Shared posts

20 Feb 20:19

roden crater, northern arizona/james turrellroden crater,...

roden crater, northern arizona/james turrell

roden crater, located in the painted desert region of northern arizona, is an unprecedented large-scale artwork created within a volcanic cinder cone by light and space artist james turrell. the artist’s lifelong research in the field of human visual and psychological perception, culminated into roden crater, with special engineered spaces where the cycles of geologic and celestial time can be directly experienced. a controlled environment for the contemplation of light. it takes its place within the tradition of american landscape art that began in the 1960s, requiring a journey to visit the work in the remote desert with truly dark night skies.

via: blueverticalstudio

25 Feb 15:04

Honey badgers are magical escape artists

by Jason Kottke

Watch as a honey badger uses everything at his disposal (rocks, mud, trees, tunnels) to escape a supposedly unescapable enclosure. I was aware honey badgers don't give a shit, but I didn't know they were so clever.

Tags: video
18 Feb 14:41

"Robert Moses Is A Racist Whatever"

by Jason Kottke

Christopher Robbins recently interviewed Robert Caro (author of The Power Broker, perhaps the best book ever written about New York) for Gothamist. The interview is interesting throughout. (I lightly edited the excerpts for clarity.)

Caro: If you're publishing on the Internet, do you call them readers or viewers?

Robbins: Either, I think.

Caro: How do you know they're reading it?

Robbins: There's something called Chartbeat -- it shows you how many people are reading a specific article in any given moment, and how long they spend on that article. That's called "engagement time." We have a giant flatscreen on the wall that displays it, a lot of publications do.

Caro: What you just said is the worst thing I ever heard. [Laughs]

That exchange makes a nice companion to Snapchat like the teens.

Caro: Moses came along with his incredible vision, and vision not in a good sense. It's like how he built the bridges too low.

I remember his aide, Sid Shapiro, who I spent a lot of time getting to talk to me, he finally talked to me. And he had this quote that I've never forgotten. He said Moses didn't want poor people, particularly poor people of color, to use Jones Beach, so they had legislation passed forbidding the use of buses on parkways.

Then he had this quote, and I can still hear him saying it to me. "Legislation can always be changed. It's very hard to tear down a bridge once it's up." So he built 180 or 170 bridges too low for buses.

We used Jones Beach a lot, because I used to work the night shift for the first couple of years, so I'd sleep til 12 and then we'd go down and spend a lot of afternoons at the beach. It never occurred to me that there weren't any black people at the beach.

So Ina and I went to the main parking lot, that huge 10,000-car lot. We stood there with steno pads, and we had three columns: Whites, Blacks, Others. And I still remember that first column -- there were a few Others, and almost no Blacks. The Whites would be go on to the next page. I said, God, this is what Robert Moses did. This is how you can shape a metropolis for generations.

That's something to remember the next time someone tries to rehabilitate Moses' legacy. Not to mention this excerpt from The Power Broker:

Robert Moses had always displayed a genius for adorning his creations with little details that made them fit in with their setting, that made the people who used them feel at home in them. There was a little detail on the playhouse-comfort station in the Harlem section of Riverside Park that is found nowhere else in the park. The wrought-iron trellises of the park's other playhouses and comfort stations are decorated with designs like curling waves.

The wrought-iron trellises of the Harlem playhouse-comfort station are decorated with monkeys.

And now I am filled with regret at never having read The Power Broker. I started it a couple times, but could never find the time to follow through. I wish it was available on the Kindle...a 1300-page paperback is not exactly handy to carry about and read. The unabridged audiobook is 66 hours long...and $72.

Tags: architecture   Christopher Robbins   cities   interviews   NYC   racism   Robert Caro   Robert Moses
20 Jan 16:13

Lo and Behold, a film about "the connected world" by Werner Herzog

by Jason Kottke

Well, holy shit...Werner Herzog has made a film called Lo and Behold about the online world and artificial intelligence.

Lo and Behold traces what Herzog describes as "one of the biggest revolutions we as humans are experiencing," from its most elevating accomplishments to its darkest corners. Featuring original interviews with cyberspace pioneers and prophets such as Elon Musk, Bob Kahn, and world-famous hacker Kevin Mitnick, the film travels through a series of interconnected episodes that reveal the ways in which the online world has transformed how virtually everything in the real world works, from business to education, space travel to healthcare, and the very heart of how we conduct our personal relationships.

From the trailer, it looks amazing. Gotta see this asap.

Tags: artificial intelligence   Lo and Behold   movies   trailers   Werner Herzog
15 Sep 17:20

The Collective Quarterly: Mad River Valley

by Jason Kottke

Mad River Collective

The issue of The Collective Quarterly on Vermont's Mad River Valley is wonderful and gorgeous.

When we visited the Mad River Valley -- which includes the towns of Warren, Waitsfield, Moretown, Fayston, and Duxbury -- we found grown men who loiter outside the local general store like furtive minors, sheepishly asking inbound customers if they'd be willing to help them circumvent the three-bottle limit on the impossible-to-find Sip of Sunshine double IPA from Lawson's Finest Liquids. We shared drinks with backwoods boys, each with a quirky approach to extreme sports: kayaking raging rivers, big-air huck fests in sleds, and cliff-jumping at near-suicidal heights. We met a man who builds houses in the trees for the disabled youth of the Mad River Valley. We found a woman who forges artful kitchen knives out of old horse-hoof rasps from her father's blacksmith operation. We ran into a socialist German refugee whose politically charged puppet shows in the fields of the Northeast Kingdom draw thousands.

And of course there were the architects. By some estimates, there are more architects per capita in Warren, Vermont, than anywhere else in the United States. Throughout the '60s and '70s, these freewheeling designers hacked together zany, experimental constructions on Prickly Mountain, heralding the arrival of the design/build movement.

I've spent quite a bit of time there, and I can tell you that the magazine definitely captured it. From just this summer, here's Ollie doing a 360 off a cliff at the swim hole and views of another more peaceful swim hole as well as from a hike I took:

Mad River swim hole

Mad River hike

Tags: photography   Vermont
08 Jun 13:31

“No passion is stronger in the breast of man than the desire to...

“No passion is stronger in the breast of man than the desire to make others believe as he believes. Nothing so cuts at the root of his happiness and fills him with rage as the sense that another rates low what he prizes high.”

— Virginia Woolf, Orlando

24 Mar 22:30

New: Hudson Mohawke – “Very First Breath”

by Pretty Much Amazing

Hear the first single from HudMo's debut album.

Read more articles like "New: Hudson Mohawke – “Very First Breath”" on PMA - Pretty Much Amazing.

The post New: Hudson Mohawke – “Very First Breath” appeared first on PMA - Pretty Much Amazing.

25 Feb 16:24

“This was love: a string of coincidences that gathered...

“This was love: a string of coincidences that gathered significance and became miracles.”

― Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Half of a Yellow Sun

13 Feb 14:01

“The trick of enjoying New York is not to be so busy grinding...

“The trick of enjoying New York is not to be so busy grinding your way to the center of the earth that you fail to notice the sparkle of the place, a scale and a kind of wonder that puts all human endeavors in their proper place.”

— David Carr, The Night of the Gun

02 Dec 13:56

"I shall go on shining as a brilliantly meaningless figure in a...

"I shall go on shining as a brilliantly meaningless figure in a meaningless world."
— F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Beautiful and Damned

03 Nov 12:58

On kindness

by Jason Kottke

Cord Jefferson with a beautiful piece about his mother, illness, and the importance and difficulty of being kind.

I'd just returned home from a meeting when she called again. It had been only a few hours since we'd last talked and, as she stammered when I picked up, my heart sank with the anticipation of more bad news. "I didn't tell you everything I wanted to earlier," she said after gathering her tongue. "I wanted to say that I'm scared. I know you can't do anything to change this, but it makes me feel better to let you know that I'm afraid."

(via @jessicalustig)

Tags: cancer   Cord Jefferson   crying at work
12 Sep 19:49

Dancebot 2014

by Jason Kottke

This guy Fik Shun? He knows how to dance.

The thing he starts doing with his chest around 2:10 is some Exorcist-level shit. (via digg)

Tags: dance   video
09 Jun 17:44

minimalist take on an a-frame/ma-style via:...

minimalist take on an a-frame/ma-style

via: atelierad


…gorgeous…breathe in the beauty…

07 Dec 17:00

Lucid Stead: A “Disappearing” Cabin of Mirrors

by Eric Baldwin

In Joshua Tree, California, artist Phillip K Smith III has completed Lucid Stead: an optical illusion/installation that modifies an abandoned 70-year-old homestead with mirrors in order to make it appear transparent. The cabin was also fitted with LED lighting to “extract the distilled experience of how light changes over time — how a mountain can be blue, red, brown, white, purple, and black all in one day.” As Smith stated, the project is about light, shadow, and tapping into the quiet of the desert. Check out more images and a video of the cabin after the break!

Click here to view the embedded video.

Images via

06 Nov 21:49

Male northern elephant seal (Supergiant Animals - BBC)

Male northern elephant seal (Supergiant Animals - BBC)

09 Nov 21:55

Hummingbird hawk-moth (Richard Hammond’s Invisible Worlds...

Hummingbird hawk-moth (Richard Hammond’s Invisible Worlds - BBC)

20 Nov 14:44

Meet Jay Nelson, professional fort builder on the coast of...

by zachklein

click through for an awesome camper and a portable treehouse

Meet Jay Nelsonprofessional fort builder on the coast of California.

09 Oct 17:20

Star Slinger – “Free”

by Luis Tovar

After delaying his debut album, it seems like Star Slinger is finally set to let it come out in early 2014. Here is a new taste from the LP, “Free.” The song is a light, groovy, grin-inducing exercise that is, for the most part, drop-free.

Here are some North American dates for Slinger:

11-06 Las Vegas, NV – Commonwealth
11-07 Las Vegas, NV – Ling Ling Lounge
11-08 Austin, TX – Fun Fun Fun Fest
11-10 New York, NY – Brooklyn Electronic Music Festival
11-13 Philadelphia, PA – The Dolphin
11-14 Boston, MA – Brighton Music Hall
11-15 Montreal, Quebec – Le Belmont
11-16 Toronto, Ontario – Drake Hotel

Read more articles like "Star Slinger – “Free”" on PMA - Pretty Much Amazing.

Tags: Star Slinger
04 Oct 19:14

Video: Pusha T and Kendrick Lamar – “Nosetalgia”

by Genevieve Oliver

“Nosetalgia” is one of our favorite jams on Pusha-T’s new solo record My Name is My Name, thanks in part to a blistering verse from Kendrick Lamar – so we’re jazzed that it’s now got a video, a minimalist, black-and-white, single-shot affair. It’s simple, but totally effective to the point of hypnotic – watching Pusha and Kendrick deliver their verses on a nighttime stroll through a silent, empty Compton street, you’ll find it impossible to press pause. Check it out – remember you can pick up My Name is My Name on October 8.

Read more articles like "Video: Pusha T and Kendrick Lamar – “Nosetalgia”" on PMA - Pretty Much Amazing.

Tags: Kendrick Lamar, Pusha T
26 Sep 20:50

Barn owl (Christopher Taylor)

Barn owl (Christopher Taylor)

24 Sep 13:56

Richard Feynman explains rubber bands

by Jason Kottke

I had no idea that's how rubber bands worked. Once again, Feynman takes something that seems pretty simple and makes it both simpler and vividly complex.

(via @stevenstrogatz)

Tags: physics   Richard Feynman   science   video
24 Sep 13:37

“I was funny — ha-ha, not peculiar. It was a modest...

“I was funny — ha-ha, not peculiar. It was a modest currency, like pennies: pedestrian, somewhat laborious, but a currency nonetheless. I was funny, in public, most often at my own expense.”

― Claire Messud, The Woman Upstairs

22 Aug 15:22

Irish Guards remain at attention after one guardsman faints in...

Irish Guards remain at attention after one guardsman faints in London, England, June 1966.Photograph by James P. Blair, National Geographic

08 Aug 17:43

Video: Basement Jaxx – “What a Difference Your Love Makes”

by Luis Tovar

Basement Jaxx’s has a video they’ve shared for new single “What a Difference Your Love Makes” and it features a lot of incredible pantsula dancing recorded on location in Alexandra, Johannesburg, so we highly recommend you click play below.

The single is out officially September 30th, and it will reportedly lead to a new album eventually.

Read more articles like "Video: Basement Jaxx – “What a Difference Your Love Makes”" on PMA - Pretty Much Amazing.

Tags: Basement Jaxx
09 Aug 14:34

La Caja Obscura, a small home in Asunción, Paraguay featuring a...

by jacecooke

La Caja Obscura, a small home in Asunción, Paraguay featuring a tilting steel roof.

Designed by Javier Corvalan, photographed by Pedro Kok.

01 Aug 22:10

An Eloquent Eulogy to Natalie de Blois

by Vanessa Quirk

“In architecture’s ‘Mad Men’ era, there was a woman.” So begins David W. Dunlap’s eloquent eulogy, published yesterday in The New York Times, to Natalie de Blois. Dunlap explores de Blois’ significant contributions to Skidmore, Owings, and Merrill’s iconic buildings, including the Lever House, as well as the significant hurdles she had to overcome. As SOM partner Nathaniel Owings wrote of de Blois in his autobiography: “Her mind and hands worked marvels in design — and only she and God would ever know just how many great solutions, with the imprimatur of one of the male heroes of S.O.M., owed much more to her than was attributed by either S.O.M. or the client.” Read the entire article at The New York Times.

17 Jul 03:38

Questlove: Trayvon Martin and I Ain't Shit

by Jason Kottke

The Roots' Questlove has some powerful thoughts on the Trayvon Martin verdict:

I'm in scenarios all the time in which primitive, exotic-looking me -- six-foot-two, 300 pounds, uncivilized Afro, for starters -- finds himself in places where people who look like me aren't normally found. I mean, what can I do? I have to be somewhere on Earth, correct? In the beginning -- let's say 2002, when the gates of "Hey, Ahmir, would you like to come to [swanky elitist place]?" opened -- I'd say "no," mostly because it's been hammered in my DNA to not "rock the boat," which means not making "certain people" feel uncomfortable.

I mean, that is a crazy way to live. Seriously, imagine a life in which you think of other people's safety and comfort first, before your own. You're programmed and taught that from the gate. It's like the opposite of entitlement.

Reading about this case and the reaction to it has been a series of gut punches this week.

Tags: legal   Questlove   racism   Trayvon Martin
17 Jul 19:35

How the Tesla Model S is made

by Jason Kottke

A nice video from Wired that shows how Tesla's sedan is made.

Tesla got the factory for a song from Toyota in 2010, spent about a year or so setting up tooling and started producing the Model S sedan in mid-2012. The automaker brings in raw materials by the truckload, including the massive rolls of aluminum that are bent, pressed, and formed to create the car. Those lightweight components are assembled by swarm of red robots in an intricate ballet that is mesmerizing to behold.

(via ★interesting)

Tags: cars   how to   Tesla   video
25 Jun 04:48

teardrop trailer via: lecontainer

teardrop trailer

via: lecontainer

21 Jun 16:04

Ear-deep in watermelon, a boy eats a juicy slice at a festival...

Ear-deep in watermelon, a boy eats a juicy slice at a festival in Florida, December 1963.
Photograph by James P. Blair, National Geographic