Weeknotes 2023.16: Rapid unscheduled disassembly

Weeknotes 2023.16: Rapid unscheduled disassembly

The photo you see above was an attempt at taking an arty self-portrait with me, an ice cream, and some spring blossom in Victoria Park. A second or so later, the Helios 44-2 lens I was using on my camera (previously) disintegrated. Not as dramatic a rapid unscheduled disassembly as Elon Musk’s big rocket (and no commentator valiantly trying to save face as it went bang) but annoying nonetheless.

The good news is that, while the Helios lenses are not especially well put together, they’re easy enough to put back together. I gathered all the fallen elements into my bag, and wiped them down with some lens cleaning cloths before putting it back together with my hands at my desk at home. There’s a wealth of videos online about reversing the front element of the Helios 44-2 (something apparently not achievable on all copies) and this was helpful in setting me right when screwing mine back together. It’s not perfect, but I don’t use this lens for especially sharp stuff anyway.

On a walk yesterday, we went past the new East Bank/Stratford Waterfront development, which is nearing completion. And oh boy… it’s not pretty. It’s like they ordered the Southbank Centre from Wish. These photos don’t capture how cheap and nasty it looks, how thin the veneer of concrete cladding is and how sloppy the joins appear from a distance—it’s got something of those terrible fake canals in the Venetian hotel in Las Vegas, but feeling all the more unholy for its proximity to the place from which it bastardises its design language. Maybe there are still finishing details to be applied, but I am not optimistic. I give it 5 years before the frontage starts falling off (here’s hoping it won’t be the kind of rapid unscheduled disassembly that hurts people.)

An under construction riverside development consisting of a river towpath, shop frontages, and stairs/lift arrangements leading up multiple levels. The cladding appears to be concrete.
Close-up on some of the concrete cladding, which appears to be a thin layer with visible and messy joins between panels.
"Resilient architecture is my passion"

The season finale of STAR TREK: PICARD was… certainly a lot. I have many thoughts. I may even write them up at some point. It was a delight to see [REDACTED] in motion again. I won’t say I was sobbing tears of nostalgia, but I was cackling, and I did end up on a wistful smile as the end credits rolled. Considering the chaotic environment in which television needs to be made, it’s an impressive achievement.