David Lebovitz visits the Le Creuset factory in Fresnoy-le-Grand, France.
"Parlors, “dining chambers,” and other spaces amenable to dining began appearing in architecture plans. Each nation seemed to have its own idea as to what constituted a proper dining room. The great Renaissance architect Leon Battista Alberti wrote that it “should be entered off the bosom of the house,” advising further that, “[a]s use demands, there should be [a dining room] for summer, one for winter, and one for middling seasons.” Some two centuries later Englishman William Sanderson would recommend that a “Dyning-Roome” be hung with pictures of kings and queens." The Austerity Kitchen presents A Short History Of The Dining Room Part 1 / Part 2.
"a highly-automated, vertically-integrated manufacturer" Visit a zipper factory and see how a perceived design flaw translates into a more labor-intensive process. From the blog, bunnie: studios.
In a small gallery of six images wired.co.uk shows how the branded chocolate eggs are created. The pictures don't seem to show you *precisely* how they make get the fondant middle into the 'egg' but the six pictures do illustrate some of the chocolatey magic. [more inside]
Inside the Proportion>London factory in Walthamstow. - Not an invasion force, honest.
Raveena Aulakh of The Star got hired at a sweatshop in Bangladesh. Her boss was a 9 year old girl named Meem.
On June 6, 2013 @BurlCoatFactory started posting on Twitter, apparently on behalf of the Burlington Coat Factory retail chain. The tweets started out reasonably enough, if a bit whimsical. But after a month had gone by things started to get a bit zanier and eventually full on weird. New York Magazine reports that until a few days ago the Burlington Coat Factory website linked directly to the account, but the link has now been removed and the corporation has allegedly disavowed any connection to the account (though said disavowal has apparently also been removed). Jezebel, Mashable, and even Esquire cover the weirdness.
The iEconomy: Apple and Technology Manufacturing. Since January, the New York Times has been running a series of articles "examining the challenges posed by increasingly globalized high-tech industries," with a focus on Apple's business practices. The seventh article in the series was published today: In Technology Wars, Using the Patent as a Sword. Related: For Software, Cracks in the Patent System and Fighters in the Patent War. [more inside]
DJ Greg Wilson has photos of the Haçienda DJ Booth (no, not the one you're thinking of). DJ Hewan Clarke who played every night for the first four years talks about what it was like in the early days of the Haçienda: What I used to do when I was playing the records… I always had to go out, run onto the stage, stand in the middle of the stage and listen to how it sounded in the club, went back in and readjust it on the mixer and I was constantly doing that because there was no feedback from what was going on outside, you just had to look through that gap. [more inside]
On December 19th, Ford closed the doors of their St Paul auto plant, ending 800 jobs and 86 years of history. The plant was closed as part of Ford's move to end the Ford Ranger in North America, a truck that will still be available overseas. Born of the 80s gas crisis, the Ranger has been Ford's compact truck for almost forty years. Ford blames demand for large trucks and the shrinking gap in price between the compact and full-sized truck markets, spurring concern about the future of the compact truck market in North America.
Spaces of banana control. A visit to one of the four major artificial banana ripening facilities in New York City, for a research seminar on the "Artificial Cryosphere." [more inside]
In part five of Jon Ronson's Escape and Control, he talks to Patrice Wilson, the man behind Rebecca Black's "Friday" (YT) and finds himself part of the Ark Music Factory assembly line. [more inside]
For the last few decades, discoveries at Blombos Cave near Capetown have been pushing back our timeframe for the earliest known periods of complex human thought. Henshilwood et al have now discovered a 100,000 year old ocher paint factory at the same site.
At long last, Factory Balls 4 is complete. Go forth and create, my friends. (One, two, three, xmas.)
The Spam Factory's Dirty Secret. Undocumented workers, an autoimmune mystery traced to aerosolized pork brains from increased line production speed, and what sounds like one of the worst jobs in America.
Made in America: small businesses buck the offshoring trend - "For US manufacturing to make sense, factories must make extensive use of automation. That's getting easier, given that the cost of robots with comparable capabilities has decreased precipitously in the past two decades." [more inside]
We Are Those Lions. Sepia Mutiny discusses the death of Jayaben Desai, trade unionist.
He might've placed a couple of chips into your Mac, Dell or Hewlett-Packard. Meet Yuan Yandong.
A giant lego machine which builds a small lego airplane. A 10 min video of lego building lego... I couldn't make it through without fast-forwarding, but as a lego enthusiast, I was intrigued by the way the assorted pieces were provided to the machine and moved along to the final creation.
"They actually envied those who could take a leave due to work injury, while casually joking about how their station's been toxicated."
A (translated) Chinese report on life as a factory worker at Foxconn, the company that manufactures iPhones and other gadgets. Each employee would sign a "voluntary overtime affidavit," in order to waive the 36-hour legal limit on your monthly overtime hours. This isn't a bad thing, though, as many workers think that only factories that offer more overtime are "good factories," because "without overtime, you can hardly make a living."
The National Labor Committee, a watchdog group that investigates working conditions at foreign factories producing goods for US corporations, has released a report on the KYE Factory in Guangdong, China. KYE manufactures outsourced products for Microsoft (their biggest customer), HP, Best Buy, Samsung, Foxconn, Acer, Logitech, and ASUS. The report focuses heavily on the workers producing Microsoft products. In response, Microsoft says they will investigate the allegations, as their vendor code of conduct (pdf) bans much of the abuses uncovered by the report. Photo Slideshow / NLC report summary [more inside]
A History of Obama Feigning Interest in Mundane Things, slide show courtesy of New York magazine. Can be divided into two categories: with safety glasses, and without.
Health and safety issues at an 'investment casting' (AKA 'lost wax') factory near Ningbo. Seventh in a series of photo essays (1 2 3 4 5 6) by Hong Kong-based independent photographer Alex Hofford, looking at life and work in the factories of southern China where the world's stuff gets made.
They slice. They dice. They make tempura shrimp. I'm not exactly sure who or what PF Max Company is, but this collection of YouTube videos -- featuring factory machines designed to cut, slice, sort, and do unspeakable things to fish -- is fascinating to watch. There are dozens of videos; these were selected for their toe-tapping (rolling out imitation crab & scallop) musical accompaniment (shredding fish to make Surimi). ⚠Warning: these videos depict bad things happening to (dead) fish so if that upsets you, don't watch. [more inside]
Thomas A. Edison did not simply invent; he created the invention industry. He not only inspired the American Industrial Revolution, he provided the model for modern R&D concepts. Perhaps his greatest success beyond his legacy of innovation and invention is the introduction of team-based research. The Edison Innovation Foundation is using Edison's Invention Factory to educate the next generation of inventors.
Celebrating Tony Wilson (realplayer - realplayer alternative here). BBC Radio One's weekly 2hr Essential Mix, this week featuring show host Pete Tong and Hacienda legend Mike Pickering. It'll be up for a week from today - tracklisting here.
Organic chickens more likely to make you seriously ill. Of course, just thinking about the conditions factory-raised chickens live in can make you ill as well, but Campylobacter can kill you.
Take a cyber tour of the Nong Shim factory! Yay! Warning: Portions may require ActiveX control. Includes sound, especially music, voice, and a chime every few seconds. Discontinue use if you experience any of the following: overstimulation, understimulation, rage, anguish, nausea, seizure, uncontrollable craving for shrimp crackers, or an erection lasting more than four hours.
"One Thing to Do About Food". Short essays on what to do about the nations food supply by Michael Pollan (Omnivore's Dilemma), Eric Schlosser (Fast Food Nation) and others.
...or why I wish I lived in England, part 6. The Mancunians return gravitas to Christianity's most holy holiday.
From the outside it's hard to guess this is a car factory. But then again, even from the inside the parquet floors and lack of shelves may have thrown you off. Welcome to VW's Incredible Glass Factory.
"For every Deep Roy, there are a hundred and fifty of us who are forced to do wacked-out shit on 'The Man Show.' I'd like Tim Burton to tell me to my face what is the benefit of hiring one dwarf actor and computer-generating him when he could hire seven. We're standing at the gate and we're raising our hands and saying, 'Pick me!' And then Tim Burton comes out and says, 'I'm sorry, guys, go on home. We've got this machine that can do all your jobs.'"
The Google Factory Tour (if you have a few hours to kill); video for RealPlayer or Windows Media.
The Triangle Factory Fire of 1911. 'This site includes selected information on a terrible and unnecessary tragedy involving the death of many young working women in a New York City sweatshop at the beginning of the 20th century and the resulting investigations and reforms. '
Factory Tours! Too cool. A site devoted to collecting and sharing publicly available tours of various production facilities: candy, breweries, cars, candles, power plants... Just the idea transports me right back to being a grade-schooler watching films about How Things Are Made. I am so there, dude.
Just DON'T do it. In findings that Nike admitted were "concerning", the Community Aid Abroad-Oxfam Australia report revealed that, not only were female workers only paid $2 per day, despite legal entitlement to menstrual leave each month, they were forced to pull down their pants in front of the factory doctor to claim that leave.