Historical preservationism began innocently enough. The demolition in 1963 of the old Penn Station in Manhattan shocked the conscience of a certain class of urban do-gooder, and with the help of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis a campaign was launched to spare Grand Central Terminal the same fate. Its success emboldened governments around the country to strengthen controls over new development, and a movement was born.
I first went to Datong in 1984 and was immediately taken by this gritty city in China’s northern Shanxi Province. Along with half a dozen classmates from Peking University, I traveled eight hours on an overnight train, arriving in a place that felt even more old-fashioned than Beijing was at the time. It was one of those cities that seemed to exist in a world of black and white: the streets and buildings were covered with soot and grime from nearby coal mines, while outside town, farmers toiled on the bleached soil of the Loess Plateau, creviced and exhausted after millennia of human demands. (via China’s Glorious New Past by Ian Johnson | NYRblog | The New York Review of Books)

I first went to Datong in 1984 and was immediately taken by this gritty city in China’s northern Shanxi Province. Along with half a dozen classmates from Peking University, I traveled eight hours on an overnight train, arriving in a place that felt even more old-fashioned than Beijing was at the time. It was one of those cities that seemed to exist in a world of black and white: the streets and buildings were covered with soot and grime from nearby coal mines, while outside town, farmers toiled on the bleached soil of the Loess Plateau, creviced and exhausted after millennia of human demands. (via China’s Glorious New Past by Ian Johnson | NYRblog | The New York Review of Books)

Anti-Nazi Code-Cracking Machine Rebuilt, Even With the Original Diagrams Being Used For Toilet Paper(via @Gizmodo)

Despite there being no original parts left of the Tunny machine post-WWII, a crack-team of British computer boffins were able to rebuild the code-cracking machine, which played a huge part in intercepting Hitler’s commands. It took six years, but finally the National Museum of Computing has a…

What if you call and all the places you remember are no longer there? 
(via ‘Old Places’ 老地方 (2010) « Teck Siang)

What if you call and all the places you remember are no longer there? 

(via ‘Old Places’ 老地方 (2010) « Teck Siang)

“Everything was much better under Pak Harto,” concluded an opinion generated in a recent polling which has been the hot topic these days. The sentiment of longing for the late former president is shared by more and more Indonesians. Ironically today we celebrate the movement that forced Soeharto to end his 32-year iron-fist and corrupt rule. On May 21, 1998, we were overjoyed after Soeharto announced his resignation. We had a dream of a much better Indonesia at that time. But is it true that the nation was much more prosperous, more secure and more peaceful under the leadership of the retired general who practically appointed himself as the Father of Development? Is the common complaint that the 13 years of reform under its four presidents, including incumbent Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, has been a total failure true?