- A critical consideration of Yves Béhar and his company, Fuse. The themes here could be a stand-in for the general state of industrial design: increasingly solving "problems" of the elite, disconnected from the realities of production, innovating only at the surface level, and more fixated on accumulating cash than improving life for all.
- Back in the heyday of brick and mortar retail, Best Products worked with the design firm SITE to create some fairly surreal and whimsical stores.
- A fascinating teardown of Magic Leap's augmented reality headset.
- Some tweets from maker Naomi Wu showing short Z axis FDM 3D printers making signage. It's a great example of the kind of boring, nearly invisible applications for 3D printing that make a good deal of economic sense. Traditional sign making (at least for three dimensional options) requires skilled labor and often multiple fabrication processes of cutting and assembly, all for what is commonly a custom built one-off.
Political and social movements require immense organizational efforts to gain any traction at all. Successful activism is as much about logistics as it is fiery public speeches, and in the case of the U.S. prison strike, those logistics are far more complicated than the usual labor protests. Communication between prisons, or from the outside world into the prison system, is lossy, heavily surveilled, and participants are exposed to great risk with little chance of reward. Against these odds, coordinators on both sides of prison walls stitched together clever hacks for getting the word out: using smuggled cell phones, submerging planning messages in long passages of dull, dry texts on other subjects to evade censorship, and bubbling the prison strike story up to the news cycle so that it can be heard in the radio and television broadcasts accessible to prisoners.
- How garbage moves (and accumulates) in the Great Lakes. The problem of plastic in oceans and lakes is well known, if not completely understood. For example, a recent study showing that marine worms are capable of breaking down plastic is not the miracle cure it appears to be. The worms can break down plastic bits in their gut, but that digestion yields smaller, more diffuse particles that can be ingested by tiny fish.
- Over the centuries, art and artifacts have been looted, speciously purchased, and generally dislocated from their original contexts (both physical and cultural). With China's meteoric rise in economic fortunes, private and public collectors there are seeking out the country's aesthetic objects wherever they may be, and with a variety of methods.