Welcome to this week’s [evening] 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.
Matt Honan’s “review” of Google’s latest phone for BuzzFeed News is full of dread for humanity’s relationship with technology, and I am here for it:
My neck hurts. I am never not looking down. When I am not looking at my phone, I become slightly anxious. And then, when I do actually look at it, I become even more so. It reminds me of how I once felt about cigarettes. I experience the world with a meticulously crafted, tiny computer slab between me and it. I am an a**hole. But so, maybe, are you?
Look around any city street and there we all are, with our heads down, walking past each other, unaware. I saw you in your car driving with your phone in your hand. I saw you at the playground looking at your phone while your child’s life passed you by. I saw you on your date, alone together.
You just know that any product review that ends with, “What’s happening to us?” is going to be worth reading. Just do it.
On a brighter note, here are some cool puzzle mashups by artist Tim Klein — who was inspired by the even more intricate work of art professor Mel Andringa — wherein he assembles single surrealist images from two or more compatible (and otherwise normal) jigsaw puzzles:
Jigsaw puzzle companies tend to use the same cut patterns for multiple puzzles. This makes the pieces interchangeable, and I sometimes find that I can combine portions from two or more puzzles to make a surreal picture that the publisher never imagined. I take great pleasure in “discovering” such bizarre images lying latent, sometimes for decades, within the pieces of ordinary mass-produced puzzles.
As I shift the pieces back and forth, trying different combinations, I feel like an archaeologist unearthing a hidden artifact.
This would be a super fun way to take the jigsaw puzzle pastime and create a whole secondary hobby out of it.
Twitter user “@turdl33” recently posted a pretty cool video showing off a sweet feature of Tetris Effect for PS4, where the music and sound effects (among other things) evolve alongside your own gameplay. I badly want to play this now.
Evan Puschak’s latest Nerdwriter video examines the sound design of magic spells in the Harry Potter film series. “Explosive whoosh” is a perfect name for the category, he nailed it.
Amanda Mull noticed that it’s taken 15 years for clothing brands to figure out how to sell stretch denim to men. In her article for The Atlantic, she examines why it took so long for the trend to catch on:
To sell these jeans to men, though, brands face a conundrum common in the fashion and personal-care industries: How do you convince guys to buy something they believe is for women? In the case of stretch denim, brands have found success by obfuscating what their product actually is, allowing them to recast stretch pants as a tool of masculinity. Whether it’s GapFlex, Rapid Movement Denim, Wrangler’s Advanced Comfort, or just not mentioning the new fabrication at all, the theory seems to be that what men don’t know about their jeans can’t hurt them. Intentionally or not, these branding decisions have helped change the modern idea of what it means to look like a man.
The whole “performative masculinity” thing is something I eschewed a looong time ago. It would be exhausting having to worry about whether or not the jeans you bought were “feminine” just because they’re a little bit elastic or whatever.
I mean, fashion is one of the most arbitrary things in existence — wear whatever’s comfy or attractive to you! Save the hand-wringing for more important things.
Neat Stuff We Published This Week
- Guide: “Our 2018 Novelty Gift Guide “
- Core and slice an apple quickly and easily: Prepworks Thin Apple Slicer
- Critically acclaimed headphones, now with Bluetooth: Audio-Technica ATH-M50xBT Wireless Over-Ear Headphones
- Protect your table or desk in style: Ugmonk’s New Leather Coaster Sets
- Memo books focused on cryptography and secrecy: Field Notes “Clandestine” Edition
- Kid’s introduction to the inner workings of everyday machines: The Way Things Work Now by David Macaulay
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.