Written by

Chris Gonzales



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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One Day at Panda Express »

Eater sent a team of reporters to spend an entire day recording the happenings at a Panda Express in Los Angeles. If you’ve ever worked in a restaurant, there’s nothing in this article you haven’t witnessed or heard for yourself.

What I found awesome is that they really turned this piece into a full-on production, with quality video footage, mini-interviews with staff and customers, and a running tab of the restaurant’s earnings for the day that updates as you scroll.

My two favorite bits are this:

Later, on his way out, [customer] Rex asks an Eater reporter if anyone from corporate is in the restaurant now. The answer is no, but he asks if the reporter will pass along the message that the quality of the orange chicken at the Pasadena location has really gone downhill.

And this:

Xi spent 21 years cooking in China, in Yangzhou and considers what he cooks at Panda to be “American” food (or mei guo zai in Mandarin). The CEO of Panda Express visited his restaurant in Yangzhou, and recruited him to come to America.

Since then, he’s helped open 30 Panda Expresses around the world, has worked at about 100 of them total, and most fondly remembers his time at a Panda Express in Korea. He doesn’t modify official Panda recipes without an okay from the corporate chefs, but makes a killer Lion’s Head meatball soup that’s served only to the staff. Xi says attempts have been made to poach him to cook at other restaurants about 7 or 8 times.

Anyone else suddenly craving Chinese?

Apple’s Jony Ive: Machines can Build Beautiful Things »

In a recent interview by Christina Warren of Mashable:

[Jony] Ive made an interesting observation about form and function. “What I’ve noticed is if something works but emotionally you don’t feel a connection — it’s ugly — you’ll use it, but you’ll use it begrudgingly and you’ll change at the first opportunity and you’ll build no relationship with the brand or the people behind it. And so you really have to be successful in both.”

“We make tools not necessarily to be bought by corporations, but generally we make things for people and the individual. And they become very personal,” Ive said. “We make tools that enable important things to be made.”

The Problem with App Store Reviews »

Speaking of Apple, Dan Counsell of Realmac Software — makers of the excellent Clear app for iOS — says it’s time for Apple to provide a way for app developers to communicate with customers who leave reviews:

I don’t blame customers for leaving bug reports or feature requests in App Store reviews. From a customer perspective leaving an app review for the developer is probably the easiest option for them. I don’t think customers realise that as developers we have no way to respond or reach out to them. I can’t reply to their review, I can’t email them. I have have no idea who they are.


I’m under no illusion that this is simple to add. I know it would be a massive undertaking for Apple to implement, but it needs to be done. The App Store has been around for seven years, it’s time it matured a little. Developers and customers have waited long enough.

Couldn’t agree more. Even as a non-developer myself, I’ve often wished I could respond to fellow App Store reviewers when they are misinformed or need help with something.

How to Sound Design Your Life »

“The Foley Artist” is a 2015 award-winning short film about how a master Foley artist would sound design a day in ordinary life. Clever and cute, although I should warn that the beginning is almost NSFW.

Photo: Joe Keeley

Photo: Joe Keeley

Working Far from Home »

Joe Keeley, a developer at MartianCraft — where our friend Ben Brooks also works — wrote about his recent experiment with remote working while touring Taiwan, Vietnam, Cambodia, Malaysia, Indonesia, and Singapore with his family:

The only place we visited where connectivity was really difficult was the spectacular Mulu National Park in Borneo. The mobile phone service there didn’t have a workable data connection, and the only wifi available in the park was over a slow satellite connection, so I could only get email to work. It was a good opportunity to really set work aside and fully enjoy the natural beauty of the park. Some places just shouldn’t have good internet connections.

James Doran Webb’s Stunning Driftwood Animal Sculptures »

Sara Barnes, My Modern Met:

In a scale that’s larger than life, rabbits, horses, and birds appear to be in mid hop, gallop, and flap. Webb’s work with the highly-textured wood is methodical, and he fuses many small pieces to mimic large swaths of hair or fur. He produces the energetic lines that keep our eyes moving and evoke a dramatic feel—with just a glance, we understand the incredible power of these animals.

To craft his gorgeous artwork, Webb collects driftwood of varying sizes that form along the shorelines and riverbeds of the Philippines. The wood is from a number of indigenous hearty species, which were all dense enough to withstand many years of extreme tropical climate and intense frosts.

Incredible sculptures. Would love to see these in person.

Side note: Webb has made a coffee table book about the sculptures available for preorder.

Write Like You Talk »

Paul Graham tells writers to write like a human:

It seems to be hard for most people to write in spoken language. So perhaps the best solution is to write your first draft the way you usually would, then afterward look at each sentence and ask “Is this the way I’d say this if I were talking to a friend?” If it isn’t, imagine what you would say, and use that instead. After a while this filter will start to operate as you write. When you write something you wouldn’t say, you’ll hear the clank as it hits the page.

I’m definitely guilty of writing more fancifully than I speak. In fact I don’t know if I’ve ever uttered the word “fanciful” aloud. To be honest though, sometimes that’s the fun part of writing for me.

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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.