5/14/2020 Notes

Dumbarton Court from the Tower Block Database. Image licensed CC Attribution by Professor Miles Glendinning

Tower Block at The University of Edinburgh is a database “emphasis[ing] the social and architectural importance of tower blocks, and to frame multi-storey social housing as a coherent and accessible nationwide heritage”. Looks like the easiest way to browse is to navigate to the search page and scroll down for a full list. Digging into the website you’ll also find a PDF of Tower Block by Miles Glendinning and Stefan Muthesius available for download.

Reuben Saltzman writing on Stucco-Covered Chimneys over at Structure Tech. Chimneys with multiple construction layers (brick and stucco, veneer stone over framing) are a source of headaches – difficult to diagnose and yet a real threat to life and property.

RetroRenovation clued us in that the Daltile Mosaic Designer is back up and running. It’s a need web tool for the layout of mosaic details – I’m curious what the process looks like once you ‘submit’. It looks like perhaps it loops in a local Daltile distributor at that point.

Nancy Hiller has been running a series of interviews over at Lost Art Press (all excellent!), with the most unique being an interview with the creator of Barbie Woodshop, an incredible miniature woodshop project you can follow on instagram.

Radiation Source of the Week: Rolling Stone published America’s Radioactive Secret documenting the growing radiation hazard presented by an oil and gas waste product called ‘brine’ which can be contaminated with radium radionuclides. An incredible health and safety risk and, like most health and safety risks, one borne by the lower paid workers in the industry and downplayed by the highest paid.

Radium in [marcellus shale] brine can average around 9,300 picocuries per liter, but has been recorded as high as 28,500. “If I had a beaker of that on my desk and accidentally dropped it on the floor, they would shut the place down,” says Yuri Gorby, a microbiologist who spent 15 years studying radioactivity with the Department of Energy. “And if I dumped it down the sink, I could go to jail.”