Interesting and/or cool stuff I've come across from art, design, technology, photography, movies I've watched and liked and, occasionally, my thoughts.

Noted, April 2024

Collected bits and pieces I’ve noticed this month.

Jasmin Paris became the first woman ever to complete the Barkley Marathons.


VWFNDR Keirin. I find this concept camera interesting on a few levels. On one, it’s part of what seems to be a resurgence of niche but fun-looking devices with cool design and an attitude like the Playdate game console with its single colour screen and fun crank arm, or the Rabbit R1 (not the best-reviewed, putting it mildly) – intentionally limit the funcionality and tech and force yourself to come up with novel ideas to get around these giving the device tons of personality in the process. Design loves constraints. On the other, it leverages the relative freedom a large touchscreen gives to play with new interface design ideas. I was immediately reminded of the soviet Horizon panoramic camera that utilised a unique swiveling lens to take awesome panoramic photos on regular 35mm film stock. I’m rooting for Keirin to graduate from a concept to a product.


I enjoyed this interview with Stefan Sagmeister on the Design Matters podcast.


Eye on Design has published an oral history of how the Processing programming language came to be and evolved. I made this 2001: A Space Odyssey poster with Processing.


Makes sense, the Helsinki Bus Station Theory of Creativity.
See also: the polish paradox.


“Let’s make the indie web easier” by Giles Turnbull on making it easier for people to make and run their own sites rather than installing WordPress or simply giving up. I was so put off by the “it’s easy, just (insert tech acronym salad here)” when I tried to see if some modern web tech would make building and publishing a site like mine easier.


And, found via Gilest, here’s Good Enough. I always like when a small team is making fun stuff.


I learned a few things from “12 Figma tips to work more efficiently”, maybe you will too.

Noted, October 2023

Collected bits and pieces I’ve noticed this month.

Ben Evans and Om Malik on the fall of the social web.
I’ve been bummed about the fall of Twitter*†, but I’m beginning to think I should not be.

*And Tumblr before that, though it has somewhat recovered and found a good parent in Automattic.
† And the deterioration of reddit after it.


Austin Kleon in Defined by Negatives:

I’ve long been inspired by the punk band Wire’s rules of negative self-definition: “No solos; no decoration; when the words run out, it stops; we don’t chorus out; no rocking out; keep it to the point; no Americanisms.”

I think it’s often best to start by deciding what you won’t do and set up boundaries and constraints and guardrails.


Stephanie Smith writes on the Wise Design Medium… um… blog, about making better colour choices that are accessible and also on brand: “Accessible but never boring (Part 1)”


“I make things because I enjoy making them. I share them when I have a sense that those things are exactly the sort that would inspire me had I not made them myself. This is not the way to build a large audience, to achieve fame, or to amass wealth. But it is the way to be seen (a very different thing from being validated) that also creates a way for someone else.
The best thing that could happen when I share something online is for someone else to experience it and think, “If he can do that, then I can __.””

The View from Here - Christopher Butler


River, a visual connection engine. "Clear your mind and surf laterally through image space."
Via Kottke

Noted, November 2021

Collected bits and pieces I've noticed this month.

The text K is reciting for his baseline check in Blade Runner 2049 (“interlinked, within cells interlinked”), is from a 999 line poem/novel “Pale Fire” by Vladimir Nabokov.

Tom Whitwell published the 2021 issue of his annual 52 things learned this year list.
via Kottke

In “Why a toaster from 1949 is still smarter than any sold today”, Sean Hollister of The Verge profiles a toaster with some super clever and actually smart design choices. This reminded me of “How Not To Make Coffee” by Albert Burneko, on how the pursuit of making everyday things “smarter” and “technologically superior”, often ends up making everything worse. Much worse.

Related to the above, “The worst gadgets we’ve ever touched”, also from The Verge.

From The New Yorker, on the difficulty and very long timelines of getting to nuclear fusion: “Can Nuclear Fusion Put the Brakes on Climate Change?”.

Related, on the dirty dirty business mining cobalt for batteries in The Democratic Republic of Congo: “A Power Struggle Over Cobalt Rattles the Clean Energy Revolution”.

Also related, on the consequences of years and years of nickel mining and neglect in Norilsk: “In the Russian Arctic, One of the Most Polluted Places on Earth”.

On a happier note, quote from a GQ interview with Jason Sudekis of (lately) Ted Lasso fame:

“There’s a great Michael J. Fox quote,” Sudeikis told me later, trying to explain the particular brand of wary optimism that he carries around with him, and that he ended up making a show about: “ ‘Don’t assume the worst thing’s going to happen, because, on the off chance it does, you’ll have lived through it twice.’ So…why not do the inverse?”

Jeremy Keith on the widespread tracking of users on the web that many regard as acceptable simply because it’s widespread:

“I’ve been reading the excellent Design For Safety by Eva PenzeyMoog . There was a line that really stood out to me:
The idea that it’s alright to do whatever unethical thing is currently the industry norm is widespread in tech, and dangerous.“
via CSS Tricks

Noted, May 2021

Collected bits and pieces I've noticed this month.

Signal ad campaign reveals creepy tracking, gets them banned

The secure, privacy focused messaging app Signal created a series of ads that cleverly exposed the data Facebook has on you to target the advertising you see. You'll never see these ads on Instagram though, cause Facebook swiftly banned Signal's ad account.

I loved this last bit:

So, here are some examples of the targeted ads that you’ll never see on Instagram. Yours would have been so you.

NFTs Weren’t Supposed to End Like This

Anil Dash writes about the origins of NFTs and how the original ideas behind it were, let's say, more noble than the inevitable reality of most things tech and crypto.

The idea behind NFTs was, and is, profound. Technology should be enabling artists to exercise control over their work, to more easily sell it, to more strongly protect against others appropriating it without permission. [...] But nothing went the way it was supposed to.

Bertone porn

This Docubyte ministe celebrating (mostly, I think?) Bertone designed concept cars is gorgeous. Check out their other stuff as well.

Create better links

A link is a promise, not a surprise.

Rian Rietveld writes at length about creating better links on the web from choosing better copy instead of "Click here", to design considerations for better accessibility.

Create better anchor links

More link talk from Amber Wilson, this time about crafting better anchor links and the accessibility pitfalls to look out for.

Portfolio update

Almost forgot, I created a little logo for a food truck called Van Der Fritt.