There Is No Cat

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Sunday, May 2, 2004

The only cubist lamp post in the world

There's a neat article in today's New York Times about 20th century architecture in Prague, particularly the odd cubist architecture that flourished just before World War I. I remember being in Prague in 1995 and seeing the cubist lamp post that's pictured at the top of the page. Unfortunately, when I was there, it was surrounded by scaffolding for refurbishing and was difficult to really appreciate. But I could see the top of it from the glass wall at the back of the Bata shoe store on Wenceslaus Square. There were a bunch of cubist buildings sprinkled here and there throughout the areas of the city.

One store that's mentioned in the article is Modernista, which sells original pieces from the cubist and mid-century modern eras, as well as reproductions. They've got a neat web site where they display their offerings. When I win the lottery, I would love to buy some of their stuff.

I don't think I've seen any of this stuff in my trawlings through modern design web sites here in the U.S. But I think that Czech modernism was a defining influence in my interest in such design, oddly enough, through the medium of the CBS Children's Film Festival, which used to air a ton of Czechoslovakian films. I honestly don't remember much about those films, but I do remember the presence of modern architecture and design in some of them; whenever I think of that series, I think of those old Czech films and the clean lines of the buildings and sets. Yeah, okay, I'm weird, so what....

Posted at 7:57 PM


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What do you mean there is no cat?

"You see, wire telegraph is a kind of a very, very long cat. You pull his tail in New York and his head is meowing in Los Angeles. Do you understand this? And radio operates exactly the same way: you send signals here, they receive them there. The only difference is that there is no cat."

- Albert Einstein, explaining radio

There used to be a cat

[ photo of Mischief, a black and white cat ]

Mischief, 1988 - December 20, 2003

[ photo of Sylvester, a black and white cat ]

Sylvester (the Dorito Fiend), who died at Thanksgiving, 2000.


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