‘2001: A Space Odyssey’: What It Means, and How It Was Made
Kubrick brought to his vision of the future the studiousness you would expect from a history film. 2001 is, in part, a fastidious period piece about a period that had yet to happen. Kubrick had seen exhibits at the 1964 World’s Fair, and pored over a magazine article titled “Home of the Future.” The lead production designer on the film, Tony Masters, noticed that the world of 2001 eventually became a distinct time and place, with the kind of coherent aesthetic that would merit a sweeping historical label, like “Georgian” or “Victorian.” “We designed a way to live,” he recalled, “down to the last knife and fork.” (The Arne Jacobsen flatware, designed in 1957, was made famous by its use in the film, and is still in production.) By rendering a not-too-distant future, Kubrick set himself up for a test: thirty-three years later, his audiences would still be around to grade his predictions. Part of his genius was that he understood how to rig the results. Many elements from his set designs were contributions from major brands — Whirlpool, Macy’s, DuPont, Parker Pens, Nikon — which quickly cashed in on their big-screen exposure. If 2001 the year looked like 2001 the movie, it was partly because the film’s imaginary design trends were made real.
kubrick  film  article  NewYorker 
4 days ago
Offspring Rivers of The United States: Names: Vol 0, No 0
Streams are significant landmarks in the landscape, often acquiring their specific names before other surface features. In English, rivers stand at the apex of the stream hierarchy. This study looks at those rivers in the United States that have their headwaters, their origin points, at the places where two other rivers, of names different from the resulting river, end, like the Allegheny and Monongahela ceasing to exist downstream of the place where they unite to form the Ohio. An adapted term, offspring, was necessary to designate this special circumstance of what turned out to be 71 rivers in the United States.
Rivers  USA  geography  from iphone
8 days ago
The Overprotected Kid
A preoccupation with safety has stripped childhood of independence_ risk taking_ and discovery—without making it safer. new kind playground points to better solution.
TheAtlantic  article  childhood  playground 
14 days ago
Instagram is pushing restaurants to be kitschy, colorful, and irresistible to photographers -
For years now_ Instagram has sat at the center of trends in food and beverages. Rainbow-colored “unicorn foods” are often designed with mind_ entrepreneurs responsible popular treats like galaxy donut Sugar Factory milkshake see lines around block after images their products go viral. Firms Paperwhite Studio specialize turning restaurants into bait by designing twee packets_ menus_ coasters bearing slogans “hello_ my sweet” “hug more.”
TheVerge  Instagram  photography  architecture  article 
14 days ago
Your Pretty Face is Going to Sell : Open Space
On YouTube, there’s a long tail of content that pretty much guarantees the inclusion of every potential human interest. There are skate videos, makeup tutorials, and backyard surgical removals of blackheads. And yet the presentation of a lot of this content — especially when it’s trying to attract a large audience — is remarkably similar. Everywhere you look, there’s YouTube Face.
youtube 
14 days ago
Meet Vaclav Smil, the man who has quietly shaped how the world thinks about energy
Throughout his career, Smil, perhaps the world's foremost thinker on energy of all kinds, has sought clarity. From his home office near the University of Manitoba (UM) in Winnipeg, Canada, the 74-year-old academic has churned out dozens of books over the past 4 decades. They work through a host of topics, including China's environmental problems and Japan's dietary transition from plants to meat. The prose is dry, and they rarely sell more than a few thousand copies. But that has not prevented some of the books—particularly those exploring how societies have transitioned from relying on one source of energy, such as wood, to another, such as coal—from profoundly influencing generations of scientists, policymakers, executives, and philanthropists. One ardent fan, Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates in Redmond, Washington, claims to have read nearly all of Smil's work. "I wait for new Smil books," Gates wrote last December, "the way some people wait for the next Star Wars movie."
science  article  energy  from iphone
4 weeks ago
Berkshire Brewing Company Kevin Gillespie
Kevin Gillespie, Principal of Gillespie Design, brings more than 20 years of professional experience as a designer and illustrator for a broad range of clients. He has worked as both a designer and a design manager in a number of corporate design teams since 1993, specializing in footwear design (Converse, Stride Rite, and New Balance). Several of his footwear designs have become classic styles that have generated exceptional commercial success for those companies over the course of many sales cycles. His illustration clients include book publishers, product developers/manufacturers, small businesses, and community arts associations. In both footwear design and illustration, he enjoys bringing creative visual solutions along with a mature professional attitude to all his partnerships.
illustration  illustrator  BerkshireBrewingCompany  Beer 
6 weeks ago
The Lottery Hackers
So perhaps it was only fitting that at age 64, Jerry found himself contemplating that most alluring of puzzles: the lottery. He was recently retired by then, living with Marge in a tiny town called Evart and wondering what to do with his time. After stopping in one morning at a convenience store he knew well, he picked up a brochure for a brand-new state lottery game. Studying the flyer later at his kitchen table, Jerry saw that it listed the odds of winning certain amounts of money by picking certain combinations of numbers.

That’s when it hit him. Right there, in the numbers on the page, he noticed a flaw—a strange and surprising pattern, like the cereal-box code, written into the fundamental machinery of the game. A loophole that would eventually make Jerry and Marge millionaires, spark an investigation by a Boston Globe Spotlight reporter, unleash a statewide political scandal and expose more than a few hypocrisies at the heart of America’s favorite form of legalized gambling.
lottery  article  huffingtonpost 
7 weeks ago
Gun Rights, ‘Positive Good’ and the Evolution of Mutually Assured Massacre
The problem with massacres isn’t too many guns. It’s too few guns. Guns aren’t the problem. They’re the answer. It was the NRA’s ‘positive good’ argument, comparable to the one pro-slavery intellectuals devised in the 1850s. It’s the origin of virtually every argument the NRA makes today, from arming teachers to the “good guy with a gun”, to the need for permissive concealed carry nationwide.
guns  essay  talkingpointsmemo  nra 
7 weeks ago
MaxKriegerVG Design Threads
"Most of my design threads have been about forward-thinking concepts that met their demise from bad luck, poor planning, or economic hardship." Max Krieger's twitter threads on Y2K environmental design
design  architecture  ed  1990s  history 
7 weeks ago
For 91 Days
We're Jürgen and Mike, from Germany and the USA. Born wanderers, we love learning about new cultures and have decided to see the world... slowly. Always being tourists might get lame, but eternal newcomers? We can live with that. So, our plan is to move to an interesting new city, once every three months. About 91 days.
travel  blog 
7 weeks ago
LA SUCRERIE DE LA MONTAGNE
You can’t take a trip to Quebec without at least once visiting a Sugar Shack. I’m pretty sure that’s a law. Jürgen and I spent a sunny April afternoon at La Sucrerie de la Montagne, about an hour west of Montreal. We walked around the maple trees, peeked into the buckets, learned how the sap is boiled down, and enjoyed a hearty meal… all of it drenched in maple syrup, of course.
MapleSyrup  Quebec 
7 weeks ago
TOUR OF NS SAVANNAH, the world's first nuclear-powered merchant ship.
Savannah is presently located in the Port of Baltimore, Maryland, under a long-term lay berth contract with Canton Marine Terminals. The U.S. Maritime Administration Savannah Technical Staff of the Office of Ship Disposal manages the activities onboard the ship, with strong emphasis on licensed facility operations and pre-decommissioning planning. The Maritime Administration intends to maintain Savannah in protective storage for some years into the future; however, under current law and regulation the decommissioning process must be completed and Savannah's operating license terminated no later than December 2031. In the normal course of NRC regulation decommissioning would include the complete dismantling of the reactor. The historic ship community would like to see an exception made to allow for cleaning, then preservation of Savannah's historic nuclear reactor aboard ship.

We hope this online tour will provide you with a glimpse of what life was like for the passengers and sailors aboard this remarkable vessel. It will also enable you visit many spaces that have never been opened to the public because of the vertical ladders, confined space and radiological controls.

Although not open for visiting on a regular schedule at this time, the Savannah Technical Staff schedule periodic tours provided that these can be accommodated without interference to normal ship's business. For more information about touring the ship, please send an e-mail to: Savannah@dot.gov and include "Tour Request" in the subject line.
Ships  shipping  nuclear  tour  midcentury  atomic 
9 weeks ago
Mr Chicken: the genius who paints London's fried-chicken signs
London's fried chicken restaurants are a bizarre and wonderful institution -- generally, they have American-ish names (Dixy Fried Chicken, Southern Fried Chicken, Carolina Fried Chicken) and KFC-ish logos, all carefully titrated to be just far enough from the KFC version to keep the Colonel's savage attack-lawyers at bay. all their signs were designed by a single virtuoso fried-chicken sign-painter named Morris "Mr Chicken" Cassanova
chicken  uk  london  Signs  art 
9 weeks ago
Alaska Fried Chicken: the UK’s curious approach to naming chicken shops.
It all started when I walked past Tennessee Fried Chicken in Camberwell, pretty close to where I live. It’s clearly a knock-off KFC, and I wanted to know how many other chicken shops had the same name format: [American state] Fried Chicken.
chicken  UK  knockoff 
9 weeks ago
It’s Time to End the Scam of Flying Pets
This story begins with progress, in the form of a 1986 law forbidding discrimination against handicapped air travelers. The law made sure that physically disabled people could travel with service animals. It also rightly applied to nonphysical disabilities. The trouble started when pet owners realized that they could game the system, because airlines did not require much proof of medical need.
article  nytimes  Airlines  animals 
10 weeks ago
Giant Sequoia Hikes
This site is a guide to giant sequoia hiking trails that includes most old-growth sequoia groves with publicly-accessible trails. The site also includes coverage of other day hikes in Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks.
california  nationalpark  sequoia  hiking 
11 weeks ago
RED BIRD EXPRESS
Some time ago, I came across a funny story — did you know Taiwan tried to disguise cruise missile deployments as delivery trucks? Guess how well it worked? Well, you’re reading about it here, aren’t you?
Taiwan  missiles  security  military 
12 weeks ago
Cumberland Gap Tunnel - US 25E: Restoring the Gap
The asphalt on the old U.S. Route 25E through Cumberland Gap was demolished in 2002, with the earth re-contoured to resemble a wagon trail. The National Park Service used tons of rock excavated from the tunnel to re-create the topography of the late 1700s, when settlers crossed the Cumberland Gap into Kentucky from Tennessee on the old “Wilderness Trail”.
kentucky  CumberlandGap  Highway  restoration 
12 weeks ago
The Thomas fire: 40 days of devastation
On Dec. 4, the largest wildfire in California history erupted in the mountains near Santa Paula.

It would burn for weeks, outlast punishing rains, create deadly debris flows and leave at least 23 dead.
SantaBarbara  california  Thomas  fire  wildfire  LATimes 
january 2018
Local bananas return to Santa Monica farmers market
Longtime market shoppers will remember the now-defunct Seaside Banana Gardens, which supplied several Los Angeles area markets — and a roadside stand alongside Highway 101 — with nearly 60 varieties of bananas from the mid-'80s to the late '90s. It was often cited as the first banana farm in the continental United States. Owner Doug Richardson stopped selling at the farmers market shortly after a 1995 landslide flooded the backside of his farmland with mud.

Richardson ultimately vacated the La Conchita property in 1999, six years before the western face of the ranch collapsed in a mudslide that killed 10 residents and destroyed 13 houses.

Survivors were given ownership of the property as part of a settlement and sold it to Andy Sheaffer in 2008. (The aspiring farmer’s background as a contractor specializing in erosion control and hillside stabilization is no doubt comforting to the residents who live below.)

Two years later, Sheaffer bought the remaining banana trees from Richardson’s personal nursery and began rebuilding the La Conchita banana industry on a south-facing slope.

Today he farms eight acres of bananas, four of which are densely interplanted with avocados, a water-efficient permaculture technique popular in Australia, where it has proved to limit root rot and pests. The challenge, Sheaffer says, will be maintaining a steady production.
bananas  LaConchita  california  article  LATimes 
january 2018
Ukraine's Monumental Soviet-Era Mosaics
For three years, photographer Yevgen Nikiforov traveled across Ukraine with an ambitious mission: document as many surviving Soviet-era mosaics as possible.
Ukraine  Soviet  mosaics  photography 
january 2018
A German nursing home tries a novel form of dementia therapy: Re-creating a vanished era for its patients
The Alexa nursing home where Bauer and Noack (not related to this writer) live is trying to trigger such memories by re-creating settings from the communist era as a form of therapy. While other nursing homes are also trying to help their residents remember details of their lives, what is going on here could well be the only concerted effort to re-create an entire historical era.
Germany  GDR  DDR  dementia  article  WashingtonPost 
december 2017
Artwork Personalization at Netflix
If the artwork representing a title captures something compelling to you, then it acts as a gateway into that title and gives you some visual “evidence” for why the title might be good for you. The artwork may highlight an actor that you recognize, capture an exciting moment like a car chase, or contain a dramatic scene that conveys the essence of a movie or TV show. If we present that perfect image on your homepage (and as they say: an image is worth a thousand words), then maybe, just maybe, you will give it a try.
netflix  photography  design 
december 2017
The Power Of A Picture
[Netflix has] built a system that tests a set of images for many titles on our service -- helping display a compelling image to drive engagement. In developing this system, we learned many interesting things around imagery and what actually compels a member to watch a title. Here are some of the biggest trends:
netflix  photography  design  algorithms 
december 2017
Why aren't there any fireflies in California?
"You can find fireflies in California if you go out of your way and know where and when to look. But most Californians either are never going to see them or won't notice them when they do."
firefly  StraightDope  california 
november 2017
New firefly found in SoCal—Wait, we have fireflies?
A never-before-seen species of firefly was just discovered in the Santa Monica mountains, in Topanga.

It's just a little guy — about half a centimeter long. It does glow, but faintly. Experts say it has nothing on its beaming East Coast cousins that light up lawns on warm summer evenings.

In general, fireflies prefer wet habitats that better support snails, their favorite food. Those few species that have been discovered in Southern California have been found mostly by springs, seeps and streams.

If you'd like to go firefly hunting yourself, your best bet is to head for a natural water source on a summer night and turn off your flashlight so you have a better chance of seeing a glow.
firefly  california  article  LATimes 
november 2017
Branding Crafted Taste
HOW I LEARNED TO STOP WORRYING AND LOVE THE SUBSCRIPTION BOX
Boxes  gifts  subscription 
october 2017
Investigating Pennsylvania’s Very Particular Penchant for Potato Chips
THE SMALL, CENTRAL-EAST PENNSYLVANIA TOWN of Hanover is, like much of Pennsylvania, very normal on the surface, and incredibly weird just below.

Hanover, and a few counties surrounding it, is the biggest producer of America’s favorite guilty pleasures. It is tempting to be scornful of any place that calls itself the “capital of the world” of any particular product, but it’s hard to argue with Hanover’s claim on this one: more potato chips (and pretzels, candy, ice cream, and chocolate) are produced over these few counties than anywhere else on Earth.
Pennsylvania  potatochip  AtlasObscura 
october 2017
Postcards from the Edge
East Germans seem to have had a thing for postcards. During its roughly forty years of existence, the GDR generated well over 30,000 (!) unique postcards, a rather remarkable number for a country which was never the most popular tourist destination.
DDR  GDR  Postcards 
october 2017
The Soviet Military Program that Secretly Mapped the Entire World
The U.S.S.R. covertly mapped American and European cities—down to the heights of houses and types of businesses.
Soviet  maps  coldwar  article  NationalGeographic 
october 2017
Rocket Slides and Monkey Bars: Chasing the Vanishing Playgrounds of Our Youth
For children, playgrounds are where magic happens. And if you count yourself among Baby Boomers or Gen Xers, you probably have fond memories of high steel jungle gyms and even higher metal slides that squeaked and groaned as you slid down them. The cheerful variety of animals and vehicles on springs gave you plenty of rides to choose from, while a spiral slide, often made of striped panels, was a repeated thrill. When you dismounted from a teeter-totter, you had to be careful not to send your partner crashing to the ground or get hit in the head by your own seat. The tougher, faster kids always pushed the brightly colored merry-go-round, trying to make riders as dizzy as possible. In the same way, you’d dare your sibling or best friend to push you even higher on the swing so your toes could touch the sky. The most exciting playgrounds would take the form of a pirate ship, a giant robot, or a space rocket.
playground  history  CollectorWeekly  article 
october 2017
FF Cst Berlin East
For decades, two different styles ruled the streets of divided Berlin. West Berlin street signs were made using a sans serif style that dated back to the 1930s, at least. Meanwhile, street signs in East Berlin made use of a narrow, router-based sans serif, which was probably developed during the 1950s.

After German reunification, it was unclear what would happen to these competing street sign styles. Two Berlin-based designers – Ole Schäfer and Verena Gerlach – took to the streets to document as many of the signs as they could, before anything might happen to them. Based on their documentation of the street signs themselves, rather than on the technical patterns from which the signs were actually made, Gerlach and Schäfer created the FF City Street Type series for FontFont.
berlin  typography  font 
october 2017
City Street Type Berlin Ost
To keep the remembrence of Berlin’s two streetsign systems Ole Schäfer and I started the City Street Types project. We digitized the two distinctly different alphabets and designed a small family of text fonts based on these letterforms.

The history of the Berlin West streetsign typeface actually starts in the 1930s, as it was used for the whole city, the former “Greater Berlin“. From the 1930s on, streedsigns, made of weather resistant enamal, were produced to replace the old ones and give the gloomy city a contemporary appearance. As typeface, a variation of Erbar Grotesk (from Jakob Erbar, 1926) was used.

Around 1950, new signs with a more industrial look were invented in East-Berlin. The sign itself was made of plastic: a sandwich with a white shell and a black core. The letters were drilled in by a millcut: a typical engineer’s constructed alphabet along the lines of DIN Engschrift. There are two versions of the original typeface: In one, only one head for the millcut was used, the other one was done with two heads beside each other. The result are two kind of ends of the letters. One round, the other one straight.
berlin  typography  font  street 
october 2017
Maritime Topics On Stamps: The Great Bitter Lake Locals !
In June of 1967, a convoy of 14 freighters was underway in the Suez Canal, northbound, when war broke out between Israel and Egypt. The canal was officially closed and the ships had to anchor in the Great Bitter Lake. Within three days it became clear that the canal was going to be blockaded for an indefinite amont of time due to the deliberate sinking of vessels. The hostilities entered history books as the Six-Day-War. For the ships it meant almost eight years of forced isolation, imprisoned in the Great Bitter Lake.
Stamps  Ships  SixDayWar  SuezCanal 
september 2017
Berlin Los Angeles
Are Berlin and Los Angeles a good pair?
Absolutely!

The two cities are known to ignite a spectrum of emotions from frustration to euphoria. They are emotional and creative playgrounds for us to think and express ourselves without restrictions. The cities pave their own path with little regard to traditional norms, resulting in redefined standards. Berlin and Los Angeles continue to be the backdrops for creatives and innovators to revolutionize the arts, sciences, and technology industries.
berlin  losangeles  Events 
september 2017
L.A.’s palm trees are dying and it’s changing the city’s famous skyline
Like so many things in Southern California_ the palm tree was an import from somewhere else that over time became inextricably symbolic of its adopted home. But trees_ identified with sun-splashed excitement Los Angeles_ are facing a decidedly darker fate. They dying fatal fungus and under threat invasive insects parks along streets. for most part_ city has chosen to replace them not new palms native trees more drought-tolerant shadier_ said Leon Borodinsky_ surgeon department Recreation Parks.palm LosAngeles Article LATimes
palm  trees  losangeles  LATimes  from iphone
september 2017
Inside The Federal Bureau Of Way Too Many Guns
There's no telling how many guns we have in America—and when one gets used in a crime, no way for the cops to connect it to its owner. The only place the police can turn for help is a Kafkaesque agency in West Virginia, where, thanks to the gun lobby, computers are illegal and detective work is absurdly antiquated. On purpose. Thing is, the geniuses who work there are quietly inventing ways to do the impossible.
Guns  politics  government  ATF  article  GQ 
september 2017
Attacked by Rotten Tomatoes
Some in Hollywood believe that Rotten Tomatoes, which boils down hundreds of reviews to give films a “fresh” or “rotten” score, has become too influential with the public
RottenTomatoes  Cinema  reviews  film  article  nytimes 
september 2017
How science found a way to help coma patients communicate
After suffering serious brain injuries, Scott Routley spent 12 years in a vegetative state. But his family were convinced that he was still aware – could a pioneering ‘mind-reading’ technique prove them right?
coma  MRI  article  TheGuardian 
september 2017
The Wende Museum Uses Graphic Ephemera and Material Culture to Challenge Misconceptions of Life Behind the Berlin Wall
While our understanding of the Cold War is often dominated by static dates and facts in history books, or by Hollywood’s long line of cloak and dagger thrillers and pulpy spy fantasies like the recent Atomic Blonde, the Wende provides a rare view into the lived experience of people behind the Iron Curtain through its everyday objects.
DDR  Wende  Museum  Article  AIGA 
august 2017
This Enormous 100-Year-Old Map of Rome is Still the City's Best
A 1901 map of Rome is arguably the best map ever made of the most mapped city in human history. The map, created by archaeologist Rodolfo Lanciani, documents the city in meticulous detail from its ancient past through the end of the 19th century.
Rome  maps  Italy  NationalGeographic 
august 2017
The Loveliest Living Fossil
But the best and most active of these living fossils is a personal favorite: it’s the Numero, known to us by the monogram Nº.
Typography 
august 2017
The Mammoth Pirates
With the sale of elephant tusks under close scrutiny, “ethical ivory” from the extinct woolly mammoth is now feeding an insatiable market in China. This rush on mammoth ivory is luring a fresh breed of miner – the tusker – into the Russian wilderness and creating dollar millionaires in some of the poorest villages of Siberia. On condition that he not reveal names or exact locations, RFE/RL photographer Amos Chapple gained exclusive access to one site where between bouts of vodka-fueled chaos and days spent evading police patrols, teams of men are using illegal new methods in the hunt for what remains of Siberia's lost giants.
Russia  ivory  mammoths  photography  article  RadioFreeEurope 
august 2017
Riding the Cassiopeia night train through Japan
And what a beautiful train it is - all shiny and silver and clean, and a perfectly matched set. It hearkens back to the days of streamliners in the United States.

I've been taking long-distance trains all my life in the States - I love it, though I never lived through those glory years. I do have some built-in expectations from that Amtrak experience. In a lot of ways, it was surprising how similar riding Cassiopeia was to riding any of Amtrak's long-haul trains. Of course, like everything else in Japan, in other ways it was a different world.
railroad  passenger  train  japan 
july 2017
The Rise and Fall of Sears
How the retail store that taught America how to shop navigated more than a century of economic and cultural change
Sears  history  DepartmentStore  Smithsonian  article 
july 2017
Minutes widget: Good things come in small packages
Minutes, by designer Kei Sasaki, is the smallest widget on my Dashboard. It’s so small, it makes the default clock look like it’s squandering pixels. It’s also one of the most feature rich widgets on my Dashboard.

Minutes is a countdown timer that allows you to execute certain actions like playing iTunes playlists, opening files, or putting your Mac to sleep, when that timer reaches zero. What’s amazing in this widget, is that its design is so well perfected, that you can’t imagine having it any other way. The smooth slider lets you wind the timer on the gorgeous pulsing dial. The buttons on the side allow you to switch between different actions, and flipping the widget reveal the context sensitive settings. Kei Sasaki has done a truly fantastic job on bringing it all together.
Widget  mac  dashboard  timer 
july 2017
Minutes
Minutes is a simple and colorful timer. For example, it can be used for the time left until a meeting begins, the time to walk the dog, or the time to go pick up your child. Give it a try. See how the small, close-at-hand timer works for you when your schedule is packed and you may forget something. You can make Minutes into a little friend on your Mac for those important times in your busy life.
dashboard  Widget  timer  mac  app 
july 2017
Dennis Hastert May Have Chosen the Absolute Worst Way to Buy Someone’s Silence
The US financial system offers a host of creative—and legal—options for untraceable payoffs.
money  art  law  MotherJones  Article 
july 2017
What Was the Greatest Era for Innovation? A Brief Guided Tour
We’re in the golden age of innovation, an era in which digital technology is transforming the underpinnings of human existence. Or so a techno-optimist might argue.

We’re in a depressing era in which innovation has slowed and living standards are barely rising. That’s what some skeptical economists believe.

The truth is, this isn’t a debate that can be settled objectively. Which was a more important innovation: indoor plumbing, jet air travel or mobile phones? You could argue for any of them, and data can tell plenty of different stories depending on how you look at it. Productivity statistics or information on inflation-adjusted incomes is helpful, but can’t really tell you whether the advent of air-conditioning or the Internet did more to improve humanity’s quality of life.
nytimes  Progress  history  invention 
july 2017
Canada Is Turning 150. Oh, to Be 100 Again.
For Expo 67, this usually modest and frugal country spent vast amounts of money to create islands within the St. Lawrence River and build an array of huge buildings, all to show off Canada to the world.

But even if uncharacteristic, the fair was a coming out for a new Canada. And in 1967, it defined the country’s celebration of its 100th birthday (or, more accurately, the centennial of its current political structure) in a way that no single event will mark the 150th on Saturday.

Much like today, 1967 was a time when Canada was reimagining itself. Its now iconic maple leaf flag was only two years old, and a committee was recommending that “O Canada” succeed “God Save the Queen” as the official anthem.
Expo67  Montreal  Canada  nytimes 
june 2017
Post Mortem on the Dan Plan
Sadly, the Dan Plan is over. I analyze what happened and what we can learn from one man's adventure.
10000hours  practice  golf  blog  expertise 
june 2017
Inside Walt Disney's Ambitious, Failed Plan to Build the City of Tomorrow
Walt Disney called it the "Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow," and he wanted it yesterday. After opening Disneyland in July 1955 in Anaheim, California, the visionary conceived of a city that would bring his patented magic to life. Of course, that was easier said than done, the defining characteristic of most Disney projects. But logistics didn't faze him. He was a student of aesthetic, technology, and workflow. Whatever he couldn't crack himself, he threw to his elite Imagineers.
Disney  WaltDisney  EPCOT  article  Esquire 
june 2017
Constructed Country Generator
Inspired by S. John Ross' Medieval Demographics Made Easy:
"Fantasy worlds come in many varieties, from the "hard core" medieval-simulation school to the more fanciful realms of high fantasy, with alabaster castles and jeweled gardens in the place of the more traditional muddy squalor. Despite their differences, these share a vital common element: ordinary people. Most realms of fantasy, no matter how baroque or magical, can not get by without a supply of ordinary farmers, merchants, quarreling princes and palace guards. Clustered into villages and crowding the cities, they provide the human backdrop for adventure.
Of course, doing the research necessary to find out how common a large city should be, or how many shoemakers can be found in a town, can take up time not all GMs have available."
Country  Generator  internet  tools  Medieval 
june 2017
The founder of Pinboard on why understanding fandom is good for business
Subscription-based bookmarking site Pinboard is a one-man operation, founded and maintained by former Yahoo engineer and slightly eccentric Silicon Valley figure Maciej Cegłowski. Last week, it managed to acquire its longtime rival, Delicious, for a paltry $35,000, in what appeared on its surface to be a standard story of dog-eat-dog. But behind every boring story is a smaller, more interesting story. Delicious may be largely lost to the internet, but it leaves behind a valuable lesson on understanding users — specifically those that belong to a massive online subculture.
Pinboard  article  TheVerge 
june 2017
Meet the Companies Literally Dropping ‘Irish’ Pubs in Cities Across the World
The Auld Dubliner — small, dark, and convincing, with a flat, matte, unassuming facade (red and yellow lettering over black paint, on wood) — rests between a heavily illuminated branch of T-Mobile and a “dueling piano café” on a street approximately 5,000 miles from the place invoked in its name. Almost every part of the bar the eye falls on — from the stocky tables and the upholstered chairs to the floor tiling and the mock oil lamps dangling from the ceiling — were railed into the unit in Long Beach, California, from a 40-foot container that spent between three and five weeks at sea.
Irish  bar  Ireland  article  eater 
april 2017
Torching the Modern-Day Library of Alexandria
Somewhere at Google there is a database containing 25 million books and nobody is allowed to read them.
GoogleBooks  books  article  TheAtlantic  from iphone
april 2017
The trees that make Southern California shady and green are dying. Fast.
The trees that shade, cool and feed people from Ventura County to the Mexican border are dying so fast that within a few years it’s possible the region will look, feel, sound and smell much less pleasant than it does now.

“We’re witnessing a transition to a post-oasis landscape in Southern California,” says Greg McPherson, a supervisory research forester with the U.S. Forest Service who has been studying what he and others call an unprecedented die-off of the trees greening Southern California’s parks, campuses and yards.
california  plants  trees  article  LATimes 
april 2017
The Long, Lucrative Right-wing Grift Is Blowing Up in the World's Face
Donald Trump is 70 years old. He has always, clearly, been an incoherent thinker, contradictory and prone to self-gratifying delusions. But if, for much of his life, he was able to pass as an intelligent and well-informed man, it was probably just because he religiously read newspapers, especially the New York Times. That was and is a decent way to sound like a smart person, at least for a few minutes, which is long enough to impress most rich people. Now, though, Trump is older, his thinking more rigid, his favored media outlets less trustworthy and more likely to reinforce reactionary tendencies. Cable news has largely replaced newspapers as his primary source of information about the world. He has also taken to reading conspiratorial websites run by kooks and con artists. Perhaps, if you have a white parent or grandparent over 60, this sounds familiar?
Trump  politics  media 
april 2017
How Your Historical Plaque Sausage Gets Made
Us plaque lovers walk a little slower than the rest, and we’ll stop at a moment’s notice to read some shiny brass that’s been stuck in a wall. At the amazing podcast 99% Invisible there’s a motto for us: “Always read the plaque.” But just how do these plaques get made? And who guards their accuracy?
Plaques  article  PacificStandard 
march 2017
L.A.’s mayor wants to lower the city’s temperature. These scientists are figuring out how to do it
As part of a sweeping plan to help L.A. live within its environmental means, Garcetti has pledged to reduce the average temperature in the metropolis by 3 degrees over the next 20 years.
LosAngeles  environment  planning  cities  article  LATimes  from iphone
february 2017
How Uber could become a nightmarish monopoly
What if every time you took a taxi, you were charged the absolute maximum you could afford?
Uber  monopoly  article  theWeek  from iphone
february 2017
Against Normalization: The Lesson of the “Munich Post”
THE TRUMP-HITLER COMPARISON. Is there any comparison? Between the way the campaigns of Donald Trump and Adolf Hitler should have been treated by the media and the culture? The way the media should act now? The problem of normalization?
Hitler  trump  LARB 
february 2017
Californians are paying billions for power they don’t need
We're using less electricity. Some power plants have even shut down. So why do state officials keep approving new ones?
Electricity  California  article  LATimes 
february 2017
Finding North America’s lost medieval city
Cahokia was bigger than Paris—then it was completely abandoned. I went there to find out why.
USA  history  article  ArsTechnica  mounds 
december 2016
Where to hate daylight saving time and where to love it
If you want consistent morning daylight, you should be as far southeast in your time zone as possible. I recommend the Big Island of Hawaii. If, like me, you’re all about evening sun, hop the border to the southwest part of the next time zone. But remember that’s for consistency, not total daylight. The farther north you go, the longer days will be in the summer—but the shorter they’ll be in winter.
DaylightSavingsTime  time  USA  maps  from iphone
november 2016
Daylight saving time ends Sunday. It ought to go on forever.
Switching between daylight saving time and standard time doesn’t save energy, it decreases the amount of daylight office workers see in the winter, it possibly puts a damper on sales, it discourages kids from exercising, and it may cause some auto accidents. So why keep changing the clock?
Time  DaylightSavings  politics  government  article  vox  from iphone
november 2016
How Pennsylvania Rye Whiskey Lost Its Way
The near-extinction of America’s oldest brands and the death of a spirits category.
Rye  liquor  whiskey  article  dailyBeast 
october 2016
The rise of American authoritarianism
A niche group of political scientists may have uncovered what's driving Donald Trump's ascent. What they found has implications that go well beyond 2016.
Politics  authoritarianism  USA  article  Vox  from iphone
october 2016
PENN STATION REBORN
Decades ago, New York lost one of its grand entryways. What if a new one were hiding in plain sight?
nytimes  editorial  PennsylvaniaStation  train  amtrak  NYC 
september 2016
God Tier: Facebook moms run the meme game
The advice meme as we knew it (original characters captioned in Impact) is dead. But while the internet cultural vanguard moved on, a newer class of internet user, the well-connected mainstreamer, reinvented it. We live in the age of the post-meme.
meme  advice  mom  facebook  essay  medium 
august 2016
See Maps of Fantasy Worlds Created by Bots
A fantasy-novel inspired Twitter bot generates a new map of fictional lands every hour
Maps  algorithms  generated 
august 2016
Of Thee I Read: The United States in Literature
Reporters and editors on the National Desk of The New York Times were asked to suggest books that a visitor ought to read to truly understand the American cities and regions where they live, work and travel.
There were no restrictions — novels, memoirs, histories and children’s books were fair game. Here are some selections.

Boston - “Common Ground: A Turbulent Decade in the Lives of Three American Families” by J. Anthony Lukas

Maine - “One Morning in Maine.” Robert McCloskey

South - “The Militant South,” John Hope Franklin

New Orleans - “The Accidental City” by Lawrence N. Powell

Midwest - “Once Upon a Town: The Miracle of the North Platte Canteen,” Bob Greene

Southwest - “Blood and Thunder” by Hampton Sides

Pacific Northwest - James Lyons, “Selling Seattle: Representing Contemporary Urban America”

California - “Cadillac Desert: The American West and Its Disappearing Water,” Marc Reisner

Los Angeles - “Songs in the Key of Los Angeles,” Josh Kun
nytimes  article  literature  books  USA 
august 2016
The Blackbird
The Mill BLACKBIRD® which sets out to transform the way automotive advertising is made – it’s a car rig that can be shot at any time, in any location, without the need to rely on a physical car. The Mill BLACKBIRD® is able to quickly transform its chassis to match the exact length and width of almost any car. Powered by an electric motor, it can be programmed to imitate acceleration curves and gearing shifts and the adjustable suspension alters ride height, rigidity and dampening to replicate typical driving characteristics.
CG  advertising  ComputerGraphics  Car  Automobile 
august 2016
Brexit Blues
The ‘Overton window’ is a term from political science meaning the acceptable range of political thought in a culture at a given moment. It was the creation of Joseph Overton, a think-tank intellectual based in Michigan, who died in 2003 at 43 after a solo plane accident. His crucial insight, one which both emerged from and was central to the work of the think tank Right, was that the window of acceptability can be moved. An idea can start far outside the political mainstream – flat taxes, abolish the IRS, more guns in schools, building a beautiful wall and making Mexico pay – but once it has been stated and argued for, framed and restated, it becomes thinkable. It crosses over from the fringe of right-wing think-tankery to journalistic fellow-travellers; then it crosses over to the fringe of electoral politics; then it becomes a thing people start seriously advocating as a possible policy. The window has moved, and rough beasts come slouching through it to be born.
Brexit  essay  LondonReview 
july 2016
The Alameda-Weehawken Burrito Tunnel
Who can imagine New York City without the Mission burrito? Like the Yankees, the Brooklyn Bridge or the bagel, the oversize burritos have become a New York institution. And yet it wasn’t long ago that it was impossible to find a good burrito of any kind in the city. As the 30th anniversary of the Alameda-Weehawken burrito tunnel approaches, it’s worth taking a look at the remarkable sequence of events that takes place between the time we click “deliver” on the burrito.nyc.us.gov website and the moment that our hot El Farolito burrito arrives in the lunchroom with its satisfying pneumatic hiss.
Burrito  infrastructure  fiction 
may 2016
Miniacs Live in a Small, Small World
Apparently, it really is a small world, and it’s getting progressively smaller, thanks to young artists working in 1:12 scale, which is the traditional ratio for miniatures, dollhouses and dioramas. Instead of dreamy young schoolgirls adorning pint-size Victorian mansions, today’s miniaturists are creating perfect parallel universes in the vein of the Thorne Miniature Rooms on permanent exhibit at the Art Institute of Chicago
Miniature  article  NYTimes  from iphone
may 2016
The Amateur Cloud Society That (Sort Of) Rattled the Scientific Community
Frankly, a person too dull to look up at the sky and see a parade of tortoises or a huge pair of mittens or a ghost holding a samurai sword is not a person worth lying in a meadow with.
Clouds  Article  Mooallem  NYTimes 
may 2016
What Would Happen If We Just Gave People Money?
Rather than concern itself with managing myriad social welfare and unemployment insurance programs, the government would instead regularly cut a no-strings-attached check to each citizen. No conditions. No questions. Everyone, rich or poor, employed or out of work would get the same amount of money. This arrangement would provide a path toward a new way of living: If people no longer had to worry about making ends meet, they could pursue the lives they want to live.
Money  income  government  taxes 
may 2016
Here's what it would take for the US to run on 100% renewable energy
It is technically and economically feasible to run the US economy entirely on renewable energy, and to do so by 2050. That is the conclusion of a study last year in the journal Energy & Environmental Science, authored by Stanford scholar Mark Z. Jacobson and nine colleagues.
Power  of  energy 
may 2016
Designing with LEDs
Blog about LED lighting
LED  lights  blog 
april 2016
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