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Marking time in March 2013

Wednesday 20 March 2013

Heritage impact reports

My colleague Donald Ellsmore asked me if I had ever seen a half decent heritage impact assessment in 10 pages or less.

I replied: I favour reports that are as short as possible (but as long as necessary…). The length needs to vary with the com­plex­ity of the issues and the nature of the other consultants’ reports in the development application. I am used to writing impact reports that go alongside stuff prepared by design architects and by town planners (who never learned brevity, or have since forgotten about it).

I sent him several of my shorter heritage impact reports​—​from 5 to 15 pages long​—​and he chose a couple to use as examples at a workshop about conserving the World Heritage Site of George Town in Malaysia. I guess Donald thought they were half decent, at least.

Permanent URL. Use it to bookmark or link to this item.   filed under  Conservation + Words

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Tuesday 19 March 2013

Olga Nethersole woodburytype zoomified

Let me decode that headline:

Olga Nethersole (1867-1951) was an actress and a celebrity in England and America. She is a perfect subject to demonstrate the woodburytype.

Woodburytype was a process for printing high quality black and white photographs, used from the late 1860s until about 1900. This Woodburytype print of Olga makes a fine test for zoomify

Zoomify is software for zooming and panning website images.

Miss Olga Nethersole, photograph by W & D Downey, London, c1892. The woodburytype image is 93 × 140 mm, pasted onto a 185 × 245 mm book page.

The internet comes to my desktop through fibre-to-the-premises, and displays on a pair of crisp Eizo screens. I can quaff web con­tent by the gallon, but I know you might still have a slow con­nec­tion and a small screen. Whatever your setup, I hope you can zoom, pan, and generally enjoy this image of Miss Nether­sole. Do try the toggle full page view button.

Even with zoomify, it’s not the same as holding the original Woodburytype print​—​but it’s close.

William and Daniel Downey, royal photographers, took many portraits of England’s rich and famous. This could be one of their best​—​the light, the gesture, the detail in her dress. But poor Olga is laced so tight it hurts to look at her. How technology has ad­vanced​—​now we can produce such body distortions, painlessly, with photoshop.

Permanent URL. Use it to bookmark or link to this item.   filed under  Collecting + Prints + This site

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Thursday 14 March 2013

What you can do with your comments

Please comment on anything you find (or don’t find) on this web­site, by email, phone or letter​—​it’s easy enough to contact me. I’ll be pleased to hear from you, and I am very likely to reply. It could be the start of a rewarding conversation.

Icon representing blog comments

I used to receive and publish comments here on Marking time, and on Special places, but now, with the revamping of this web­site, I have had enough. I have switched off commenting, re­moved the comment forms, and no longer display the past com­ments. The old comments are archived in the database, but I don’t plan to dis­play them.

I have mentioned before that almost all of the incoming com­ments were spam. I used Akismet to manage the spam, and it did a very good job. Let me show you some figures. During one fort­night it recognised and blocked 43,960 spam comments, and allowed 43 through.

Of those 43,

8 were spam comments that Akismet failed to catch,
28 were so silly or juvenile that I deleted them,
6 consisted of nothing but gibberish,
1 was worth keeping.

Life’s too short…

Permanent URL. Use it to bookmark or link to this item.   filed under  This site

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Monday 11 March 2013

Website revamped

I resolved to finish an overhaul of this website during 2012. The program slipped a little, but yesterday I asked my web host to change the DNS settings to point to the new site. Last night I went to bed quite late, satisfied that everything was working properly.

I woke early this morning and found that everything had gone bung​—​the website had turned into an Account Suspended page and my email accounts were inaccessible. Let’s just say that I was disappointed. But it’s all sorted out now, with a gracious apology from the host.

The new home page automatically displays thumbnails and excerpts of fresh content in the various parts of the site. This diagram shows the links from the home page.

Permanent URL. Use it to bookmark or link to this item.   filed under  This site

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Wednesday 6 March 2013

Draft Dent Island plan released

The draft Dent Island Lightstation heritage management plan is now available for download. The period for public comments ends on 3 April 2013. I was commissioned by the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority, and the Australian Maritime Safety Authority, to complete this joint plan.

Light houses: Dent Island & Cape Cleveland, a contract drawing prepared in the office of the Colonial Architect. In 1878 the contractor William Clark signed the drawing in the bottom right corner, but part of his signature has been lost. (Source: National Archives of Australia, series J2775, item 1717459).

Permanent URL. Use it to bookmark or link to this item.   filed under  Lighthouses

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Friday 1 March 2013

A lighthouse keeper’s life

The National Museums Scotland website has a fine online ex­hi­bi­tion​—​Shining lights: the story of Scotland’s lighthouses​—​where I found this video of interviews with lightkeepers:

Permanent URL. Use it to bookmark or link to this item.   filed under  Lighthouses

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On this page
Heritage impact reports
Olga Nethersole woodburytype zoomified
What you can do with your comments
Website revamped
Draft Dent Island plan released
A lighthouse keeper's life

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