The Encyclopedia of Dead Malls

Plus four other intriguing things: a new Lorde track, open-science tools, a history of databases, and Tim Cook's tiny hometown in Alabama.

1. Delightfully detailed profiles of retail agglomerations in decline, like the Duck Creek Plaza in Bettendorf, Iowa.  

"With the Duck Creek Plaza roster reduced to Marshalls, Walgreens, Bishop's Buffet, Talbots, Shoe Carnival, and a handful of specialty stores by 2002, talks of redeveloping the mall began to get louder. In January 2003 the Bettendorf City Council approved a redevelopment plan from Equity Growth and The Daly Group of Chicago that would convert Duck Creek into a strip mall. The new mall would include free-standing Home Depot and Walgreens stores, a new Marshalls store, a Schnucks supermarket, and two buildings to house smaller tenants. The existing mall was demolished in stages, with only THE National Bank's office tower remaining from the original mall structure. In addition to Marshalls and Walgreens, some of the remaining Duck Creek businesses (including Kile's Hallmark and Gulliver's Travel) opted to stay on the property while other businesses either moved elsewhere (including Shoe Carnival and Talbots) or closed altogether (notably Bishop's).

"Home Depot and the new Walgreens -- fitting the company's 'modern corner drugstore' motif -- opened in December 2003. The rest of the original mall was demolished in early 2004 to make room for Schnucks and a new parking lot. The new Marshalls opened in May 2004, while the remaining tenants from the old mall settled into the new buildings along Middle Road. McDonald's opened a new restaurant on the site shortly afterwards, and the first Starbucks in the Quad Cities opened in one of the new buildings in January 2005. The St. Louis-based Schnucks opened its only Iowa supermarket to date in May 2005 amid much fanfare, and the redevelopment of Duck Creek Plaza was completed by the end of 2005. The vacant strip mall south of Duck Creek Plaza was demolished a few years later to make room for a new development called 'The Shoppes at Duck Creek' anchored by a free-standing Burlington Coat Factory."

+ If you grew up on the pre-2000 Internet, this site may induce something like acid flashbacks to the old, weird web. 


2. This new Lorde-Son Lux track is really good, also about surveillance.

“Pull out your heart / 
To make the being alone / 
Easy, easy / 
Easy, easy / 
You switch the screens off / 
All the rest of the foes /
Easy, easy.”


3. A collection of tools, sensors, and platforms for doing science without a lab.

"This guidebook intends to provide a light introduction to democratized science instrumentation. Democratized science instrumentation refers to tools and systems, spanning both hardware and software, that significantly enhance or increase the opportunity of people to participate in scientific discovery or process. These instruments and their emerging social structures are considered signals or early indicators informing the guidebook’s outlook on the future....

"The cost, size and accessibility of instrumentation are often some of the main barriers to entry in scientific exploration. These hurdles regularly inhibit individuals working outside of science institutions such as universities, research institutes and government agencies. Within the science industry, many scientists and researchers are working with limited resources and are thus affected by these same hurdles. This guidebook introduces an assortment of 25 instruments that are breaking down barriers by enabling open, accessible, cheap and citizen-led science."

Presented by

Never Tell People How Old They Look

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