Mirrored Ceilings and Criss-Crossed Stairwells Give a Chinese Bookstore the Feeling of an M.C. Escher Woodcut
> Zhongshuge bookstores, designed by Shangai-based architecture firm X+Living, feature incredible rooms coveted by book and illusion lovers alike. Each location in this chain of Chinese bookstores has uniquely designed spaces with reflective elements that immerse guests in parallel environments. In the Chongqing branch, criss-crossing staircases and a mirrored ceiling double the room for an effect that seems straight out of an M.C. Escher woodcut or an infinite Indian stepwell.
The 26,000-Year Astronomical Monument Hidden in Plain Sight
> On the western flank of the Hoover Dam stands a little-understood monument, commissioned by the US Bureau of Reclamation when construction of the dam began in 01931. The most noticeable parts of this corner of the dam, now known as Monument Plaza, are the massive winged bronze sculptures and central flagpole which are often photographed by visitors. The most amazing feature of this plaza, however, is under their feet as they take those pictures.
> The plaza’s terrazzo floor is actually a celestial map that marks the time of the dam’s creation based on the 25,772-year axial precession of the earth.
U+1FB41 'LOWER RIGHT BLOCK DIAGONAL UPPER MIDDLE LEFT TO UPPER CENTRE' is a Game Changer
"Advanced" Linux Sound "Architecture"
> I can’t believe that this 1994 clown car has still not disgorged all of its passengers, but here we are. I’m running Raspbian 9.6 and if mpg321 is interrupted before it finished playing the file, about 10% of the time the machine gets into a state where it can’t play sound any more and launching any process takes ~5 seconds. At that point, I haven’t found a recourse other than rebooting.
> Any suggestions, other than “get a less annoying hobby“?
Starts with an O...
Time Flies: Levitating Nixie Clock
> This is an absolutely amazing artifact whose physical existence is difficult to accept. I can barely wrap my head around the fact that this thing is pushing enough electrons through the air that it can not only hold itself up, but also light up a set of Nixie tubes. It’s god damned sorcery, is what it is. This is some Tesla HAARP Weapon Planetary Weather Control shit going on here.
> And the way you configure it is... complete lunacy, even compared to the typical UI standards of “how to set the time on a clock or a Microwave“, which was already complete lunacy. You’re used to “press button A to advance, press button B to configure, hope you can guess what the beeps mean?” Ho ho ho, welcome to the next level: the control here is an invisible capacitive touch button, just one, and to toggle, say, setting 3, you gesture near the button until the audio tone changes frequency 3 times... and then you wait a little bit longer and flee quickly. Oops, you advanced to 4! Try again! It’s koo-koo-pants.
Comparing City Street Orientations
> How coherent is a city’s spatial organization? How do these patterns help or hinder urban navigation? I recently wrote about visualizing street orientations with Python and OSMnx. That is, how is a city’s street network oriented in terms of the streets’ compass bearings? How well does it adhere to a straightforward north-south-east-west layout?
Important Flatland Research
> I have long had a hard time picturing what day, night and the shape of the terminator would look like on Buckminster Fuller’s Dymaxion Map. Well yesterday I wrote some code and now I know! It sort-of feels like two weird spirals turning in opposite directions. Video here.
Anime floppy disks
> Mainly GIFs, but pictures are okay too.
The mechanics of history by Yoann Bourgeois
No idea how to describe this, but it’s cool.
GIFs as MP4s
> Trying something new here on Ye Olde Blogge: animated GIFs are now served as MP4s in a VIDEO tag.
Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t, sometimes it’s different.
A collection of Soviet control rooms.
> Power stations, control towers etc. Posted mainly for aesthetic reasons.
> Only one new hack this time, Vigilance. They are panoptically adorable, aren’t they?
World Airports Voronoi
> Each region is closer to a particular airport than any other. This partitioning of the sphere is called a spherical Voronoi diagram.
Same Stats, Different Graphs: Generating Datasets with Varied Appearance and Identical Statistics through Simulated Annealing
> Recently, Alberto Cairo created the Datasaurus dataset which urges people to “never trust summary statistics alone; always visualize your data“, since, while the data exhibits normal seeming statistics, plotting the data reveals a picture of a dinosaur. Inspired by Anscombe’s Quartet and the Datasaurus, we present, The Datasaurus Dozen.
Central Subway Construction Update - March 24, 2017
Pictures of man and machine, working in tandem, to dig big holes.
Not sure if the URL has jwz’s password in it or not...
The iTunes race to the bottom continues
> The iTunes Motto: “Fewer Features, Every Day”.
Although, in this case, the iPhone Remote app.
America's Television Graveyards
> CRT processing, as it’s called, happens at only a handful of the best e-waste recycling centers in the United States. In many cases, your old TV isn’t recycled at all and is instead abandoned in a warehouse somewhere, left for society to deal with sometime in the future.
Leia Organa: A Critical Obituary
Great example of using language to recast black and white actions (in the movies) into many murky shades of gray.
> Representatives raised questions about her objectivity, her use of political killing as a tool of warfare, the possibility that she might have granted Vader immunity from war crimes prosecution, and her indifference to risk, given that she was willing to sacrifice the last known Jedi in multiple operations. Organa was unrepentant.