Beware the dangers of the digital age: you design a holiday resort in Italy and, thanks to Google Earth, you don’t even get to go and ‘check its progress’. And don’t even talk to me about Facebook …

Fiends and lovers

Although I seem to have overcome my addiction to Facebook, as my friends there will no doubt be aware, I have had my attention brought to a charming group called “I don’t need sex – the school of architecture f***s me all the time”. One affiliate of the group has published the “Top 10 reasons to date an architect”. Highlights include “Creative positioning” and “You should see the things we erect”. Clearly it has caught the attention of the design community: the group has almost 27,000 members. No pun intended.

Let Google go on holiday for you

More on the wonders of modern technology. I’ve written before about planners using satellite images to spot illegal extensions, but now architects are starting to get in on the act, too. Aussie practice Denton Corker Marshall (DCM) has apparently designed a resort in Sicily and is monitoring the construction via Google Earth, the client being either unable or unwilling to fly the team out there. The word from DCM is that the construction is going “very well”, at least from a bird’s eye view. Any other tales of “virtual construction” to the usual address, please.

Race to the Pole (via Cardiff)

Good luck to Paul Craig, boss of Mere Green Construction, who is next week due to embark on a 350-mile race to the North Pole. Craig, who will be competing against 23 others in the 10-day trek, has forsaken the slightly less inclement surroundings of Birmingham to battle the –25°C conditions. To prepare for dealing with aggressive polar bears and frostbite Craig has visited Norway and even Wales. First place is clearly his for the taking.

An invoice in the wilderness

An invoice from a consultant that doesn’t appear to have done any work to earn it? Surely some mistake … Yet this seemed to be the unlikely state of affairs when an invoice for £11,750 from Davis Langdon landed in the office of one my snouts. The poor innocents came quite close to paying before realising it was only a “test” invoice for DL’s new accounting system. You’d think they would have realised immediately. I mean, who ever gets a consultancy bill for less that £20,000?

Tar very much

Will Alsop’s Palestra building in Southwark has been making headlines since its construction in 2005. First, wind turbines were erected. Then they were taken down. Then they were put back on. It’s been a rollercoaster. Well apparently life continues to be eventful for the occupants of the building. London Development Agency staff nearly had to be evacuated after the office filled with hot tar fumes after a mistake by fit-out contractor ISG. Apparently, while they were doing some work on the roof, some bright spark put the tar boiler next to the air-conditioning intake.

Electrics and swimming do mix

Hot on the heels of my Grand National tip the other week, here’s another: the construction industry will be part of a team that wins a gold medal at this summer’s Beijing Games. No, it won’t be the “helping to build strong barriers to hold back the angry mobs as they protest about Tibet medal”, or even the “best temporary buildings in which to resuscitate marathon runners as they struggle to beat the pollution medal”. No, when European champion diver Tom Daley takes the plunge for Britain in China it will be all thanks to M&E firm ABS London, which has sponsored Daley since 2006. The fact that ABS boss Kevin Selvester happens to be 13-year-old Daley’s uncle is, of course, a mere coincidence.