RIP, Chris Whitley

Salon: Chris Whitley 1960-2005. I read a note in the paper earlier this week that the amazingly inventive blues/rock/country singer-songwriter had terminal cancer from a lifetime of smoking and had gone home to be with family; I missed the announcement that he passed away on Sunday. I always liked his performances and thought he never got the respect he deserved from the industry or his listeners.

Salon’s Audiofile posts a copy of Whitley’s Dirt Floor. There are other tracks for listening at his official website, as well as a message board where condolences can be posted. Rest in peace, Chris.

Refugee housing a la IKEA

I’m going to try to go to IKEA later today, so the concept of “flat pack” refugee housing—an entire dwelling for four designed to be assembled into a shipping container sized package—tickled me. 10 feet by 9.5 feet by 8 feet is not exactly a flat pack, but Vestal Design, the project creators, explicitly credit IKEA with the idea to use space saving techniques to enable mass deployment of housing. They say that, with a typical cargo ship that holds 6400 containers, one can ship housing for up to 100,000 people on a single ship. Thanks to BoingBoing for the link.