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July 4, 2019

Apollo Mission Control — Act 2

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Long story short: NASA has restored its Apollo-era Mission Control to the way it looked 50 years ago (above and below) when two men first landed on the moon.

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Below,

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views

Now 2019

of the restored landmark.

More from NASA (including a podcast about the project), Cleveland.com, the New York Times, and CBS News.

July 4, 2019 at 04:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

The Garden of Proserpine — Algernon Charles Swinburne

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July 4, 2019 at 02:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wind Turbines in the U.S.

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There's a reason they call it Tornado Alley.

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[via the  U.S. Geological Survey]

July 4, 2019 at 12:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

On the location of the much-criticized Magic Mouse 2 Lightning port

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As soon as it came out in 2015, knee-jerk reaction critics — including me — decried the apparent stupidity of the new mouse's charging port underneath the device.

It renders the mouse unusable while charging, whereas placement of the port on any other surface

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would allow use while charging.

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Last night I had my Crack Research Team®© revisit the subject, what with Jony Ive — who mos def signed off on the port's placement — leaving the company and all.

Buried deep amidst the voluminous Sturm und Drang on the subject was the observation that if the charging port had been placed at the back, more likely than not many people would use it that way as the default, in other words as a wired mouse, so that the issue of having to charge it never came up.

Esthetically, this would be a disaster to the purist — aka Ive — as the mouse itself is a beautiful piece of kit both visually and functionally.

A trailing wire/tail puts paid to that.

Related: one commenter noted that people are oftimes surprised to learn that their Magic Keyboard is wireless: many plugged it in upon receipt and have never unplugged it.

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Today, with my Magic Mouse 2 resting quietly and elegantly atop my mousepad, I stand with Ive: "Qu'ils mangent de la brioche."

July 4, 2019 at 10:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Virgil Abloh x Vitra Brick

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From the Guardian:

On an early summer's evening on the outskirts of Basel — a city almost certainly in Switzerland, but sometimes in France and occasionally Germany — hundreds of well-heeled men and women stand in line, giddily, champagne flutes in hand, waiting to buy a £140 ($177) brick.

It is, naturally, no ordinary brick.

It's flag-down-a-passing-aircraft orange, and prominently branded in an edition of just 999.

But, crucially, the brick — or "ceramic block" as its parents have christened it — has been designed by Virgil Abloh, a 38-year-old from Chicago, in conjunction with the timeless Swiss furniture company Vitra.

Right now, Abloh is an alchemist: anything he touches in the worlds of fashion and design turns to gold (or often orange).

The people jostling in this queue know that they could buy a brick and own a cherished piece of design history — or walk out and resell it immediately for at least double what they paid.

And yet, it really does look like a brick.

Abloh, whose day job is artistic director of menswear at Louis Vuitton, makes no wild claims for its utility.

"It is sort of reminiscent of a cinder block, which is obviously a building unit to build structures such as we're in," he says, at the launch at Vitra's headquarters.

"But we decided to make that a ceramic household accessory. It gets adapted to your living space as an object itself, or it can be a paperweight, or it can hold objects within it."

The brick is, in many ways, a perfect leitmotif for Abloh's game-changing and divisive career to date.

For those who are unconvinced by him, his main talents are in orchestrating hype and self-promotion.

One of his often-quoted maxims is that you only need to change a design by 3% to make it fresh and original, and he made his name originally by applying this logic to graphic T-shirts, hoodies and sneakers.

In GQ, the author Michael Chabon described Abloh as "one-third hip-hop, one-third hustle, one-third [Malcolm] McLarenesque inside joke."

The bricks dropped in Basel (see what I did there?) on June 14, and in the ensuing three weeks their price on StockX has ranged from $342 to $275,

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so the Guardian's speculation was pretty much spot on.

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You can too!

July 4, 2019 at 08:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)

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