From kottke.org

  • Steven Adams is the Evolutionary Bill Laimbeer, and I Am Here For It

    One of the best things about the contemporary NBA is that the league is overflowing with villains, great players that it’s easy to root against. It’s just as easy to love LeBron as to hate LeBron, to love or hate the Warriors, to love or hate James Harden or Kyrie Irving or John Wall. You could heat these guys’ guts, and love their entertainment value as heels at the same time.

    One of the very best heels is Oklahoma City center Steven Adams, the New Zealand-born, ponytail-clad,...


  • The 1959 Project

    1969 is getting all the attention right now, as huge historical landmarks celebrate their 50th anniversary. But what about 1959, and all those 60th anniversaries? 1959 was particularly a landmark year for jazz, and it’s those milestones that are celebrated by an amazing blog called The 1959 Project. Helmed by Natalie Weiner, a sportswriter and history-of-jazz superfan, the premise is simple: every day, a snapshot of the world of jazz sixty years ago.

    In the 2 1/2 weeks since the site’s been...


  • Gradually, Then Suddenly

    Using one of my recent favorite mental models,1 Tim O’Reilly writes about some technology-related changes happening in the world where incremental advances in recent years are set to soon become pervasive.

    2) The rest of the world is leapfrogging the US. The volume of mobile payments in China is $13 trillion versus the US’s $50 billion, while credit cards never took hold. Already Zipline’s on-demand drones are delivering 20% of all blood supplies in Rwanda and will be coming soon to other...


  • The Case for Impeaching Donald Trump

    In the cover story for the March 2019 issue of The Atlantic, Yoni Appelbaum clearly and methodically lays out the case that Congress should begin the impeachment process against Donald Trump.

    The oath of office is a president’s promise to subordinate his private desires to the public interest, to serve the nation as a whole rather than any faction within it. Trump displays no evidence that he understands these obligations. To the contrary, he has routinely privileged his self-interest above the...


  • Menendez Brothers Found Courtside on 1990 Basketball Card

    About 30 years ago, the Menendez brothers of Beverly Hills murdered their parents, collected a hefty life insurance policy, and then went on an 8 month spending spree. The brothers bought cars, watches, opulent vacations, restaurants (what?!), and


  • How We Talk About Racism in America is Wrong

    For Vox, Jane Coaston writes about why Republicans too 15 years to act on House member Steve King’s racism. I found her point about how racism has become an insult to be wielded or avoided (depending on your perspective) rather than a useful descriptive term of behavior or views really interesting.

    The way we talk about race and racism in the United States is wrong. In short, we think of “racist” as an insult rather than as an adjective. And we have narrowed down the concept of racism to an...


  • Why Is the Night Sky Dark?

    I love how simple questions can reveal deep truths about how the universe works. Take “why is the night sky dark?” It’s a question a small child might ask but stumped the likes of Newton, Halley, and Kepler and wasn’t really resolved until Einstein’s theory of general relativity and the Big Bang theory rolled around. Here’s the paradox: if we live in a static infinite universe, shouldn’t the sky be unbearably bright?

    Distant stars look weak, and very distant stars shine too dimly for you to see...


  • A Stroke Gave This Doctor the Gift of Rhyme

    The brain is a fascinating organ. If you’re lucky enough to wake up after having a stroke, there’s a chance you might have some new habits or a different personality.

    Some patients become hypersexual or compulsive gamblers. Others have even woken up speaking in a fake Chinese accent. “There was a famous guy in Italy who had what they called ‘Pinocchio syndrome,’” said Dr. Alice Flaherty, a joint associate professor of neurology and psychiatry at Harvard Medical School. “When he told a lie he...


  • Massive Naturally Occurring Ice Carousel

    Spinning disks of ice can form naturally in slow-moving parts of streams and rivers. What happens is a large chunk of ice gets caught in a quiet part of the river and then is spun and shaped into a circle by the nearby current.

    In the video above, Tina Radel captured a particularly huge ice circle in the Presumpscot River in Westbrook, Maine


  • Tiny Paper Crane Masterpieces

    Check out these elaborate and colorfully decorated origami creations by paper artist Cristian Marianciuc.

    To create these intricate artworks, Marianciuc folds traditional origami cranes and then adorns them with hand-cut paper and other materials. Some of his creations are available in his Etsy shop. (via @imperica)

    Tags: art   Cristian Marianciuc   origami


  • Visualizing Dubious Spelling with Flow Diagrams

    Colin Morris recently analyzed a corpus of comments from Reddit for misspellings by searching for words near uncertainty indicators like “(sp?)”. Among the words that provoked the most doubt were Kaepernick, comradery, adderall, Minaj, seizure, Galifianakis, loogie, and Gyllenhaal. Morris then used a Sankey diagram to visualize how people misspelled “Gyllenhaal” in different ways (with the arrow thickness denoting the frequency of each spelling):

    Tag yourself! (I’m probably on the yellow “LL”...


  • One Film / One Shot

    For more than a year now, Jon Lefkovitz has been making short videos of iconic scenes from films backed by the same musical score, a short clip of “Canis Lupus” from Alexandre Desplat’s Fantastic Mr. Fox score. Here’s Groundhog Day, 2001: A Space Odyssey, Jurassic Park (featuring a great example of the Spielberg Face), and the beautiful 2-minute shot from Big Night:

    Each clip is between 30 seconds and 2 minutes 30 seconds long. Here’s the whole playlist.

    Tags: Jon Lefkovitz   movies  ...