May 27, 2016

Written by

Chris Gonzales


Cole Hutson

Welcome to this week’s edition of our Friday Quality Linkage column. Please enjoy this week’s collection of interesting and entertaining links. Brew a fresh cup of coffee, find a comfortable place, and relax.

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How Highways Wrecked American Cities »

Joseph Stromberg, Vox:

The 48,000 miles of interstate highway that would be paved across the country during the 1950s, ’60s, and ’70s were a godsend for many rural communities. But those highways also gutted many cities, with whole neighborhoods torn down or isolated by huge interchanges and wide ribbons of asphalt. Wealthier residents fled to the suburbs, using the highways to commute back in by car. That drained the cities’ tax bases and hastened their decline.

So why did cities help build the expressways that would so profoundly decimate them? The answer involves a mix of self-interested industry groups, design choices made by people far away, a lack of municipal foresight, and outright institutional racism.

Via Jason Kottke, who adds:

Here’s some homework: think about Uber/Lyft and the coming self-driving cars (Tesla, Apple, Google, Ford, etc.) in the context of the highways’ effect on the American city. Who benefits most from these services? (The wealthy? Huge companies?) How will they affect the funding and use of public transportation? What will happen to cities? To urban sprawl? To the economically disadvantaged?

Illustration: Molly Crabapple

Illustration: Molly Crabapple

Molly Crabapple’s 15 Rules for Creative Success in the Internet Age »

Back in 2014, Molly Crabapple shared lessons she learned about creativity and business in her years as an independent artist:

My success would not have been possible without the internet. I’ve used every platform, from Craigslist and Suicide Girls to Livejournal, Myspace, Kickstarter, Tumblr and Twitter. I’m both sick of social media and addicted to it. What nourishes you destroys you, and all that. The internet is getting increasingly corporate and centralized, and I don’t know that the future isn’t just going back to big money platforms. I hope its not.

Here’s what I’ve learned.

I can’t pick just one of her tips to quote here, they’re all good. (Just know there’s some NSFW language in her post.)

The Craft of Collaboration »

It’s no secret we’re fans of Jeff Sheldon’s work at Ugmonk, including his leather goods. In the video above, he offers an inside look at how his leather mousepads and wallets are handcrafted at Black Anchor in Tacoma, WA.

The beauty of collaboration is that when we play to each other’s strengths we’re able to bring great products to life that otherwise would have never been made.


Photographs So Bad They’re Good »

Paul Sorene of Flashbak shares a great collection of “bad” photos. Just goes to show that in photography, even mistakes can turn out alright if you’re lucky.

Don’t Get Screwed Buying a Used Car »

Lots of good information packed into such a short video. Don’t buy a used car without watching this first.

How Bugs Bunny and ‘Kill the Wabbit’ Inspired a Generation of Opera Stars »

Remember that classic “What’s Opera, Doc?” cartoon with Bugs Bunny and Elmer Fudd? Michael M. Phillips of The Wall Street Journal shares the story of how it actually inspired opera singers of today:

“I could sing you the entire cartoon before I knew what opera really was,” says [mezzo-soprano Elizabeth Bishop], who performs the part of Fricka, wife of Wotan, king of the gods [in the Washington National Opera’s production of Richard Wagner’s Ring Cycle].


It’s just one of those cases of art imitating art imitating art. Generations of people in the opera world grew up spending Saturday mornings eating breakfast cereal and watching Bugs Bunny on TV sets tuned with rabbit ears. For many, “What’s Opera, Doc?” was their first glimpse of opera and Wagner. Even if it didn’t exactly inspire their careers, it planted an ear worm that made the music recognizable once they heard the real thing.

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Got any suggestions for articles, videos, stories, photographs, and any other links you think we should be posting in our weekly Quality Linkage? Please do let us know on Twitter.