Saturday, December 23, 2017
New Yorker – "China’s Selfie Obsession"
"An unforeseen complication of meeting so many wang hong at once was that it was hard to keep them all straight. They tended to bear only an impressionistic resemblance to their Meitu-improved profile pictures. But anytime I took out my iPhone 6 to take a selfie with someone, I was rebuffed. People would suspiciously ask what kind of camera it was before walking away with expressions ranging from offense to pity. “I can’t allow you to take a picture of me with that camera—it’ll be too ugly,” a woman from Chongqing told me. I assured her that I was not a wang hong and would not be posting it, and we reached a compromise: she would take a selfie of us on her Meitu phone, edit her face, and then send the photo to me."
Friday, December 15, 2017
Thursday, December 14, 2017
Wall Street Journal – "The Best Architecture of 2017: Buildings of Quiet Ambition"
"In the Bronx, a new 911 emergency call center designed by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill is a cube-shaped fortress of shimmery recycled aluminum serrated to catch light and nestled into a sloping landscaped berm. Basically a stronghold slotted with only a few strategically placed windows, the Public Safety Answering Center II, or PSAC II (an older one is located in Brooklyn), is the most technically advanced building owned by New York City. Here is where the police and fire departments coordinate emergency responses and it has been organized with keen sensitivity both to intense security requirements and the highly stressful nature of the work, featuring not only a generator capable of supplying uninterruptible power but also workstations that can be customized for sitting or standing. Workers get no views, but the ceilings are high, the indirect light is ample, and a plant-filled green wall freshens the air. Attention has been paid as well to the forces’ different customs: The police prefer bright lights and shared TV monitors; the fire department wanted a dimmer ambience and more individual screens (two or three per desk).
PSAC II will handle over 10 million emergency calls a year, but for drivers passing it on the Hutchinson River Parkway at dawn or dusk, this 450,000-square-foot monolith looks more like a pink-purple mirage gentled by a waving sea of grass."
Bloomberg – "Kellogg Is Going All In on Cereal Cafes"
“We want cereal to be seen as modern,” said Aleta Chase, a marketing executive at the Battle Creek, Michigan-based company.
"Kellogg has argued that cereal declines are easing as younger customers embrace it as an all-hours snack. But the turnaround has been elusive, and the cafe in Union Square is an attempt to generate some foodie buzz. In fact, it was the slew of pictures posted by visitors to the Times Square location that helped convince the company it needed a bigger space.
“We needed something that was more experiential,” Chase said. “There’s a more lasting emotional connection if they experience it firsthand -- that’s hard to do with a TV commercial.”"
Wall Street Journal – "Kellogg Aims to Give Cereal Snap, Crackle, Pop Beyond Breakfast"
Cereal Business & Nostalgia
"741,065 km (460,476 miles): As of April 2017, the longest driven journey in the Guinness World Records, by Swiss couple Emil and Liliana Schmid. On the road since October 1984, they have traveled across 186 countries in the same Toyota Land Cruiser—and they’re still going." via Quartz Obession
Saturday, December 9, 2017
DesignBoom – "carsten höller X fondazione prada: interview on the prada double club miami"
"scientist and artist carsten höller highlights miami art week 2017 in a three-night-only collaboration during art basel with milan-based arts institution, fondazione prada. titled ‘the prada double club miami’, the piece is set in a 1920s film studio complex, formerly an ice factory, and comprises of an internal club and an outdoor tropical garden."
Friday, December 8, 2017
New York Times – "The Future Is ... Purple"
"It “communicates originality, ingenuity and visionary thinking,” Leatrice Eiseman, executive director of the Pantone Color Institute, said by way of explanation. It is found in the cosmos (think of all those swirling purple nebulae!), the wellness movement (amethyst crystals!) and was a favorite color of the architect Frank Lloyd Wright, who, Ms. Eiseman said, used to wear a purple cape when he was trying to be creative. Ditto Wagner, who liked to surround himself with purple when he was composing. Also, of course, Prince."
2017 Pantone Color of the Year: Greenery
Wednesday, December 6, 2017
Wednesday, November 29, 2017
Wednesday, November 22, 2017
New Yorker – "A Peruvian Soccer Fan in Exile"
By Daniel Alarcón
"A few weeks ago, Peru played Colombia in a World Cup qualifier, and we streamed the game directly to our television via YouTube. My wife is Colombian, and her sister was there, too. We were all in the same room, before the same screen, but we weren’t actually watching the same game. They streamed the Colombian TV commentary through their earbuds, imagining that they were in Bogotá; I watched with my phone in hand, anxiously WhatsApping my cousins in Lima, a friend at the stadium, and another one in Maine. When the unease was too great, I tweeted out my nervousness and heard back from dozens of Peruvians in similar states of anguish all over the world. At one point, with Peru down a goal and nearly out of the World Cup, my wife, moved by pity, brought me a glass of rum. Other than that, we hardly spoke. Only when the game had ended, in a draw that served both teams, did we return to a kind of normalcy.
This is how we experience the world’s most popular sport today. Watching a game with Twitter is like watching in a crowded bar. Watching with WhatsApp is like watching in someone’s living room. Watching with both is a kind of meditation, a sense of being in many places at once—or, more to the point, in some other realm altogether, outside time and geography, connected to an event but floating above it, near it, holding hands with strangers and loved ones who are doing the same thing."
New Yorker – "How to Get Rich Playing Video Games Online"
"Garcia and Cassell both like to compare their channels to a neighborhood pub. Streamers become favorite bartenders, charming and constantly available. Viewers, swapping messages in chat, become fellow-regulars. There might be the occasional bar fight—Twitch can be as noxious as anywhere else on the Internet—but the tone is typically convivial. Viewers generate inside jokes, ask for life advice, even discuss their experiences of grief or depression. (They also pair off, as two of Cassell’s moderators did.) “There are two ways to look at Twitch,” Cassell told me. “One is that it’s people playing video games and other people watching, which is what ninety-nine per cent of the world sees. But the other side of Twitch is that you are playing a game with someone on the couch. There’s a level of interaction that’s just not there in standard media.”
This interaction has an unusual kind of immediacy: participate enough in Cassell’s Twitch channel, and he’ll greet you by name, every day. “If you asked a hundred viewers why they watch their favorite streamer, what they’re all going to tell you is, ‘I feel like I could be their friend,’ ” Cecilia D’Anastasio, who covers Twitch for the gaming site Kotaku, said. Michael Blight, a DePaul University communications professor whose research has explored viewers’ bonds with Twitch streamers, told me that these largely one-sided “parasocial relationships” grow deeply meaningful. “People were almost sheepish about revealing this, but they’d say, ‘I know I’m just one of his thousands of fans, but I really do feel like he understands me,’ ” Blight said. “They come to feel like this person is a part of them.”"
Friday, November 17, 2017
Wednesday, November 15, 2017
Deadline – "Bidding Heats On Quentin Tarantino Script As David Heyman Boards As Producer"
Slash Film – "The Next Quentin Tarantino Movie is About “1969,” Not Charles Manson [UPDATED]"
Indiewire – "Quentin Tarantino on His Upcoming Film: ‘It’s not Charles Manson, It’s 1969’"
Sunday, November 12, 2017
New York Times Magazine:
"What the Car Did – and What it Might Do"
"Can Ford Turn Itself Into a Tech Company"
"The Rev-Up: Imagining a 20% Self-Driving World"
"Full Tilt: When 100% of Cars Are Autonomous"
Q (NYT Business Columnist Kevin Roose): You don’t think that there might be fewer Lyft drivers even 20 years from now?
A (Lyft Co-Founder and President John Zimmer): I think you’ll have way more. The cost of owning a car is $9,000 a year. Let’s say we offer a $500 monthly plan in which you can tap a button and get access to transportation whenever you want it, and you get to choose your room-on-wheels experience. Maybe you want a cup of coffee on your way to work, or you want to watch the Warriors game later, so you’re in what’s basically a sports bar, with a bartender. If 0.5 percent of all miles driven are done on a ride-sharing app, and then if that number increases to, say, 80 percent, it’ll be such a huge industry shift that even if only 2 percent of that 80 percent is done by human drivers, it still represents a drastic increase in the number of human ride-sharing drivers.
FIFA.org – "2018 FIFA World Cup™ official match ball unveiled: an exciting re-imagining"
"A reinvention of a classic model with a brand-new panel design and the latest technology: in an exciting re-imagining, adidas today revealed the official match ball for the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia™, which pays homage to the first-ever adidas World Cup ball. The Telstar 18 evokes unforgettable memories of the 1970 FIFA World Cup™ – and of legends like Pelé, Gerd Müller, Giacinto Facchetti, Pedro Rocha and Bobby Moore – and will feed the dreams of those who will play for football’s most coveted prize in Russia next year.
The name of the original Telstar came from its status as the “star of television”. The first ball to be decorated with black panels, the pattern was designed to stand out on black-and-white TVs, and changed football design forever."
26 countries have qualified for the 2018 World Cup as of today. Six spots remain. The Netherlands, Chile and the United States are all officially out.
(current FIFA/Coca-Cola World Men's Ranking)
1. Germany (1)
2. Brazil (2)
3. Portugal (3)
4. Argentina (4)
5. Belgium (5)
6. Poland (6)
7. France (7)
8. Spain (8)
9. England (12)
10. Colombia (13)
11. Mexico (16)
12. Uruguay (17)
13. Iceland (21)
14. Costa Rica (22)
15. Tunisia (28)
16. Egypt (30)
17. Senegal (32)
18. Iran (34)
19. Serbia (38)
20. Nigeria (41)
21. Japan (44)
22. Morocco (48)
23. Panama (49)
24. South Korea (unranked)
25. Saudi Arabia (unranked)
26. Russia (unranked)
Thursday, November 9, 2017
Wednesday, November 8, 2017
Sunday, November 5, 2017
Tuesday, October 31, 2017
Wall Street Journal – "8 Mundane Things That Made ‘Stranger Things’ Possible"
"1. Google Docs
Matt Duffer (far left): The most important part of our writing process is outlining the script. Our desks are more or less next to each other. We put on our headphones and go into Google Docs on our iMacs and work on the story simultaneously, often without speaking. It’s creepy when other people witness it. If Ross writes something I don’t like, I’ll delete it. If he writes it back in, I’ll delete it again. Then we take off the headphones and have a conversation about it. Conversation is a polite word. Now, even when we’re working with our other writers, we force them onto Google Docs and do the same thing. It’s like trying to create a hive-mind."