(mac)OStalgia - “COVID-19 has taken the world by surprise in early 2020 and has definitely shaken the world in ways that we all could have never imagined before. The repercussions of the pandemic on our society will most likely be felt for decades to come. Pre-covid, some companies, startups, studios, etc. already started allowing their staff to work from home from time to time. Though, post-covid, it has become the new normal for many. If working from home was once a luxury, it has now become a crucial part of putting an end to a pandemic. (mac)OStalgia is exploring my 2021 work-from-home routine from a nostalgic perspective. How would have the same workflow looked like with the tools of today and the limitations of yesterday. Unreliable internet, little disk storage, macOS 9 and much more.”
My Parents Collect Cans for a Living - “My family collects cans and bottles from sunup to sundown all year long. I started when I was 12, watching my parents glazed in sweat, as if it had just rained on them. Despite the aches and the tireless nights, their smiles shined as they worked.”
Frozen Alive - “When your Jeep spins lazily off the mountain road and slams backward into a snowbank, you don’t worry immediately about the cold. Your first thought is that you’ve just dented your bumper. Your second is that you’ve failed to bring a shovel. Your third is that you’ll be late for dinner. Friends are expecting you at their cabin around eight for a moonlight ski, a late dinner, a sauna. Nothing can keep you from that.”
Average color of each country (using satellite imagery)
Film: The Last Duel - “King Charles VI declares that Knight Jean de Carrouges settle his dispute with his squire by challenging him to a duel.”
This Colorado ‘solar garden’ is literally a farm under solar panels - “But he soon discovered that the shade from the towering panels above the soil actually helped the plants thrive. That intermittent shade also meant a lot less evaporation of coveted irrigation water. And in turn the evaporation actually helped keep the sun-baked solar panels cooler, making them more efficient.”
Individuals Matter - “One of the most common mistakes I see people make when looking at data is incorrectly using an overly simplified model. A specific variant of this that has derailed the majority of work roadmaps I’ve looked at is treating people as interchangeable, as if it doesn’t matter who is doing what, as if individuals don’t matter. Individuals matter.”
Why is air cargo suddenly affordable relative to ocean shipping?
Film: The Father - “A man refuses all assistance from his daughter as he ages. As he tries to make sense of his changing circumstances, he begins to doubt his loved ones, his own mind and even the fabric of his reality.”
What was the biggest contributor to your happiness in the past year?
The bizarre tale of the world’s last lost tourist, who thought Maine was San Francisco - “In 1977, 49-year-old German brewery worker Erwin Kreuz blew his life savings on his first flight — a once-in-a-lifetime birthday trip to San Francisco. He’d seen it on TV, and he wanted to visit the Wild West. As the World Airways flight from Frankfurt stopped to refuel in a small airport in Bangor, Maine, before continuing on to California, an air stewardess who had finished her shift told Kreuz to “have a nice time in San Francisco.” Her choice of words would change Kreuz’s life.”
How we grow junior developers at the BBC - “The saying ‘there’s no such thing as a stupid question’ also applies here. Asking questions is encouraged, and it’s not unusual for more senior members of the team to ask questions just for the sake of junior developers or new developers in the team.”
The History of Sears Predicts Nearly Everything Amazon Is Doing - “One hundred years ago, a retail giant that shipped millions of products by mail moved swiftly into the brick-and-mortar business, changing it forever. Is that happening again?”
The Stand by Stephen King - “When a man escapes from a biological testing facility, he sets in motion a deadly domino effect, spreading a mutated strain of the flu that will wipe out 99 percent of humanity within a few weeks. The survivors who remain are scared, bewildered, and in need of a leader. Two emerge–Mother Abagail, the benevolent 108-year-old woman who urges them to build a community in Boulder, Colorado; and Randall Flagg, the nefarious”Dark Man,” who delights in chaos and violence.”
Inside Apple’s Insanely Great (Or Just Insane) New Mothership - “Inside the 755-foot tunnel, the white tiles along the wall gleam like a recently installed high-end bathroom; it’s what the Lincoln Tunnel must have looked like the day it opened, before the first smudge of soot sullied its walls. And as we emerge into the light, the Ring comes into view. As the Jeep orbits it, the sun glistens off the building’s curved glass surface. The “canopies”—white fins that protrude from the glass at every floor—give it an exotic, retro-future feel, evoking illustrations from science fiction pulp magazines of the 1950s”
How to Resolve Fights over Reclining Airplane Seats: Use Behavioral Economics - “Recliners wanted on average $41 to refrain from reclining, while reclinees were willing to pay only $18 on average. Only about 21 percent of the time would ownership of the 4 inches change hands.”
American Kingpin: The Epic Hunt for the Criminal Mastermind Behind the Silk Road - In 2011, a twenty-six-year-old libertarian programmer named Ross Ulbricht launched the ultimate free market: the Silk Road, a clandestine Web site hosted on the Dark Web where anyone could trade anything—drugs, hacking software, forged passports, counterfeit cash, poisons—free of the government’s watchful eye.
The Battle Over the Sea-Monkey Fortune - “A few years after her husband’s death in 2003, Signorelli von Braunhut licensed out part of the labor of his multimillion dollar Sea-Monkey enterprise, mostly packaging and distribution, to Big Time. If you’ve ever been 8 years old, then you know that Sea-Monkeys arrive in a small plastic aquarium with several small packets that include the tiny brine-shrimp critters, which reanimate once you add water — by way of a secret formula that Signorelli von Braunhut keeps locked in a vault in Manhattan.”
Why The FBI Director Puts Tape Over His Webcam - “‘I saw something in the news, so I copied it. I put a piece of tape — I have obviously a laptop, personal laptop — I put a piece of tape over the camera. Because I saw somebody smarter than I am had a piece of tape over their camera.’”
What I Learned Selling A Software Business - “You basically make a list of accounts that the business controls — Stripe, email, hosting provider, etc etc — and put them in a PDF file.”
The Mastermind - “He was a brilliant programmer and a vicious cartel boss, who became a prized U.S. government asset. The Atavist Magazine presents a story of an elusive criminal kingpin, told in weekly installments.”