Monday, August 27, 2007

BLDGBLOG Interview with Michael Cook

This post isn't about Russia at all, but it does connect with a previous posting that I had on Russos and his livejournal of Moscow subsurface photography. (By the way, Russos currently has some nice images from MAKS 2007 on LJ.)

Geoff Manaugh of Bldg Blog has an interview with Michael Cook, "writer, photographer, and urban explorer based in Toronto". Should make for an interesting read for anyone interested in subsurface structures, urban environments and their impact on nature, engineering, architecture, and photography.

I should note that this type of subsurface exploration is much more risky than might appear. Every year during our mandated annual 8-hour OSHA HAZWOPER refresher we hear stories about confined space entry scenarios that went horribly wrong. Often, such areas are not well-ventilated, meaning oxygen levels are not dependable (there is a relatively narrow range of oxygen levels that are considered suitable for breathing and maintaining conciousness). Also, noxious fumes from the urban and industrial environment can build up in such low lying areas. Remember canaries in a coal mine? Generally it is a good idea to have vapor meters and/or oxygen meters with some sort of back-up breathing source if you plan to go exploring the urban environment.

P.S. I'm getting a fair number of hits on my Russos posting due to my comments on BLDG BLOG, so I've updated that article with additional links to Russos images on his blog. I realize that many of the normal BLDG BLOG readers probably don't read Russian, so I tried to simplify their search of his images on his blog.
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