One of the early wave of blogging pioneers, web designer Jason Kottke started keeping track of interesting things on the internet as far back as 1998. Kottke remains one of the purest old-skool bloggers on the block - it's a selection of links to websites and articles rather than a repository for detailed personal opinion - and although it remains fairly esoteric, his favourite topics include film, science, graphic design and sport.


  • Now
    Cache rules everything around me
    on Kottke on Jan. 21, 2015, 6:15 p.m.

    Paul Ford writes about how Greg Knauss scaled Paper's web site after they broke the internet with nude photos of Kim Kardashian.

    Via email, Jacobs told Knauss that PAPER believed "they've got something that they think will generate at least 100 million page views, and will their current infrastructure support that?"

    "This sort of cold thrill goes down my spine," Knauss said, "and the only thought that makes it out of my brain is, 'Eep.'"

    He continued: "I ...

    Climbing the Dawn Wall
    on Kottke on Jan. 21, 2015, 4:52 p.m.

    Last week, Tommy Caldwell and Kevin Jorgeson completed the first free ascent of The Dawn Wall on Yosemite's El Capitan. It's been called the most difficult climb ever completed. The NY Times has some good coverage of the climb, including an interactive feature/map of the wall and a 3.4 gigapixel zoomable photograph of the climb in progress. Here's a 3-minute video of Caldwell navigating Pitch 15, one of the most difficult sections of the climb ...

    Crazy whirlpool traffic interchange in Dubai
    on Kottke on Jan. 21, 2015, 4:12 p.m.

    From the Daily Overview, a photo of the whirlpool exchange that connects three major roads together in Dubai (map).

    Whirlpool Interchange

    Worth viewing larger...that's a 12-lane highway running through the center of this monster. (thx, bill)

    Tags: Dubai   photography   traffic

    Downtown is for People
    on Kottke on Jan. 20, 2015, 10:13 p.m.

    In 1958, Fortune magazine published the first major essay by Jane Jacobs that laid out her case against modernist urban developers. Downtown is for People was the catalyst for the publication of Jacobs' seminal The Death and Life of Great American Cities three years later.

    You've got to get out and walk. Walk, and you will see that many of the assumptions on which the projects depend are visibly wrong. You will see, for example; that a worthy and ...

    A fun run down the mountain
    on Kottke on Jan. 20, 2015, 8:38 p.m.

    People ask me why I ski1. A: Because sometimes it's as insanely fun as this guy makes it look.

    He. Skis. THROUGH THE MOUNTAIN. Also, if you can, pause it right after he jumps off the lift platform...the kid on the lift with his dad is like ( ゚o゚).

    1. No one has ever asked me this. No one ever asks people questions like this. "People ask me..." is a phrase writers use to create a sense of an ...

    The return of the remaindered links (sort of)
    on Kottke on Jan. 20, 2015, 7:10 p.m.

    I've started posting more links to the @kottke Twitter account and including them on the front page of the site (pinned to the second post on the page). Read on for an explanation of why and where this is (maybe) going.

    More than 12 years ago, before kottke.org became my full-time job, I made 2-3 posts per day. Maaaybe up to 5 on a good day. For whatever reason, in December of 2002 I started posting a bunch ...

    [Sponsor] Flip Band: a super simple wristband to help you develop positive daily habits
    on Kottke on Jan. 20, 2015, 5:22 p.m.

    The idea behind the Flip Band is simple. It's a double-sided wristband you wear every day that reminds you to do just one thing, something important that you want to turn into a daily habit: call your folks, go for a run, do your homework, or brush your teeth. When you accomplish the task for that day, you simply flip over the band to the "feel good" green side. Mission accomplished! From the Kickstarter page:

    Most people fail because ...

    How to browse to google.com
    on Kottke on Jan. 20, 2015, 3:31 p.m.

    This article attempts to explain, in great detail, what happens when you type 'google.com' into your browser and press enter.

    To pick a zero point, let's choose the enter key on the keyboard hitting the bottom of its range. At this point, an electrical circuit specific to the enter key is closed (either directly or capacitively). This allows a small amount of current to flow into the logic circuitry of the keyboard, which scans the state of each ...

    The ramen-flavored omelette
    on Kottke on Jan. 20, 2015, 2:13 p.m.

    Lucky Peach, the publishing arm of the Momofuku restaurant group, recently launched their new web site with a bunch of online content. Among their offerings is a series of videos featuring David Chang making various foods, including this omelette flavored with an instant ramen seasoning packet:

    See also Chang making tonkotsu broth and gnocchi from instant ramen noodles.

    Tags: David Chang   food   Momofuku   video

    2014 is the hottest year on record
    on Kottke on Jan. 16, 2015, 10:27 p.m.

    On the off chance you get this before it spontaneously combusts, you should probably know that Earth just experienced its hottest year on record (again). You can blame humans, you blame nature, you can blame Mister Heat Miser. But for most scientists, there is a towering body of evidence to explain this inferno, and the debate over what's causing the warm-up has already been decided (which is good, because the venue where the debate was being held just melted ...

    How to take better care of your teeth
    on Kottke on Jan. 16, 2015, 8:25 p.m.

    Molly Beauchemin is a dental health enthusiast. She talked to several dentists about what the current best practices are for keeping your teeth and gums as healthy as possible: The Truth About Your Smile.

    Most people have heard a common criticism of hand sanitizer: using it too often makes you more vulnerable to sickness because it kills off even the beneficial germs that fight viruses like the cold and flu. The same is true for the bacteria in your mouth ...

    This is Water, David Foster Wallace
    on Kottke on Jan. 16, 2015, 6:25 p.m.

    This an excerpt of the excellent commencement speech David Foster Wallace gave at Kenyon College in 2005, set to video.

    I've either heard or read this speech at least 8 or 9 times, and I still got sucked in to watching the entire video.

    You can read the whole speech online and in book form or watch it on YouTube. (via kung fu grippe)

    Tags: David Foster Wallace

    Hermione Granger and the Goddamn Patriarchy
    on Kottke on Jan. 16, 2015, 4:50 p.m.

    Along with imagining Mary Poppins as one of Doctor Who's Time Lords, one of my favorite literary alternate realities is imagining Hermione Granger as the main character of the Harry Potter books. In 2011, Sady Doyle wrote a review of the books as if Rowling had focused on Hermione.

    In Hermione, Joanne Rowling undermines all of the cliches that we have come to expect in our mythic heroes. It's easy to imagine Hermione's origin story as some ...

    A map of physics, circa 1939
    on Kottke on Jan. 16, 2015, 2:48 p.m.

    Map Of Physics 1939

    A map published by Bernard Porter in 1939 depicting physics as a landmass through which several rivers corresponding to the main branches (light, sound, heat, etc.) run and converge into one.

    Tags: maps   physics   science

    The Grand Budapest Hotel, now in book form
    on Kottke on Jan. 15, 2015, 11:46 p.m.

    Grand Budapest Hotel Book

    As an addendum to his 2013 book, The Wes Anderson Collection, Matt Zoller Seitz has written a book on Anderson's latest film, The Grand Budapest Hotel.

    This supplementary, one-volume companion to The Wes Anderson Collection (Abrams 2013) is the only book to take readers behind the scenes of The Grand Budapest Hotel, with in-depth interviews between Anderson and cultural critic and New York Times bestselling author Matt Zoller Seitz. Anderson shares the story behind the film's conception, the ...

    Genetic algorithm walkers
    on Kottke on Jan. 15, 2015, 10:35 p.m.

    Genetic Walker

    This simulator evolves increasingly effective walking creatures through genetic algorithms. After each round, the winners are sent through to the next round and copied by the rest of the competitors, with mutations introduced. At first, the pace of improvement is swift -- two orders of magnitude within 100 generations -- but slows pretty dramatically after that. (via @nickrichter)

    Tags: evolution   genetics   science

    Dr. Strangelove's opening title sequence
    on Kottke on Jan. 15, 2015, 9:35 p.m.

    The Art of the Title covers the opening title sequence to Kubrick's Dr. Strangelove.

    Notably, none of the aerial footage in the opening came from -- or was even made for -- Kubrick's film. The footage is all stock. Because it came from more than one stock reel, the sequence features multiple aircraft, including an angle from a KC-135 Stratotanker's refueling deck, which dates back to October 20, 1956 and came directly from the Boeing company. The sequence shows ...

    A timeline of the abolition of slavery in the Americas
    on Kottke on Jan. 15, 2015, 8:28 p.m.

    Here's a map showing when slavery was abolished in North and South America:

    Slavery Abolition Map

    Surprising, right? Along with Cuba, Brazil, and Puerto Rico, the United States was among the last nations in the Americas to abolish slavery. Americans like to think of ourselves as freedom-loving, progressive, and more "evolved" than other countries, particularly those in the "third world" (what a loaded term that is), but this map shows differently.

    It's tempting to dismiss American attitudes toward slavery as something ...

    The New Yorker's new TV show
    on Kottke on Jan. 15, 2015, 5:59 p.m.

    TV1 is the place to be. Amazon recently signed Woody Allen up to do a show. And today, The New Yorker debuts the first episode of their new show on Amazon: The New Yorker Presents, complete with a Alfred Hitchcock-esque silhouette on the title card to match the riff on the name of Hitch's 50s TV program.

    America's most award-winning magazine comes to life in this new docu-series. Produced by Oscar & Emmy winner Alex Gibney, the pilot ...

    David Ehrlich's top 25 films of 2014
    on Kottke on Jan. 15, 2015, 3:41 p.m.

    David Ehrlich returns with a video montage of his 25 favorite movies of 2014. (Here's his 2013 video.)

    His top 5:

    5. Gone Girl
    4. Nymphomaniac
    3. Under The Skin
    2. Inherent Vice
    1. The Grand Budapest Hotel

    These year-end videos by Ehrlich are incredibly effective trailers for movies. Not just the individual films, but the whole idea of cinema itself. Having just watched this, I want to leave my office, head to the nearest theater and just watch ...

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