Andrew Womack’s Top Albums of 2014 →

December 31, 2014 |

Andrew Womack:

A cardinal sin of music writing—sandwiched between sloth and envy—is enthusiasm. Either by venturing into superlatives (your critical balance is at stake) or by describing the music: a sure path into a minefield of over-modified prose.

Yet when listening to the music we love, as writers or readers, enthusiasm and description become our primal communication. We are caught up in the moment, taken aloft by the rhythm and melody, so where can we express it? In the only place where reputations are thankfully disposable and honesty reigns brutally supreme: YouTube comments.

YouTube commenters as music critics. This is priceless. Via Coudal.

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Skyscrapers in Busan →

December 31, 2014 |

Alice Yoo, My Modern Met:

Photographers have become enamored with the location. At night when the huge skyscrapers shine their lights, they cast surreal reflections on the surrounding water. Many photographers have created beautiful composites that show crystal clear reflections of its stunning skyline. They give the photos a futuristic feel. Others simply capture the beauty of the night.

I love these images. Via Coudal.

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Steve Huff reviews the new Sony A7 Mk II →

December 31, 2014 |

Fantastically in-depth review, as always:

When you hold this camera you instantly know you have something of great quality here, even more than the $1698 that it costs. It feels like a $2500-$3k body and no matter what anyone tells you, it is SMALLER than ANY DSLR and quite a bit smaller than even the Nikon Df. It’s not quite DSLR sized, and the way I love to shoot it is with small rangefinder lenses. BTW, Manual focus is a breeze (as already hinted) with the large EVF (same EVF from the previous A7 series).

I have long held Steve’s opinion in high esteem, and he seems to love the new A7 Mk II — with just a minor complaint about battery life.

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Breathe life into an old Mac →

December 31, 2014 |

Excellent guest post by Joe Caiati at 512 Pixels:

Depending on the year it was purchased or whether you configured it with top-tier specs, your once-current Mac’s performance may be less than desirable and at this point you could be facing those tough questions.

Luckily, older Macs are more flexible with hardware upgrades and coupled with third-party software, you can unlock features that Apple doesn’t support on older models. Here is how to get the most life out of an aging Mac.

Sometimes it’s not worth it to completely replace an aging Mac. A well-thought upgrade instead can save you quite a bit of money.

If after reading the article you feel like attempting to replace your old iMac’s hard drive with an SSD, I documented the process a few months ago. My advice? Go for it. It’s easier than it looks and makes a huge difference.

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Unexamined Privilege and Facebook’s “Your Year in Review” →

December 31, 2014 |

Jeffrey Zeldman:

But when you put together teams of largely homogenous people of the same class and background, and pay them a lot of money, and when most of those people are under 30, it stands to reason that when someone in the room says, “Let’s do ‘your year in review, and front-load it with visuals,’” most folks in the room will imagine photos of skiing trips, parties, and awards shows—not photos of dead spouses, parents, and children.

Via Ben Brooks.

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5,200 Days in Space →

December 31, 2014 |

Charles Fishman pens a terrific story for The Atlantic, on the intricacies of everyday life aboard the International Space Station, and the biological implications of living in space for extended periods of time:

On the station, the ordinary becomes peculiar. The exercise bike for the American astronauts has no handlebars. It also has no seat. With no gravity, it’s just as easy to pedal furiously, feet strapped in, without either. You can watch a movie while you pedal by floating a laptop anywhere you want. But station residents have to be careful about staying in one place too long. Without gravity to help circulate air, the carbon dioxide you exhale has a tendency to form an invisible cloud around your head. You can end up with what astronauts call a carbon-dioxide headache. (The station is equipped with fans to help with this problem.)

Via Josh Ginter.

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The Rolling Stones’ villa on the Côte d’Azur →

December 27, 2014 |

Messy Nessy:

The Rolling Stones were tax exiles from England and shacked up at Villa Nellcôte, a 16-room mansion of the Belle Epoque that had previously been occupied by the local Gestapo during the Nazi occupation of France in the 1940s. French photographer Dominique Tarlé documented the six month-long “house party” that ensued; a summer of sex, drugs and most certainly, rock and roll…

If you’ve ever wondered how rock stars live, here is your answer. These pictures are solid gold.

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Happy Holidays

December 24, 2014

Dear readers,

It’s that time of the year again. For a few precious days, we get to step away from our glowing screens and look in the eyes of family and friends instead. Please, be sure to make the most of them and don’t worry, the Internet will wait. I promise.

Happy holidays, and thank you for reading. Now go grab those marshmallows.

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