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Aug 09, 2018

Repair is a Radical Act

One of the books in my current stack is Let My People Go Surfing, written by Patagonia founder Yvon Chouinard. The book is structured into two parts: the first half is a brief history of the company from its origins as a beachside blacksmith shop producing climbing equipment. The other is a company handbook on the founding principles and values on which the billion-dollar company makes its decisions.    

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May 17, 2018

Put Your Social Life to Work: Join a Voluntary Association

There is a new phenomenon where lonely people have finally found a voice to express their loneliness. And wouldn't you know it - they found it on the internet. Of course, the internet is not the reason we are lonely and it is not the source of loneliness, but it certainly is the vehicle that allows people to talk about how lonely they are. But it is the internet that has turned it into something universal, something memetic. (Though I spare you examples here, the internet abounds with them. You've seen them.)

Members of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee of Atlanta, a voluntary organization of civil rights workers in 1963

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May 09, 2018

10 Years Later, We're Still Catching Up With "The Wire"

"Have you seen 'The Wire'?" has somehow managed to become a cliche question and an earnest inquiry. On the one hand, for a long time, especially during the end of its TV run and right after it concluded, it was a question meant to signify one's own highbrow-yet-gritty tastes in high end television. Talking about the Sopranos was something that fit in too neatly with other mob-genre films like The Godfather and Goodfellas.

"The Wire," by contrast, was idiosyncratic. And as with most under-acclaimed media that gains a following, it is easy for it to become a signifier of taste and turn into something overrated and under-criticized. In

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Oct 08, 2015

El Sueño Americano: Artful Photographs of Objects Seized at the US-Mexico Border

El Sueño Americano, "The American Dream" is a photo series by Tom Kiefer that showcases collections and items belonging to migrants that were apprehended by customs and border officials along the United States-Mexico border in Arizona. 

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Nov 06, 2012

State of the Art: The Electoral College Explained in M&Ms

To remind you of exactly how the presidential elections work in the U.S., Christoph Niemann offers this little visual primer...in M&Ms.  

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Oct 18, 2012

The Most Powerful TV Shows of the Past 25 Years

Mental Floss just published a fascinating look at television from the last two and a half decades. But rather than just mention all the great cable dramas and 90s powerhouses that you might expect, they take a different approach in their selection. A process that, interestingly, means you've probably never heard of most of them.  

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Sep 04, 2012

Ale to the Chief: The White House Unveils Its DIY Beer Recipes

Ten days ago, I shared a story involving the White House's custom homebrewed beer, and how several enterprising individuals were creating petitions and invoking the Freedom of Information Act to get access to the recipes. But it turns out, all citizens had to do was ask,

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Aug 23, 2012

The White House Brews Its Own Beer...and the Freedom of Information Act Might Get You the Recipes

File this in your huh folder: The White House brews its own beer, and President Obama has been sharing it along the campaign trail. Apparently, the good citizens of this country are pretty curious, and they want a taste of it themselves.  

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Apr 17, 2012

Beautiful Still Life Photos of Rotting Food

"Nobody likes to see good food go bad. But Klaus Pichler's photography series One Third, which portrays food in advanced stages of decay, is a feast for the eyes — even if it turns the stomach."

   

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Jan 27, 2012

Thousands of Tiny Humans Hold Up the Floor

Last summer, during my-mom-is-so-awesome-she-bought-me-a-trip-to-Columbus-Indiana-which-is-full-of-amazing-modern-architecture trip (see here), we visited the Indianapolis Museum of Art, which features a pretty great collection, given its size. In the contemporary wing, on the fourth floor, we were fortunate enough to see (and stand on) "Floor" by Do Ho Suh.

And it was terrifying.  

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Jan 10, 2012

"Soft Guerilla" Recreates Weapons with Harmless, Humorous Materials

Artist Kyle Bean recently created six "weapons" for Cut magazine from unusual materials. And by unusual, I mean a time bomb from popsicles, brass knuckles from whole grain bread, and a knife blade from a feather.  

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Oct 24, 2011

The Occupiers: Portraits of Occupy Wall Street Protestors

Photographer Eddie McShane has captured the faces of those advocating for the 99% in a new portrait series of NYC's Occupy Wall Street participants.

   

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Oct 06, 2011

How Many Slaves Work for You?

created at: 10/06/2011

Slavery Footprint is a fascinating and well-designed exploration of how the things you consume affect workers, or more accurately, bonded laborers, namely, the 

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Aug 19, 2011

The Pulitzer Prize Winning Photographs from the Last 50 Years

A few years ago, I made a deal with myself to read every Pulitzer Prize winning novel since the first awarding in 1918 (at least the best I can). I've kept up with the new ones since my promise (beginning in the Kavalier and Clay year, so that musta been 2001), and have grabbed lots of stuff from previous years from the used book store (Humboldt's Gift? Awesome) and I haven't been disappointed yet, 'cept for Olive Kitteredge two years ago. Just couldn't finish it...

   

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Aug 19, 2011

Rock, Paper, Scissors: 2011 Style

A few years ago, the classic three-gesture selection game got a five-part update in the form of "Rock, Paper Scissors, Lizard, Spock." The geeks had a heyday (including this famous little tyke explaining the updated relationships), and then we went back to the regular old kind for all sorts of tasks: deciding who has to go pick up that one grocery store item you forgot, or winning national touraments.

Illustrator Christoph Niemann has decided to give the random-selection tradition a contemporary update, to reflect the current mire of political conversations in the US.

   

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Aug 04, 2011

Censorship Tells the Wrong Story

Hmmm...I'm not sure how I feel about these strategically pixelated images from the ad campaign, "Censorship Tells the Wrong Story. "To make a point, the new anti-censorship ad campaign for Reporters Without Borders purposefully blurs the line between decency and reality... Created by the firm Ogilvy & Mather, each image features the text “Censorship tells the wrong story,” and uses strategic pixelization to alter perception and add new meaning."

   

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