Written by

Chris Gonzales


Evelyn Paris

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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Offline Only »

UX engineer Chris Bolin made a clever page/blog post that you can only view while offline:

Offline-only content would also force creators to think differently. Look at this page: there is not a single link to distract readers. How many good articles have you left half-read because you chased a shiny underlined link? When you are offline, right here is the only place you can be.

Developing Your Creative Habit »

Our own editor-in-chief Shawn Blanc published a new article on the Focus Course blog about how to develop a creative habit:

The idea of a “creative habit” is a bit sexy these days. It combines two rising tides of creativity and diligence. Which, at first, feels a bit paradoxical, but don’t worry… it’s not.

Since we know that overnight success isn’t actually a thing, we’re becoming more and more comfortable with signing up for the long game. Which is awesome. Until, that is, when you’re hit with two very difficult truths…

Bigman — Asia Beatbox Championship 2017 »

This guy’s entry video for the solo battle wildcard portion of the 2017 Asia Beatbox championship is nuts, at least to a layman like me. The thing he starts doing at the 00:37 mark is unreal.

Photo: Elon Musk

Photo: Elon Musk

Elon Musk Reveals First Photo of the SpaceX Spacesuit »

Elon Musk posted this photo on Instagram a couple days ago, and boy does that spacesuit look sleek. In the caption, he notes:

Worth noting that this actually works (not a mockup). Already tested to double vacuum pressure. Was incredibly hard to balance esthetics and function. Easy to do either separately.

Can’t wait until more news about these suits are released. Looks like something straight out of a sci-fi movie (which is probably the idea).

Over on Reddit, u/TheMightyKutKu offers some context:

Just to be clear: this is a flight suit, it is designed to be worn only inside a space capsule, in case something goes wrong during the ascent/reentry, this is not an EVA suit designed for space walks.

It doesn’t have a thermal regulation system or independant communication or a mobile Life Support System (it is umbilical on flightsuits).

These aren’t useless though, had the crew of Soyuz 11 worn such suits they would have survived.


How Duolingo Invented a New Way to Teach One of the Most Difficult Languages to Learn »

For years I wished that Duolingo — the popular language-learning service/app — would add “Japanese for English speakers” to their list of courses. A few months ago, it looked like my wish would finally come true, and it was brought to my attention that the iOS app (though not the website) had indeed finally unveiled their Japanese course, at least in beta form.

In a blog post published back in May (which I only discovered a day or two ago), Duolingo research scientist and software engineer Masato Hagiwara discusses the unique challenges that have gone into the making of this course, mostly due to the complexity of the Japanese language:

According to the Foreign Language Institute, Japanese is classified as the most difficult language to learn for English speakers, as it requires 2,200 hours of classroom study to reach professional proficiency. Even if you did nothing but study Japanese (and gave up on things like sleeping and eating), it would take 91 days and 16 hours, or about three months, to become proficient! (Disclaimer: we don’t recommend this approach.)

Photo: u/HakuG

Photo: u/HakuG

Building Wooden Word Watches for Friends »

A couple days ago, Reddit user u/HakuG posted an Imgur gallery detailing an incredible DIY project wherein he built wooden word watches for his roommates’ birthdays:

This was my roommate Andrew’s birthday present. As part of my desire to get better at engineering and to show Andrew how much he meant to me, I promised myself that I would build him something cool. I was paralyzed for a while, trying to figure out what to make for my closest friend, and then got this idea and then just ran with it. This wooden word watch was my first embedded programming project, and I learned the majority of how to build it through the help of the lovely teachers at the Harvard Engineering Teaching Labs and Harvard’s How to Make Almost Anything section. I cannot express enough how grateful I am of their willingness to teach me everything I needed to learn about CAD, basic circuitry, design, etc. I would never have been able to do this without them.

Wonder if this guy needs any more roommates…


Neat Stuff We Published This Week

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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.