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 
8 weeks ago
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
8 weeks ago
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 
9 weeks ago
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 
10 weeks ago
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
Keeping America’s Oldest Weather Station Humming
After 130 years of daily reports, still taking measurements
Weather  history  Massachusetts  GreatBlueHill 
april 2016
Planet Earth as a living machine
This series presents visually spectacular tours of the seven continents as it makes connections between our solar system and Earth's oceans, climate, and mineral and energy sources. It unifies Earth science, astronomy, and comparative planetology into an integrated discipline that relies on common scientific methods. A flexible instructional resource,Planet Earth provides course material for nonscience students and science majors. Produced by WQED/Pittsburgh in association with the National Academy of Sciences. 1986.
Science Earth PlateTectonics WQED 1980s PBS
>  from iphone
april 2016
'Consumer Reports' in the Age of the Amazon Review
This delay in adapting also allowed for the emergence of digital-first competitors that draw on some aspects of Consumer Reports’s technique. The sister websites The Wirecutter and The Sweethome, for example, publish reviews that mix expert opinion, a fluency in online culture, and creative, if sometimes unorthodox, experiments—like when The Sweethome had bike thieves help evaluate bike locks. Tellado’s proposed solutions are standards of print-first magazines seeking to attract new audiences online: rebuilding the Consumer Reports website, rethinking its paywall strategy, producing more videos, distributing more mobile-friendly content, and investing in its social-media presence. “As we dig in a little harder on the digital and start to look at the data, I think you’re going to see a heck of a lot of experimenting,” said Tellado.
ConsumerReports  article  TheAtlantic 
april 2016
Model Railroad Operations SIG Industry Database
Currently there are about 40,000 industries in our directory (still being accumulated). Industries are predominantly actual companies located on prototype railroads, but we also include some industries on model railroads because some users enjoy including them in their routings. These are specifically identified, however, so those who prefer to exclude them can do so.
Railroad  history  resource  modelRailroad 
april 2016
Beyond the sea
the northern reaches of Newfoundland, near the town of St. Anthony, is the Fox Point Lighthouse. I’ve never been there, but I know it has one of the most impressive ocean views in the world. If you face perpendicular to the right bit of rocky coastline there and gaze straight across the ocean, your mind’s eye peering well beyond the horizon, you can see all the way to Australia.
Maps  oceanviews 
march 2016
The Really Big One
The next full-margin rupture of the Cascadia subduction zone will spell the worst natural disaster in the history of the continent
Earthquake  WestCoast  article  NewYorker  from iphone
march 2016
Phones Ride Amtrak Passengers On Metroliners Can Place Calls From The Trains
This is the second time Amtrak has offered telephone service between New York and Washington. The first effort was in the 1970s, with the use of microwave technology, but the telephone-equipped coach cars, which Amtrak inherited from the Penn Central Railroad, were phased out of Metroliner service by 1981. At the same time, the White House, which happened to control the microwave frequencies Amtrak used, chose not to renew the leases that the passenger-rail corporation had on them, Amtrak spokesman John Jacobsen said. Now, the 50-50 joint venture between Amtrak and Railfone Inc., a subsidiary of Airfone Inc. of Oak Brook, Ill., utilizes cellular mobile-radio telephone technology. It is the same technology used for car telephones, and the quality and ease of using the system are better than in the past, according to both Amtrak officials and rail passengers. Airfone pioneered the use of similar mobile telephones aboard airplanes.
Amtrak  history  railroad  railfone  telephone 
march 2016
Helium Dreams
Where are all the airships? he asked himself. The world needs airships.
Airships  blimps  transportation  article  NewYorker  from iphone
march 2016
The road not taken
Half a century after its heyday, the Alden StaRRcar clearly wasn’t made for its world. It looks like a white flatiron with wheels or a sleek, plastic bullet, dwarfed by the regal sedans of 1960s Detroit. It belongs in one of Buckminster Fuller’s domed cities, a vehicle for traveling under the geodesics of a bubble-topped Manhattan. Its future wasn’t one of highways, but of narrow cement tracks looping gracefully between city and suburb, connecting increasingly alienated parts of the American landscape. Once considered a key to solving urban blight, the StaRRcar was part of a public transit revolution that never was — but one that would help launch one of the weirdest and most politicized public infrastructure experiments of the 20th century. It’s an old idea that today, in an age of self-driving cars, seems by turns impractically retro and remarkably prescient.
Transportation  prt  history  article  theVerge 
march 2016
That time the Toronto Police had a talking police car
The Santa Claus Parade will once again feature an auto-riffic appearance from Blinky, the semi-retired Metropolitan Toronto Police Car who for decades has taught kids about traffic safety, inspired and terrified in equal measure.
Toronto  Police  Canada  Nightmare  History  anthropomorphic 
march 2016
The Secret Lives of Tumblr Teens
That feeling when you hit a million followers, make more money than your mom, push a diet pill scheme, lose your blog, and turn 16.
Tumblr  internet  article  NewRepublic 
february 2016
New Jersey Midland Railroad Historical Society
The New Jersey Midland Railroad Historical Society, Inc. is dedicated to the preservation of the history of the railroads that have operated in New Jersey, with special emphasis on the New Jersey Midland; its successor New York, Susquehanna & Western; and other lines connected or affiliated including Wilkes Barre & Eastern; Lehigh & Hudson River; Lehigh & New England; Middletown & New Jersey; New York & Greenwood Lake; Erie; Lackawanna; and Wharton & Northern
Railroad  history  newJersey 
january 2016
Why Should Dole Own Container Ships?
Next, nearly all bananas come from plantations in Central America. Ecuador to San Diego isn’t a very active tradelane: it’s nothing close to Shenzhen—Rotterdam, the world’s most important lane for containerized cargo. Dole would find it nearly impossible to get the service required to meet the needs of complex coordination of importing produce. In addition, the countries that export the most bananas don’t have the world’s best-developed ports, in part because they don’t produce enough goods to return the investment in high-tech ports.
Dole  ships  shipping  ShippingContainers  article  Flexport 
december 2015
Wild Watusi Weekend On The Snowball Special
Union Pacific's Snowball—26 happy, headachy hours from Los Angeles to Sun Valley, Idaho—is a Stutz Bearcat in the age of supersonic aircraft. In a time when rail travel is dead it is the liveliest thing on wheels. And any skier who would fly is out of the contest. The Snowball was sold out (it is always sold out) three days after Union Pacific simply whispered on one radio spot, "There will be a Snowball Special to Sun Valley January 8," and southern California skiers came running, money in their hands. As little as $154 would guarantee them a week of wonderful mayhem, lifts and lessons at Sun Valley. But, most of all, a chance to get on that train. In the old days when the train was new, back in January 1958, Union Pacific promoted it vigorously. On the first two trips there was free beer for anyone stout enough to drink it and spend those wracking hours in sit-up coach cars. But every trip since that time has grown more expensive, more exclusive. Wilder.
Railroad  Passenger  Train  UnionPacific  article  SportsIllustrated  from iphone
december 2015
Playing God
I can’t remember not wanting a miniature Christmas village. It’s like how I can’t remember when I first realized I have bad posture: some things you never have to learn about yourself but rather just have to accept
Christmas  memoir  TheWalrus  ChristmasVillage 
november 2015
The Story Behind That Mysterious Eye Emoji in iOS
What was still unclear at the time was what purpose the new emoji served. Shortly after it appeared, a designer named Erik Veland used the text-to-speech feature to discover that the emoji is described aloud as “eye in speech bubble representing anti-bullying campaign.” Mystery solved! Except … why did Apple put an anti-bullying emoji in its unreleased iOS update? How did Apple foresee people using it? And what campaign was it representing, exactly?
Apple  Emoji  Icon  Article  Wired  from iphone
november 2015
Under the Desert Sun | Boom: A Journal of California
Ivanpah is the largest concentrated solar power (CSP) installation in the world. It’s also one of the most controversial. The $2.2 billion project, which came online in January 2014, is capable of producing 392 megawatts, enough electricity to power 140,000 homes—or all of Pasadena—during peak demand. It’s one of a handful of new mega-plants—including the Topaz solar farm in San Luis Obispo County, the Desert Sunlight plant southeast of Joshua Tree National Park, and the Genesis Solar Energy Project in eastern Riverside County—that have turned California into the first state to generate more than 5 percent of its electricity from utility-scale solar. But Ivanpah has come under fire from conservationists concerned about its bird-frying capabilities, and from green-energy skeptics who accuse Ivanpah’s backers of under-delivering on what was promised.
Power  solar  California  article  Boom 
november 2015
Paul Rand + Steve Jobs - Print Magazine
In 1986 Jobs approached Rand to design the logo for his NeXT educational computer company. After obtaining permission from IBM, Jobs offered Rand a handsome sum to develop a logo for a product that was not yet public. The only thing Rand knew was that the mysterious NeXT computer was a black cube. With this scant yet meaningful intelligence, Rand developed a unique proposal book for the mark that walked the reader – Mr. Jobs – through the step by step conceptual process to the final, logical outcome.
Design  Computer  NeXT  SteveJobs  PaulRand  History  Branding  from iphone
november 2015
How Spotify’s Discover Weekly cracked human curation at internet scale
The algorithms behind Discover Weekly finds users who have built playlists featuring the songs and artists you love. It then goes through songs that a number of your kindred spirits have added to playlists but you haven’t heard, knowing there is a good chance you might like them, too. Finally, it uses your taste profile to filter those findings by your areas of affinity and exploration. Because the playlist, that explicit act of curation, is both the source of the signal and the final output, the technique can achieve results far more interesting than run of the mill collaborative filtering.
Spotify  Music  Algorithm  Technology  Article  TheVerge  from iphone
november 2015
When Did Girls Start Wearing Pink?
Every generation brings a new definition of masculinity and femininity that manifests itself in children’s dress
Gender  baby  article  smithsonian 
november 2015
How The Shinkansen Bullet Train Made Tokyo What It Is Today
The world’s first high-speed commercial train line, which celebrates its 50th anniversary on Wednesday, was built along the Tokaido, one of the five routes that connected the Japanese hinterland to Edo, the city that in the mid-1800s became Tokyo. Though train lines crisscrossed the country, they were inadequate to postwar Japan’s newborn ambitions. The term “shinkansen” literally means “new trunk line” symbolically, it lay at the very centre of the huge reconstruction effort. All previous railways were designed to serve regions. The purpose of the Tokaido Shinkansen, true to its name, was to bring people to the capital.
Shinkansen  Japan  train  railroad  article  history 
november 2015
Inside Apple's perfectionism machine
Schiller is, for most people, a cipher: A highly knowledgeable Apple spokesperson who can speak as passionately about its products as his late boss, Steve Jobs. In fact, to listen to Schiller speak is to hear echoes of the visionary leader who died in 2011. It occurs to me more than once that, perhaps, many of turns of phrase we often attributed to Jobs may have actually started with Schiller.
Apple  PhilSchiller  article  Mashable 
october 2015
One Town's Big, Bold Celebration of Oil
On the scene at an oil-themed parade in Taft, California.
Oil  California  article  PacificStandard 
october 2015
Digging up the ghosts of Disneyland's Haunted Mansion ride
Since it opened in 1969, the hows and whys of the Mansion's story are a thing of myth and fan speculation. Did the house once belong to a bride in the attic? What about those singing ghosts in the graveyard? And just who is this Hatbox Ghost?
Disney  Disneyland  HauntedMansion  article  LAtimes  from iphone
october 2015
Coal. Guns. Freedom.
A week in the life of the town that keeps your lights on
Coal  Wyoming  article  CaliforniaSundayMagazine  from iphone
october 2015
Why Apple Is Still Sweating the Details on iMac
Retina displays, rechargeable input devices, a force touch trackpad, and more power. Not bad for a truck.
apple  imac  mouse  design  article  medium 
october 2015
Introducing the New System Fonts
Fonts lay at the intersection of design and engineering. Get introduced to typographic principles and how they apply to the San Francisco fonts. Hear what makes this family of fonts unique and how to effectively take advantage of their advanced features. Learn best practices when designing and implementing interfaces with text.
Apple  Typography  font  WWDC  from iphone
october 2015
A Matter of Perspective
A drive around the lake becomes a reasonably straight line. Not only that, but the map is actually continuous — the roads running off the bottom of the map are the same as those coming in at the top. It provides a unique perspective on the way people arrange themselves around the lake.
map  LakeMichigan 
september 2015
The lost apple logos you've never seen
Recently, the resurrected imprint of BYTE Magazine was good enough to publish a PDF of Stephen Wozniak’s 1977 article introducing the “Apple-II.” It’s a fun little read, and brings back a lot of that era when computing was just a hobbyist pursuit, like ham radio or car customizing.
apple  design  history 
september 2015
The untold story of the British Rail logo
The arrows of indecision. The barbed wire. The crow’s feet. In the 50 years since he drew up one of the UK’s most recognisable symbols, designer Gerry Barney has probably heard them all. But he doesn’t mind. While the British public were to gradually fall out of love with British Rail as an organisation, Barney’s classic double arrow logo steadfastly carried on, quietly working away as a simple but remarkably relevant piece of design.
BritishRail  design  logo  history 
september 2015
California’s Upward-Mobility Machine
Despite the costs, a bipartisan group of state leaders chose expansion. On June 20, 1964, one day after the Civil Rights Act passed, President Lyndon B. Johnson joined state officials in a previously unincorporated patch of Orange County to dedicatethe Irvine campus. The new campus’s raison d’etre, as with new ones in San Diego and Santa Cruz, was to provide a college education for the masses. Throughout, the University of California took deliberate steps to attract students of modest means. It kept tuition low and did far more to recruit community-college transfers than most elite state universities. The transfer pipeline is crucial, because many highly qualified low-income students— unaware of how much financial aid is available at some four-year colleges — first enroll at a local community college, where published tuition tends to be low.
California  University  UC  NYTimes  article 
september 2015
Parallel Rails: ICHABOD
ICHABOD is a master of American freight train graffiti: prolific, durable, and consistent. In a game where thousands of graffiti writers compete to make their names as densely distributed as possible throughout the nearly two million freight cars across North America, ICH has been among the very best and most successful. Ceaselessly repeating his ultra-legible signature piece, he makes two things as likely as can be in graffiti: that his name will be rolling on every train in North America, and that you, me, and anyone else will be able to read it.
Graffiti  trains 
september 2015
Tech nerds are smart. But they can't seem to get their heads around politics
So that's where American politics stands today: on one side, a radicalized, highly ideological demographic threatened with losing its place of privilege in society, politically activated and locked into the House; on the other side, a demographically and ideologically heterogeneous coalition of interest groups big enough to reliably win the presidency and occasionally the Senate. For now, it's gridlock.
politics  culture  article  vox 
september 2015
What’s wrong with shipping container housing? Everything
What’s wrong with shipping container buildings? Nothing, if they’re used for the right purpose. For a temporary facility, where an owner desires the shipping container aesthetic, they can be a good fit (look, I’ve even done a container project!). For sites where on-site construction is not feasible or desirable, fitting a container out in the factory can be a sensible option, even though you’ll still have to do things like pour foundations on site. It probably won’t save you any money over conventional construction (and very well might cost more), but it can solve some other problems. The place where containers really don’t make any sense is housing. I know you’ve seen all the proposals, often done with an humanitarian angle (building slum housing, housing for refugees etc) that promise a factory-built “solution” to the housing “problem” but often positioned as a luxury product as well
ShippingContainers  housing  Architecture  blog 
september 2015
How the Ballpoint Pen Changed Handwriting
Thicker ink, fewer smudges, and more strained hands: an Object Lesson
Handwriting  technology  pens  article  TheAlantic  from iphone
august 2015
Lovin' their elevator: why Germans are loopy about their revolving lifts
Doorless cabins, known as paternosters, are used for everything from speed dating to concerts. Now fans are fighting off attempts to restrict their use because of safety fears
Elevators  Germany  paternosters  article  guardian 
august 2015
Charley and Edie
A Charley Harper Retrospective, part I
Charleyharper  illustration 
august 2015
Across the Mountain and Back Again
The small mountain town of Abingdon, Virginia, shares a strange bond with the smaller mountain town of West Jefferson, North Carolina. That bond is a railroad that doesn't make any money, a railroad that runs through a beautiful and ageless land, a railroad that carries no passengers, no mail, and very little freight.

Yet it is a railroad loved by everyone who knows it, and to a fortunate few it offers an ever-changing spectacle of scenery.
Virginia  Norfolk&Western  Railroad  travelogue  NorthCarolina  Appalachian 
august 2015
Web Design - The First 100 Years
The 747 is a masterpiece of industrial design. Everything we think of as normal about air travel, for better or worse, was invented for this airplane and its immediate predecessor, the 707. That includes seats on rails, overhead bins, drink trolleys, sliding window shades, the little fan above your seat—you name it.
Airplane  web  design  technology  progress  presentation  exponentialgrowth 
july 2015
History of the Emmy Statuette
What to name the symbol. Academy founder Syd Cassyd suggested "Ike," the nickname for the television iconoscope tube. But with a national war hero named Dwight D. "Ike" Eisenhower, Academy members thought they needed a less well-known name. Harry Lubcke, a pioneer television engineer and the third Academy president, suggested "Immy," a term commonly used for the early image orthicon camera. The name stuck and was later modified to Emmy, which members thought was more appropriate for a female symbol.
Emmy  statue  name  from iphone
july 2015
The American Nations Today
There’s never been an America, but rather several Americas—each a distinct nation. There are eleven nations today.

The borders of my eleven American nations are reflected in many different types of maps—including maps showing the distribution of linguistic dialects, the spread of cultural artifacts, the prevalence of different religious denominations, and the county-by-county breakdown of voting in virtually every hotly contested presidential race in our history. Our continent’s famed mobility has been reinforcing, not dissolving, regional differences, as people increasingly sort themselves into like-minded communities.
maps  USA  Tufts  politics  culture 
july 2015
How Minions Destroyed the Internet
Minions have been engineered to be everything and nothing at once. They are not sexual, but they can develop romantic interest. They are androgynous but have distinctly male names. Their language is a hodge-podge of others. Their bodies have both a slender skinniness and the curves of fatness. They all need corrective eyewear.
minions  marketing  meme  culture  article  TheAwl 
july 2015
‘The Simpsons’ Duff Beer Tries to Tap Markets Outside Springfield
Ariel Casarin, an associate professor of strategy at the Universidad Adolfo Ibanez in Santiago, Chile, who has written about the Duff Beer intellectual property disputes in a textbook, believes that Fox has been essentially forced into the beer business by intellectual property laws that don’t generally protect fictional products. “Because the product did not in fact exist, the argument goes that Fox cannot claim trademark on it,” Mr. Casarin said. He said putting the beer on the market puts Fox on stronger legal footing.
Simpsons  duff  beer  fix  article  WallStreetJournal 
july 2015
Explore the TWA Terminal, a Pristine Time Capsule From 1962
Right now, a team of digital scanning whizzes is back in their Florida lab, making a digital 3D model of the TWA Flight Center. Last week, while the staff and their equipment were hard at work recording every curve, bend, window, and facade of Eero Saarinen's 1962 terminal at John F. Kennedy International Airport, photographer Max Touhey was granted access. That much free time inside the historic, beloved landmark is hard to come by—especially with a camera in hand—given that it has been off limits to the public since 2001 and is set to undergo redevelopment into a boutique hotel.
twa  jfk  airport  photography  architecture  Saarinen  terminal 
july 2015
Prop 13, Part 1: California's Property Tax Law is Completely Broken
In short, Proposition 13 represents a massive transfer of wealth away from the young, poor, and people of color to the old, prosperous, and white; skews power away from local governments toward the state; and influences decision-making in destructive ways at every level, from personal choices about where to live, to political/planning decisions about how our cities should grow and evolve.
Politics  California  tax  housing 
july 2015
Sexts, Hugs, And Rock 'N' Roll: On The Road With The Teen Social-Media Sensations Of DigiTour
This cross-country cash cow starring seven of America’s biggest Vine and YouTube stars may have all the trappings of a traditional rock tour — long bus rides, concert hall stages in front of screaming fans, staying up late — but it’s the clearest sign yet that the entertainment industry’s star-making apparatus is being turned upside down
SocialMedia  tour  teens  buzzfeed  article 
july 2015
How World War III became possible: A nuclear conflict with Russia is likelier than you think
Europe today looks disturbingly similar to the Europe of just over 100 years ago, on the eve of World War I. It is a tangle of military commitments and defense pledges, some of them unclear and thus easier to trigger. Its leaders have given vague signals for what would and would not lead to war. Its political tensions have become military buildups. Its nations are teetering on an unstable balance of power, barely held together by a Cold War–era alliance that no longer quite applies.
Russia  nuclear  war  essay  vox  future_beyond_hope 
june 2015
Route 50: Driving America's 'Loneliest Road'
And then there is Route 50, a black ribbon that stretches from Ocean City, Maryland, to Sacramento. “For the unhurried, this little-known highway is the best national road across the middle of the United States,” wrote William Least Heat-Moon in Blue Highways, his classic 1982 account of driving the nation’s back roads in search of the nation’s heart. Fifteen years later, Time magazine called this same strip of pavement “The Backbone of America” in a cover story that was part travelogue, part sociopolitical pulse-taking. It is a long backbone, 3,007 miles in length, its vertebrae etched with names like Loogootee, Pruntytown, Poncha Springs and Majors Place.
Nevada  highway  America  article  Newsweek 
june 2015
The Internet is looking for who designed this cup.
Disposable cups, forming a permanent legacy. But whose? That was the question.
Design  history  disposable  cup  solo  article  Springfieldnewsleader 
june 2015
The first modern organizational chart is a thing of beauty.
With this 1855 chart, Daniel McCallum, general superintendent of the New York and Erie Railroad, tried to define an organizational structure that would allow management of a business that was becoming unwieldy in its size. The document is generally recognized to be the first formal organizational chart.
Erie  Railroad  Charts  design  Organization  history  Slate  Article  from iphone
june 2015
'Kim Jong-Ale': North Korea's surprising microbrewery culture explored
North Korea has a robust domestic beer brewing culture, despite its isolation from the outside world. Famously, the regime bought a British brewery in 2000 for £1.5m and had the whole thing shipped and rebuilt on the edges of the capital, Pyongyang. That formerly German-owned Ushers equipment now produces Taedonggang beer, one of the most popular domestic brands (and, like every other enterprise in North Korea, it's state-owned).
beer  NorthKorea  article  wired  from iphone
june 2015
Designing the future of "Her"
the core of the movie, its lifeblood, can be found in the work of production designer K.K. Barrett. "Her" offers, in my opinion, the most compellingly original look for the future in at least a decade.
Future  her  SpikeJones  interview 
june 2015
Morris Wilkins, Who Lured Honeymooners to Poconos, Dies at 90
But it wasn’t until 1968 that those northeastern Pennsylvania mountains would be unblushingly branded the libidinous Land of Love. That was when Morris Wilkins, a former electrician and submariner, in the unlikely guise of Cupid, sparked a romantic reformation in his own Poconos hotel, the nondescript lakeside Cove Haven resort. Mr. Wilkins, by all accounts, designed and installed the Poconos’ first heart-shaped bathtub.
Poconos  bathtub  champagne  obituary  NYTimes  from iphone
may 2015
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