4,000-Year-Old Game Board Carved into the Earth Shows How Nomads Had Fun
"Archaeologists say that the rock shelter and it's ancient game board were used by nomadic cattle herders during the Bronze Age, about 4,000 years ago."
games  board  history  stone 
7 days ago
Cragne Manor
"The game was written and programmed by more than eighty authors. Each contributor was assigned one room. We didn't tell anybody what was going on in anybody else's room."
if  secrets 
8 days ago
CQ archive
"Concrete Quarterly is published by The Concrete Centre and encompasses design guidance, aspiration, inspiration, vision and latest projects."
construction  architecture  history 
12 days ago
NaNoGenMo entry 2018: "Out of Nowhere"
"...a 50,000-word stage play generated from the English example sentences given in late 19th and early 20th century European phrasebooks. Among a cast of seventeen, each character is assigned their own phrasebook and will only use verbatim sentences from it in their speech."
nanogenmo  language  creations 
18 days ago
A vast 4,000-year-old spatial pattern of termite mounds: Current Biology
"Each mound is composed of approximately 50 cubic meters of soil that required the excavation of over 10 km3 of earth, equivalent to ∼4000 great pyramids of Giza — making this the greatest known example of ecosystem engineering by a single insect species."
insects  history  architecture  emergence  via:zarba 
27 days ago
'It's impossible!' – Christian Marclay and the 24-hour clock made of movie clips | Art and design | The Guardian
"But four or five is very hard. At five, the baker gets up, the street cleaner gets up. But between, in that weird hour – you’re not going to rob a bank at 4am."
art  time  films 
5 weeks ago
This artist uses jigsaw puzzles, with the same die cut pattern, to make these terrific mashups / Boing Boing
"I favor puzzles from pre-digital years, when the picture was typically a photograph of a single subject, such as a galloping horse or a ballerina or the Empire State Building."
art  mutation  puzzles 
5 weeks ago
Never Seen And Sometimes Barely Heard, Loopers Fill In Hollywood's Soundtrack : NPR
"As they record, the loopers stand in a circle under two overhead microphones. A scene plays silently on a big screen. On cue, and often off-mic, they start to walk around and talk. They record random scraps of [crowd] dialogue, to be mixed later into the scene they're watching."
films  secrets  sound 
9 weeks ago
The Wreckage, The Collapse – BLDGBLOG
"The 100-ton jack pushes two large timbers against the bearing walls of the museum. Each visitor to the museum must pass through the turnstile in order to see the exhibition. Each input on the turnstile ever so slightly expands the jack, and ultimately if enough people visit the exhibition, Samson could theoretically destroy the building."
art  demolition 
10 weeks ago
Hatnote Listen to Wikipedia
"Listen to the sound of Wikipedia's recent changes feed. Bells indicate additions and string plucks indicate subtractions. Pitch changes according to the size of the edit; the larger the edit, the deeper the note."
wikipedia  sound 
10 weeks ago
Critics call London’s new phone kiosks eyesores | The Seattle Times
"[Phone boxes] are still considered vital infrastructure, and companies with proper licenses can keep building them so long as local councils cannot credibly object to the particular site or design." [...] "A lot of them are advertising totems with a telephone handset on it."
phones  advertising  law  london 
11 weeks ago
Order of the Occult Hand - Wikipedia
"The Order of the Occult Hand is a whimsical secret society of American journalists who have been able to slip the meaningless and telltale phrase "It was as if an occult hand had…" in print as a sort of a game and inside joke."
news  secrets  language  hands 
11 weeks ago
The N+7 Machine
"The N+7 procedure, invented by Jean Lescure of Oulipo, involves replacing each noun in a text with the seventh one following it in a dictionary."
language  mutation 
september 2018
Swiss startup Energy Vault is stacking concrete blocks to store energy — Quartz
"The system is “fully charged” when the crane has created a tower of concrete blocks around it. The total energy that can be stored in the tower is 20 megawatt-hours (MWh), enough to power 2,000 Swiss homes for a whole day."
electricity  architecture  stone 
august 2018
The Simple Algorithm That Ants Use to Build Bridges | Quanta Magazine
"When traffic over their backs is above a certain level, they hold in place, but when it dips below some threshold — perhaps because too many other ants are now occupied in bridge-building themselves — the ant unfreezes and rejoins the march."
ants  emergence  architecture 
august 2018
Woman's ancient 'Clameur de Haro' rejected by Guernsey court | Channel - ITV News
"Rosie Henderson adopted the Norman ritual in an attempt to stop road works at Les Echelons. [...] It is described as a cry for justice and involves an aggrieved party, known as the ‘criant’, the alleged ‘wrongdoer’ and two witnesses."
law  history  language  nomic 
august 2018
Richard Garfield and Fantasy Flight Games Found KeyForge, a New Model in Game Design and Production | BoardGameGeek News | BoardGameGeek
"[E]ach Archon is represented by a deck, and each KeyForge deck ever sold [will] be a unique combination of cards not available to any other person who ever plays the game. [...] What's more, each Archon is named and depicted through some kind of random name and image generator."
cards  games  random  words 
august 2018
Joel Simon - Evolving Floorplans
"The results were biological in appearance, intriguing in character and wildly irrational in practice."
architecture  evolution  via:viv 
july 2018
Darwin comes to town: how cities are creating new species | Cities | The Guardian
"All this research seems to point in one direction: that the urban blackbird is evolving into a separate species, a case of true speciation."
birds  evolution  cities 
july 2018
Why Japan's Rail Workers Can't Stop Pointing at Things - Atlas Obscura
"Originally developed by the now-defunct Kobe Railroad Administration Bureau in the late Meiji Period (the early 20th century), pointing-and-calling is known to reduce workplace errors by up to 85 percent, according to one 1996 study."
japan  psychology  hands 
july 2018
Who owns the space under cities? The attempt to map the ground beneath us | Cities | The Guardian
"In Australia, although pre-1891 land titles went “to the centre of the Earth”, those issued after 1891 extend down just 15 metres (49 feet)."
cities  underground  future  architecture 
july 2018
RCAHMW | Cropmarks 2018
"As the drought has persisted across Wales, scores of long-buried archaeological sites have been revealed once again as ‘cropmarks’, or patterns of growth in ripening crops and parched grasslands."
history  plants  weather  wales 
july 2018
The Mystery Man Who Spent 20 Years Photographing North American Buildings - Atlas Obscura
"He was clearly fascinated with buildings and signs. [...] His travels took him to the Grand Canyon, the Pacific and Atlantic oceans, the Great Lakes, the Rocky Mountains, and across the Mississippi and Missouri rivers, but he did not take a single image of any of those wonders."
photography  signs  history  america 
july 2018
Confessions of a Disk Cracker: the secrets of 4am. - Paleotronic Magazine
"Preservation is driven by pirates, who are driven by ego but constrained by the technical limitations of their era. In the 1980s, this meant storage space and network speed."
software  piracy  history  hacking  via:lmg 
july 2018
Western Flag (Spindletop, Texas) 2017 | Somerset House
"Commissioned by Channel 4 for Somerset House, renowned artist John Gerrard created a virtual simulation of a flag formed of endlessly emitting trails of thick black smoke."
flags  pollution  art 
june 2018
D-Total Black with White Numbers
"Think of each die face as the face on a clock. At 12 o’clock, you should see a Pentagon, which is the shape of a 12 sided die. The number inside the pentagon is what you got when you rolled a 12 sided die."
dice  maths 
june 2018
Gutenberg Poetry Autocomplete
"Type something in the box below and you'll see lines of poetry beginning with whatever you've typed. The database includes all lines of poetry from every book in Project Gutenberg that has "Poetry" in one of its subject listings (approximately 3.8 million lines)."
poetry  writing  emergence 
may 2018
Amazon's Alexa recorded private conversation and sent it to random contact | Technology | The Guardian
"Echo woke up due to a word in background conversation sounding like ‘Alexa’. Then, the subsequent conversation was heard as a ‘send message’ request."
technology  sound  secrets 
may 2018
A Slice Of Time – Paul Mison – Medium
"Each of the images (or frames) is processed to calculate its luminance (that is, roughly, its brightness), and each slice is chosen to be an equal step more bright (or less, if it’s sunset) than the last."
photography  time 
may 2018
Document: The Symbolism Survey
"Confident, if not downright cocky, he thought the surveys could settle a conflict with his English teacher by proving that symbols weren’t lying beneath the texts they read like buried treasure awaiting discovery."
may 2018
Old Maps Online
"OldMapsOnline.org indexes over 400.000 maps. This is only thanks to the archives and libraries that were open to the idea and provided their online content."
maps  history 
may 2018
Square Kufic Design
"One of the most common square kufic design principles is to arrange the text in a square or rectangle. Most of these texts are orientated in a spiral from one corner around the edge and inwards to the middle of the square."
design  writing  history 
may 2018
Difficulties - The Chromatographic Chronicle of English History
"Each century is divided into one hundred squares, each square representing a year, to be read in decades from left to right."
history  books 
may 2018
InSAR Ground Deformation Map | Mapping London
"The conspicuous red line meandering East-West is subsidence caused by the tunnelling for Crossrail and the red blob just East of Canary Wharf is caused by dewatering of the deep Chalk aquifer, which was necessary for Crossrail’s construction in East London. The areas of uplift (blue) found South of the Thames are yet to be explained."
london  maps 
may 2018
How Arrow-Wielding Men Mapped Britain in the 1940s - Atlas Obscura
"A quintessential revision point might be a scratch on a wall, or the corner of a doorway, or an old nail sticking out of a post—something so ordinary, unchanging and small, most people wouldn’t even notice it."
maps  history  secrets 
april 2018
Forensic Architecture - Home
"The premise of FA is that analysing violations of human rights and international humanitarian law (IHL) in urban, media-rich environments requires modelling dynamic events as they unfold in space and time, creating navigable 3D models of sites of conflict and the creation of animations and interactive cartographies on the urban or architectural scale."
crime  simulation  video 
april 2018
The Folly Fellowship
"The Folly Fellowship was founded in 1988 as a pressure group to protect, preserve, and promote follies, grottoes & garden buildings. At this time, many follies were in a ruinous condition (although some were built that way) and the genre was largely an historic one that we felt worth preserving."
architecture  history 
april 2018
victoria j dean - The Illusion of Purpose
"Disconnected from the modern digital world, these material structures and the systems in which they once functioned are obsolete. With the simplicity and directness of a symbolic form, each structure withholds its message, alluding to a relic from a forgotten language."
architecture  history  via:viv 
march 2018
On the Hunt for the Lost Wonders of Medieval Britain - Atlas Obscura
"When, sometime between the 9th and 12th centuries, a native son took up the task of listing the Wonders of Britain, he included a lake with 60 islands in it and a fountain of salt, a levitating altar and a shape-shifting royal burial mound—all told, 26 natural phenomena and small miracles."
maps  history  mysteries 
march 2018
This dire Battersea Power Station development is genuinely dystopian | Opinion | Architects Journal
"Instead of a heart, [Vauxhall Nine Elms Battersea] has a heavy-security US embassy with a moat around it."
london  architecture 
march 2018
YouTube, the Great Radicalizer - The New York Times
"It seems as if you are never “hard core” enough for YouTube’s recommendation algorithm. It promotes, recommends and disseminates videos in a manner that appears to constantly up the stakes."
video  society  software  psychology 
march 2018
John Johnson and Harding Collections
"Writing Blanks, Board Games and other Educational Games of the 18th and 19th centuries from the John Johnson and Harding Collections" - historical boardgame scans from the Bodleian.
games  board  history  dice 
march 2018
Why We Forget Most of the Books We Read - The Atlantic
"Horvath and his colleagues at the University of Melbourne found that those who binge-watched TV shows forgot the content of them much more quickly than people who watched one episode a week."
memory  television  books  via:lmg 
march 2018
Deadly CO2 gases in the Plutonium of Hierapolis (Denizli, Turkey) | SpringerLink
"The site was first described by Strabo and Plinius as a gate to the underworld. During centuries, it attracted even ancient tourists. In a grotto below the temple of Pluto, CO2 was found to be at deadly concentrations of up to 91%."
poison  history  religion 
february 2018
SA4QE - The Slickman A4 Quotation Event | russellhoban.org
"Every 4th February (Russell's birthday), readers around the world write their favourite quotations from his books on sheets of yellow A4 paper (the sort he used) and leave them in public places."
writing  graffiti  via:jodi 
february 2018
The Lion Man: an Ice Age masterpiece – The British Museum Blog
"An experiment by Wulf Hein using the same sort of stone tools available in the Ice Age indicate that the Lion Man took more than 400 hours to make."
history  religion  art 
february 2018
The Graffiti Code Breaker | DiscoverMagazine.com
"To keep tabs on new members looking to make a name for themselves, officers can manually annotate images in GARI to document taggers’ names. From there, linking real names to aliases and seeing where else the names show up can indicate where particular gang members operate or live."
graffiti  crime  police  technology  gps 
january 2018
PsycNET Record Display - The effects of bedtime writing on difficulty falling asleep
"Therefore, to facilitate falling asleep, individuals may derive benefit from writing a very specific to-do list for 5 min at bedtime rather than journaling about completed activities."
sleep  science  writing 
january 2018
Who's on First? | Board Game | BoardGameGeek
"Game players try to guess where their opponents have placed their players on the baseball diamond playing board."
board  games  sport  humour 
january 2018
Some birds are so stressed by noise pollution it looks like they have PTSD - The Washington Post
"In previous studies, he has reported that noise can restructure entire communities — prompting birds to alter the pitch of their songs, shifting demographics toward more noise-tolerant species, even changing the distribution of plants based on what birds remain."
birds  sound  evolution  pollution 
january 2018
» Collision Course: Why This Type Of Road Junction Will Keep Killing Cyclists
"Naturally, as per the conditions of a collision course being signalled by a constant bearing, for any speed of the approaching car there is a speed at which a cyclist will remain obscured by the front pillar almost until the point of impact."
cycling  traffic  illusions  design  death 
january 2018
ICv2 Interview: Asmodee Execs on Counterfeiting
"We believe for some [board] games, that more than 70% of all sales in the U.S. market have been counterfeit."
games  board  illusions  mutation  crime 
january 2018
kevan.org - Scrabble Capital
"In response to Brett Smitheram's call to make Croydon the 'Scrabble capital' of the United Kingdom, an attempt to calculate the current Scrabble capital of the United Kingdom, on the basis of highest word score."
creations  cities  scrabble 
december 2017
To Identify Whale Sharks, Scientists Looked to the Stars - Atlas Obscura
"Researchers and citizen scientists can upload a photo of a whale shark they’ve seen—ideally, the patch of spotted skin just behind its left gill slits."
fish  software  space 
december 2017
kevandotorg/nanogenmo-2017: Tillman, Victor Lima, KOD
"The Merchant of Venice, through the 1897 Robinson Telegraphic Cipher [...] The Tempest, through the International Code of Maritime Signals, 1969 [...] Romeo and Juliet, through a list of Internet acronyms from Ed's Web Site, a 2008 Geocities page."
creations  nanogenmo 
november 2017
'Zombie ant' brains left intact by fungal parasite | EurekAlert! Science News
"Almost like a puppeteer pulls the strings to make a marionette move, the fungus controls the ant's muscles to manipulate the host's legs and mandibles."
parasites  ants  fungi  puppets 
november 2017
Punchdrunk's Kabeiroi: a shapeshifting six-hour mystery tour of London | Stage | The Guardian
"At one point I gave (sedate and self-conscious) chase to a woman I was sure was shouting my name. She turned out to be extremely drunk and absolutely nothing to do with the show."
theatre  pervasive  london 
november 2017
To cure affluenza, we have to be satisfied with the stuff we already own | Business | The Guardian
"While consumerism and materialism are often used interchangeably, taken literally they are polar opposites. If you really loved your car, the thought of replacing it with a new one would be painful."
money  psychology  society 
october 2017
Secret Cameras Record Baltimore’s Every Move From Above
"Individual recognition, however, wasn’t the point; any dot could be followed backward or forward in time, which opened up all sorts of investigative possibilities."
surveillance  police  air  secrets  time 
october 2017
The magic lantern game system – Analog Games
"The Larklamp Game Lantern is a wooden lantern that stands about ten inches tall. Game boards made of shadow and light are cast from patterns cut into the lantern’s removable side-panels."
light  board  games 
october 2017
Tsunami Enabled Hundreds of Aquatic Species To Raft Across Pacific | Newsdesk
"Much of the debris the scientists found rafted ashore was made of fiberglass or other plastic materials that do not decompose and could easily survive six or more years at sea."
plastic  water  transport 
september 2017
Selfie Factories: The Rise of the Made-for-Instagram Museum | WIRED
"Visitors are allotted about 90 minutes to explore the museum, but it’s hard to imagine what you’d do during that time if you weren’t taking photos."
museums  photography  design 
september 2017
Two Ex-Googlers (@2xgbot)
"Two ex-Googlers want to replace your charity shop with a metal sarcophagus that crowdsources its supplies."
creations  twitter  future 
september 2017
Fatberg blocking London sewer could become museum exhibit | Culture | The Guardian
"Alex Werner, lead curator for the new museum at the Museum of London, told the Guardian the fatberg “calls to attention the way we live our lives in a modern city”."
london  pollution  museums 
september 2017
Siri and Alexa can be hijacked with inaudible messages, researchers warn
"They turned voice commands into ultrasonic frequencies that can be heard and used to control devices but are inaudible to humans."
sound  hacking  secrets 
september 2017
How America Lost Its Mind - The Atlantic
"Treating real life as fantasy and vice versa, and taking preposterous ideas seriously, is not unique to Americans. But we are the global crucible and epicenter. We invented the fantasy-industrial complex."
america  psychology  history  delusions  politics 
august 2017
Journalists to use 'immune system' software against fake news | Technology | The Guardian
"The software, which was demonstrated to the Guardian, scans statements as they are made by politicians and instantly provides a verdict on their veracity."
software  politics  news  lies 
august 2017
Adventurers Wanted
"Adventurers Wanted is 250-hour long tabletop roleplaying game: an epic odyssey of battles, monsters and quests, lasting for the entire Edinburgh Fringe Festival 2017."
games  comedy  time 
august 2017
BBC - Future - The animals thriving in the Anthropocene
"It is not clear why cephalopods are proliferating. One possibility is that we are fishing the animals that prey on them."
evolution  squid 
august 2017
Revealed: the insidious creep of pseudo-public space in London | Cities | The Guardian
"Under existing laws, public access to pseudo-public spaces remains at the discretion of landowners who are allowed to draw up their own rules for “acceptable behaviour” on their sites and alter them at will. They are not obliged to make these rules public."
law  cities  london 
july 2017
How ‘Fontgate’ Could Bring Down Pakistan’s Premier - Bloomberg
"The prime minister’s daughter, Maryam Sharif, provided a letter dated 2006 that she said showed she transferred property deeds to her brother. It was written in Calibri font, which the investigation team noted wasn’t released commercially until 2007."
fonts  crime 
july 2017
Are Spotify's 'fake artists' any good? | Technology | The Guardian
"It appeared that musicians such as Cowley were being quietly elbowed out of that limelight in favour of ones who didn’t exist, and in favour of music for which Spotify wouldn’t have to pay royalties."
music  illusions 
july 2017
What’s the best way to cross the Thames in London? We’ve ranked all 63 options | CityMetric
"There are, depending on how you count, about 60 ways of crossing the Thames in London."
london  water  transport 
july 2017
A Game Of Legacy, for & by Bernie De Koven with Coney by Coney HQ — Kickstarter
"As Bernie De Koven, jedi master of play, nears the end of his life, A Game of Legacy explores what it means to pass onto posterity."
games  future 
july 2017
Wikipedia: The Text Adventure
Interactive non-fiction built in real time from the Wikipedia API.
creations  wikis  if 
june 2017
Avocados with laser-printed labels go on sale at M&S in bid to cut paper waste
"The labels, which are etched onto fruit's skin with lasers instead of stickers, will save 10 tonnes of paper and five tonnes of glue every year according to M&S."
light  paper  food  plants  technology  litter 
june 2017
Inspector gadget: how smart devices are outsmarting criminals | Technology | The Guardian
"He said he grabbed some possessions and jumped out a window. Investigators pulled data from his pacemaker which, according to a cardiologist, undermined Compton’s account."
technology  surveillance  crime  lies 
june 2017
BBC technical glitch leaves Huw Edwards in silence on News at Ten | Media | The Guardian
"The BBC News Channel showed Edwards sitting mute for the entirety of the delay, while BBC1 put up a message apologising for the fault and played saxophone music."
news  mutation 
june 2017
How Tinder Could Take Back the White House - The New York Times
"If the user planned to vote for another progressive party, the bot asked if he or she would consider a tactical vote to beat the Tories, voting for the progressive party most likely to beat the Conservatives in their area."
politics  software  illusions  camrad 
june 2017
The Lost Joys of the Screen Saver
"What we abandoned with the death of screen savers—themselves testifiers of disuse—was a culture that could accept walking away from life onscreen."
computers  history  art  via:linkmachinego 
june 2017
Trading Bot BOTUS Will Buy And Sell Stock Based On Trump's Tweets : NPR
"When he says something positive about a company, we buy that company's stock. When he says something negative about a company, we will sell that company's stock short."
software  money  twitter  words 
may 2017
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