The Lego-style apartment in Barcelona →

January 23, 2015 |

Architect Barbara Appolloni has designed one of the most fascinating apartments I’ve ever seen. It’s positively tiny, measuring only 24 square meters (258.3 square feet), but it includes all features traditionally found in average-sized apartments:

Like the game “Lego”, everything fits perfectly creating a meticulous system of pieces designed to contain the specific features of a home. Different opening mechanisms create a universe that transforms the scene according to the hour of day.

The closet, kitchen, dining table and even washroom door are all hidden by the walls. The bench can be used as a seat and an exterior access ladder. A wheel system allows to pull out the double bed housed under the floor of the balcony. An external staircase connects the ground floor with the terrace, where a bath and a large wooden couch are placed. The magnificent views of the city complete the comfort of the home.

The only “minor” quibble: it’s located on a fifth floor — with no elevator. Check out the video below to see the design in action, as well as the previous state of the building. It’s such a huge difference it’s hard to believe:

Just amazing.

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The Star Wars Tipping Point →

January 23, 2015 |

Today’s xkcd:

On May 13th, The Phantom Menace will have come out closer to Return of the Jedi than to the present.

Not cool, xkcd. Not cool.

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Thoughts on becoming an adventurer →

January 22, 2015 |

Speaking of finding your thing, Alastair Humphreys wrote a great article on how he managed to turn his passion for adventure into an actual job. This is great advice for anyone trying to make a living doing what they love. If you’re considering something like this, you will probably recognize much of yourself in these points:

  • I love almost every aspect of what I do.
  • I love being self- employed: the freedom and the responsibility and the pressure.
  • I think I’m probably now un-employable.
  • I love being creative.
  • I appreciate that building a profile helps generate exciting opportunities. (And I have come to accept -though not enjoy- the weird world of relentless self-promotion that being a career adventurer requires. I remain uncomfortable with people praising me more than I deserve, and I continue to get very angry and upset with the inevitable haters that your self-promotion will attract.)

Via Kottke, who adds a couple insightful comments you should definitely check out.

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Matt Gemmell on work →

January 22, 2015 |

The word “work”, as we commonly use it, often carries incredibly negative connotations. When your work doesn’t inspire you, it’s hard to find the silver lining — particularly on a Monday morning. But does it have to be that way? Matt invites us to look for the thing that doesn’t feel like work to us:

When you’re doing that thing, you can’t wait to get to work. Evenings are continuations. Weekends are more opportunities to fashion great works. Holidays are a change of scenery, without the final day being tinged with sadness and dread, before you return to your life’s work.

Compensation is a welcome bonus, for something you’d be doing regardless. Retirement is unthinkable - why would I ever stop?

Nailed it. There’s a great sense of relief in knowing you’re doing exactly what you’re supposed to be doing. The thing that fits, as Matt wrote. It’s intoxicating. Analog Senses is that thing for me, and now I can’t believe it took me so long to figure it out.

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The World of Indie App Developers →

January 22, 2015 |

Graham Spencer, MacStories:

I wasn’t sure exactly where it would lead, but last month I asked on Twitter for independent developers to @ reply me and say hi. Amplified by retweets by Federico and many others, I got dozens and dozens of replies, ultimately totalling just under 200 responses. That’s both a pretty huge number (trust me, it was a time consuming process documenting them all) and also incredibly tiny (there are around 250,000 active developers and over a million apps for sale).

What a great idea. If you want to help support indie app development — and you totally should — remember to check this list the next time you’re in the market for a new app.

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Books Covers of Note January 2015 →

January 22, 2015 |

Some really wonderful cover designs on this month’s selections by The Casual Optimist. I love the ones that are apparently simpler. “Simple” here is of course a terribly misleading word to use, because minimalism in design is hard: it often takes a lot more work to make a simple design that looks good instead of a more complicated one.

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Microsoft announces HoloLens →

January 22, 2015 |

Vlad Savov, The Verge:

Microsoft has just revealed its next great innovation: Windows Holographic. It’s an augmented reality experience that employs a headset, much like all the VR goggles that are currently rising in popularity, but Microsoft’s solution adds holograms to the world around you. The HoloLens headset is described as “the most advanced holographic computer the world has ever seen”. It’s a self-contained computer, including a CPU, a GPU, and a dedicated holographic processor. The dark visor up front contains a see-through display, there’s spatial sound so you can “hear” holograms behind you, and HoloLens also integrates a set of motion and environmental sensors.

Ambitious, to say the least. I confess I’m impressed, although there are still far too many unanswered questions, and it’s early to predict how well this will work in the real world. That said, the potential is definitely there.

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What it’s like to work for Fujifilm →

January 21, 2015 |

Photographer Leigh Diprose tells the story of how he came to work for Fujifilm Australia, and what that’s actually like:

Over the last year I’m finding a slight shift in who’s using Fujifilm products. These days X-Series cameras are being used by people who have never touched a camera before due to recommendations from current or previous owners. I’m also seeing and hearing of many photographers worldwide ‘jumping ship’ from the brands they’ve loved. The main reason I hear this is due to the lack of support from the brand. I find it’s a sad state of affairs when some companies don’t listen to their end users.

It’s a nice story, if a bit too close to PR-speak for my taste. Still, what he said is mostly true: out of all mirrorless systems out there, the Fuji X-series is the one that’s seriously challenging my love for Micro Four Thirds. Fuji does so many things well, and their design philosophy — dedicated manual controls on the bodies and top-notch lenses with manual aperture rings — just feels so right.

I’m still a happy MFT camper for the most part, but I admit it wouldn’t take much to win me over to the Fuji side.

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Why diners are more important than ever →

January 21, 2015 |

Ed Levine writes a love letter to the American diner:

I’ve had an egg- and toast-loaded three months of eavesdropping while eating my way through New York’s diners, as many as I could without getting divorced, and have come to the inescapable conclusion that they are as essential to our way of life, our democracy, and our sense of community, as any other American institution we have right now.

One of my favorite memories from my second visit to NYC was eating breakfast with my brother at 3:30 am — on a Tuesday — in a greasy, lively, absolutely perfect diner in Chelsea. There’s nothing quite like that to replenish your body and soul after a really long day out and about in the greatest city in the world.

Now that I can hold my own with a decent camera, I totally have to go back.

Via Kottke.

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A fussy way to make coffee →

January 21, 2015 |

Speaking of AeroPress, Chase Gallagher’s review covers all the basics, including this wonderful Sandwich video:

Charming, as ever. Here’s how Gallagher describes the process of using the AeroPress:

Enter… the Aeropress. First, it’s the basic principle of the press pot. But they ad a syringe-style plunger (which creates serious air pressure) and the cleanliness of a paper filter. You measure out your grounds, add hot water, steep, press. That’s it. Clean up? Unscrew the filter assembly and plunge further and your grounds and filter go into the garbage (which automatically wipes clean the cylinder). A quick rinse and you’re set for a nice, gentle air dry.

I’ve known about the AeroPress for a while now but honestly, I never felt enough interest to try it. Sure, I appreciate the simplicity, but my home espresso machine works perfectly and I’m just too set in my ways when it comes to making coffee. That said, the other day I walked into my local coffee shop to buy some freshly roasted beans and sure enough, the AeroPress was there, in all its plastic exuberance. I’m usually not one to believe in signs from the Universe, but I may have to give it a try, after all.

I’ll keep you posted.

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