—from “Adios, Motherfucker” by Michael Ruffino
—from “Adios, Motherfucker” by Michael Ruffino
The other night a friend told me iGavel Auctions is auctioning off Property from the Collection of Anthony Bourdain. It started on October 9th and runs through October 30th.
From the website:
This auction showcases nearly 200 lots that Anthony Bourdain personally acquired during his life and it includes some of his most valued possessions: artwork, books, home and decorative furnishings, knives, wrist watches, apparel and more. A significant portion of the proceeds will benefit the Anthony Bourdain Legacy Scholarship at his alma mater, The Culinary Institute of America. The scholarship was established –in the spirit of Bourdain himself–to support CIA students pursuing a semester abroad or taking part in one of the college’s global cuisines and cultures international programs. The remaining proceeds will go to the estate of Anthony Bourdain. The sale is divided into categories that reflect Bourdain’s multifarious interests: film, art, cooking, travel, writing and his endless observations of world culture.
It feels a bit weird looking though all of Tony’s stuff, like I’m snooping around his home, but that’s also what makes it so interesting. He was a creative, globe-trotting, cultural sponge so it’s no surprise he surrounded himself with interesting cultural artifacts.
Here’s a few things that caught my eye.
John Gruber on shithead’s kleptocracy:
We’ve now reached the point where Trump’s kleptocracy is just out in the open. Any true believer in democratic norms would agree that the same ethical standards — not to mention laws — apply equally to everyone, regardless of their party. Democrats still believe this; there’s no way Democrats would stand for a president from their own party who used the office to line their own pockets. Nor would they stand for a president who used foreign policy as a cudgel to persuade other countries to open investigations into the president’s political rivals here in the U.S. Republicans’ continuing support for Trump is a rejection of democracy and the rule of law. It really is that simple.
Serious question: Shouldn’t the other G-7 nations refuse to attend? Attending — and spending their nation’s money at a Trump resort — will make them complicit in Trump’s kleptocracy. This is as much a violation of ethical norms — and the Constitution’s emoluments clause — as it would be if the summit were held at a neutral location but the other world leaders were expected to hand Trump envelopes stuffed with cash. Even if Trump were willing to foot the bill for the entire summit out of his own pocket — which, let’s face it, is not his style — it would still be grossly inappropriate and illegal on the grounds of the event’s significant promotional value alone.
We’re way past ‘three strikes and you’re out’.
Last week Vice posted an article on Rob Ford’s newly published book, Web Design: The Evolution of the Digital World 1990-Today.
The 640-page book, full of pictures of interactive websites from prior eras, benefits from taking a wide view of the visual culture of the past: Starting at the embryonic stages of the World Wide Web, it follows the art of web design through periods of extreme experimentation on the way to the convention-driven scaffolding we have today. The book makes a compelling case through its general structure that the sweet spot of creative web design came during the late 1990s through the mid-2000s—periods in which major brands were willing to invest a whole lot of money in a website intended for show, not just tell.
Ford’s main perspective is that Flash is responsible for the Internet’s most creative era.
I started my career as a designer in the “sweet spot” Ford highlights in his book, so I am both biased and knowledgeable about the breakthroughs in web/interactive design of the period. I remember Joshua Davis and his website Praystation, where he posted his digital art experiments in Flash on an almost daily basis. Davis also provided his pre-compiled source files for anyone to take and run with. There was also Eric Natzke, James Paterson (Presstube), Robert Hodgin (flight 404) and dozens of other digital artists and experimentors pushing the envelope with what was possible with Flash on the Web.
Then there were all the nascent digital agencies blazing a trail in web design like Huge, Big Spaceship, grupoW, hi-res, RG/A, Kioken, group94, and Firstborn to name a few.
It was also during this period that I was a contributing editor to one of the larger web design portals, Moluv (it’s actually still up). As a young designer I’d sift through hundreds of website submissions every day to find just a small handful that were actually great — great interactivity, great typography, great animation, and great content.
Parallax scrolling, custom typefaces, scripted motion, dynamic masking, video backgrounds, interactive 3-D objects — these all began life on the Web as Flash websites.
There are also interesting comments on this Vice article over at Slashdot.org. Many of the comments are negative, shitting on Flash as a buggy plug-in, plagued by endless security holes. While the security concerns around Flash are very real (Adobe will stop distributing and updating Flash in 2020), this discounts all creative work created in Flash.
Flash’s greatest contribution to the world of digital design is it lowered the barrier to entry for creating experimental, immersive, digital experiences. Designers and artists were no longer stuck with static HTML and images. They could now express themselves though motion, sound, and interactivity. If he or she was unable to figure out how to achieve a particular effect, they could go one of the many vibrant forums and find the answer – and source files – from someone else.
Charlie, a civilian contractor, at first seems to be a throwaway character existing purely to provide exposition about Maverick’s dangerous flying habits. But there could be more to her. During a sweaty encounter with Maverick in an elevator, she clarifies: “I don’t normally invite students to my house.” He responds, “I’m glad we got that straight.” Straight. Curious choice of language.
McSweeney’s nails it again.
Taking a step back to look at the big picture, Apple is not being targeted by either the U.S. or China. If anything, Apple is being boosted by the U.S. with tariff exemptions and delays.
The tariffs that were set to be placed on Apple’s product line on September 1st have been delayed until December 15th. Looking through the list of products that benefit from the delay (iPhone, MacBook, iPad, iPod Touch, Apple TV), the decision to delay could have very well be renamed the iPhone exemption. It would seem that Tim Cook had a direct role in delaying the tariffs as he apparently talked to Trump about the latest round of tariffs.
Cook made the bet to engage with the current U.S. administration (he has explained his decision numerous times over the years) and it would appear that his bet has contributed to Apple successfully navigating the current environment with just some minor cuts and scrapes here and there.
It is certainly possible that the 15% tariffs will be applied to Apple’s entire product line once December 15th rolls around. However, at this point, it’s probably just as likely that certain exemptions will be granted to Apple as we approach December.
To be human is to make shit up as we go along. Tariffs are tariffs until they aren’t tariffs.
Nothing we make is concrete. Ever.
This looks very interesting and appealing in all the ways Microsoft’s recently announced, dual-screen, not-meant-for-your-pocket Surface Duo isn’t.
The questions are: A) Will it launch? and B) Will it gain traction?
As much as I shit on the Essential Phone, I’m honestly interested to see how baked Project Gem is.
The updated Samsung Galaxy Fold is finally making its way into the world after a months-long delay by Samsung to shore up its hardware when it became apparent from review units (including The Verge’s) that the foldable phone was too fragile. Unfortunately, it seems that the “fixed” version of the Fold is still extremely fragile. And based on a new video Samsung released begging owners to treat their new phones with a “special level of care,” Samsung knows it. A new durability test from popular YouTube channel JerryRigEverything proves it.
You just won’t let it go, will you, Samsung?
Admit it, you have derailed.