Architecture critic Inga Saffron believes that skyscrapers are O-VER-RA-TED **clap-clap, clap-clap-clap**

Skyscrappers are a signature piece and building type in the realm of architecture. Created with the spirit of being able to build so high and touch the sky (no so different from the goal of the European cathedrals), and now it seems that every architectural firm is trying to make their name as designing and building the world’s tallest new skyscraper (with the currently record leader still not being built yet).

Inga Saffron is the architecture critic for the Philadelphia Inquirer, and in her speech for the “TEDxPhilly” series, she lays out a challenge to cities to shift their focus to improving and creating amenities that would create better urban living environments, and away from, as she puts it, “skyscraper fantasies and dreams of increased tourism”. Saffron makes a very agreeable point that public spaces need to become a top priority, suggesting that cities focus on upgrading public transit services, adding bike lanes along major roads, promote walking as a transportation method, and creating/maintaining city parks and public plazas. She feels that since many (if not all) major cities can benefit from a variety of densities, and that this new focus would allow for greater flexibility. I feel this definitely deserves AT LEAST a +1 on Google+.

Now, who is this Inga Saffron and why all the hoopla?  Well, Saffron is a 2011-12 Leob Fellow at the Harvard Graduate School of Design, researching how cities can keep their identities as viable living places in this huge, globalized world.  She has been an architectural critic for over 10 years, writing about urban design issues and reviewing many memorable new projects and buildings, yet Saffron’s main interest are the lesser-mentioned and oft-ignored places that people typically look past, yet encounter in their everyday lives and routines.

[Thanks TEDx and DI]

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Black History: Jerry Lawson (1940-2011), The Creator Of The Video Game Cartridge

image In the spirit of Black History Month and recoginizing the contributions of African-Americans in architecture, videogames, technology, and professional wrestling, I’d like to begin with Jerry Lawson.

Continue reading Black History: Jerry Lawson (1940-2011), The Creator Of The Video Game Cartridge

It’s a bird, it’s a plane, it’s Super Wi-Fi!!

image Some number of years ago, there was an announcement of the wonderful technology called Super Wi-Fi. It was proposed to off fast, high-speed internet through the vacant spaces between TV network transmissions. Currently, the first public network that is now actively using Super WiFi is in Wilmington, North Carolina.

Now, why Wilmington exactly. Well, it’s pretty simple; Wilmington (mainly its county, New Hanover County) was the first area to transition to digital TV broadcasts from analog. Based on that, they were able to start ahead over other areas (including larger cities like Los Angeles, New York, Chicago, etc.) to get their local Super Wi-Fi network up. Ugh.

[Thank you NetworkWorld]

Fan Builds Own Custom House from “The Hobbit”

image “Lord of the Rings” fan Simon Dale was tired and uninterested in the typical, cookie-cutter suburban homes (or, in his words, “mass produced box design” homes). Dale, who is neither an architect nor contractor, moved his family to a Welsh countryside and designed and built a house in the fashion of “The Hobbit” of his beloved series. Continue reading Fan Builds Own Custom House from “The Hobbit”

New Video Game to be Composed by……Sir Paul McCartney!?!

Former Beatle, frontman of Wings, and music icon Sir Paul McCartney stated in an interview that he is currently working on music for a videogame (and no, it’s not “The Beatles: Rock Band 2” in case you’re wondering).  In an interview with Die Zeit (by the way, “Google Translate” will be your friend for this article), McCartney was asked by the interviewer if he would ever write music for a videogame. His response was that he already is, and that he finds the idea “exciting,” and the games market “fascinating;” also noting that videogames are selling more than CDs nowadays.

He recalls when he was a child and music was mostly accessible via his own radio and record collection, but today music is EVERYWHERE.  Due to this, Sir McCartney believes that by making new music in videogames, younger people will be hearing his music for the first time through that particular medium.

Maybe (just maybe), I’m amazed….

….as long as it isn’t like Journey’s and Aerosmith’s venture into videogames.  Ugh!

[Thanks Joystiq]

Save that New Car Money for a Cost Effective Pre-Fabricated House, Instead!

image This is the Mimahouse, a pre-fabricated house that can be easily customized by the homeowner. They are made in Portugal, and range at a price the is approximately similar to the Family Car. Judging by how they look (both interior and exterior) I wouldn’t mind my first house being one of these house — now, I just got to get one of these shipped over to the US….*man, shipping costs/fees are gonna kill me…..*

image

[Thanks Gizmodo & Mimahousing]

ThePractitioNERD is now on WORDPRESS!!! OMGWTFBBQSATIMAX!!!!

WELCOME The Brand New PractitioNERD

JUST MOVED THE GOOD ‘OL BLOG!!  SAME BLOG!!  SAME NERD!!  NEW HOME!!

http://ThePractitioNERD.wordpress.com

Yeah, I have hopped, skipped, and jumped from Blogger to WordPress.  Why?  Mainly just the options and features that WordPress has available has finally caught my attention, plus WordPress was the very-close second pick to starting the PractitioNERD blog to Blogger in the first place.  Also, since I like to begin/edit/publish my blog posts on my Android phone, the WordPress app and MILES AHEAD of what I like to see in my blogging apps over the offering of the Blogger app,  and thus more useful and necessary for The PractitioNERD blog.  Over the next few weeks, all new content will to uploaded to the new WordPress blog, while the new blog itself will also have earlier posts updated.

I’m so excited!! I’m NERDING out, here!!

Grantland’s David Shoemaker on the 2012 WWE Royal Rumble & The State of the WWE

With the WWE Royal Rumble coming up tomorrow, the WWE finds itself in a very interesting and very successful situation (if played correctly).  Grantland writer David Shoemaker (also known as “The Masked Man”) takes a look back at the history and the legacy of the Royal Rumble, as well as the current intriguing storylines that are leading up to the event.

Shoemaker starts by discussing the inception and evolution of the Royal Rumble event, conceived by Pat Patterson, which was inspired by the tradition of the battle royale-type match being a match of “controlled-chaos.”  He continues with the insanely-clever return of WWE mainstay Chris Jericho, who had just returned to action after a lengthy absence, seeming to play and exploit the fans’ knowledge and expectations of the typical “hyped-up returning good-guy wrestler” story to become a top heel (or bad guy).  Next is the continuation of the CM Punk storyline from this past summer (which I also blogged about), in which he broke the fourth-wall to take the company into an “Reality Era” (a play of the WWE’s “Attitude Era” of the late 1990’s), followed by the complete bait-and-switch of the persona of another returning wrestler, Broadus Clay, hyped as the unstoppable and violent monster, yet returning as a dancing machine (“what him get down, watch him get down).

I strongly recommend reading the entire article (linked below), as it is a very interesting and fun read.  At the end of reading it and reflecting of the state of the WWE in the last year or so, I think the answer to Showmaker’s question of whether or not the WWE was “trolling their own audience” is a huge, emphatic YES; YES they are.  To tell the truth, it’s probably working; I’ve been glued to the TV every Monday and Friday Night (or at least Hulu) to catch up on the madness.

[Thanks Grantland]

Best Buy challenges GameStop, Slaps White Glove Across Face

Say what you will, but this is a “gangsta” move by this Best Buy store.

It’s become pretty common knowledge that GameStop is the most popular retail store in the video game market, mostly because of its presence in the used games part of the market. With little to no competition in this field, GameStop has been scrutinized by game developers and consumers alike for its practices and policies (i.e., questionable trade-in prices, cutting developers out of income), as well as bordering accusations of the dirty business word known as “monopoly”.Nowadays, GameStop is beginning to face some competition from other retailers branching out into the used games market, including: Walmart, Best Buy, Blockbuster, Amazon, GameFly, etc.

Reddit user “striker1122” posted this image from a local Best Buy, which — coincidentally — is located DIRECTLY NEXT TO a GameStop site.  The sign reads “STOP trading in somewhere that only sells GAMES,” while cleverly utilizing the stylized font and colors of GameStop’s logo.  OH SNAP, SON!!

Best Buy’s (as well as other retailer’s) drive toward the used games market may greatly affect it, but may likely result in the increase of used game sales, resulting in financially hurting developers. Allow me to stand on my soapbox and recommend that the best way to support the video gaming industry is to buy your games new (whether at full retail price or even on sale) to help the developers, which results ultimately with benefiting us, the consumers, the gamers.   However, should the urge to buy used ever come up to rear its head, it’s at least very comfortable knowing that we have other (and probably better) options than just GameStop.

[Thanks Reddit]

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