From kottke.org

  • The chaotic clouds of Jupiter

    This newly released photo of the chaotic clouds of Jupiter would make a great marbled paper pattern.

    NASA’s Juno spacecraft took this color-enhanced image at 10:23 p.m. PDT on May 23, 2018 (1:23 a.m. EDT on May 24), as the spacecraft performed its 13th close flyby of Jupiter. At the time, Juno was about 9,600 miles (15,500 kilometers) from the planet’s cloud tops, above a northern latitude of 56 degrees.

    The region seen here is somewhat chaotic and turbulent, given the various swirling cloud...


  • How Trajan became the go-to typeface for movie posters

    In the early 90s, a digital typeface designed in the 80s — but based on the letterforms used in a Roman column completed in 113 AD — became the go-to typeface for movie poster designers. (Reminder: everything is a remix.) It was used on posters for movies like The Bodyguard, Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon, Children of Men, and Quiz Show. This Vox video details the rise of the Trajan typeface in movie poster design and why its not used that often by big movies anymore.

    Tags: design   movies  ...


  • Making Amazon Alexa respond to sign language using AI

    Using a JavaScript machine learning package called TensorFlow.js, Abhishek Singh built a program that learned how to translate sign language into verbal speech that an Amazon Alexa can understand. “If voice is the future of computing,” he signs, “what about those who cannot [hear and speak]?”

    See also how AirPods + the new Live Listen feature “could revolutionize what it means to be hard of hearing”.

    Tags: Abhishek Singh   Alexa   American Sign Language   artificial intelligence   audio  ...


  • Barack Obama’s 2018 Summer Reading List

    President Obama is heading to Africa this week for the first time since he left office. In preparation, he shared a recommended summer reading list that’s heavy on African authors. Here’s the full list:

    Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe

    A true classic of world literature, this novel paints a picture of traditional society wrestling with the arrival of foreign influence, from Christian missionaries to British colonialism. A masterpiece that has inspired generations of writers in Nigeria, across...


  • The color photographs of World War I

    When World War I started, color photography was still in its experimental stage so most of the imagery of the war is in black and white. But a few photographers managed to capture color views the battlefield, military operations, and scenes of daily life during the conflict. You can check out a bunch of the WWI color photos here, here, here, and here. There’s even some color film footage from the war:

    As I’ve written before, early color photography is a form of time travel, connecting...


  • The original Mac OS Control Panel done in cross-stitch

    iOS programmer Glenda Adams made a cross-stitch embroidery of the original Control Panel for the Macintosh. Lots of parallels between designing cross-stitch patterns and pixel drawings & fonts. For instance, check out designer Susan Kare’s drawings for some of the original Mac OS icons and compare them to cross-stitch patterns. (P.S. Check out that date…)

    See also this Lego Macintosh.

    Tags: Apple   design   Glenda Adams   Macintosh   Susan Kare


  • Breathtaking aerial videos of the Kilauea volcano erupting

    Mick Kalber is posting daily flyover videos of the eruption of the Kilauea volcano in Hawaii. This one, from June 23, is one of the better ones from the past week and features a frothing ocean of erupting lava and a speedily flowing river of molten rock.

    The Volcano Goddess, Pele is continually erupting hot liquid rock into the channelized rivers leading to the Pacific Ocean. Most of the fountaining activity is still confined within the nearly 200-foot high spatter cone she has built around...


  • Manually pixelated food

    Art director Yuni Yoshida has created these pixelated food photos by manually cutting up the foods in question into little cubes. Love these.

    See also censored fruit.

    Tags: food   Yuni Yoshida


  • Winners of National Geographic Travel Photographer of the Year competition for 2018

    National Geographic recently announced the winners of the Travel Photographer of the Year contest for 2018. You can look at the winners here and the people’s choice awards here.

    You can also download the winning images as wallpaper for your computer, phone, or tablet.

    Tags: best of   best of 2018   photography   travel


  • A movie adaptation of Sapiens is coming

    Ridley Scott and Asif Kapadia are working on a film adaptation of Yuval Noah Harari’s Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind. Scott (Blade Runner, Gladiator, Alien) is producing while Kapadia (the excellent documentaries Amy & Senna) will direct. Harari, you’ll recall, is a Prophet and states in Sapiens that the Agricultural Revolution is “history’s biggest fraud”.

    Rather than heralding a new era of easy living, the Agricultural Revolution left farmers with lives generally more difficult and...


  • 100 Useful Things

    100 useful things “is an expanding collection of durable objects presented by the people who use them every day”.

    We believe things come to life when they are used. In a tiring world of perishable items that easily break, this is our tribute to durable objects designed and produced so well that their owners may never have to change them again. 100 useful things tell the stories about the extraordinary items people use all the time and keep forever.

    The site currently showcases just over 20...


  • Shade: A Tale of Two Presidents

    Pete Souza spent 8 years photographing President Obama as the official White House photographer. Souza compiled some of the best of those photos (including the ones with kids) into a book, Obama: An Intimate Portrait. Since Trump took office in January 2017, Souza has used his Instagram account to post photos of Obama in response to Trump’s actions — for instance, when Trump initiated the travel ban against Muslim nations, Souza posted a photo of Obama meeting with a refugee girl.

    Souza has...