§ It is mayfly season along Lake Erie. Be mindful when opening your mouth outdoors lest you might inadvertently ingest on aquatic insect or two.

§ Wes Anderson’s new short films are—as with his other work—inspiring to me in a way unmatched by most other media. There is a specific daring and playful quality to them that I find deeply motivating. It is almost as if he has either never seen another movie or perhaps he has seen all the movies but doesn’t feel beholden to any of them.

§ I’ve been trying to make drawing an everyday practice. It is, at least, an activity that occupies my hands without involving any technology. More than that, though, I’ve noticed that it helps me generate ideas more reliably than any other activity. The act of simply drawing shapes, connecting lines, and allowing my mind to free-associate has been more productive than I would have ever guessed.

§ I visited our local nature reserve for the first time since April. April! Unsurprisingly, I couldn’t find the grape vines I had stashed back then.

§ I managed to get access to Puzzmo, a new platform for puzzle games by Zach Gage of Really Bad Chess fame. It is such an unabashed celebration of play. It is shaping up to be my favorite internet discovery of the year.

§ An unabridged list of books I’ve started—but not finished—so far this year:

  • The Dawn of Everything
  • Strong Towns
  • The Precipice
  • What We Owe the Future
  • Human Compatible
  • Exhalation
  • The Secret of Our Success
  • Red Plenty
  • Unflattening
  • Chokepoint Capitalism
  • The New House

That said, I’ve started reading Brian Merchant’s Blood in the Machine, a history of the Luddite movement. The writing is strong enough to take a subject I was slightly interested in and make it gripping.

§ Next Friday is the public opening of a huge interactive engineering exhibit at work. Over the past three months I, working with a team of two others, transformed a dim grey 10,000 square foot exhibit hall into a colorful celebration of architecture, construction, creativity—building.

Together we designed and built a dozen unique activity tables, nine enormous Lego block inspired pedestals, a six foot long LED-backed building surface, a robotics interactive field, a time-challenge game, and a giant car racing ramp alongside countless smaller elements.

The star of the show is a 50 square foot timber frame house structure with modular wall panels so that the public can “build a house together.”

The past few months have been a whirlwind and I’m sure this next week will be even crazier as we push to complete all of the finishing touches. I can’t wait.

§ Links

  • David Pierce interviewed Corey Doctorow, Manton Reece, and Matt Mullenweg about POSSE/PESOS for Monday’s Vergecast episode. Need I say more?
  • Hannah Diamond’s new album Perfect Picture is what you would get if E•MO•TION was written and performed by a cyborg. Highly recommended.
  • Brick and mortar SEO – a New Yorker decided to name their new restaurant “Thai Food Near Me.” Was it a smart idea?
  • Mini-FM - “I’m never going to be bored-browsing Netflix and get a faint glimmer of someone’s home-broadcast TV show wedged between menu items, there to view if I can tune in exactly right. My iPhone might be the means of production, in the right hands, but I’ll never own the means of distribution.”