Reading List

I should read more, but here are some recent articles I've read and thought others might enjoy. Feel free to ask me on a free consultation call about how this sort of thing is powered. It can be really handy for curating and sharing content.

James Kindred
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February 2024

27 February 24

Can Humans Endure the Psychological Torment of Mars?

By Nathaniel Rich for The New York Times

Alyssa Shannon was on her morning commute from Oakland to Sacramento, where she worked as an advanced-practice nurse at the university hospital, when NASA called to tell her that she had been selected for a Mars mission. She screamed and pulled off the highway.

26 February 24

Why Do We Have a Leap Year Anyway?

By Phil Plait for Scientific American

When I was a little kid I had a friend who was born on February 29, the “leap day” we add to that month every four years. I remember we used to tease him by saying that he was only three years old.

26 February 24

Land of Plenty’s rebrand of Happy Endings makes everyone feel welcome

By Tom May

Founded in 2014 by award-winning Australian pastry chef Terri Mercieca, Happy Endings is an ice cream brand defined by colourful chaos.

26 February 24

Logo Rhythm

By David Airey

Logo Rhythm: Band Logos that Rocked the World (on Kickstarter) features more than 90 design stories behind iconic band logos from the 1960s to present day. “Many of the band logo design trailblazers are no longer with us. Some of their stories have been lost in the mists of time.

26 February 24

Industrial Design from Thailand: A Quirky Alarm Clock Concept

By Rain Noe

For reasons of access, we haven’t seen any work from industrial design studios in Thailand since 2013.

26 February 24

Arts Council England’s stance on “overly political” artists comes under fire

By

The government-funded organisation, which distributes public money to arts projects, recently changed its guidance on political matters.

13 February 24

The art of doing nothing: have the Dutch found the answer to burnout culture?

By Viv Groskop for The Guardian

I am standing on the sand at Scheveningen, The Hague’s most famous beach resort, in the act of niksen, the Dutch term for doing absolutely nothing. I try not to think about whether I am really doing nothing if I am standing on a beach.

8 February 24

How Quora Died

By Nitish Pahwa for Slate

“Why Do So Many Music Venues Use Ticketmaster?” “What’s It Like to Train to Be a Sushi Chef?” “How Do Martial Artists Break Concrete Blocks?” If you were looking for answers to such questions 10 years ago, your best resource for finding a thorough, expert-informed response likely would

3 February 24

What’s the Chemical Difference Between Hot- and Cold-Brew Coffee?

By Caroline Delbert for Pocket

Scientists put on their barista aprons and found out.

January 2024

26 January 24

Can QR Code-driven Incentives Solve Fashion’s Trillion-Dollar Waste Problem? This Company Thinks So…

By Aki Ukita for Yanko Design

Fashion still remains perhaps the biggest offender when it comes to waste and emissions generated by any given industry. Every year, 40 million tonnes of clothes find their way into landfills and third-world countries that are less than equipped to deal with this onslaught of wasted fabric.

23 January 24

How a 27-Year-Old Codebreaker Busted the Myth of Bitcoin’s Anonymity

By Andy Greenberg for WIRED

Just over a decade ago, Bitcoin appeared to many of its adherents to be the crypto-anarchist holy grail: truly private digital cash for the internet.

17 January 24

Easy Mode Is Actually for Adults

By Omar L. Gallaga for The Atlantic

Video games can be arduous. But real life is hard enough. Produced by ElevenLabs and NOA, News Over Audio, using AI narration.

15 January 24

The best ways to help homeless people

By Rachel M. Cohen for Vox

And not just at the holidays. I’ve been covering America’s homeless crisis at Vox all year.

12 January 24

AI ‘completes’ keith haring’s unfinished artwork, raising ethical issues and copyright concerns

By Keith Haring for designboom

Controversy erupted online when an X user employed artificial intelligence to ‘complete’ Keith Haring’s Unfinished Painting (1989).

12 January 24

rabbit releases r1, an AI walkie-talkie that can plan itinerary, order food, book taxi and more

By matthew burgos | designboom for designboom

During CES 2024, Santa Monica-based AI startup rabbit introduced r1, a handheld and touchscreen artificial intelligence device that works like a walkie-talkie with camera functionality. The main premise of the r1 is that it does what any app can do without needing a smartphone.

7 January 24

What We Lost When Twitter Became X

By Sheon Han for The New Yorker

A little more than a year ago, Elon Musk began his reign at Twitter with an elaborately staged pun. On Wednesday, October 26, 2022, he posted a tweet with a video that showed him carrying a sink through the lobby of the company’s San Francisco headquarters.

1 January 24

CASE-REAL transforms 80-year-old traditional japanese house into craft beer brewery

By Case-Real for designboom

In Saga, Japan, a renovation project by CASE-REAL has transformed an 80-year-old traditional Japanese house into a craft beer brewery, named Whale Brewing.

December 2023

19 December 23

Anak’s visual identity for coffee brand Bettr is purposely flawed, and all the better for it

By Tom May

Bettr isn’t just any old coffee brand. Founded in 2011 and based in Singapore, it’s Southeast Asia’s first certified B Corporation and is committed to bettering our planet through providing holistic vocational programs to educate and empower marginalised communities.

19 December 23

The biggest trends in graphic design for 2024, as predicted by the creative industry

By Tom May

The world’s in a rocky place right now. But the good news is that whatever happens to the economy in 2024, graphic design will be in demand… perhaps more than ever.

17 December 23

Figma Creator Micro Keyboard gives designers all the shortcuts they need

By JC Torres for Yanko Design

Computers are powerful tools that enable all kinds of workflows, including designing products, architectures, or artwork. As powerful as they may be, the devices that we currently have for creating these digital artifacts aren’t exactly conducive to the creative process.

16 December 23

Signal and noise

By

If the signal is very weak and the noise is large, it’s easy to imagine that there’s no signal at all. AI and computers can be used as lenses now, which means we can strip away the noise and see things that we certainly didn’t expect.

11 December 23

2024 Pantone Color of the Year is looking deliciously peachy

By Tianna Williams

It looks like the new year is going to be peachy, as the Pantone Color of the Year is announced. The 2024 colour ‘PANTONE 13-1023 Peach Fuzz’ strikes a perfect balance between pink and orange, a velvety combination that evokes calmness.

6 December 23

The Science of Savoring

By Flora Bai

This past July, I turned 60, and I started thinking more about my health. To me, the idea of healthy eating has always been a drag. I’m from Philadelphia. I want my cheesesteak.

6 December 23

The Dirty Secret of Alternative Plastics

By PHA for Time

This story was produced in partnership with the Pulitzer Center’s Ocean Reporting Network.

6 December 23

Floating Bamboo House is designed to withstand rising sea levels in Vietnam

By Srishti Mitra for Yanko Design

Called the Floating Bamboo House, this architectural prototype by Vietnamese studio H&P Architects is exactly what it sounds like! The floating home is built from bamboo and is designed to withstand rising sea levels.

2 December 23

Alaïa teams up with Rare Books Paris to curate a stylish library

By Tianna Williams

There is always an air of romanticism to perusing the shelves of a bookstore, a sentiment that Alaïa has delved into with its latest partnership with Rare Books Paris.

1 December 23

Word of Mouth: Art and Culture on the Faroe Islands

By Austa Somvichian-Clausen

The Faroe Islands, a small Nordic nation located in between Iceland and Norway, is a destination at glorious odds with itself. Just a hundred years ago, roads and cars did not exist across its eighteen mountainous islets.

November 2023

28 November 23

Environmental photographer of the year 2023 – in pictures

By Matt Fidler for The Guardian

A termite-snatching drongo, cows wading through flood water and a coral glowing like a Christmas tree are among the winning photos from this year’s environmental photographer of the year competition

22 November 23

El Anatsui’s Turbine Hall hangings turn rubbish into treasure

By Jon Everall

Along the south bank of the Thames opposite St Paul’s Cathedral, Tate’s fourth gallery was opened by Queen Elizabeth II in May 2000. Immediately, what was so astounding was the sheer scale of the building.

21 November 23

let it grow: compostable iPhone case blooms with basil and flowers when planted after use

By matthew burgos | designboom for designboom

Retail iGreen Gadgets has created a compostable iPhone 13, 14, and 15 Pro cases named iGreen Cover that grow basil, daisies, and forget-me-nots when the user plants and recycles them instead of discarding them after use.

14 November 23

Rich People Are the Big Barrier to Stabilizing the Climate

By Tom Athanasiou for The New Republic

In 1990, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released its first report on global warming—and by so doing started the clock on our collective response.

14 November 23

Tim George’s incredible photos capture the rapidly vanishing world of pubs in the East End

By Dom Carter

Pubs are a vital part of London’s cultural history; nowhere is this more evident than in the East End. But while the area used to be brimming with the best independent breweries in the country, the sad fact is that these communities, buildings and histories are under threat.

11 November 23

Lucky Find at Auction Identifies Man on Cover of ‘Led Zeppelin IV’

By Claire Moses for The New York Times

On Nov. 8, 1971, Led Zeppelin released its iconic fourth studio album, which was untitled but is widely known as “Led Zeppelin IV.

8 November 23

Seven Japanese designers working with neglected materials at Designart Tokyo

By Max Fraser for Dezeen

Furniture crafted from driftwood, “dresses” made from thousands of wood pieces and lamps 3D printed from tatami-resin were some of the highlights of Designart Tokyo.

7 November 23

‘Say High’: Gotham’s new campaign aims to celebrate and destigmatise cannabis

By Katy Cowan

Hitting street and subway posters plus digital screens this week, the ads are centred around how it greets customers at its flagship store in Lower Manhattan’s East Village.

3 November 23

Who Invented the Measurement of Time?

By Stephanie Pappas for Scientific American

In modern times, clocks underpin everything people do, from work to school to sleep. Timekeeping is also the invisible structure that makes modern infrastructure work.

3 November 23

An Apocalyptic Meditation on Doomscrolling

By Erik Davis for MIT Press

As far as I can make out, the term “doomscrolling” started making the rounds in 2019, and became, for obvious reasons, far more infectious in 2020. We’ve had two more years of pandemic, and a yearish of whatever this next thing we are in is, and the term does not seem to be losing much luster.

2 November 23

Remote working: The Digital Nomad Surge

By Become an for The Conversation

For eight years I have studied digital nomadism, the millenial trend for working remotely from anywhere around the world. I am often asked if it is driving gentrification. Before COVID upended the way we work, I would usually tell journalists that the numbers were too small for a definitive answer.

2 November 23

How to Advance Humanity

By Fábio Lucas for Medium

Growing up with the ability to share anything I want with whomever I want has warped my view of communication. For millennia, the sole way to communicate information among humans was the movement of humans.

October 2023

29 October 23

Small groups, well organized

By Seth Godin for Seth's Blog

And those are the two challenges of anyone seeking to make an impact. First, we get distracted by the inclination to make the group as big as we can imagine. After all, the change is essential, the idea is a good one. It’s for everyone.

28 October 23

Falling into Autumn

By Paula Goodbar for Medium

Autumn has always been my favorite time of year. It’s time to put away the tank tops and flip flops and bring out the comfy sweaters and leggings. I find my favorite blanket for the sofa, grab a book and brew up an aromatic cup of tea on chilly evenings to shake off the day.

24 October 23

Could This Be the Final Frontier for Renewable Energy?

By See full for CNET

With 70% of the Earth’s surface covered by oceans, wave power could be one of our largest energy resources. If you’ve ever been knocked off your feet by a big wave, you’ve felt a smidgeon of that power.

23 October 23

Inside Fran Lebowitz’s Digitally Unbothered Life

By Sophie Vershbow for Esquire

When I wrote “New York Person” at the top of my Instagram bio years ago, I only had one “New York Person” in mind: Fran Lebowitz.

21 October 23

Complex or complicated?

By Seth Godin for Seth's Blog

Complicated problems have a solution, and the solution can often be found by breaking the complicated portions into smaller pieces. And complicated problems often have an emotional component, because there are parts of the problem we don’t want to look at closely, or deal with personally.

20 October 23

The Cloud Is a Prison. Can the Local-First Software Movement Set Us Free?

By Gregory Barber for WIRED

A few years ago, the discussion forum Hacker News, where engineers collectively decide what other engineers should read, developed a quirk.

20 October 23

There are thousands of cities in the world, and there’s a reason none is in the shape of a line

By Benjamin Schneider for Fast Company

Somewhere in the Saudi Arabian desert, construction crews are hard at work on the longest, skinniest, tallest—and some might even say, most hubristic—city in human history.

16 October 23

BBC unveils the Moog Synthesizer – “the future of music” in 1969

By Mark Frauenfelder for Boing Boing

The instrument is made up of independent electronic units packed together into a compact console. There are oscillators which produce the sound, filters, amplifiers, and envelope generators to shape it. The sound can even be automatically triggered.

14 October 23

Decoding the overlap between autism and ADHD

By Ricki Rusting

Autism and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder often coincide, but the search for common biological roots has turned up conflicting evidence. Every morning, Avigael Wodinsky sets a timer to keep her 12-year-old son, Naftali, on track while he gets dressed for school.

11 October 23

One Great Rock Movie Can Change the World: An Oral History of ‘School of Rock’

By Angie Martoccio for Rolling Stone

It was 20 years ago this month that Jack Black put on a bow tie, walked into a prep school, and told a bunch of fourth graders to get the Led out.

9 October 23

Paper artist Lisa Lloyd explores the flow of emotions in dazzling new foil block printed sculpture

By Dom Carter

Three-dimensional paper artist Lisa Lloyd takes inspiration from the natural world when creating her beautiful paper sculptures. Previously, her work has been featured on the BBC, Countryfile and The Morning Show, while her latest piece, Flux, is set to appear at the upcoming Start Art fair.

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