Links for October 23, 2017

One person’s history of Twitter, from beginning to end

Twitter was built at the tail end of that era. Their goal was giving everyone a voice. They were so obsessed with giving everyone a voice that they never stopped to wonder what would happen when everyone got one. And they never asked themselves what everyone meant. That’s Twitter’s original sin. Like Oppenheimer, Twitter was so obsessed with splitting the atom they never stopped to think what we’d do with it.

@AngryBlackLady/Fems of Color on Twitter

Jackie Chan - How to Do Action Comedy

Links for September 29, 2017

The Notorious Board Game That Takes 1,500 Hours To Complete

This is the resolve of The Campaign For North Africa’s cult. They’re drawn to the game not for its cleverness or flair, but for its absurd, maximalist nature. Board games tend to prioritize a friendly communion with their players, simply because it’s difficult to sell copies of a design that nobody understands. But North Africa never got that memo. It is ornery and intentionally difficult, its commercial release feels like a grave miscalculation or an ultimate dare issued by a hysterical publisher. But its audacity touched a special few. Finally, the chance to have your courage and resilience challenged by a pile of cardboard.

Winamp2-js — Whipping the llama’s ass, now in your browser.

Smooth Criminal M.Jackson à l’orgue de barbarie

Links for September 27, 2017

Donald Trump Is the First White President

Observing a Trump supporter in the act of deploying racism does not much perturb Kristof. That is because his defenses of the innate goodness of Trump voters and of the innate goodness of the white working class are in fact defenses of neither. On the contrary, the white working class functions rhetorically not as a real community of people so much as a tool to quiet the demands of those who want a more inclusive America.

The Legion Lonely – a hard read.

The Floppotron: Take On Me

Links for September 25, 2017

The Inspection Chamber - BBC R&D

We’ve seen a lot of examples of interactive audio stories which operate like a Choose Your Own Adventure book.... It takes you out of the moment and forces you to step back and consider your choice at a level of remove from the story and in the context of all the other choices you’ve made. In this pilot, you’re actively playing a part in the story, using your own voice - we wanted to make it feel like you’re having a genuine, direct interaction with the other characters in the piece.

Björk: The Gate

Creating @bjork’s custom #Gucci gown for her new single #TheGate. The design by #AlessandroMichele took approximately 550 hours to make, and an additional 320 hours for the embroidery. The dress’s fabrics include 5 meters of pleated iridescent PVC plastic material, 3 meters of PVC iridescent strips and 20 meters of pleated lurex organza. #AlessandroMichele also collaborated as the film’s creative director, to be shown on Saturday and Sunday from 10am-6pm at The Store Studios in London, free public admission. From Monday 5am BST @nowness will screen #björk’s video online for 48 hours. Video director: @romana_meggiolaro Music by Karlheinz Stockhausen: Excerpt from SIRIUS Electronic music and trumpet, soprano, bass clarinet, bass (CD 26 of the Stockhausen Complete Edition, © Stockhausen Foundation for Music, Germany (

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Links for September 22, 2017

India to Iceland in a Mere Millennium: How Chess Went Global

In India, the chess pieces had been ornate and lifelike. The Islamic interdiction on depicting living creatures – a rule meant to prevent idolatry, and enforced most strictly against depictions of the prophet Muhammad – led to the chess pieces becoming more abstract and nonrepresentational.

In Christian Europe, human and animal shapes reappeared, reinterpreted by and for the age: the split top of the piece now known as the bishop could refer to a bishop’s mitre – or a fool’s cap.

This became a factor in the popularisation of the game those areas of Europe not in direct contact with the Islamic world. Here, incidentally, the game was usually renamed after the Persian name of the main piece, the king (“shah”). Hence scacchi in Italian, échecs in French, Schach in German, chess in English, etc.

It’s Hoopfest, Man

The congested basketball I watched at Hoopfest looked far from graceful, or fun. It was fucking brutal: players rarely broke free for uncontested jump-shots or blew past their opponents for wide-open layups. Points had to be manufactured seemingly out of sheer will. The only way a player could create enough space to get a shot off was to barrel toward the hoop, and slam his shoulders into his defender’s chest, knocking them off balance just long enough to throw up a prayer at the basket.

Dancing On The Ceiling - Dancing In ’80s Movies Tribute - Vol. 6

Links for September 20, 2017

VR64, Virtual Reality Goggles for the Commodore 64

Shadertoy BETA

anti-aliased 2D shape drawing lib inspired by the Cairo API, with documented interface & example (see paint())

opera singers dubbed with modem

Links for September 18, 2017

‘Our Saturn years’ - Cassini-Huygens’ epic journey to the ringed planet, told by the people who made it happen

100 Images From Cassini’s Mission to Saturn

Cassini: The Grand Finale: Hall of Fame

Carly Rae Jepsen - Cut To The Feeling

Links for September 15, 2017

The Radical Copyeditor’s Style Guide for Writing About Transgender People

A style guide for writing about transgender people is practically an oxymoron. Style guides are designed to create absolutes—bringing rules and order to a meandering and contradictory patchwork quilt of a language. Yet there are no absolutes when it comes to gender. That’s why this is a radical copyeditor’s style guide. Radical copyediting isn’t about absolutes; it’s about context and care.

A team of women is unearthing the forgotten legacy of Harvard’s women ‘computers’

[Williamina] Fleming emigrated to the United States from Scotland in the late 1870s. While pregnant, she was abandoned by her husband and found work as a maid in the home of Edward Pickering, the observatory director. In 1881, Pickering hired Fleming to work in the observatory. She would go on to discover the Horsehead Nebula, develop a system for classifying stars based on hydrogen observed in their spectra and lead more female computers.

Lorde - Supercut (Supercut)

Links for September 13, 2017

Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About ‘Despacito’

Everything You Do Is A Balloon (BoC Cover) - Stargaze - St Giles Cripplegate, London - 2nd July 2016

Boards of Canada - Roygbiv (VideoSong Cover by Ian Felpel)

Links for September 11, 2017

Software development 450 words per minute

You might think that indentation and other code formatting would be totally irrelevant to me since those are primarily visual concerns. This is not true: proper indentation helps me just as much as it does a sighted programmer. Whenever I’m reading code in braille (which, by the way, is a lot more efficient than with speech) it gives me a good visual clue of where I am, just like it does for a sighted programmer. I also get verbal announcements whenever I enter an indented or unindented block of text. This information helps me to paint a map of the code in my head.

Numbers at play: dynamic toys make the invisible visible

Students have long used physical manipulatives like these plastic blocks to represent numbers. Manipulatives can be powerful—particularly because they take advantage of our body-awareness—but physical objects are limited by often-inconvenient laws of physics and practicalities of matter.

Radio Azja: Midori Takada w Warszawie