Marking time in 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.
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.
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.
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.
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…
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.
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.
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: