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hello,

I was tempted to send this late, just so I could invoke this:

(“THIS IS INSTEAD OF TELEPHONING BECAUSE I CANT LOOK YOU IN THE VOICE. I SIMPLY CANNOT GET THAT THING DONE YET NEVER HAVE DONE SUCH HARD NIGHT AND DAY WORK NEVER HAVE SO WANTED ANYTHING TO BE GOOD AND ALL I HAVE IS A PILE OF PAPER COVERED WITH WRONG WORDS. CAN ONLY KEEP AT IT AND HOPE TO HEAVEN TO GET IT DONE. DONT KNOW WHY IT IS SO TERRIBLY DIFFICULT OR I SO TERRIBLY INCOMPETANT”)

5 things:

  1. So many of the aesthetics of right now seem to involve looking down. How did makers of too long, too slow documentaries manage before drones, for instance? But, then, still, remarkable things show up when you look down.

  2. I’m very bad at colours. Never on steady ground beyond the basics: red, blue, dark blue, etc. But Katy Kelleher on colours is wonderful.

  3. I was reading this article about ‘Six artists reshaping our way of seeing’ and one of them, Victoria Cantons, described her painting practise as ‘a way to clear the drainpipes’. Brilliant.

  4. The Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah band have been involved in a long and difficult legal case. (Details, if you want them). At one point, the judge pointed out that the documents presented against them were both ‘prolix and incomplete’. I had to look up prolix (it means tediously lengthy) but the combination of ‘prolix’ and ‘incomplete’ is devastating. And, now, pops into my head multiple times a day as I read stuff.

And that’s it. We’re done. Prolix, possibly, but complete.

See you next month.

(There are 680 of you. Redbad, King of the Frisians, was born around 680. He was the last King of the Frisians.)

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hello,

A paper in Nature (‘People systematically overlook subtractive changes’) reports on experiments which show how people find it more obvious to solve problems by adding things than by removing them. Video version (could have been shorter.)

So, in short, 5 good things:

  1. Sally Coulthard on sheep in folklore. (Why ‘black sheep’? for instance) (via Anne Galloway)

  2. Anne Ward’s beautiful book about the seaside.

  3. This is #verysamsung

  4. Catherynne M. Valente writes more than you thought you needed about why Ted Lasso is great.

  5. The New Yorker on vibes:

    "Many vibes don’t have specific names, but some do. Saudade, the Portuguese word for a bittersweet longing, could count as a vibe. So, too, could the Japanese iki, an attitude of casually disinterested elegance, or the German fernweh, the longing to be somewhere far away, evoked by distant vistas or unknown forests. (Hygge, the Danish quality of contented coziness, is a vibe that has been wholly commercialized in the United States.)"

    I see you all doing iki.

    Bye!

    (There are 676 of you. 676 is the country code for Tonga. The sea level around Tonga is rising about half a cm a year. Well above the global average.)

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hello,

I am aware that Substack has become problematic. The technical team is looking into migration options.

5 things:

  1. The best quiz question I’ve heard in a long time, from the FT:

    “According to the Oxford English Dictionary, which already existing four-letter word was first used in Britain in its now common meaning of “challenging” or “daring” by Nigella Lawson in 1998 to describe crème fraîche?”

    The answer will be at the bottom of the page.

  2. The last Ford Mondeo will be sold next year. Ford designers are legendary for their expertise in clearly delineating different degrees of status via the trim on the car. This amazing, touching documentary brings that to life. As does this moment from Autocar:

    “Ford’s tinsel artistes always made sure that you could tell a base from an L, or an XL, or a GXL, their palette including chrome edgings, dashes of matt black, anodized panels, slashes of cabin plasti-wood, racier wheel trims and vinyl roofs. So your pay grade was parked on your driveway, your aspiration the quad- headlight, Rostyle wheel, vinyl-capped GXL”

    (Both via Things who clearly shares my obsession with this stuff)

  3. Professor Kimberly Nicholas answers this question well.

    Are you someone who is generally hopeful or pessimistic about the future?

    "I think all climate scientists have a complicated relationship with hope. I think people ask this question a lot as a proxy for, “Are we screwed, are we too late, can I give up?” and the answer to that is no, it’s not too late, we can stabilize the climate and avoid catastrophic climate change.Science gives us reasons for hope, because we know what we need to do, we know what works to get it done, and it kind of comes down to what you believe about human nature and what you do to make that possible in your sphere of influence. I think it’s a mistake to feel that you need hope before you do that.__"

  4. More cars! Also via Things. Amy Shore tells you how to be a car photographer. I love this sort of insider-y stuff.

  5. Book design, these days:

    “Why do three out of four books these days look almost identical? It’s for the ‘gram. It’s for the Amazon thumbnail: big bold letters against a patterned background. I would like to now dub these examplars of what we will soon call “late iPhone era” of book cover design, and I look forward to its end, and when we can laugh at it, the homogeneity, their hiliarious earlycentury aesthetic.”

    (Notes From A Small Press, Anne Trubek)

Edgy. The quiz answer is ‘edgy’. Good, right?

(There are 671 of you. 671 is the magic constant of n×n normal magic square. Magic squares are big in recreational mathematics.)

How's your interregnum?

For that is how it feels

hello,

Unsubscribe. You don't have time for this.

5 Things:

  1. Carol Kay is a legendary bassist. She played on every good record. This tiny moment of instagram is the single most useful and profound moment of music instruction you will ever see. The metronome has to sound like it’s grooving. (Possibly a useful metaphor for other things too)

  2. You’re probably familiar with Occam’s Razor. There are other razors! I’m drawn to Newton’s Flaming Laser Sword: don’t debate things that can’t be settled with experiments.

  3. It shouldn’t be a surprise but the stamps celebrating Syria’s 1970s electronics industry are gorgeous. (via Amalia)

  4. Allie Morgan: “Things I have learned about the general public whilst working at the library

    (Number 9. Some people are so afraid of computers that they will come to you with a query and then become upset if you offer to look it up on the computer instead of in a book.)

    (Number 10. Some people have never, ever used a telephone. Especially older women. Their husband did it for them.)

  5. Spend 15 minutes listening to Ned Beauman admiring, envying and mocking beavers.

Pleasant internet!

(There are 649 of you. The 649 bus route runs between Romford, Parkside Avenue and Campion School. On 3 September 2020 the route’s Alexander Dennis Enviro 400s were replaced by Wright Eclipse Gemini 3 bodied Volvo B5LHs.)

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The shortest month. I’ll keep this brief.

Postlight shared Pleasant Internet Things. What a good idea. Not least because happiness is contagious.

Here are more:

  1. Great curating: “graphic design related items” from the internet archive, drawings of UFOs from the national archives, Stanford’s collection of dataviz.

  2. An acapella group doing Windows OS sounds. I could watch this forever.

  3. You know how Norway is very forward thinking about electric cars? Loads of electric cars in Norway. Did you know it’s because of A-ha? (Sort of.)

  4. And Tom’s right - this’ll make you tear up. It’s just people seeing the moon, but they’re so happy to see it.

  5. And there’s this: a dancer vs an hydraulic press.

(There are 648 of you. 648 Pippa is a minor planet. And I’m intrigued to find that there is a 648th Maneuver Enhancement Brigade. I could do with having my maneuvers enhanced.)

Pleasant internet!

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