AnalogSenses

By ÁLVARO SERRANO

A primer on fountain pens →

May 06, 2015 |

Lovely article over at The Art of Manliness:

Despite the introduction of the ballpoint pen in the early 1900s, fountain pens maintained their dominance as the go-to writing instrument up until the mid-point of the century. It was not until the 1960s, when the ballpoint pen’s reliability increased, and its price decreased, that fountain pen sales began their long and steady decline in the United States. While they’re still widely used by students in private schools in England and the rest of Europe, in America the fountain pen is largely seen as more of a collector’s item, a status symbol, or the focus of a twee hobby. However, thanks to the internet’s ability to connect enthusiasts, the fountain pen has seen something of a resurgence in the U.S. Today you can find countless forums and blogs dedicated to the virtues of this classic writing instrument.

If you enjoy the world of pens and would like to know more about it, there are plenty of great websites on the subject. Besides the ones mentioned towards the end of this article, I strongly recommend Brad Dowdy’s excellent site, The Pen Addict, as well as its accompanying podcast on Relay FM.

♤ ♧ ♡ ♢

Federico Viticci’s wishlist for iOS 9 →

May 06, 2015 |

Federico Viticci:

As with every year, I’ve been pondering where I’d like to see iOS go next. Software is never done, but iOS 8 made a compelling argument for the maturity of the platform – if anything, from a feature checklist perspective. That’s not how I look at it, though: I suspect that the next major version of iOS – likely to be called iOS 9 – will use the visual and technical foundation of iOS 7 and iOS 8 to unlock new levels of integration and communication between apps, iCloud, gestures, and voice input.

Nice and comprehensive list from Federico, as ever. I don’t think there’s anybody out there with a better appreciation for the iOS platform — including its strengths and weaknesses — than him. If only a few of his wishes end up coming true, I will be a very happy man.

♤ ♧ ♡ ♢
♤ ♧ ♡ ♢
♤ ♧ ♡ ♢

Making espresso on the International Space Station →

May 05, 2015 |

Dr. Mark Weislogel tells the fascinating story of how Italian astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti became the first person to brew — and drink — a cup of espresso on the International Space Station thanks to the newly invented “Space Cup”:

You can imagine how many variables are at play for the drinking experience from a human factors perspective, but gravity influences many of these, too. Sinus drainage, saliva migration, time aloft, and others are reasonable microgravity-related parameters affecting one’s response to the drinking experience in space. We designed the Space Cup with the central objective of delivering the liquid passively to the lip of the cup. To do this we exploit surface tension, wetting conditions, and the special geometry of the cup itself. We have yet to learn the human-cup interaction in microgravity. The cup design forces the drinker’s nose directly over the fluid contents. But since the aromatics do not rise, one might expect a rather concentrated dose upon the first whiff. Maybe this won’t be a big deal since astronauts report a reduced sense of smell while in space, due to somewhat clogged sinuses. This is presumably due to the headward fluid redistribution that occurs in spaceflight.

The lengths some people will go to to get their morning cup of Joe.1


  1. Federico, I’m looking at you.

♤ ♧ ♡ ♢

Bryan Singer announces new ‘Rogue Cut’ of ‘X-Men: Days of Future Past’ →

May 05, 2015 |

Bryan Singer took to Periscope today to announce a new alternate cut of X-Men: Days of Future Past, to be released on July 17. The new cut is 17 minutes longer and was dubbed ‘The Rogue Cut’, because it includes several additional scenes involving the Rogue character, played by Anna Paquin.

I actually think this new cut could be an improvement over the theatrical version of the film. For some reason, when I watched the original cut at the theater it kind of felt as though some scenes were missing, almost as if they’d been cut in order to keep the theatrical version from running too long.

I’m really looking forward to seeing what the new scenes are, and how they impact the overall plot but really, just about any excuse to get more of Fassbender as Magneto will do.

♤ ♧ ♡ ♢

The best bike story of the week →

May 05, 2015 |

Mikael Colville-Andersen recovers his Bullitt cargo bike, which was stolen back in March in Copenhagen:

So it turns out Danni was out for a ride on his motorcycle and ended up at Christiania. He saw three Bullitts behind the Månefiskeren café and he recognised one of them. Mine. Still with the map of Copenhagen on the cargo bay and even the Copenhagenize Design Co. logo sticker intact.

Danni rode his motorbike home to Hvidovre - a suburb of Copenhagen - and returned with his minivan. He put my Bullitt in the back and went to a bike shop to buy a lock. He then drove it to Larry vs Harry and locked it outside the shop. He let Claus from Larry vs Harry know it was there and he, in turn, notified me.

How amazing is that. 30 km and a couple of hours out of his day. Just to get the Bullitt back for The Lulu and I.

♤ ♧ ♡ ♢

Jonathan Poritsky on where he fits on the Web →

May 04, 2015 |

Jonathan Poritsky, writing at The Candler Blog:

My own website is a simple proposition. Here’s a space where I can put out the best writing I’m capable of. I own every pixel here. That concept will never go out of fashion, even if it fades from the limelight.

I honestly don’t know whether or not there will always be a Google or a Facebook to help readers find me. I do know that I’m in control of whether or not there’s a candler blog.

Jonathan’s thinking here is very similar to what recently moved Brent Simmons to delete all his tweets.

♤ ♧ ♡ ♢

The Quest for Transgender Equality →

May 04, 2015 |

Fantastic new series over at The New York Times:

Being transgender today remains unreasonably and unnecessarily hard. But it is far from hopeless. More Americans who have wrestled with gender identity are transitioning openly, propelling a civil rights movement that has struggled even as gays and lesbians have reached irreversible momentum in their fight for equality. Those coming out now are doing so with trepidation, realizing that while pockets of tolerance are expanding, discriminatory policies and hostile, uninformed attitudes remain widespread.

They deserve to come out in a nation where stories of compassion and support vastly outnumber those that end with a suicide note. The tide is shifting, but far too slowly, while lives, careers and dreams hang in the balance.

So great. The Times at its best.

♤ ♧ ♡ ♢

Brent Simmons is the man who deleted all his tweets →

May 04, 2015 |

Excellent piece by Brent Simmons:

I have a number of good reasons not to like Twitter: how poorly it’s treated third-party developers (some of whom are my friends); how it’s become the bright and shining home of bullies, outrage, and the mob mentality; how it’s fallen in love with TV and celebrities; how it’s turning into yet another way to show me ads.

But those aren’t my reasons for deleting my tweets. Instead, it’s because Twitter is a blogging (or micro-blogging, really) service that doesn’t meet my requirements, which are:

  1. I should be able to host my content using my own domain, and

  2. I should be able to move to another service (or to my own server) without anybody noticing the difference. (Links shouldn’t break, etc.)

A bit on the extreme side of things, but he has a point. If you use Twitter as a micro-blogging platform, you should be aware of the sacrifices you’re making, and what you’re giving up in exchange for its convenience.

♤ ♧ ♡ ♢