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The Push to Revitalize Urban Alleys Across the United States Is Fostering Community and Sustainability – CityLab

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For places that were meant to be unseen, alleys take up a not-insubstantial amount of space. A 2011 report by Mary Fialko and Jennifer Hampton, graduate students at the University of Washington*, found that in Seattle, there are 217,000 square feet of public alley space downtown, 85 percent of which are underused. The report estimated that reinvigorating alleyways could increase the number of total public space in the city by 50 percent.Alleys, too, are vital players in a city’s overall ecosystem. As the need for cities to rely on more sustainable approaches has become more pressing, the proliferation of trash and flooding in alleyways has come to be seen not only an aesthetic blight, but an environmental one.And as Daniel Freedman of the Los Angeles Sustainability Collaborative says, there’s a lot of crossover between sound environmental practices and livability. Revitalizing an alleyway creates an opportunity to introduce green infrastructure, but also, Freedman says, it invites the surrounding community to collaborate on improvements and make use of the space.

Source: The Push to Revitalize Urban Alleys Across the United States Is Fostering Community and Sustainability – CityLab

These Are the Best Architecture Images from the NYPL’s New Public Domain Collection | ArchDaily

These Are the Best Architecture Images from the NYPL’s New Public Domain Collection,Woolworth Building construction. Image via The New York Public Library

 

Last week the New York Public Library made over 180,000 images from their digital archives available in the public domain, and free for high-resolution download. Not only are the images available for download, but since they are in the public domain and free of any copyright restrictions, users have the freedom to get creative and alter, modify, and reuse the images in any manner they see fit. Featuring a wide variety of images including drawings, engravings, photographs, maps, postcards, and in some cases, digitized copies of entire books, the collection has been noted for fascinating historical artifacts such as a set of color drawings of Egyptian gods and goddesses, and a digitized book from the 18th century containing over 400 color plates depicting various current and historical fashion trends.

Source: These Are the Best Architecture Images from the NYPL’s New Public Domain Collection | ArchDaily

British Library Releases Millions of Images for Public Use on Flickr | ArchDaily

British Library Releases Millions of Images for Public Use on Flickr, "Through China with a Camera ... With ... illustrations". Image Courtesy of The British Library
“Through China with a Camera … With … illustrations”. Image Courtesy of The British Library

The British Library has continued to release images from its digitized collection, now bordering over one million images on public image-sharing platform Flickr, reports Quartz.  Since 2013, the institution’s “Mechanical Curator” has been randomly selecting images or other pages from over 65,000 public-domain books from the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries.

 

 

Source: British Library Releases Millions of Images for Public Use on Flickr | ArchDaily

Meet the Middle Precariat | naked capitalism

The word Precariat was popularized five or so years ago to describe a rapidly expanding working class with unstable, low-paid jobs. What I call the Middle Precariat, in contrast, are supposed to be properly, comfortably middle class, but it’s not quite working out this way.

There are people like the Floridian couple who both have law degrees—and should be in the prime of their working lives—but can’t afford a car or an apartment and have moved back in with the woman’s elderly mother. There are schoolteachers around the country that work second jobs after their teaching duties are done: one woman in North Dakota I spoke to was heading off to clean houses after the final bell in order to pay her rent.

Many of the Middle Precariat work jobs that used to be solidly middle class. Yet some earn roughly what they did a decade ago. At the same time, middle-class life is now 30 percent more expensive than it was 20 years ago. The Middle Precariat’s jobs are also increasingly contingent—meaning they are composed of short-term contract or shift work, as well as unpaid overtime. Buffeted by Silicon Valley-like calls to maximize disruption, the Middle Precariat may have positions “reimagined.” That cruel euphemism means they are to be replaced by younger, cheaper workers, or even machines.

Source: Meet the Middle Precariat | naked capitalism

Deutsche Bank Chief Economist Joins SocGen Chairman in Trying to Foment Banking Crisis to Get Germany, Brussels to Blink | naked capitalism

Another race to the crash: who goes first Deutsche Bank or Italian Banks? Can bankers get politicians to pull the emergency cord? Who gets screwed? Stay tune for Crash 2.0.

Why bank executives are stoking a banking crisis, with Deutsche Bank in their crosshairs.

Source: Deutsche Bank Chief Economist Joins SocGen Chairman in Trying to Foment Banking Crisis to Get Germany, Brussels to Blink | naked capitalism

Andrea Leadsom could be PM in weeks, and these telling discoveries prove she’d be a disaster | The Canary

Aside from the issues raised in the article, Ms. Leadsom was on the BBC when the Brexit win was announced. Her response – now is the time to take a deep breathe and think about the next steps. Right, jump off the cliff and then think about the parachute. Maybe her campaign symbol should be the Coyote from the Road Runner cartoons.

Evidence that damages her bid to become next PM

Source: Andrea Leadsom could be PM in weeks, and these telling discoveries prove she’d be a disaster | The Canary

María Moliner: Darned Socks and Wrote Dictionaries

But the figure who stands out in the period was María Moliner (1900–1981). A librarian under the  Second Republic, Moliner had established a  groundbreaking network of rural libraries in Spain in the 1930s, part of the Second Republic’s short  but intense period of educational reform. At the  time, only four million of the twenty-three million Spaniards had access to books and newspapers. By 1934, she had already opened 5,000 libraries, and had plans for 5,500 more in primary schools and small towns.

Unlike other left-wing intellectuals, María Moliner, a mother of four, did not run away from Franco. She and her family suffered for the decision. Her husband, a professor of physics and left-wing  activist, was suspended from his job for three  years. Moliner stayed on the government’s payroll but was demoted eighteen ranks. By 1946, she was  working way below her abilities, as head librarian at the Higher Technical School of Industrial Engineers.

The idea to write a dictionary was born in 1952, when Moliner’s son, who was living in Paris, sent her a copy of The Oxford Learner’s Dictionary of Current English. Conscious of the decline of the Real Academia’s dictionary under Franco, Moliner began taking notes to write a small Spanish dictionary similar to the Oxford Learner’s Dictionary. She understood the methodology. Thirty years earlier, while she was studying at the University of Zaragoza, Moliner had been part of a team working  on a dictionary of Aragonese. She thought she  could write it in two years. 

In 1966, after fifteen years of solitary work, Moliner finally published her landmark Diccionario de Uso del Español (Dictionary of Spanish Usage). It was an immediate success: since 1967, it has sold almost two hundred thousand copies. Gabriel García Márquez called it “the most complete, useful,  diligent and entertaining dictionary of the Castilian  language.”  Moliner based her corpus on the Academia’s  dictionary, augmented with what she gleaned from newspapers. The Academia had accepted words such as record, test, and film but it ignored technical  terms that were becoming common, including  cibernética, entropía (entropy), reactor, and transistor. Striving to be clear and up-to-date, Moliner included foreign words, colloquialisms, slang, and  acronyms that were part of common usage. Moliner also refused to treat ch and ll as separate letters (the Academia followed her example in  1994). 

When Moliner died in 1981, Gabriel García Márquez wrote her obituary. He said her dictionary was “twice as big as the Academia’s and, in my  opinion, twice as good.” Its only drawback, he declared, was the absence of profanities, “the words Spaniards have used the most since time immemorial.” In 1972, the great philologists Rafael Lapesa and Dámaso Alonso nominated Moliner for membership in the Real Academia and it was widely believed she would become Spain’s first female academician. The Academia instead chose the  philologist Emilio Alarcos Llorach, even though his  best work (Gramática de la lengua española) was  still twenty-two years in the making. Moliner’s biog-  rapher, Inmaculada de la Fuente, wrote, “Her work questioned the dictionary of the Real Academia. She was admired, but not valued.” 

On learning that her candidacy was rejected, María Moliner commented ironically, “What could I have said? I spent my life darning socks.” 

The Story of Spanish by Jean-Benoit Nadeau and Julie Barlow