“The Puzzling Gap Between How Old You Are and How Old You Think You Are”

For The Atlantic, Jennifer Senior writes about how and why people’s subjective age — the age you are in your head — differs from their actual age. But “How old do you feel?” is an altogether different question from “How old are you in your head?” The most inspired paper I read ab … | Continue reading

@kottke.org | 15 hours ago

Amélie Was Actually a KGB Spy

Jean-Pierre Jeunet, director of the 2001 romantic comedy The Fabulous Destiny of Amélie Poulain, has recut his beloved movie into a cheeky short film that reveals that Amélie was actually a KGB spy. Did no one ever wonder how a young waitress afforded such sophisticated decoratio … | Continue reading

@kottke.org | 17 hours ago

What’s the Deal with Ozempic, the “Breakthrough” Diabetes and Weight-Loss Drug?

In the last several months, semaglutide, a drug originally developed to help manage type 2 diabetes, has been in the news for its “breakthrough” weight loss abilities. This video from Vox is a good overview of what the drug does and the interest & controversy around it. Both Ozem … | Continue reading

@kottke.org | 20 hours ago

Roger Deakins Breaks Down His Most Iconic Films

Do you want to sit in on a 30-minute cinematography masterclass with Roger Deakins as he talks about the process behind some of his most iconic films? We’re talking Sicario, The Shawshank Redemption, 1917, Fargo, Blade Runner 2049, and No Country for Old Men here. Of course you d … | Continue reading

@kottke.org | 22 hours ago

Kottke 25: What a Week!

Hey everyone. I just wanted to thank you all for the well-wishes on kottke.org’s 25th anniversary. Reading all your comments, tweets, Mastodon posts, DMs, and emails really put a hop in my step this week. And an extra special thank you to those who bought a t-shirt (ordering is n … | Continue reading

@kottke.org | 3 days ago

Imagined Alt-Universe Tech Products

I spent more than a few minutes scrolling through Dana Sibera’s Mastodon feed (also on Twitter) featuring her imagined oddball tech items. Like this marble Mac: A NeXT laptop? A NeXT laptop! A foldable Powerbook: And a widescreen Apple Lisa: I found out about Sibera’s work vi … | Continue reading

@kottke.org | 3 days ago

Stop Making Sense

This is a clever little promo from A24 for the rerelease of Jonathan Demme’s Stop Making Sense, a concert film from 1984 featuring The Talking Heads — it, the promo, features David Byrne dropping into his dry cleaners to pick up an old, big suit. As for the film, it’s getting a 4 … | Continue reading

@kottke.org | 3 days ago

Landing an Airplane on a Tiny Helipad on Top of a Dubai Hotel

As I’ve discussed previously, the Piper Super Cub is an amazing short takeoff and landing airplane that can, under the right conditions, takeoff and land in as little as 10 or 20 feet of runway. In a recent stunt for Red Bull, Luke Czepiela landed a Super Cub on an 88-foot-wide h … | Continue reading

@kottke.org | 4 days ago

The So-Called “Culture Wars”

Political cartoonist Jen Sorensen recently published this cartoon at The Nib about the harmful mischaracterization of human rights battles as mere “culture wars”. Here’s what she wrote about it: The term “culture wars” is used by many well-meaning people, including many progress … | Continue reading

@kottke.org | 4 days ago

A Prelude to a Supernova

Folks, I told you that this was going to become a JWST fan blog and if you didn’t hear me the first time, consider yourself notified. NASA’s newest space telescope is still stretching its legs, but even back in its early days last summer, it captured this breathtaking near-infrar … | Continue reading

@kottke.org | 4 days ago

A History of Rock in Guitar Riffs

Musician Andrea Boma Boccarusso’s tour of rock ‘n roll history through guitar riffs is a lot of fun. Each year from 1965 to 2022, Boccarusso plays one iconic riff that represents the vibe of rock at the time. Here are a few that made the list: 1965 - The Rolling Stones, Satisfact … | Continue reading

@kottke.org | 4 days ago

Aerial Autumnal Views of the Bavarian Forest

Living in Vermont, I have a special appreciation for all the amazing colors that trees turn in the fall. So I very much enjoyed looking at Bernhard Lang’s series of aerial photos of the Bavarian Forest. Says Lang of the series: Most of the topics of my Aerial Views project, which … | Continue reading

@kottke.org | 5 days ago

The Algorithmic Trick That Can Solve Rubik’s Cubes

Any Rubik’s Cube can be solved in 20 moves or less. The “meet in the middle” algorithmic trick can help a computer program solve a Cube in minutes or hours instead of millenia. If you’re interested, there’s a lot more information about algorithms and Rubik’s Cubes in the video’s … | Continue reading

@kottke.org | 5 days ago

Why Is There an Empty Picture Frame in Joe Biden’s Oval Office?

For his new video series, David Friedman of Ironic Sans finds out the secret behind an unusual object that Joe Biden has placed in the Oval Office: an empty picture frame. The object turns out to be….well, I won’t spoil it, but a few other presidents have had this thing in their … | Continue reading

@kottke.org | 5 days ago

The Difficulty of Living in Exponential Time

In a piece about how the pace of improvement in the current crop of AI products is vastly outstripping the ability of society to react/respond to it, Ezra Klein uses this cracker of a phrase/concept: “the difficulty of living in exponential time”. I find myself thinking back to t … | Continue reading

@kottke.org | 5 days ago

Great Art Explained: Georges Seurat’s A Sunday on La Grande Jatte

Say what you will about The Algorithms, but YouTube’s reliably informs this art history lover of every new episode of Great Art Explained and for that I am grateful. This latest episode is about the pointillist masterpiece by Georges Seurat, A Sunday on La Grande Jatte. I had a c … | Continue reading

@kottke.org | 6 days ago

Kottke 25: One More Chance for Hypertext Tees

In celebration of the site’s 25th anniversary, I’ve turned ordering back on for Kottke Hypertext Tees for the next day or so. Here’s what I wrote about them last month: For much of the nearly 25-year lifespan of kottke.org, the site’s tagline has been “home of fine hypertext prod … | Continue reading

@kottke.org | 6 days ago

Kottke.org Is 25 Years Old Today and I’m Going to Write About It

I realize how it sounds, but I’m going to say it anyway because it’s the truth. When I first clapped eyes on the World Wide Web, I fell in love. Here’s how I described the experience in a 2016 post about Halt and Catch Fire: When I tell people about the first time I saw the Web, … | Continue reading

@kottke.org | 6 days ago

How to Draw Fantasy World Maps

I am not a particular fan of fantasy games, but I do like watching people draw and talk about their process, particularly when it’s accessible to beginners. On his YouTube channel, JP Coovert shows people how to draw maps for fantasy games, books, and other media. Here’s a few ex … | Continue reading

@kottke.org | 7 days ago

Kottke 25: It’s Membership Time!

Good morning! Tomorrow marks 25 years of blogging here at kottke.org and it’s been more than three months since I returned from my sabbatical, so I thought it would be a good time to: a) Once again express my heartfelt thanks to those of you who have supported the site over the y … | Continue reading

@kottke.org | 7 days ago

Everything Everywhere All at Once!

I loved Everything Everywhere All at Once so much when I saw it in the theater last spring. It caught me in a low moment and swept me up in a protective embrace; it was magic. I was afraid this joyously weird movie would get lost in the Very Serious Film shuffle come awards time … | Continue reading

@kottke.org | 7 days ago

Kottke 25: The Talk Show With John Gruber

Kottke.org is turning 25 years old this Tuesday and I’ll be doing a few posts this week related to the (silver!) anniversary. First up: John Gruber was kind enough to host me for a short chat on his podcast, The Talk Show. Our time together was pretty limited, but we still manage … | Continue reading

@kottke.org | 8 days ago

Time Lapse of an English Five Pound Note Reconstructed From Shredded Production Waste

When the Bank of England misprints banknotes, they shred them into tiny little pieces. In this time lapse video, compressed from an entire work day into 11 minutes, a person with a tweezers attempts to reconstruct a five pound note from those tiny shredded pieces. For reference, … | Continue reading

@kottke.org | 10 days ago

Finally, the Answers to Cold Weather Mysteries

If you live in any sort of winter climate, you have, at one time or another, wrestled with the two great mysteries of cold weather life: 1. Why does 50°F in the fall make you want to bundle up while 50°F in the spring makes you want to go for a walk in short sleeves? 2. Why the h … | Continue reading

@kottke.org | 10 days ago

Zeynep Tufekci: Here’s Why the Science Is Clear That Masks Work

You may have seen the online kerfuffle a few weeks ago about a study that was released recently that indicated that there was no evidence that masks work against respiratory illnesses (see Bret Stephen’s awful ideological piece in the NY Times for instance). As many experts said … | Continue reading

@kottke.org | 10 days ago

A Marvelously Huge Wall of Working Elevator Buttons

I enjoyed this video on how Shimada Electric Manufacturing Company makes elevator buttons, but I was utterly captivated by the giant wall of working buttons that they have in their office — Great Glass Elevator vibes for sure. Some screencaps are above…you can see the wall in act … | Continue reading

@kottke.org | 10 days ago

Living Off the Power Grid in NYC

Starting last May and continuing through at least January of this year, Joshua Spodek has cut the ultimate cord: living off of the electrical grid in perhaps the most electrically connected place in the United States: Manhattan. Spodek wrote a fascinating article about his experi … | Continue reading

@kottke.org | 10 days ago

A Small 2009 Car Demolishes a 1959 Chevy In a Crash Test

In 2009, The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety conducted a crash test between a 1959 Chevrolet Bel Air and a 2009 Chevy Malibu. The video plainly shows how much progress has been made in passenger safety in those 50 years. Even though the Malibu is much lighter, its crumple … | Continue reading

@kottke.org | 11 days ago

A Guitar Made From Ikea Furniture

Tchiks is a luthier from Belgium who, after his daughter outgrew her crib, turned it and a bunch of other Ikea products into a guitar. The guitar started out as a joke. I remember going upstairs and telling my wife “I’m gonna make a guitar out of Zoé’s old bed”. She rolled her ey … | Continue reading

@kottke.org | 11 days ago

Alien Worlds - Macro Photos of Fungi and Slime Molds

When you look at these incredible close-up shots of fungi and slime molds by photographer and amateur mycologist Max Mudie, you realize that we don’t have to go looking for bizarre alien life on other planets: there’s plenty of it in our forests. (See also coral reefs, tbh.) Chec … | Continue reading

@kottke.org | 11 days ago

The First Battleground of the Age of AI Is Art

In this final installment of Everything is a Remix, Kirby Ferguson offers his perspective on image generation with AI, how it compares to human creativity, and what its role will be in the future. In watching the part about the anxiety in the creative community about these image … | Continue reading

@kottke.org | 11 days ago

The Cargobox Urban Utility EV

Cargobox is a design concept by Meelis Lillemets for a small electric utility vehicle that embraces the boxy aesthetic in a rib-crunching bear hug. I mean, just look at this absolute rectilinear unit: It’s like a Knoll shelving unit on wheels! Because the Cargobox is designed f … | Continue reading

@kottke.org | 12 days ago

Love Letters from Letterboxd

The Oscars are this weekend and in this video, some of the nominees — Paul Mescal, Rian Johnson, Todd Field, Camille Friend (hairstylist for Wakanda Forever) — read rave reviews of their work from Letterboxd. Watch to the end — Ke Huy Quan’s letter, and his reaction to it, is esp … | Continue reading

@kottke.org | 12 days ago

How Tolkien Conceived of the One Ring - By Muddle Not Masterstroke

Inspired by a reread of The Lord of the Rings, Robin Sloan has been reading The History of The Lord of the Rings, a four-volume book series that details Tolkien’s process of writing LOTR. As he read, the idea of Tolkien as Middle-earth master planner fell away and the text reveal … | Continue reading

@kottke.org | 12 days ago

Kottke AMA Update

Hey gang, I just wanted to provide a quick update on the upcoming kottke.org AMA (ask me anything). You’ve collectively asked almost 300 questions (!!) and I was going to start answering them this week, but I’m going to hold off for another couple of weeks. It’s gonna take me tim … | Continue reading

@kottke.org | 12 days ago

Augmented Reality Ski Goggles

The other day on the chair lift, my kids and I were talking about our top skiing speeds (me: low 40s, them: 50+) and one of us mentioned that it would be cool if your current speed was shown on a heads-up display in your goggles. So this morning I went looking for AR ski goggles … | Continue reading

@kottke.org | 12 days ago

An Excerpt From David Grann’s Forthcoming Book, The Wager

David Grann’s newest book, The Wager: A Tale of Shipwreck, Mutiny and Murder (ebook), comes out next month. It tells the story of a British shipwreck that happened during the war with Spain in the 1740s. The New Yorker, where Grann is a staff writer, is running an excerpt from th … | Continue reading

@kottke.org | 13 days ago

I’m Blogging

I have no idea what this video is or where it came from (and I don’t want to?) but this is basically me between 9am and 3pm everyday. Hold my calls, I’m busy blogging! (via andy) Tags: video   weblogs | Continue reading

@kottke.org | 13 days ago

Notes Art

Every day, Chris Silverman draws a small artwork using only the Notes app on his iPhone. #notesArt is a style formed by the limitations of the medium: I draw with my finger on a screen the size of a 3-by-5 card, using drawing tools that were designed for annotating documents, not … | Continue reading

@kottke.org | 13 days ago

The Rules for Travelling on the Autobahn Through East Germany to West Berlin

This is fascinating: an instructional video from 1988 for British Royal Military Police personnel to watch before travelling the 103 miles of autobahn across East Germany to West Berlin. (A Cold War refresher: West Berlin was completely surrounded by East Germany — the city was n … | Continue reading

@kottke.org | 14 days ago

Shot In the Name of Art

The NY Times has a short documentary on Chris Burden’s Shoot, a conceptual art piece from 1971 in which Burden is shot in the arm by a friend. Burden passed away earlier this month. (via digg) Tags:art    Chris Burden    video    | Continue reading

@kottke.org | 14 days ago

Winners of This Year’s World Nature Photography Awards

The winners and runners-up of the 2022 World Nature Photography Awards have been announced. An amazing collection of photos as usual — I’ve included some of my favorites above. From top to bottom, photos by Mr. Endy (couldn’t find a website), Jens Cullmann, Jake Mosher, and Sasch … | Continue reading

@kottke.org | 14 days ago

Jon Stewart Calmly Dismantles Gun Zealot

*sigh* I get it. I get why people are so enthused about this Jon Stewart video. If you haven’t seen it, it’s a clip from Stewart’s show on Apple+ where he’s debating a Second Amendment purist gun nut who also happens to be a state senator from one of the states that’s trying to t … | Continue reading

@kottke.org | 14 days ago

The Wooden Toy Train Video Game

I randomly came across this YouTube video from an engineer (civil, not railroad) who was building virtual railroads using wooden toy tracks, you know from when you were a kid. Anyway, it turns out that he was playing an open-world game called Tracks, which is available on Steam, … | Continue reading

@kottke.org | 17 days ago

Grand Canons, a Visual Symphony of Everyday Objects

Ok, this is one where you’re going to have to trust me and just watch it. Grands Canons is a stop-motion animated video by Alain Biet of thousands of meticulously hand-painted images of everyday items moving and dancing to music. A brush makes watercolors appear on a white sheet … | Continue reading

@kottke.org | 17 days ago

Football Is Forbidden

A beautiful scene from the 2014 Mauritanian film Timbuktu (which was recently included on Slate’s New Black Film Canon), in which young men under the rule of Islamic extremists quietly and defiantly play a forbidden football match with an imaginary ball. (thx, caroline) Tags: mo … | Continue reading

@kottke.org | 17 days ago

The Octopus Test for Large Language Model AIs

In 2020, before the current crop of large language models (LLM) like ChatGPT and Bing, Emily Bender and Alexander Koller wrote a paper on their limitations called Climbing towards NLU: On Meaning, Form, and Understanding in the Age of Data. In the paper, Bender and Koller describ … | Continue reading

@kottke.org | 18 days ago

Succession, The Final Season

The official trailer for the now-confirmed final season of Succession (until they do one more, like 12 years from now). Premieres on HBO Max March 26. As I said when the teaser trailer dropped in January, Succession is my current pick for The Best Show on TV Right Now and I’m exc … | Continue reading

@kottke.org | 18 days ago