1. Draw an iceberg and see how it will float. Zen.
  2. The Art Newspaper on NFTs, which sort of explains the battle between Pest Supply and Pest Control.
  3. There’s a Muppet Wiki, and it has lots of info about those dark af Wilkins ads, including this quote from a US Senator in 1959: “About the only clever advertising on the air today is ‘Wilkins and Wontkins.’”
  4. The WandaVision commercials are related to the Infinity Stones? OK.
  5. Speaking of ads: Matt Webb on what to do with spare TV ad inventory. “So perhaps I could buy a TV ad targeted just at…


Pitchfork’s Vrinda Jagota on Love Story (Taylor’s Version):

If most mortal millennials tried to recreate our teenage creative endeavors, we would be sharing Twilight fan fiction or painfully awkward YouTube dance videos. It speaks to Taylor’s wunderkind status that she can revisit the work of her teen self without embarrassment.

And Rolling Stone’s Simon Vozick-Levinson:

Instead of a bright, shining act of writerly projection, like it was in 2008, this “Love Story” is full of rich, complex emotional flavor, performed by someone who’s learned how the love stories in your head can differ from the ones you really go through…


From Philippe Van Parij in Eurozine (via The Browser), a counterintuitive argument for why the European Union should promote English as its official language, even with Brexit.

What made English the lingua franca of the European Union was neither its official status within the Union, nor the fact that the United Kingdom was a member state. Rather, the maximin mechanism gives English, the language that is already far the most widely spoken, a self-perpetuating advantage. …


Here’s the nightly news program I’d love to see. An hour every night of Steve Kornacki doing in-depth analysis of vaccination activity. State by state. County by county. City by city. Hospital by hospital. Health group by health group.

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This energy, but for vaccinations.

How many doses have been delivered? How many have been administered? What percentage of each population tier have been vaccinated? What percentage of the overall population? Where are the trendlines heading?

They could break up the frenetic Korancki energy with profiles of doctors, of nurses, of drugstore workers, of scientists, of the people making sure that the vaccination spots are run…


File under: something to look forward to. Sally Rooney has a new book coming.

In September, Farrar, Straus and Giroux will release her new novel, “Beautiful World, Where Are You,” which follows four young characters in Ireland as they navigate the pressures of work and relationships against the backdrop of political turmoil and fears about their economic futures.

If you haven’t, go read Normal People and then watch the Hulu show. You can thank me afterwards.


Twitter bans Trump, at last. The final bullet in their (compelling, detailed) list of decision factors is an interesting one.

Plans for future armed protests have already begun proliferating on and off-Twitter, including a proposed secondary attack on the US Capitol and state capitol buildings on January 17, 2021.

Three things of note:

  1. Um, that’s not good.
  2. Of course Twitter knows this. This bullet’s a subtle reminder of the volume of real-time conversation flowing through the service.
  3. This bullet isn’t directly related to the analysis of the Tweets that Trump sent today. The other four bullets were a very specific…


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Thirty years of Bay Area living, cut-out.

Matt Miller, Between the Places:

Sol LeWitt did a series of maps where he cut out a section of it based on various criteria. … The area between the places he had lived in NYC were cut out, leaving an absence in the map. This tool lets you create your own cut up map, enter at least three locations and the map will be generated. A unique map reflecting your relationship to a city. Works best for larger metropolitan areas but it tries its best to scale the map.


I loved this post from Josh Rose in The Art of Photography: Does the iPhone 12 Dream of Rendered Moments? He uses the Voight-Kampff test from the movie Blade Runner as an analogy for computational photography.

You can tell a non-human from a human because the non-human is trying to be human, whereas a human is just being human. And imitation will always feel slightly cartoonish to anyone who has studied emotion deeply. But this works in reverse, too. Life and simulated life are indistinguishable to those who have not connected deeply with nature or humanity. …


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Well, this is one way to start the new year.

Michael Sippey

Labs @ Medium. Avid reader, long time blogger.

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