March 1, 2009

Finding The Greatest Decorated Shed Ever: An Application of Biogeographic Theories and Satellite Imagery

I tweeted this up a few days ago, and I apologize for the delay. It is an incredibly convoluted post, which took more time than usual to put together. In the search for the greatest decorated shed ever, I could not leave out any stops. This would require the big guns. Using sophisticated technology and advanced techniques, I have located a possibility for the greatest decorated shed in the history of mankind. So, here we go. Buckle up.

Based on the process in which geographers hypothesized bin Laden's whereabouts, I have put together a step by step graphic analysis of my own search for the greatest decorated shed. From the initial report:
Distance-decay theory states that as one goes further away from a precise location, there is an exponential decline in the turnover of species and a lower probability of finding the same composition of species. The theory of island biogeography states that large and close islands will have higher immigration rates and support more species with lower extinction rates than small isolated islands.
These theories can be applied over varying spatial scales to posit [the greatest decorated shed's] current location based on [its] last reputed geographic location. Distance-decay theory would predict that [it] is closest to the point where he was last reported and, by extension, within a region that has a similar physical environment and cultural composition (that is, similar religious and political beliefs).
Global Scale

The last known location of the "great decorated shed" phenomenon is Robert Venturi's Fire Station No. 4 in Columbus, Indiana. Ugly and Ordinary, this shed sets the bar high for contemporary sheds. In bin Ladens case, if he strays too far from the Tora Bora region and the tribal areas of Afghanistan and Pakistan, his risk of being turned in becomes greater due to differing cultural and political settings. The shed phenomenon cannot stray too far, because the settings may lack the banality required to support such a pure form of Ugly and Ordinary. {henceforth (U&O)}
Last Known Location of Shed

Using the distance-decay theory, we can assertain that the phenomenon of Venturi's shed would have higher probabilty of residing with in certain distances of its last known location.

Regional Scale

There are two cities nearby which meet our characteristics. Indianapolis is a large metropolitan area approximately 40 miles north. Bloomington is a medium sized college town, approximately 30 miles west. Both are well connected to Columbus and have many similar social structures. Both are with in the distance we would expect the shed to presently reside.
Species have better survival rates on large islands, much like someone hunted by the CIA would have better chances of being anonymous in a city. The shed would have the same inclination to go to a city where it can have other shed to compete against.

N_O_R_T_O_N calls it a duck turned decorated shed. It is a church with no steeple, but a neon "Jesus" sign instead. I was astounded when I saw this marvelous piece of mockitecture. It is the most glorious unwittingly high-folk architecture ever created. I feel truly priveleged to introduce the House of Victory to the world. These pictures were taken after scaling a fence and standing by the guard rail of I-70 west in Indianapolis. The best shots are from the highway. While struggling to get the right angle and light, a police officer approached me. I said I was just taking pictures of the building, and he let me go. He must be down with the shed.

P.S. The Runner-Up is "speedy text/racing sponsorship/looming warehouse/retractable roof" Lucas Oil Stadium...
After careful analysis, Bloomington is ruled out because it lacks banality. With a college and the its beautiful campus, the town of about 60,000 is not U&O enough for this shed. Using the process of elimination, we must move on to Indianapolis.

Local Scale

Using Life History Characteristics (aka Learning From Las Vegas) and another process of elimination: the definition of a decorated shed and physical analysis of potential buildings, three buildings have been selected. They meet the criteria set forth by Venturi, plus they have an added WOW factor. Upon completion of the study... The winner is House of Victory!!! In a landslide!

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