Written by

Shawn Blanc

To be honest, we are still figuring out what our Friday column looks like. I hope you’ll join us in the journey.

Last week we published a fantastic original essay from Chris Bowler — On Mindfulness and Quality — about how quality items not only endure, but also endear. And if you also happened to read my article welcoming everyone to the new Tools & Toys, you’ll know that we are aiming to give focus to things such as mindfulness and intentionality. It is these sorts of topics we have in mind for our Friday column.

Today, and hopefully every Friday, we want to share a collection of links to articles, videos, photographs, and stories which have a focus on things such as art, life, simplicity, mindful living, and the like.

Again, we’re still figuring this out, and I hope you don’t mind us doing so in public (honestly, I think its funner that way, anyhow). And so, please enjoy this week’s edition of Quality Linkage.


Beautiful Maps »

Just what it says on the tin: dozens of beautiful maps, some scanned in from old maps, some are newer custom illustrations. On the site are just a couple of quotes, too, such as this one by from Marcel Proust: “Discovery consists not in seeking new lands but in seeing with new eyes.”

Heart Coffee Roasters’ V60 Brew Recipe »

Portland is rich in coffee, and Heart Coffee Roasters is among the best of the best. As anyone who is into slightly-fussy, brew-it-at-home coffee methods will attest, there is a plethora of ways to make an excellent cup. Well, if you’re looking to experiment this weekend, here is Heart Coffee’s official recipe (with a cute accompanying video) for brewing with the V60.

How to Make the Ultimate Grilled Cheese »

A few ingredients and methods to seriously upgrade that wonderbread and american cheese sandwich. Spoiler: it’s pretty much all in the cheeses you use: “Use a base cheese (like cheddar), a super-melty cheese (like fontina or Gruyère), and a flavor kick cheese (like a young Gouda).”

Made to Last »

Nick Wynja writes a website, Hack / Make, which is about creativity, craftsmanship, and working smarter. In a recent article about owning items which are built to last, Nick writes about how there can be much to consider when choosing gear that is made to last.

Part of taking ownership of your belongings is investing your attention in them before you even buy them and taking these factors in to consideration will help you commit to, love, and use that gear for a long time to come.

Active Ownership vs Minimalism »

This is another article from Nick Wynja that was too good to pass up. Nick writes: “Active ownership, which differs from minimalism, is about investing your limited attention, money, space, and time to what you value so that those things will thrive. Being vested in something makes you care more about it.


On the fireline »

Gregg Boydston is a wildland firefighter with the United States Forest Service. He’s been documenting his firefighting work, and was recently featured on VSCO.

Greg writes: “While I am taking photos of what the job is like, I am hoping to show people what the wildland side of firefighting is like. It is significantly different than the municipal side of things, whether it is due to the amount of time you are away from home or the fact you may be sleeping in the dirt for 21 days straight. Many people are unaware of what goes on out there on a wildfire, and that’s what I want to show people.”

Countdown to Zero Day »

The Stuxnet virus made headlines back in 2010 when Iranian centrifuges were failing much faster than normal. Even the technicians observing them couldn’t figure out what was causing it. In Countdown to Zero Day: Stuxnet and the Launch of the World’s First Digital Weapon, Kim Zetter tells the story behind the planning, deployment, and aftermath of the world’s first digital weapon.

The Town without Wi-Fi or Cellular Service »

Khoi Vinh: “Did you know that a 13,000 square mile area crossing West Virginia and Virginia is a congressionally mandated “radio quiet zone” in which wireless technologies like cellular service and wi-fi are forbidden — and that there are people actually living there happily?”

Interesting and fascinating. The above link is to a short video that tells a bit about why the area is radio quiet (hint: it has to do with science) and that introduces you to a few of the area’s citizens and their way of life.

Lagom Magazine »

The inaugural issue of Lagom recently began shipping and it’s excellent. Last week my copy arrived and I quickly read it cover to cover. As a physical object, Lagom is commanding. The book is large and thick, printed on hearty stock with a foil-embossed logo on the cover. Lagom is equal parts entertainment, information, and inspiration. I honestly don’t know what’s better — the content, the design and typography, or the photography.

If you’ve got any suggestions for articles, videos, stories, photographs, and any other links you think we should be posting in our weekly Quality Linkage, please send an email to Shawn Blanc.