From Scratch

“Left to his own devices he couldn’t build a toaster. He could just about make a sandwich and that was it.”

– Mostly Harmless, Douglas Adams, 1992

Andy George spent six months of his life and $ 1500 to make a sandwich “from scratch”, growing a garden, producing salt from ocean water, making cheese and killing a chicken:

This project immediately reminded me of The Toaster Project, which I encountered at Ars Electronica 2010 (I can’t believe that was five years ago, it seems as if it was yesterday and a lifetime away at the same time): Thomas Thwaites spent nine months and £ 1187.54 to make his own toaster, “a product that Argos sells for only £3.99”. The Ars Electronica curators put it rather well: A project that “exposes the fallacy in a return to some romantic ideal of a pre-industrialized time”.

Flat Design? Destroying Apple’s Legacy… or Saving It

I very much enjoyed this post by Amy Hoy on recent design trends in Apple’s products. Choice quote:

Minimalism in software is achieved by simplifying feature sets, not stripping away pixels.

In software, affordances are everything. And all affordances are made of pixels. It’s not minimalism to rip away the very things your users need.

It’s sadism.

Read ““Flat Design”? Destroying Apple’s Legacy… or Saving It”

Recommended Reading: Possible Problems of Persona Politeness — Ben Hammersley

I just read and enjoyed this:

One of my AIs is funnier than the other. This is proving to be a problem. But first, consider how the amazing becomes normal very quickly. It feels like I’ve been using Siri on my phone my entire life, Siri on the iPad charging by my bed since forever, and Siri on my watch since last summer.

Read “Possible Problems of Persona Politeness — Ben Hammersley”

Pocket Finds: The Internet of Things You Don’t Really Need

I just read and enjoyed this:

Atlanta turns yellow for two weeks in April. Streets, driveways, terraces, cars—everything cakes with pollen. It’s the trees that cause the worst of it. Pine, oak, sweet gum, sycamore, mulberry, hackberry, birch, willow. Prolific itching, sneezing, and car-washing ensue.

Read “The Internet of Things You Don’t Really Need”