates high quality, photorealistic renders of kids rooms. His name is Sergi and here is his blog. You will find tons of inspiration here,

Reporting Barriers Helps

These images show how important it is to point out barriers. The thing is, I guess it must be done collectively by a group of people who represent a cross section of all disabilities. Because, as you can see in these images, a barrier was removed for the wheelchairs, but added for those with limited sight.

Will barriers ever be fully removed in Ontario by the year 2025?

Please read my other blogs:

Find The Fault No 16

Hot Oil, Cool Beer

You may remember last year's Blaston Show, held in a big tree-ringed field between the eponymous village and my own. More of the same this year, but with stifling heat thankfully coped with this time by very locally-produced bitter drawn out of racked-up barrels. A lot more cherished vehicles lined-up, including this export Triumph- shamefully I didn't check out the radiator grille to ascertain TR2 or 3. I got excited by the classic stencil lettering on the bar ("Stop photographing tables and just get the beer in"), and was particularly impressed by a local farmer tipping-up with a completely unrestored tractor. The book tent was there again, but I restricted myself to a 1951 Rupert Annual for two quid. Very tatty and biro'd outside, perfect within. Second Son got himself another Beano Annual for his vast collection, Youngest Son immediately spent all his money on an inflatable hammer shaped like a shark which promptly burst when he hit me over the head with it. But I was very pleased that he insisted his candy floss was wound onto a stick for him properly, rather than just stuck into a polythene bag. And at least he didn't shove his money into the workings of a fire engine like last year.

Hollywood Hairdress - "The Boys From Syracuse"

I love the Modern Grecian Style! If you want more, I also found this link of a 1957 Grecian updo. (And for more inspiration, do a search for 50's hairstyles in the image gallery.)

(Click on the images for full-size versions.)
Source: The Journeyman Barber, October 1940

Prepare your car for emergencies and you’ll be ready to go when it counts

There’s always lots of talk about how to prepare your home for disasters, which is important. But what if you have to evacuate? When preparing for an emergency, don’t forget your getaway vehicle! Here are some tips to prepare your car for emergencies:

• Keep it stocked: A car that is well-prepared for emergencies should carry nourishment. Be sure and always keep a few gallons of water in your car, as well as food. Choose foods that are shelf-stable and can store well in the extreme temperatures of a car.

• Be prepared to go: For your car, jumper cables, a tow chain and flares are always good things to have on board. If there are reports of a weather disaster headed your way, check the air in your tires (including the spare!) and fill up the gas tank of your car. Keep the tank at least half-filled as long as the threat remains, as the last thing you want is to run out of gas while sitting in long lines of evacuating traffic.

• Think ahead: For survival in the vehicle, you should have a flashlight and batteries, a fire extinguisher, a whistle, cash and change, vital medications, rain gear, blankets, tarps, toilet paper and any special-needs items for infants or people with disabilities. A cell phone charger that plugs into your car’s lighter outlet will also come in handy. Also be sure to include an old-school paper map, in case you evacuate to an area you aren’t familiar with and your Tom-Tom is on the fritz-fritz. Mark out emergency evacuation routes ahead of time.

Check on your car supplies every six months to make sure nothing has leaked or spoiled. (Use daylight saving time as a reminder!)

Graphic courtesy iStockphoto

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*Rat Showing Very Plainly

I love the story in this article.
(Click on the pictures to read a larger version.)
Source: American Hairdresser, April 1943

Ready When You Are

A day in London, filming a little movie to go with Built for Britain. Did the streets around the Post Office Tower hum with generating trucks and location catering buses, did cherry pickers rise into the cloudy skies above Tower Bridge, did security hold back screaming girls at St.Pancras? Not really, but what a simply wonderful time I had. Racing about in black cabs with me doubling up as grips with the big Manfrotto tripod (what a great little symbol), snatched coffees, everyone thinking "Who's that grisly git who keeps swearing every five seconds into a camera lens?". Before this I had been filmed in the comfort of quiet rooms, shut away from prying eyes and the disapproving mutters of people hearing my very vocal displeasure at getting my words wrong. Out on the streets I hadn't reckoned on an audience, which quickly gathered to see if I was Dan Cruikshank, and then turning away in disgust when they realised I wasn't. Heartfelt thanks to my crew: Sam, Lorna and Ali. And thanks to the lorry driver who frightened the wits out of me by blaring his horn right behind my head during a take on the Euston Road.

Miles Better

Bit of a rant coming up I'm afraid. With sincere apologies to my followers who drive on the wrong side of the road, but is anybody else out there getting sick of seeing and hearing 'kilometres' used instead of the statutory 'miles'. Who made the decision that our English distances should be annotated thus? I've seen it on signs warning of temporary roadworks, I see its use all the time in the press (even the Telegraph for God's sake) and I've lost count at how many times the BBC trot it out. But I threw coffee all over my freshly-laundered sheets this morning as a reporter on the Today programme talked about a 50 miles per hour speed limit being imposed on a 12 kilometre stretch of the 'dangerous' Buxton to Macclesfield road. Who said that it was perfectly acceptable to do this? I imagine it's part of yet another insidious government programme to remove every last shred of 'English Difference' with Orwellian Newspeak. What are they teaching in schools? If one of my boys says 'kilometres' to say how far he went on a Scouting expedition he knows he runs the risk of having to go and sit in his bedroom for an hour with a 1957 AA Handbook. Maybe it's a sore point with me because I was obliged to give metric equivalents for Built for Britain's international market, but here at home I don't want the signposts changed to read 'Steeple Bumpstead 3km'. 'But I have promises to keep, / And kilometres to go before I sleep...' as Robert Frost didn't say.

Mincing Lanes

Regular readers will know of the situation regarding meat mincers in the village. Basically there's a Communal Mincer, still in its box (albeit held together with a rubber band) that is passed amongst us to deal with our Sunday lunch leftovers. But what's this? A usurper none less. It was like this: Saturday afternoon saw the annual village fete. Pimms on the lawn, cream teas in the village hall and me with my nose in the book box. Oh, and My Son successfully eating a jam donut without licking his lips. Towards the end, with both boys laden down with even more plastic kit to fill up the remaining spaces in their bedroom, I had another look at the bric-a-brac stall. Why hadn't I noticed the huge 12 cup Bialeti coffee maker before? And, why, oh why had I missed this. The Spong 100. Hand in pocket, job done. Then it started. My Neighbour Who Knows What I Like hissed as I went past her toy stall. She's the Official Keeper of the Communal Mincer. I'm sure somebody else sibilantly whispered "Traitor" close to my ear. Others gave sidelong glances, looking away whilst saying "You'll be in trouble". So I've had to promise to keep it as yet another Kitchen Display Item. Which I'm very glad to do. Just look at those trademarks, something you'd usually expect to see on an aero engine. Now, where's that bit of mutton...

Find The Fault No 15

Funny things, watches. All that time on your hands. I've had a few, everything from a Bulova which wound itself up everytime I did a handstand to a Russian tank commander's timepiece. The days seemed to go very slowly with the latter until you realised the date was just one number painted on the face. Then there was the black Swatch I bought at East Midlands Airport and stood so long chatting up the assistant I very nearly missed my flight to Glasgow. Getting on the plane to see all the quite rightly irritated passengers meaningfully tapping their watches. The Unmitigated England watch shouldn't be a wrist watch of course, but a pocket chronometer that can be slowly drawn out of a waistcoat pocket on its chain to check the arrival of the 10.15am to Mugby Junction. Or to swing slowly in front of people to hypnotise them into giving you their mint 'n' boxed Dinky Toys. Oh. Crikey. Is that the time?

Hired Wife

Top caption reads: "Dress and hairdress featured by Virginia Bruce of Universal Pictures in 'Hired Wife.' " (Click on the image to read the rest.)
Source: The Journey Barber, October 1940

Max Factor

I recently heard that Max Factor was going to discontinue selling its product in the United States. Very sad!

Source: Unknown, 1945

Source: Life, 1947

Source: Women's Home Companion, 1942

Source: Harper's Bazaar, March 1947

Here is a good post on Max Factor.


Thanks to Mike for the new banner!

Also, thank you to all the readers that have left comments. Keep them coming. It's great to know that y'all are reading the blog.

Comb Your Coiffures From a Pattern

(Click on the images for a better view.)
Source: American Hairdresser, June 1946

Play's the Thing in California

(Click on the image to see full size)
Source: American Hairdresser, June 1946

Sweet and Lovely

(Click on the image to see a larger version.)
Source: American Hairdresser, April 1943

Don’t be scared, be prepared! Book offers tips for preparedness

Don’t be scared, be prepared! That’s the mantra of Kathy Harrison, author of Just In Case: How to Be Self-Sufficient When the Unexpected Happens, a family-friendly preparedness guide.

To be prepared for anything from a flood to a pandemic, Harrison says that everyone should have at least the following basics:

* plans for communicating and reuniting with family during a crisis;
* a one-week supply of food and water (PDF) for each household member;
* a portable radio with extra batteries;
* back-up copies of all important documents stored in a safe place;
* an emergency car kit with water, light sticks, road flares, unbreakable cup or mug, wool blankets, etc.;
* a back-up heat source (for cold climates);
* emergency lighting, such as flashlights, candles and kerosene lamps; and
* an evacuation kit for each household member.
When putting together your evacuation kit — a backpack is a great way to store and tote emergency supplies — ask yourself: If I had to live out of this bag for three days, what would I need to stay safe and healthy? Here are some things that Harrison’s book recommends: flashlight, trash bags, whistle, water jug, water purification tablets, soap and washcloth, space blanket, energy bars, first aid kit, matches, a change of clothing, toilet paper, insect repellant and sunscreen.

If the idea of gathering all of these supplies sounds unrealistic, use the “OAR” system, suggests Harrison:

* Organize — Think about your risks (are hurricanes common where you live?) and plan storage spaces for all the supplies you’ll need.

* Acquire — Develop a schedule for building up your supply of all the food, water and additional items you’ll need during an emergency.

* Rotate — Occasionally rotate your stored items with your normal supply to make sure food is fresh and medications haven’t expired.

Just In Case also includes tips for improving your “skills for independence.” It teaches you how to do cool things like purify water using basic household items, dehydrate and can food, and even make your own cheese and yogurt.

The idea of preparing for an emergency can be overwhelming and scary. Books like this one provide lots of useful tips that make it easy to be prepared. You may want one on your bookshelf, just in case.

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Shameless Plug

Keen observers will have noticed the new book to the right of my posts, and will also probably remember that for the last year I have made numerous references to a project I once called Classic Constructs. Patently that isn't the title now, but Built for Britain is still a mix of the very large- the cantilevered Forth Bridge, and the very small- a Fenland pill box. And just for good measure spreads on corrugated iron (of course) and rows of beach huts. Including these at Wells-next-the-Sea on the North Norfolk coast, built on stilts to give them a chance on the ever-shifting foreshore and a place underneath to hide from mummy and daddy. You too can live the dream, because if you go to the Built for Britain website you'll be able to enter a competition to spend a glorious weekend for you and your pal of choice at The Crown Hotel in Wells. Plus you'll get £100 of spendo which means you could go and get something made out of grey serge in Trouser Town. Good luck!

Cattle Parking

One of my favourite local buildings is also one of the least appreciated. At least I think so, because everyone in its nexus is scurrying about fetching or returning supermarket trolleys, this being the centrepiece of Sainsbury's car park in Market Harborough. No time for architectural musings here as everybody, including me, lives in fear that they might not get parking stickers onto windscreens in time before the Council Wehrmacht descend to barcode and photograph your car. And if you think that's over-the-top wait until you see their red ill-fitting uniforms. However, this delightful building was the crowning glory of the old Market Harborough cattle market. But it doesn't even get a mention in Pevsner. Reminding me of the curious tower to the Horniman Museum on London's South Circular, it was saved by a more enlightened council who insisted that Saino's restore it before trucking in the museli and yoghurt. They all deserve Nectar points for the job they did. Not so the current, thrusting council who should look towards serving their community better by getting shot of the peak-capped revenue raisers and stop being privy to pulling down good buildings and digging up all the roads every five minutes. With all this pointless aggravation perhaps they should open up the cattle market Settling Room again so that we've all got somewhere nice to calm down.

A Little Tidbit

I'm gearing up for a new series of posts based on some fascinating reading I've been doing lately. I'm not going to spill the beans, but I will give you a little hint, from a paper written by Dr. Robert S. Corruccini, professor of anthropology at Southern Illinois university. I just came across this quote and it blew me away. It's so full of wisdom I can't even believe I just read it. The term "occlusion" refers to the way the upper and lower teeth come together, as in overbite or underbite.
Similar to heart disease and diabetes which are "diseases of civilization" or "Western diseases" (Trowell and Burkitt, 1981) that have attained high prevalence in urban society because of environmental factors rather than "genetic deterioration," an epidemiological transition (Omran, 1971) in occlusal health accompanies urbanization.

Western society has completely crossed this transition and now exists in a state of industrially buffered environmental homogeneity. The relatively constant environment both raises genetic variance estimates (since environmental variance is lessened) and renders epidemiological surveys largely meaningless because etiological factors are largely uniform. Nevertheless most occlusal epidemiology and heritability surveys are conducted in this population rather than in developing countries currently traversing the epidemiological transition.
In other words, the reason observational studies in affluent nations haven't been able to get to the bottom of dental/orthodontic problems and chronic disease is that everyone in their study population is doing the same thing! There isn't enough variability in the diets and lifestyles of modern populations to be able to determine what's causing the problem. So we study the genetics of problems that are not genetic in origin, and overestimate genetic contributions because we're studying populations whose diet and lifestyle are homogeneous. It's a wild goose chase.

That's why you have to study modernizing populations that are transitioning from good to poor health, which is exactly what Dr. Weston Price and many others have done. Only then can you see the true, non-genetic, nature of the problem.

Presenting "Vicky"... Drene's New Wartime Hair-do of the Month

(Click on the image to enlarge.)
Source: American Hairdresser, April 1943

Find The Fault No 14

Good one this, I think. I won't go on about the slightly Hitler Youth-ish boy, or the fact that there appears to have been a nuclear explosion in the next village. Instead I'll tell you about kite flying at Anderby Creek in 1952. We bought a big red box kite for flying out over the North Sea, one of us being sent down to the shop every ten minutes to buy yet another ball of string. Being called in for lunch we didn't know how to keep the thing airborne without anybody tugging at the line, but my uncle went and got a spare rubber fanbelt from his pre-war Ford. He tied the kite string to it and attached the whole thing to the verandah railing of our bungalow. Round about apple crumble time the line snapped. The string by this time was so long we couldn't see the kite, but after lunch we scrambled down the wooden steps to the beach and followed the line of string virtually to Chapel St. Leonards. We never saw the kite again, imagining that by teatime it was descending in gentle looping circles into a garden in Antwerp.