Yesterday I had the wonderful experience of driving a manual Fiat up and down a single-lane highway through the mountains of California with a special lady I was trying to impress. Luckily I only stalled the car at two points, but I think stalled it about 8 times at both of those points and that is not an exaggeration. It was fairly emasculating for me, but she seemed to enjoy my shame...
Podcasts. You know 'em. You listen to 'em. You're moved by them. You laugh and are entertained by them. But are you inspired by them? Do they light a fire under your butt and make you want to get into your work space as fast as possible? Do they make you want to complete your workout faster so you can get home and make stuff? Do they make you thankful for your creative bent, and the creative work of others?
It's an interesting contrast. Vodka is among the most simple and pure of spirits, distilled many times to show off the basic essence of its grain (or potatoes) and water source. But perhaps there's no other bottle that carries with it such a variety of contexts in which its imbibed. Because of its straight-forward, back-to-basics presentation, you can drink vodka like, say, a college student who wants to mask the taste. Or a James Bond-inspired martini drinker who hasn't learned about gin yet. Or for its, um, less-hangover-y nature and overall lower impact to your systems the next morning. And countless other ways.
Or, you could drink vodka like those people who invented it - those from Northeastern Europe, where long, cold winters mean grapes won't really grow, and the best source of sugar to ferment and distill are hardy cereal grains.
If you're a consistent reader of ManMade, you're probably someone who's investigated a fair number of TED talks. From classics like Do Schools Kill Creativity? and The Psychology of Evil, I'm guessing you've been around the proverbial TED Talk block. So now, here are 10 great ones on to add to your list, and 8 of them are one's I'd never heard of before.
As any quality chef will tell you, presentation is of vital importance. And it's no less true when it comes to the pairing of cocktails and glassware. Each glass has its own connotations of class and style, completely aside from its own functionality, and so here's a little history behind it all.
If you've ever entertained the question of which books you'd take to keep you sane on a deserted island, you'll want to check this out.
Ritualized finger-shortening, or “Yubitsume”, is the ancient tradition of cutting off the end of one's own pinky finger just above the joint to atone for mistakes. Traditionally this was done on the left hand making it harder for the culprit to wield a katana properly; the ritual was then so eagerly adopted by the Japanese mafia that ex-mafia members have an incredibly hard time re-integrating into society due to the stigma against their obvious deformity.
The art of the memory palace (or method of loci) dates back to Ancient Rome with rhetorical treatises on how to memorize anything based on the art of visualization and associating the things needing to be remembered with those imagined spaces. Believe it or not, this is still one of the most famous methods used by Memory Champions today (yes that is a real thing).
I've recently become fascinated by the artistry that goes into objects that I interact with on a daily basis but normally consider too quotidian to think about. And manhole covers definitely fall into that category. They're an essential part of any city's infrastructure and their design and manufacture isn't something that should be overlooked. And now, thanks to this National Geographic short, you can pull back the curtain and see how the majority of manhole covers in the US are made... in India.
I was reading Justin's piece from earlier today on building an electric guitar from scratch, and the title got my wheels spinning. What does "made from scratch" actually mean? Is it slang for some cheap material like sticks or straw? Is it related to using "scratch" as colloquialism for money?
Words words words, as the Bard said. All around us and packed with meaning despite the fact that many of us never stop to think about the other design aspects of the world around us. But that's where this little city exploration tour from Quartz comes in to unpack the hidden meaning behind everyday street signs.
Each Wednesday, I post some of my favorite can't-miss links, images, and otherwise mindblowing goodies from across the web.
Perhaps you've seen this go by this week, but I'm pretty fascinated with this theory on why time seems to go by so much quicker as you get older.
Tj Cosgrove, a friend of ManMade and maker of the $15.00 photo light project, has started a new video series called Perspective*.
It's pretty amazing really. The Aeropress is a small, $25 plastic contraption that supposedly can produce the best cup of coffee one can make at home (or the office) without a multi-thousand dollar professional espresso machine. At its core, the Aeropress is two tubes that create a vacuum,
Dr. Jeff Wilson, professor at Huston-Tillotson University in Austin, Texas, has been living in a 36-square-foot dumpster. It's part research, part social experiment, and part to learn how to "to gradually transform the dumpster into 'the most thoughtfully-designed, tiniest home ever constructed.' "
This morning, on my bike ride, I saw a sight I hadn't noted in a few months: dozens of kids walking down the sidewalk, new backpacks and lunch boxes in hand, waiting for the new year to begin. So, in honor of back to school season, why don't we all take a moment to learn how to be better readers. And by learn how to be better readers, I mean: avoid falling down the internet rabbit hole and ending up with thirty browser tabs every time you need to look something up.