Amia Srinivasan reviews ‘Other Minds’ by Peter Godfrey-Smith and ‘The Soul of an Octopus’ by Sy Montgomery
Jean Boal, a cephalopod researcher at Millersville University in Pennsylvania, reported feeding octopuses in a row of tanks with thawed squid, not an octopus’s favourite food. Returning to the first tank, Boal found that the octopus in it hadn’t eaten the squid, but was instead holding it out in its arm; watching Boal, it slowly made its way across the tank and shoved the squid down the drain.
Octopus  LondonReviewBooks 
21 days ago
Lego Wants to Completely Remake Its Toy Bricks (Without Anyone Noticing)
At Lego, petroleum-based plastics aren’t the packaging, they’re the product — and the bricks making up these dinosaurs have barely changed in more than 50 years.
Lego  article  nytimes 
25 days ago
The Untold Story of NotPetya, the Most Devastating Cyberattack in History
For days to come, one of the world’s most complex and interconnected distributed machines, underpinning the circulatory system of the global economy itself, would remain broken. “It was clear this problem was of a magnitude never seen before in global transport,” one Maersk customer remembers. “In the history of shipping IT, no one has ever gone through such a monumental crisis.”
Internet  attack  Russia  Ukraine  Maersk  Shipping  article  Wired  from iphone
4 weeks ago
The Man Who Found Gold In Dog Food
Cohen also poured money into customer service. Your schnauzer doesn't like the Blue Buffalo Wilderness Salmon Grain-Free dog food you bought for $48? Chewy will issue a refund and suggest you donate the food to a local shelter. Canceling your auto-ship order because your Siamese passed away? Chewy sends flowers. Last year Chewy mailed 2 million handwritten holiday cards, which cost the company $940,000 in postage alone.
cat  mrchewy  article  forbes 
4 weeks ago
Uzbekistan's Secret Underground
After a longtime ban on photographing the Tashkent Metro was lifted this summer, RFE/RL’s photographer went underground to reveal the art, architecture, and nuclear-blast protection in Central Asia’s oldest subway system.
Subway  Soviet  Tashkent  Uzbekistan  photography 
5 weeks ago
'The Grey Zone' of Machias Seal Island: The Last U.S.-Canada Border Conflict
Gersten’s short documentary, The Grey Zone, surveys the history of the skirmish and investigates its current implications. It’s a story as old as the Revolutionary War, involving mythological figures and lobsters. (When the U.S. and Canada submitted other border claims to the International Court of Justice at the Hague in 1984, Machias Seal Island was conspicuously absent.)
Maine  Canada  NewBrunswick  island  border  TheAtlantic 
5 weeks ago
We Live Half Our Lives Online — So Why Don't More Movies Show It?
John Cho's new movie Searching might be the first one you see that takes place entirely on a computer screen. But it probably won't be the last.
film  computer  internet  society  article  Buzzfeed 
6 weeks ago
Fictional Search Engines From Movies & TV Shows
We have all watched a movie or TV episode where a character aimlessly slams their keyboard then a search engine website pops up. I usually snigger to myself as we see them type in a characters full name and gain access to excessively private information from a poorly designed Google-wannabe. Anyway, as 2015 comes to a close I thought it would be fun to shed light on why producers don’t show Google and reveal some of the wonderfully bad fictional search engines in movies and TV shows
film  television  production  design  search 
6 weeks ago
Motherhood in the Age of Fear
Women are being harassed and even arrested for making perfectly rational parenting decisions. "A father who is distracted by his interests and obligations in the adult world is being, well, a father; a mother who does the same is failing her children."
parenting  editorial  nytimes 
7 weeks ago
Where Did All These Neighborhood Names Come From, Anyway? (and Why it Matters)
We might imagine that an authoritative, if long-forgotten, “official” map of Detroit’s neighborhoods exists somewhere. Perhaps the names and boundaries were agreed upon at some sort of naming convention that was held in the distant past. Or did Google just make them up? Do they ever change?
Detroit  maps  neighborhood  names 
7 weeks ago
Home Sweet Homer: The Strange Saga of the Real-Life Simpsons House in Nevada
Once upon a time, the house on Red Bark Lane wasn’t just another address in a sprawling suburban development: It was originally built as a nearly exact three-dimensional replica of 742 Evergreen Terrace, the Springfield residence of Homer, Marge, Bart, Lisa, and Maggie Simpson. Working on a short schedule, architects and builders de-fictionalized the home featured in The Simpsons for a 1997 giveaway that was intended to leave one lucky fan with the ultimate in cartoon memorabilia. No detail was spared, from a food dish for their cat, Snowball II, to Duff beer cans in the fridge.
simpsons  house  article  MentalFloss 
7 weeks ago
INSIDE THE 23-DIMENSIONAL WORLD OF YOUR CAR’S PAINT JOB
Hue. Saturation. Luminance. Sparkle. Fixing a door ding is about way more than color.
Wired  article  paint  color  perception 
8 weeks ago
Gfeller Collection: Main Street USA
At the time of his death in 1999, Barry L. Gfeller’s family discovered among his possessions an astonishing collection of 50,000 photographs he had taken over 20 years documenting Main Street USA in the lower 48 states.
Photography  USA 
11 weeks ago
Apple is rebuilding Maps from the ground up
This is the department of details. They’ve reconstructed replicas of hundreds of actual road signs to make sure that the shield on your navigation screen matches the one you’re seeing on the highway road sign. When it comes to public transport, Apple licensed all of the type faces that you see on your favorite subway systems, like Helvetica for NYC. And the line numbers are in the exact same order that you’re going to see them on the platform signs.
maps  Apple  article  TechCrunch 
12 weeks ago
The Bullshit-Job Boom
For more and more people, work appears to serve no purpose. Is there any good left in the grind? "Spanish civil servant stopped showing up at the office, which was noticed only six years later, when someone tried to give him a medal for his long service"
NewYorker  article  jobs 
12 weeks ago
jon 2
2018, 19 pages. A second Garfield fancomic considering the life of Jon Arbuckle, cartoonist.
Garfield  comic 
june 2018
Piece by Piece, a Factory-Made Answer for a Housing Squeeze
Developers are taking on residential building challenges by extending the concept of prefabricated housing to manufacture entire apartment buildings.
article  nytimes  architecture  PreFab 
june 2018
Cameron's World
Cameron's World is a web-collage of text and images excavated from the buried neighbourhoods of archived GeoCities pages (1994–2009).
internet  history  wayback 
may 2018
Tehachapi Pass - The Loop Area
The Loop Area is so interesting that it has made it on the list of Historical Markers at #508. This is where a train, if long enough, can actually loop over itself as it either decends or climbs the mountain side. Of the four loops that I can think of in North America, this is the most easily photographable.

The loop itself is between Woodford/Tehachapi Road and Route 58 just south of the town of Keene, CA. It is .75 miles long and helps the track rise in elevation by 77 feet. It is also a siding for the railroad and is called Walong and the place where the tracks go over themselves is tunnel #9.
railroad  california  tehachapi 
may 2018
The Gambler Who Cracked the Horse-Racing Code
Veteran gamblers know you can’t beat the horses. There are too many variables and too many possible outcomes. Front-runners break a leg. Jockeys fall. Champion thoroughbredsdecide, for no apparent reason, that they’re simply not in the mood. The American sportswriter Roger Kahn once called the sport “animated roulette.”
Gambling  article  Bloomberg 
may 2018
Golfer Dan McLaughlin and the Failure of "The Dan Plan"
Cramped by a shoestring budget and flawed on multiple levels, the Dan Plan raised more questions than it answered about the road to mastery. But that—appreciating how much more there is to understand—is progress, too.
Article  theAtlantic  10000hours  practice  golf  expertise 
may 2018
Finding Lisa: A story of murders, mysteries, loss, and, incredibly, new life
SHE WAS A WISP OF A GIRL, dressed in clothes that were faded and frayed, a few sizes too small. She had no toys, and was often hungry. She slept in the back of a red pickup truck under a camper shell with her father, a family adrift.
crime  BostonGlobe  article 
may 2018
The Quest for the Next Billion-Dollar Color
The world has never had a truly safe, stable, and bright red pigment. The trail may start with YlnMn, the first blue created in two centuries.
color  red  chemistry 
may 2018
Longest Lines Of Sight
As far as I know the longest ground to ground line of sight that has ever been photographed in the US lower 48 is to San Gorgonio Mountain, 190 miles or 306 kilometers from Mount Whitney, California.
vista 
april 2018
The Creepy Genetics Behind the Golden State Killer Case
But no court order would be needed to mine GEDmatch’s open-source database of more than 650,000 genetically connected profiles. Using sequence data somehow wrung from old crime scene samples, police could create a genetic profile for their suspect and and upload it to the free site. As the Sacramento Bee first reported, that gave them a pool of relatives who all shared some of that incriminating genetic material. Then they could use other clues—like age and sex and place of residence—to rule out suspects. Eventually the search narrowed down to just DeAngelo. To confirm their suspicions, police staked out his Citrus Heights home and obtained his DNA from something he discarded, then ran it against multiple crime scene samples. They were a match.
wired  article  california  dna  genetics  crime 
april 2018
Applescript Maker Beta
Basic applescripts to interact with webpages in Safari
applescript 
april 2018
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 
april 2018
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
april 2018
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 
april 2018
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 
april 2018
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 
april 2018
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
march 2018
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 
march 2018
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 
march 2018
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 
march 2018
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 
march 2018
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 
march 2018
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 
march 2018
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 
february 2018
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 
february 2018
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 
february 2018
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 
february 2018
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 
february 2018
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 
january 2018
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 
january 2018
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
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