The City Darkens (Raud Grima Book 1)

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Credit: Dr. Photo by Flickr user mksfly. In a article , the New York Times describes the somewhat alarming dilapidation of the UN headquarters building, which is currently undergoing an extensive and expensive refurbishment. Structural and infrastructural flaws aside, however, the building does have some intriguing edible benefits.

Raymond said workers had collected eels, blue claw crabs and bluefish from the basement filters to take home to cook. A confession: the title of this post is lifted directly from an irresistibly enthusiastic history of butter packaging [PDF], prepared by one Milton E. Parker in , for the Packaging Machinery Division of the Lynch Corporation, which I stumbled across while trying to find out how the EU butter molehill is stored.

Ink Cartridges Are A Scam

Granting atomic fission is completely terrible, and […] its sheer power staggers the imagination, we must, nevertheless, recognize that when it comes to molecular energy, butter is still king. For, as Dr. George R. Harrison has pointed out, one pound of butter contains the equivalent of 18, B.

IMAGE: Tinned butter, originally developed to satisfy the demands of gold miners in the Yukon for fresh butter for their flapjacks, via. The story of butter packaging is, of course, also the story of urbanisation, and the concomitant need to keep food fresh over extended distances and time.

As a matter of fact, it was a common practice in the earlier days of the South Water Street market in Chicago, for farmers to refrigerate their shipments of butter transported in open wagons by covering the same with grass freshly cut while still wet with dew. The butter men were watching, Parker writes, recounting a conversation he had with John S.

This particular package was the brainchild of Frank M. Peters… who was… endowed with unusual mechanical ability. Parker quotes the Elgin Dairy Report on the marketing potential of packaging as early as Because of the risk that short supply and price hikes would pose to that market expansion, the Federation of Quebec Maple Syrup Producers skims off the surplus in good years, to stockpile against a weak harvest. He is fond of reminding policymakers of the Old Testament story of Joseph, the Pharoah, and the seven skinny cows eating the seven fat cows, as a demonstration of the value of saving food in years of plenty, in order to sustain the populace during the inevitable lean ones.

the city darkens raud grima book 1 Manual

These kinds of reserves — a national stockpile held to ensure food security in the event of an emergency — used to be commonplace, but have largely disappeared in the last twenty years. The U.

Since then, the reigning assumption has been that global trade can distribute harvests more efficiently than human design. This may be, but we still live in a world where one billion people are hungry and an equal number are overweight or obese, while more than a billion tons of food are wasted each year. For example, a Food and Agriculture Organization report on the world food crisis of and , in which a shortfall was caused by a combination of droughts and high oil prices and exacerbated by a host of other hotly disputed factors , including the rise of biofuels , noted that the resulting price spikes caused an 8 percent increase in the number of malnourished people in Africa.

In an era of climate change, which means disruptive weather and increasingly variable harvests, food prices are predicted to remain volatile and high. In addition to all the aspects of a balanced food security strategy reducing waste, increasing harvests, improving water storage and transportation infrastructure, and so on , a growing chorus of think tank papers and op-eds are arguing in favour of re-establishing some kind of food reserve system.

This presents a fascinating design challenge, in terms of physical infrastructure and architecture, as well as operations, economics, and geopolitics. Current reserve plans and proposals come in all shapes and sizes. In their proposal, the U. If grain prices started to rise above a certain agreed-upon point, the fund could call in those commitments in order to execute a series of short sales on the futures market, which would, in theory, bring spot prices down and drive speculators out. Siting a national food reserve is also not straightforward, depending on internal transportation infrastructure and how the country is connected to either local or global markets.

But perhaps the most challenging aspect of food reserve design is managing it: preventing loss from pests, heat, theft, or mould, rotating stock to keep it fresh, maintaining volume, and planning for distribution.

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The infrastructure of bulk food storage has hardly evolved from the concrete cylinders so admired by Le Corbusier at the start of the twentieth-century; the time thus seems right to imagine a new networked architecture, both functional and monumental, circulating, cooling, and protecting its contents through a series of suction aeration fans , gravity-fed conveyor belts, temperature and moisture sensors, pneumatic dust suppression systems , floor perforations, partitions, chutes, pressurised seals, and more.

Local dietary production and preferences, as well as theft and corruption controls, could be built into storage unit design, which would stretch far beyond the form of physical units to include paved roads and trade agreements, not to mention meteorological and market intelligence units.

Billingsgate, the first wholesale market profiled in the BBC series, seemed to be the most optimistic of the three, despite the fact that it was recommended for closure in the DEFRA report and, at the time the BBC was filming, was grappling with a controversial plan to change its historic bylaws to allow fish to be carried by anyone, rather than the traditional licensed porters.

However, we also learned that Billingsgate has just a few women in its strong workforce, and that, today, up to seventy percent of its customer base is Chinese. The BBC followed Dee, a single mum who was the first woman to try working the 2 to 8am shift among the meat-cutters at the back. Caterers will increasingly seek to improve their efficiency and that means that consolidation of supplies will need to take place at some stage earlier in the supply chain than their kitchens. They will seek to collect their supplies from sites that offer a full product range or require their supplies be delivered in consolidated loads.

Billingsgate is obscured at the bottom right, and Spitalfields is still in its former, more central location, as is Covent Garden. This conclusion seems reasonable, but also short-sighted. In a foodscape that seems increasingly hospitable to boutique producers and niche markets as evidenced by the rash of artisanal pickles, gluten-free goods, and goat milk desserts for sale in London , what if New Spitalfields took the lead in sourcing wild-foraged foods, heirloom varietals, and artisanal chutneys, alongside its sacks of potatoes, apples, and onions?

This would certainly help small-scale producers reach new markets, but restaurants, catering companies, and ethnic shops would surely also appreciate the convenience and added value of being able to offer their customers unusual or regional specialities in reasonable quantities, without the hassle of tracking them down themselves. Issues of transport and access are more complicated, but, certainly, larger composite markets are not a problem-free solution, as the high rates of asthma in the Hunts Point neighbourhood of the Bronx demonstrate.

Of course, these are just ideas — they need plenty of research and data to become anything more useful than that, not to mention significant investment to implement. You can register to attend here , as well as expect reports on the proceedings and perhaps better informed ideas! A beehive is the urban roof accessory du jour , even more popular than its eco-friendly cousins, solar panels or greenery. Meanwhile, in the UK, rising lead prices have led to a sharp rise in churches losing their roofs to theft. A report in The Telegraph captures the scale of the problem, describing organised gangs that use Google Earth to plan raids that strip the lead from church roof after church roof:.

One church was reportedly hit 14 times in alone as thieves returned again and again to take the new lead each time it was replaced. Photo courtesy Ecclesiastical Insurance, via English Heritage. A church in York, the victim of repeated lead thefts, has done exactly that. In what seems to be an extremely clever solution, would-be thieves are effectively dissuaded without the intrusion and expense of alarms and security guards.

Scotland does indeed enjoy a climate that is frequently both wet and cold, and perhaps metal theft was not quite as pressing a concern in the middle ages.

Books by Sophia Martin

Nonetheless, with burglary deterrence to add to their gifts of honey and pollination services, sharing our roofs, religious or otherwise, with bees seems like a pretty sweet idea. Photo by Nicola Twilley. Last week, BLDGBLOG , Mark Smout of Smout Allen , and I were lucky enough to visit some of them in the company of David Strange-Walker , an archaeologist whose pioneering Nottingham Caves Survey is mapping and 3D-scanning all five hundred, as the first step in an even more ambitious caves regeneration initiative that aims to reconnect the city with its subterranean heritage, as well as bring this unique architectural feature to international attention.

Over the course of the afternoon, we visited all sorts of caves : cemetery catacombs, former sand mines turned into air raid shelters, tunnels, prisons, and a tannery. Malting is the process by which barley is germinated and dried, in order to prepare it for the next stage in beer-making: fermentation. Ms Martin has a great pair of books here, in an interesting milieu that's sort of Nordic; a deco-punk-deisel kind of world of big machines, where the old gods are still worshipped. Full disclosure: I am acquainted with the author, but I pre-ordered this on-line at the earliest opportunity, so I'm also masquerading as a paying customer.

Aug 27, Francis Franklin rated it liked it Shelves: bisexual , fantasy. Having enjoyed The City Darkens so much, I requested an advance copy of After the Fall due out tomorrow from the author for this review. Let me start with the conclusion that this is a gripping read, and if you enjoyed The City Darkens then you will enjoy this sequel.

A number of characters from the first book do appear in the second, and the two books need to be re Having enjoyed The City Darkens so much, I requested an advance copy of After the Fall due out tomorrow from the author for this review.

Table of contents

A number of characters from the first book do appear in the second, and the two books need to be read in order, but despite all the similarities these are very different books. Here the peril to Ginna and her family is less clear and her purpose is often just to survive from day to day. She is someone caught up in the great events of the day, a witness from the edges, narrowly escaping death on many occasions. At the start of the book, Ginna is the lowest of the low, an unaffiliated whore working to feed her family who live amidst the very poorest of the city's inhabitants, but she can read and write and devours ancient books full of the rich mythology that underlies the culture.

Her narrative voice echoes her lower class status. But she is both blessed and cursed by the gods, and has the potential to become a figure of great power - but she shies away from this path, fearful of the chaos that accompanies it. So much of the story is about the horrors of life in the wake of the civil uprising and the bombing of the city at the end of The City Darkens. More than anything, After the Fall is about the consequences of action.

But there is also much that I find frustrating. Ginna is so often a passive character, and when she is active her actions often have very little consequence. Where Myadar makes history, Ginna is swallowed up by it.


We glimpse the world around her, but never really understand it. We keep waiting for her to become who she must become, and at the moment she does - perhaps - the story ends. It feels not like a story in its own right, but more like a backstory in preparation for the real story yet to come.

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