Posts Tagged ‘britain’

Cartomariposas, Map Butterflies (La Cartoteca)

Friday, August 21st, 2009

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[Editor's note: Beautiful butterflies cut out of colourful old maps and mounted in display boxes.]

Republished from Image Surgery.
First seen at La Cartoteca (in Spanish).

Single butterflies laser-cut from vintage maps, charts, and plans. Presented in a glass-fronted display case measuring 285 x 285 x 125 mm. Sold complete with flush-fit hanging bracket and unique identification plate. All these works are one-off originals.

Priced at £200 including UK delivery. Overseas delivery rates on request.
Further details can be found on the butterfly info page.
For sales enquiries please email sales@imagesurgery.com

View more images . . .

The Fedrigoni Mountains (Anamorphosis)

Tuesday, April 21st, 2009

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[Editor's note: The exhibition of folded paper mountains at Fedrigoni's London showroom representing an imaginary landscape. The exhibit is @ 5th Floor, 36-38 Hatton Garden, London and will be open until April 30th 2009 (open weekdays 9:30-17:00).]

Republished from Anamorphosis blog.

British Graphic Designer and Art Director Alex Ostrowski, and Illustrator and Set Maker Hattie Newman have just finished building The Fedrigoni Mountains, an impressive model mountain range, fashioned using Fedrigoni papers.

The pair also commissioned twelve intrepid illustrators to ‘explore’ the paper slopes and visualise their discoveries on B1 sheets of paper. Each paper peak was peppered with tiny model clues, including a plane, a native village and an abandoned camp. The illustrators elaborated on these landmarks to conjure an imaginary adventure up the mountains.

No Snickering: That Road Sign Means Something Else (NY Times)

Tuesday, January 27th, 2009

The “Butt” in this road, in South Yorkshire, probably refers to a container for collecting water.

[Editor’s note: Amusing article about “off color” place names in Britain that have a long history. Thanks April!]

Republished from The New York Times. By SARAH LYALL. Published: January 22, 2009.

CRAPSTONE, England — When ordering things by telephone, Stewart Pearce tends to take a proactive approach to the inevitable question “What is your address?”

He lays it out straight, so there is no room for unpleasant confusion. “I say, ‘It’s spelled “crap,” as in crap,’ ” said Mr. Pearce, 61, who has lived in Crapstone, a one-shop country village in Devon, for decades.

Disappointingly, Mr. Pearce has so far been unable to parlay such delicate encounters into material gain, as a neighbor once did.

“Crapstone,” the neighbor said forthrightly, Mr. Pearce related, whereupon the person on the other end of the telephone repeated it to his co-workers and burst out laughing. “They said, ‘Oh, wethought it didn’t really exist,’ ” Mr. Pearce said, “and then they gave him a free something.”

In the scale of embarrassing place names, Crapstone ranks pretty high. But Britain is full of them. Some are mostly amusing, like Ugley, Essex; East Breast, in western Scotland; North Piddle, in Worcestershire; and Spanker Lane, in Derbyshire.

Others evoke images that may conflict with residents’ efforts to appear dignified when, for example, applying for jobs.

These include Crotch Crescent, Oxford; Titty Ho, Northamptonshire; Wetwang, East Yorkshire; Slutshole Lane, Norfolk; and Thong, Kent. And, in a country that delights in lavatory humor, particularly if the word “bottom” is involved, there is Pratts Bottom, in Kent, doubly cursed because “prat” is slang for buffoon.

As for Penistone, a thriving South Yorkshire town, just stop that sophomoric snickering.

“It’s pronounced ‘PENNIS-tun,’ ” Fiona Moran, manager of the Old Vicarage Hotel in Penistone, said over the telephone, rather sharply. When forced to spell her address for outsiders, she uses misdirection, separating the tricky section into two blameless parts: “p-e-n” — pause — “i-s-t-o-n-e.”

Several months ago, Lewes District Council in East Sussex tried to address the problem of inadvertent place-name titillation by saying that “street names which could give offense” would no longer be allowed on new roads.

“Avoid aesthetically unsuitable names,” like Gaswork Road, the council decreed. Also, avoid “names capable of deliberate misinterpretation,” like Hoare Road, Typple Avenue, Quare Street and Corfe Close.

(What is wrong with Corfe Close, you might ask? The guidelines mention the hypothetical residents of No. 4, with their unfortunate hypothetical address, “4 Corfe Close.” To find the naughty meaning, you have to repeat the first two words rapidly many times, preferably in the presence of your fifth-grade classmates.)

The council explained that it was only following national guidelines and that it did not intend to change any existing lewd names.

Still, news of the revised policy raised an outcry.

“Sniggering at double entendres is a loved and time-honored tradition in this country,” Carol Midgley wrote in The Times of London. Ed Hurst, a co-author, with Rob Bailey, of “Rude Britain” and “Rude UK,” which list arguably offensive place names — some so arguably offensive that, unfortunately, they cannot be printed here — said that many such communities were established hundreds of years ago and that their names were not rude at the time.

“Place names and street names are full of history and culture, and it’s only because language has evolved over the centuries that they’ve wound up sounding rude,” Mr. Hurst said in an interview.

Mr. Bailey, who grew up on Tumbledown Dick Road in Oxfordshire, and Mr. Hurst got the idea for the books when they read about a couple who bought a house on Butt Hole Road, in South Yorkshire.

The name most likely has to do with the spot’s historic function as a source of water, a water butt being a container for collecting water. But it proved to be prohibitively hilarious.

“If they ordered a pizza, the pizza company wouldn’t deliver it, because they thought it was a made-up name,” Mr. Hurst said. “People would stand in front of the sign, pull down their trousers and take pictures of each other’s naked buttocks.”

The couple moved away.

The people in Crapstone have not had similar problems, although their sign is periodically stolen by word-loving merrymakers. And their village became a stock joke a few years ago, when a television ad featuring a prone-to-swearing soccer player named Vinnie Jones showed Mr. Jones’s car breaking down just under the Crapstone sign.

In the commercial, Mr. Jones tries to alert the towing company to his location while covering the sign and trying not to say “crap” in front of his young daughter.

The consensus in the village is that there is a perfectly innocent reason for the name “Crapstone,” though it is unclear what that is. Theories put forth by various residents the other day included “place of the rocks,” “a kind of twisting of the original word,” “something to do with the soil” and “something to do with Sir Francis Drake,” who lived nearby.

Jacqui Anderson, a doctor in Crapstone who used to live in a village called Horrabridge, which has its own issues, said that she no longer thought about the “crap” in “Crapstone.”

Still, when strangers ask where she’s from, she admitted, “I just say I live near Plymouth.”

Watch the Road: World’s Earliest SatNav (Strange Maps)

Wednesday, October 1st, 2008

[Editor’s note: Republished from the Strange Maps blog. Thanks Melissa!]

Satellite navigation (SatNav) is a lot older than previously thought. In fact, it’s even decades older than man-made satellites themselves. This fantastic contraption, called the ‘Routefinder’, showed 1920s drivers in the UK the roads they were travelling down, gave them the mileage covered and told them to stop when they came at journey’s end.

The technology – a curious cross between the space age and the stone age – consisted of a little map scroll inside a watch, to be ’scrolled’ (hence the word) as the driver moved along on the map. A multitude of scrolls could be fitted in the watch to suit the particular trip the driver fancied taking.

The system has several obvious drawbacks – a limited number of available journeys, and the inability of the system to respond to sudden changes of direction. Also: no warning of road works or traffic jams ahead.

Not that there were that many traffic jams in 1920s Britain. The Routefinder, one of many bizarre patented gadgets now on display at the British Library, didn’t take off because there were too few drivers, i.e. potential customers, at that time in Britain. Or maybe also because it was a bit impractical, distracting drivers from what they were supposed to watch – the road.

Many thanks to Toni Hudzina for sending in a link to this story (here on ananova).

A Map With Only Labels?

Thursday, April 3rd, 2008

Apparently it’s selling like hotcakes in Britain. The 60″ by 40″ wall poster was designed by NB: Studio originally for the exhibition My London / My City. See more photos and buy it at: blanka.co.uk/design/nb_studio 

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