our exponential hangover

The presentation given by Maciej Cegłowski is impressive in a number of ways.
Using his emigration to the states and the development of aviation as a parable, he argues how our best minds have formally and continue to push technology forward using a flawed strategy.
In a NY Times op-ed, Allison Arieff questions the value of throwing excess technological capability at every possible gadget (IoT) without giving any thought to whether it’s really necessary. She pleads for focus on 1) integration of functions 2) usefulness 3) sustainability and 4) privacy/security.
By questioning how we should be thinking about the future of the web They raise incredibly important technological issues/questions that will have enormous cultural and social implications.

Well worth 15 minutes of your time to read.
09/12/2015 |
computational hydrographic printing

Today, image mapping is de rigueur in the digital space. Create a texture, pattern or image and map, or wrap it to any digital from. In the physical world that gets difficult. Especially with graphics that need to be applied accurately and consistently onto complex 3D forms.

Researchers at Zheijiang University and Columbia University have developed a computational hydrographic printing technique that solves both distortion and registration issues. By pre scanning the target object, their system compensates for the image distortion that occurs as the printed substrate stretches around the object. A computer driven robotic arm ensures the accuracy of the objects position.

Hydrographic printing – the process of printing on a 3D surface by immersing the object into a liquid upon which is floating a film – has been around a while but its been fairly crude. I’m really hoping this novel approach comes on line soon. I’m already working on a full body tattoo for when I get immersed.

Credits go to Yizhong Zhang, Chunji Yin, Changxi Zheng, and Kun Zhou




06/18/2015 |
Tags: 3d mapping, printing, TECHNOLOGY
Great Client feedback

Gotta love this piece from Mike Lacher on McSweeney’s.

Hi God,
Thanks so much for the latest round of work. Really coming together. Few points of feedback:
1 – Really liking the whole light thing but not totally sure about the naming system. “Day” and “night” are OK but we feel like there’s more we can do here. Thoughts? Definitely need to nail this down ASAP.
2 – Re: the “sky”… not really feeling the color here. Would like something that pops more. Please send additional options.
3 – Appreciate the work on the sea and ground, but right now there’s way too much sea. The ground is getting lost in it. In general, sea does not resonate well with our users. Was talking with the team and the idea of having no sea at all came up. Thoughts?
4 – Noticed you’ve covered the ground in vegetation bearing seeds according to their kind and trees bearing fruit according to their kind. Is this intentional? Please advise.
5 – Right now we’re only seeing two great lights in the sky… a greater one for day and a lesser one for night? Thinking that maybe we weren’t clear in the original briefing. Definitely need more than just two great lights. Need to make this a memorable, high-value experience for our users. Please revisit slides thirteen and fourteen in the deck. Shout with questions.
6 – Seas teeming with life is fine, but again, we need to reduce the sea. This is a showstopper for us.
7 – Are the winged birds final, or placeholder? Some kind of weird stuff going on with those. Just want to get some clarification before giving more feedback.
8 – Can we get more livestock and wild animals that move along the ground according to their kinds? Again, the passion points for our target users (slide eighteen) are ground and animals that move along the ground. Whatever we can do to increase the amount of ground will go a long way toward converting our users from passive consumers into brand evangelists.
9 – Re: “mankind.” Interesting take on the brief here. Big pain point is that mankind is coming across as largely made in your image. As you hopefully recall from the deck, our users are a diverse group (slide twenty-seven) and we definitely want to make them feel represented (slide twenty-eight). Afraid that if our users see fleshy bipedal mammals positioned as “ruling over” the ground and sea (if we’re having sea), they might feel alienated and again less willing to convert into brand evangelists. Let’s fast-track an alt version with mankind removed. Doable?
10 – Please cut all the “be fruitful and multiply” stuff. We’re a family brand and this doesn’t fit with our voice (slide thirty-four).
Realize it’s Saturday and you were planning to be OOOtomorrow to admire your creation and everything, but I’m hoping you can keep rolling on this through the weekend. Need to get this in front of my exec team by EOD Monday so hoping to sync up EOD Sunday. Will be around all weekend via email and chat if anything comes up. Looking to you and your team for a big win here.


Via: mcsweeneys
06/08/2015 |
Tags: Design, humor
touch the future

ATAP, Google’s Advanced Technologies and Projects group just unveiled a super-cool chipset called Soli. Soli detects and responds to the tiniest of finger gestures using radio waves. And since it’s radar-like on a chip, not line of site, it means it can receive input data through other objects, meaning it can be embedded inside other things – from your watch to your coffee maker – enabling you control actions with simple movements. The IoT (internet of things) market is expected to grow to 50 billion devices by 2015 (Cisco) and Soli looks to be the disruptive tech to control it all. The ATAP team expects to deliver a prototype board and software API to developers later this year.


06/08/2015 |
Finally, a meaningful greeting card

I know some who spend gobs of time and money on selecting the perfect greeting card. I find most trite and a waste of resources. Personally, I’d prefer a simple handwritten note – sans corny copy line from a mega-corporation.  But I will happily pay for one of Emily McDowell’s cards. Borne from her diagnosis of Hodgkin’s lymphoma, she created a line of cards that address difficult feelings and emotions in a real way.



05/20/2015 |
Tags: humor, TYPOGRAPHY

So difficult to create content that really connects on an emotional level. We’re all so guarded and skeptical (well, I am at least), that when something is unscripted, genuine and truly sincere, it makes it exponentially more powerful. Simple concept, executed really well, surprisingly moving. Created by Field Day,

05/15/2015 |
Tags: age, beauty, CULTURE, makeup
The good life

Heartfelt and earnest, I found this collection of advice and insights on what to value in life quite accurate. By Sam Altman.

1) Never put your family, friends, or significant other low on your priority list. Prefer a handful of truly close friends to a hundred acquaintances. Don’t lose touch with old friends. Occasionally stay up until the sun rises talking to people. Have parties.

3) How to succeed: pick the right thing to do (this is critical and usually ignored), focus, believe in yourself (especially when others tell you it’s not going to work), develop personal connections with people that will help you, learn to identify talented people, and work hard. It’s hard to identify what to work on because original thought is hard.

4) On work: it’s difficult to do a great job on work you don’t care about. And it’s hard to be totally happy/fulfilled in life if you don’t like what you do for your work. Work very hard—a surprising number of people will be offended that you choose to work hard—but not so hard that the rest of your life passes you by. Aim to be the best in the world at whatever you do professionally. Even if you miss, you’ll probably end up in a pretty good place. Figure out your own productivity system—don’t waste time being unorganized, working at suboptimal times, etc. Don’t be afraid to take some career risks, especially early on. Most people pick their career fairly randomly—really think hard about what you like, what fields are going to be successful, and try to talk to people in those fields.

5) On money: Whether or not money can buy happiness, it can buy freedom, and that’s a big deal. Also, lack of money is very stressful. In almost all ways, having enough money so that you don’t stress about paying rent does more to change your wellbeing than having enough money to buy your own jet. Making money is often more fun than spending it, though I personally have never regretted money I’ve spent on friends, new experiences, saving time, travel, and causes I believe in.

6) Talk to people more. Read more long content and less tweets. Watch less TV. Spend less time on the Internet.

8) Don’t let yourself get pushed around. As Paul Graham once said to me, “People can become formidable, but it’s hard to predict who”. (There is a big difference between confident and arrogant. Aim for the former, obviously.)

11) Go out of your way to be around smart, interesting, ambitious people. Work for them and hire them (in fact, one of the most satisfying parts of work is forging deep relationships with really good people). Try to spend time with people who are either among the best in the world at what they do or extremely promising but totally unknown. It really is true that you become an average of the people you spend the most time with.

31) Be grateful and keep problems in perspective. Don’t complain too much. Don’t hate other people’s success (but remember that some people will hate your success, and you have to learn to ignore it).

36) The days are long but the decades are short.

Read all 36 here
Via: qz.com
05/14/2015 |
Spanx table

As a proof of concept, this is pretty cool. Furniture that ships flat, then, with a simple touch, self-transforms to fully assembled and functional. Called a “programmable table” (not sure why, users can’t program it), It employs a pre-stressed “wood skin” with “tessellated geometries” that snap into into a pre determined shape. I get it that some people would rather have a triple bypass then assemble the FJÄLKINGE from Ikea, but not sure how this could ever compete on that level – good design for super cheap. Those who could afford this would never even consider assembling their own furniture. However, I could see this used anywhere weight and space are at a premium – naval, spacecraft, modular homes – that’s their market.

MIT’s Self-Assembly Lab and Wood-Skin S.r.l.
Self-Assembly Lab Team: Skylar Tibbits, Athina Papadopoulou, Carrie McKnelly, Christophe Guberan, Jennifer Glerum
Wood-Skin Team: Giulio Masotti, Stefano Baruffaldi, Susanna Todeschini, Gianluca Lo Presti, Guido Masotti


05/04/2015 |
Masters of Typography: VOL I
  • Masters of Typography: VOL I
  • Masters of Typography: VOL I
  • Masters of Typography: VOL I
  • Masters of Typography: VOL I
  • Masters of Typography: VOL I

Martin Schmetzer really pisses me off – mainly because I will never have his talent or ability to create hand lettering as drool-worthy as his. He clearly has the lettering chops to stand with the very best.

04/19/2015 |
super slo mo awesomeness

This is just fun to watch. These guys strap a CD on to a motor from a Dyson vacuum and crank it up the RPM’s to the point where the disc can no longer maintain its integrity. Shooting at a frame rate of 170,000 FPS (4 seconds of video equates to 7.5 hours of viewing time), you see in super slo mo awesomeness the moment of fractal pulverization. How much fun these guys are having?

Via: twistedsifter
03/29/2015 |

I find the finished effect of this piece very cool but somewhat creepy. Maria Takeuchi and Frederico Phillips created Asphyxia by combining dance with novel ways to process the data from off-the-shelf Xbox One Kinect sensors – and pushing the boundaries of motion graphics. See the full piece here.

03/27/2015 |
Tags: motion, video
Historical Image Collections

With the proliferation of cheap stock photo and image resources available, it’s easy to forget about the granddaddy of all collectors – governments. With 1,000,000+ archival images, the British Library is one of the best – it’s a remarkable cache of art and reference. All usable without restrictions.

Other worthy resources include:
> Wikimedia Commons
> Book Images Archive
> US Government Photos  & Images collections
> Fickr Commons
> NYPL Digital collection
> Cornell University Library of the Fantastic

And, a more contemporary collection – unsplash

03/23/2015 |
Tags: historical, photography, reference, stock art
The long slow death of calligraphy

Currently relegated almost exclusively to wedding and bar mitzvah invitations, calligraphy has made a long and valued contribution to literacy. From the 7th century’s insular majuscule (think illuminated manuscripts ) to Blackletter (sometimes call “Old English”) which, by the 11th century, enabled books to be written much more quickly to meet the rising demand of readers. The fluidity in which Seb Lester quickly letters the entire alphabet in Blackletter is mesmerizingly beautiful. I’m already seeing more of it – see my  “Bible Fight” post from last week!

Also love Seb’s shopping list:



03/15/2015 |