The Future of Fringe. This week's episode of Fringe, 4x19, "Letters of Transit" shows us the future of the show - both in universe (recap, speculation) and for our world: Joshua Jackson says, "If you watch [Letters of Transit], you’ll have an understanding of where they want to take the series.” There are three episodes left for season four (teaser for 4x20, "Worlds Apart") and if Fox doesn't give Fringe a possible thirteen-episode fifth-season renewal, they have shot two different endings for season four. (Spoilers and speculation for Fringe.)
Steam locomotives are dead, right? Awe-inspiring though they might be, labor issues and diesel fuel at 4 cents a gallon killed them in the 1950's and 60's, and they survive only in isolated pockets around the world and on tourist railways. [more inside]
Postcards from Our Awesome Future. [via] An art exhibition stemming from the minds of Packard Jennings (whose illustrations have appeared in Adbusters) and Steve Lambert (of Anti-Advertising Agency fame); using San Francisco's infrastructure as a model for improvement, the duo answered the siren call of Objectivism through an arcology devoid of “...budgets, beauracracy [sic], politics, or physics”. [more inside]
City in Flames Twenty Five years ago the City of Lynn Massachusetts experienced its second great fire. Devastating several downtown industrial buildings dating to the rise of the Shoe industry. All of which were undergoing redevelopment. While nowhere near as big as the Great Boston Fire of 1872, or the various Chelsea fires, the tragedy of the story is the empty wasteland that still sits after all these years. Today the Boston Globe dug up several articles from their pre Web vaults. The Lynn Museum has an exhibit, and the Lynn Library will have a slideshow.
Farmadeliphication (fahr'muh'deli'fi'kay'shun), n. 1. The process of turning all of Philadelphia's vacant and abandoned lots into urban farms. n. 2. An entry in the UrbanVoids international design competition to redo Philadelphia's inner city.
David Brooks makes an interesting point. Rebuild New Orleans to ensure that the cycle of generational poverty is broken. Does this seem like social engineering? There is a precedent for this, though. Can it--should it?--be done on a citywide scale? Should the government meddle this much in the day-to-day lives of people?
Dixie Square Mall, in the mostly-blighted "inner ring" Chicago suburb of Harvey, Illinois, opened in 1966. It suffered gradual decline, until it closed in 1978. A year later, film crews gave the mall a brief makeover and Jake and Elwood Blues drove through the place. Then, nothing. For 20-plus years, the mall sat and decayed. Renovation plans (even a planned baseball stadium for the White Sox) were popular over the years, but never panned out. In 1993, a rape and murder took place in the JC Penney's space. From space, the mall looks beat up. From the ground, it looks even worse. Human fascination with deserted space has borne a number of websites and spelunking trips (along with some excellent then-and-now comparisons), and a documentary is apparently in the works. Finally, at long last, there's renewed hope for the site. Previously seen here and here.
An Audit for the Soul As we enter the Jewish High Holy Days--the 10 days between Rosh Hashanah (the new year) and Yom Kippur (the day of atonement)--some examinations on how personal reflection and renewal is essential to a healthy life, whether continual, periodical, or annual.