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.
Puppeteer and stop-motion animator Barnaby Dixon is known for creating whimsically lifelike puppets, like “Manu” and “Dabchick”. More recently, he’s come up with a glowing, dancing bug that looks like something straight out of a Laika movie. It’s incredible how much character he imbues the puppet with; I almost believe it’s real.
In this sprawling blog post (which I found via Jason Kottke), Venkatesh Rao of Ribbonfarm lays out his concept of “premium mediocre”, describing the sort of fake-it-till-you-make-it social theater we’re all familiar with:
Premium mediocre is the finest bottle of wine at Olive Garden. Premium mediocre is cupcakes and froyo. Premium mediocre is “truffle” oil on anything (no actual truffles are harmed in the making of “truffle” oil), and extra-leg-room seats in Economy. Premium mediocre is cruise ships, artisan pizza, Game of Thrones, and The Bellagio.
Premium mediocre is food that Instagrams better than it tastes.
Premium mediocre is Starbucks’ Italian names for drink sizes, and its original pumpkin spice lattes featuring a staggering absence of pumpkin in the preparation. Actually all the coffee at Starbucks is premium mediocre. I like it anyway.
Premium mediocre, premium mediocre, premium mediocre, premium mediocre. Mediocre with just an irrelevant touch of premium, not enough to ruin the delicious essential mediocrity.
Hey, I like cruise ships! But seriously, there’s a lot to digest in this guy’s post. (Lots of Silicon Valley-friendly buzzwords thrown around in there too, which is a little tedious to read after a while but maybe you, dear reader, enjoy that sort of thing more than I do.)
Speaking of cruise ships, here’s an 8-minute 4K timelapse showing AIDA Cruises’ flagship AIDAprima ship being built and christened in Nagasaki, Japan. The sped-up footage weirdly makes the whole thing seem like a fancy bath toy being assembled and moved around.
Thanks to a pair of tweets by journalist Saima Mir a couple weeks ago, I discovered the amazing maps above, which use native embroidery techniques to mark different regions of Pakistan and India, respectively. Jessica Stewart of My Modern Met provided the sources for both maps.
YouTuber and professional doodler Peter Deligdisch (aka “Peter Draws”) took a glass dip pen and used it with invisible ink that’s only visible under a black light, and the result is the chill video above.
Khoi Vinh, writing on his Subtraction.com blog:
It frustrates me how much senseless waste we all generate on a daily basis simply by going about our business. Plastic bags, paper napkins, plastic cutlery, water bottles… it’s unnecessary and, maybe obviously but perhaps not imperatively enough, it’s also incredibly damaging to the planet. I’m just one person and can only do so much, but nevertheless a while back I decided to start carrying these three essential items in my work bag—my attempt at doing a tiny bit to help reduce all this consumption.
The titanium spork he lists is awesome alone.
Neat Stuff We Published This Week
- Video course: Learn Ulysses (learn more over at The Sweet Setup)
- Dystopian sci-fi novel: Red Rising by Pierce Brown
- A bit of a niche tool, but when you need it, you need it: Dewalt Right-Angle Drill Attachment
- Make a small space smell good for hours: Purasense Essential Oil Diffuser
- Attractive, minimalist office/bedside lamp: Tomons DL1005 LED Desk Lamp
- Smart thermostat you won’t notice until you need to: Nest Thermostat E
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.