July 28, 2017

Written by

Chris Gonzales


Drew Graham

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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Illustration: Alex Castro, The Verge1

Illustration: Alex Castro, The Verge1

How Instagram is Shaping Restaurant Design »

Casey Newton of The Verge shares an interesting phenomenon happening in the world of restaurant design: Instagram-ability:

For years now, Instagram has sat at the center of trends in food and beverages. […] Now some entrepreneurs are taking the idea a step further, designing their physical spaces in the hopes of inspiring the maximum number of photos. They’re commissioning neon signs bearing modestly sly double entendres, painting elaborate murals of tropical wildlife, and embedding floor tiles with branded greetings — all in the hopes that their guests will post them.

If nothing else, the examples used in the article really drive home how unoriginal people can be when snapping photos in these kinds of places.

Optimistic Nihilism »

The latest video from the Kurzgesagt – In a Nutshell YouTube channel speaks to a philosophy I’ve held for years (which does not reflect the views of Tools & Toys): As humans, we are so insignificant to the universe that everything we do almost assuredly does not matter in the grand scheme of things, so you may as well enjoy the gift of life while you have it.

Depending on your view of things, you may come away from this video with either a lot more or a lot less existential dread. I’m curious to know either way, so hit me up on Twitter!

Photo: Ted Cavanaugh, Bon Appétit

Photo: Ted Cavanaugh, Bon Appétit

Bon Appétit Launches Basically, a New Site About Home Cooking »

The new Basically home cooking site by the Bon Appétit food magazine looks promising, and already has a variety of tips, explanations, and simple recipes to get you learning how to cook.

For example, here’s editor Amiel Stanek on why you should save your pasta water:

We’re in the water preservation business over here. Sure, we like protecting our planet and oceans, but really, we’re talking about pasta water. You know, the cloudy, starchy liquid gold that’s left behind after you boil your pasta to a perfect al dente. The stuff that you shouldn’t be pouring down the drain, because pasta water can turn good pasta into the silky, saucy pasta of your dreams.

…and here he explains the difference between baking powder and baking soda:

At the end of the day, here’s what you need to remember. Baking powder and baking soda are different things with the same primary objective—making you baked goods light and fluffy—and they do that in different ways depending on the recipe. They can’t be substituted for one another, and most of the time they work together. Which is another way of saying that, if you’ve ever seen both on an ingredient list and wondered if you really have to go back to the store to pick up another box of the one you ran out of, the answer is, forever and always: yes.

Noritaka Minami’s Photographic Documentation of the Nakagin Capsule Tower »

David Yen of Neocha shares a collection of fascinating photos from photographer Noritaka Minami’s book, 1972 — Nakagin Capsule Tower, about the experimental apartment complex designed with 140 removable capsules:

In post-war Japan, cities victim to firebombings were left in a state of ruin and despair. But in the wake of devastation, some Japanese architects optimistically saw opportunity; they saw a chance to prove the country’s resilience, rebuild their cultural identity, and transform the nation into an improved version of its previous self. During this period of time, the influential architectural movement known as Metabolism was born, revolving around the concepts of organic growth and megastructures. The idea was that buildings didn’t have to be static; instead, they could be ever-changing, adapting and transforming according to different needs. One of the most iconic buildings of the movement—the Nakagin Capsule Tower—can still be found today in Tokyo’s Ginza District.

NSFW for language.

Tank And The Bangas: NPR Music Tiny Desk Concert »

NPR’s “Tiny Desk” concerts are always a treat, but this one is particularly so. Bob Boilen’s description of the group is better than anything I could write, so here:

This band combines R&B with hip-hop’s poetry and rollercoaster storytelling, with a flair and alchemy that could only come from New Orleans. Their winning song, “Quick,” mixes liquor and revenge — a sort of modern day take on a great folk tale, but peppered with their own idiosyncratic flair and humor. What I couldn’t see, until they took over my desk, was the depth of their lyricism and the versatility of their players. At one moment fun-filled funk, the next laid-back jazz, rhythm-driven blues — and it all flows seamlessly. And it’s fun to watch: There’s a magic kinship between Tarriona “Tank” Ball and Anjelika “Jelly” Joseph as they share singing roles, like two best friends finishing one another’s sentences.

+ If you want more weird-but-fun music, check out this performance of “Hocus Pocus” by the band Focus on The Midnight Special in 1973. They absolutely shred, which isn’t normally how I’d describe a song with yodeling and flute playing.

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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.