Sad, expectant, happy
Dominic Alves, CC licence http://www.flickr.com/photos/dominicspics/6303773254/
WE DONE A BUDGET! Or, more accurately, Gideon did. Thanks, Gideon. Didn’t we all enjoy all the INTERNETS around it, though, eh? Oh. Well TOUGH, webmongs, because it’s going to be like that EVERY SINGLE DAY on Twitter for about three months as of this time next year – get used to it. May I suggest that someone starts working on the social media plugin to block all the electolols from Twitter, Facebook, etc NOW and trademarks it? You’ll be rich, I tell you.
Anyway, there’s shedloads to get through (as ever) this week and I’ve been writing this for nearly five hours and am TIRED (all offers of brow-soothing gratefully accepted); come with me, then, webmongs, as we gingerly disrobe behind the partition before scampering gamely towards the waiting warm bath of cleansing internets, ready to soothe and delight – don’t, whatever you do, make happy with the gin and razorblades which someone’s seen fit to leave by the side. Soap up and scrub, webmongs, for this is WEB CURIOS.
By Fernanda Uribe
THE SECTION WHICH IS A LITTLE LIGHT THIS WEEK, PERHAPS DUE TO THE FACT THAT THE WORLD OF SO*IAL M*DIA IS STILL REELING IN SHOCK AT THE NEWS THAT MULTI-MILLIONAIRE LILY COLE RECEIVED £200,000 OF FUNDING FROM THE UK GOVERNMENT FROM HER DOOMED-TO-FAILURE ‘IMPOSSIBLE’ WEBSITE – THANKS, GOVERNMENT!:
- Twitter Testing ‘Favourite People’ Feature: Twitter Lists are one of those things which are really useful but a massive pain in the arse to actually use (obviously they’re not THAT much of a pain in the arse, but we live in an age in which anything which is any more complicated than pressing a button is greeted with frenzied eye-rolling and whinging by entitled idiots like me). Apparently Twitter’s testing out a ‘favourite people’ service which allows mobile users to add people to a list simply by ‘starring’ their profile; it also lets people choose to be alerted to when said selected people tweet. Potentially useful for CRISIS-type scenarios and stuff, although frankly it’s more of a cosmetic change than anything else (but really, there’s not much going on here this week so I was sort of clutching at straws really).
- How Twitter Made The ‘State Of The Union’ Interactive Infographicy Thing: You remember that thing Twitter did for the latest ‘State of the Union’ address in the US where they let users see what people were saying on the platform at any point during the POTUS’ address? It lives here, in case not. Anyway, this is a reasonably detailed account of how it was built, which is sort of interesting if you make / are interested in datavis-type stuff.
- Twitter May Remove @s And Hashtags From Tweets: This is just a cosmetic thing really. Not much to see here.
- Twitter Testing One-Tap Video Playback On Mobile: Erm, that. Only really interesting because of the fact that it’s currently being tested for people who are part of Twitter’s ‘Amplify’ ad scheme, which suggests that maybe this might end up being a potential ad format – you know, pay money to have your vids appear more clickable in feeds. Or maybe not – frankly I have no idea and, at this time in the morning, very little interest one way or the other.
- NEW UK STATS ABOUT FACEBOOK AND MOBILE!!!: Here! Have a load of numbers which show that loads of people in the UK use Facebook on their mobiles! To be honest none of this is interesting or surprising, but you can never have too many statistics – right, kids? To which end, here’s some MORE statistics all about how mums in the UK use Facebook (clue: they use it fcukloads, it turns out – whodathunk Facebook’s own data might suggest such a thing?). Have I ever told you how my Summer of 2010 was ruined by working on a Europe-wide NAPPY-RELATED CRISIS for Pampers? It was hideous, and means that even now I have a knowledge of mothering messageboard slang which is slightly disturbing for a childless man in his mid-30s.
- How Many Likes / Shares: This was made by Mat Morrison a few years ago, and is a useful little bookmarklet which lets you see how many likes/shares any individual page on the web has received on Facebook. Quick, dirty, but potentially VALUE-ADDING.
- Android Watches COMING SOON: I have little to no personal interest in the concept of ‘wearables’, but this week’s announcement of Android watches from Google is interesting mainly due to the fact that they’re opening up the software to developers – for brands which like to consider themselves at the forefront of all this digibollocks it might be worth thinking about what sort of hacks you can pull together so as to take advantage of this AMAZING TECH.
- Kenzo Does Gifart: Possibly the final nail in the coffin of the credibility of the Tumblr/gifart-type aesthetic, this website by Kenzo sort of almost gets it but not quite (it’s not quite odd enough, imho). Not sure whether to give them imaginary points for trying or whether I should just throw my hands up in horror at the commercial world’s ceaseless appropriation of all creativity in the world (or just, you know, not really give one either way because frankly it doesn’t matter).
- Playstation ‘First To Greatness’: I rather like this. Part of the seemingly neverending promo for the PS4, this lets users compete to be the first people worldwide to unlock particular in-game achievements and claim ‘immortality’ on this virtual leaderboard; you can explore all the achievements, watch clips of them, etc, on this very slick site – the Lou Reed soundtracking works surprisingly well, and the whole things surprisingly compelling if you’re some sort of gamegeek.
- Jonathan Cape 3-second Mysteries: I really like this – a little game-y site by Jonathan Cape to promote their graphic novels line. Not particularly techy, but I like the way if focuses on the panel-by-panel nature of sequential art.
- CLARKS AS PATRON!: Well, sort of – I’m not sure how much DOOM actually needs Clarks’ money, but this is another ARTISTS dancing to a brand’s tune in exchange for some pennies; this time, resolutely ‘underground’ hiphop star DOOM offering up a remix of his track ‘Bookhead’ using sounds from the machinery of the Clarks factory. Not a bad fit – Wallabies by Clarks are sort of iconic footwear in the SCENE – but it still sort of saddens me a little.
- Brilliant (Again) By Coke: You know that bus stop billboard which featured an artist modifying people’s images live on Photoshop to their SURPRISE AND DELIGHT? Yes you do, it was this one. This is Coke’s take, and in typical Coke fashion they do it SICKENINGLY well. This is so impressive – taking the same concept and just making it bigger and better. Oh, and just so they don’t feel left out, this billboard by Pepsi’s also very good indeed.
- The Themes Of SXSW: So SXSW is over for another year. What have we learned? Personally I learned nothing as I wasn’t there (did I mention that? I think I might have done), but thanks to JWT I can pretend that I was by spouting all these AMAZING INSIGHTS from this year’s beardywankfest. To be honest none of these things should really be anything other than ‘hm, yes, and?’ moments, but in case you need something to rip off and pass off as your own observations I include this here.
- Literally The Worst Load Of Advermarketing Balls I Have Ever Read, Ever: Having been quite nice about Coke 2 links ago, I feel entitled to point out the HORROR of this piece in Marketing week, all about Coke’s EXCITING WORLD CUP MARKETING PLANS. I’m sure the quoted executive is a nice person and all that, and perhaps they didn’t even say / write any of the quotes in this piece, but literally NOTHING that is quoted in this article means anything at all. I mean it’s literally ALL rubbish. “Share a Coke is a great example of how we engage with consumers in what we describe as a real liquid and linked way”? WHEN DID YOU HAVE THE THINKING PART OF YOUR BRAIN REMOVED AND REPLACED BY ONE WHICH SPOUTS THIS SH1T? WHY DO PEOPLE DO THIS? CAN WE ALL STOP PLEASE? Seriously, who thinks that talking like this makes one sound like anything other than a total moron? Jesus wept.
By Ino Zeljak
THE SECTION WHICH IS TRYING TO DECIDE WHICH OF THE BELOW LINKS IS GOING TO BE THE SUBJECT OF A POORLY-THOUGHT-OUT DAILY MAIL ARTICLE IN THE NEXT 24 HOURS (AND HAS DECIDED THAT IT WILL PROBABLY BE ‘CLOAK’, IF IT’S NOT ALREADY BEEN DONE) BECAUSE, TERRIFYINGLY, “LOOK, THEORETICAL NEW APP!” IS NOW ‘PROPER’ NEWS WHICH IS SORT OF CRAZY REALLY ALTHOUGH IF IT MEANS THAT SOMEONE WILL ONE DAY PAY ME MAIL WORDRATES TO WRITE THIS CRAP THEN MORE POWER TO THEM (YES I KNOW THAT THAT WILL NEVER HAPPEN, STOP LOOKING AT ME LIKE THAT), PT.1:
- Cloak: So, yes, Cloak. What this does is, once linked with Instagram and Foursquare, allow users to track the whereabouts of certain other individuals whom they are linked to on the service based on checking and geotagged info on pics which they take, ostensibly to allow people to avoid others whom they would rather not see for whatever reason (clue: AFFAIRS!). Of course, based on that one could ALSO use it to stalk and follow people, which isn’t really quite so cool and future at all.
- LifePrint: Remember those cameras which were really popular in the 70s, 80s and 90s which let you take pictures and then immediately printed them out like MAGIC? Yes, that’s right, POLAROIDS! Well technology has basically eaten itself with LifePrint, which is a small printer designed to print Instagram pics on demand – so basically like a Polaroid but significantly less convenient. It’s actually little cleverer than that – I do like the fact that pics can be printed at distance – ie leave the printer at home, go out and take pics, find them all printed when you get back – but let’s be honest, this isn’t as good as what we had in the past (ludditic hyperbole). STOP THE FUTURE IT’S RUBBISH.
- Ello – ANOTHER New Social Network: There are literally NO details out there about this one, other than it’s another which is selling itself on its ad-free status. Sign up for beta access if you’re so inclined.
- NoTrace: Another week, another service purporting to allow users to communicate in anonymity. This one lets people send emails and texts which self-destruct – so far, so like a few others we’ve seen in the past few months. The nice thing here is the additional functionality – the ‘unsend’ idea is good, as is the fact that messages don’t have a ‘to’ or ‘from’ field when they display, which works to minimise the ‘yeah, but you can just screencap it you IDIOT’ issue.
- Geopieces: I’m going to take the bold move of stating right at the outset that this is NEVER going to catch on. Geopieces effectively looks to sell virtual geographical real-estate – dividing the world up into millions of ‘pieces’. each of which is effectively a square which can be purchased and ‘owned’ on the platform and which owners can subsequently attach digital CONTENT to – so you could own the Geopiece for your house, business, etc, and then attach info to it which other people will see if they are also using the service. I can see the rationale for the concept – the idea of tagging data to physical locations isn’t a new one – but there are far too many barriers to entry here and the fact that they expect people to pay…? HMMMMM. (obviously this prediction means that it will be a world-changing technology and I am going to look like an idiot – hey ho).
- Google Glass Diaries: A nice Google Glass project – various people in Myanmar and Thailand (so far) make short Glass vids talking about their professions and lives. One of those lovely things which gives you a glimpse into the storytelling potential of the tech (sorry for using the word ‘storytelling’, by the way, which is fast rising to the top of my personal list of ‘words I really wish agencies would stop using now please’ for 2014).
- Fort McMoney: This is all sorts of good. I think that this is by French Canadian TV, but I’m not 100% sure – Fort McMoney is a pretty incredible technical achievement which I really do recommend you check out RIGHT NOW (but not if you’re on mobile – this requires a sit-down computer and a cup of tea). It’s half documentary film, half point-and-click videogame and ALL awesome, telling the story of Fort McMurray in Canada, the third largest oil reserve in the world, and the people who live there. I can’t stress enough how incredibly well-made this is, as well as being a brilliant example of how you can do interactive educational stuff in a truly compelling fashion. Tellypeople in the UK – learn.
- Flappy Arms: The nth in the infinite line of Flappy Bird-inspired hackyartthings, this one’s beautifully absurd. The website links to your iPhone, should you have one, and lets you control a Flappy Bird ripoff by…er…flapping your arms in real life. Coming soon, inevitably, to a hipster art gallery near you.
- Mod Notebooks: I don’t really get thi, I must confess. So this is a service which sells you notebooks into which you can draw, scribble, etc, your innermost hopes and dreams (or, more likely, an increasingly psychotic-seeming set of cubic doodles created as you slide slowly towards peak existential despair in interminable ‘loop meetings’); once full up, you can send it back to the vendors who will scan it, page by page, and then send you a link to the digital version of your scrawlings. Which is nice and all that, but surely you could just take a picture of each page and chuck it on Evernote, no? God we’re LAZY.
- Burgers For Stories: A lovely project. London startup-y person Andrew Mcdonaugh recently backed a new burger restaurant on Kickstarter, to such a degree that they gave him 1000 burgers in exchange for his donation. He’s now looking for other London startup-y people to share those burgers with him – he’ll give people a free lunch in exchange for interviewing them about their experiences of entrepreneurialism and London and stuff. Just NICE.
- The Gif Firehose: A livestream of all the gifs being posted…er…somewhere (someone on Twitter suggest that it was all the gifs being posted on…er…twitter, but that struck me as unlikely as it doesn’t seem to move quite fast enough). Anyway, it’s as hypnotic as these ‘Look! It’s the ID of the internet!’ things tend to be, although it’s obviously MASSIVELY NSFW due to the fact that about 1 in 7 gifs is pr0n (the rest seems to be animals and J-/K-pop stars, which is basically the web in a nutshell really).
- Tribeca Film Festival Vine Competition: Fancy yourself as a genius filmmaker within the confines of the 6–second medium? You’re probably not, you know. Still, if you really do think you’re special then you could do worse than entering the second ever Vine competition at the Tribeca Film Festival. There are Ts&Cs and stuff, but it’s a good opportunity for aspirant filmmakers – and, of course, for brands looking for talented creatives who they can approach when they don’t win the top prize to exploit their talent for far less money than its worth!
- Love Ever After: If you don’t feel a little bit warm inside looking at these then you’re in quite a bad way and should probably nip outside and get some fresh air and maybe an icecream to cheer yourself up and recalibrate. A series of pictures of couples who’ve been together for 50+ years, kissing. So, so lovely, as are the accompanying written vignettes – now go and call your grandparents.
- Thingcharger: Such clever design, this – once we finally reach that utopian moment when all bloody devices have the same charging port, this is going to be HUGE (maybe) – it’s easier to look at than to explain, but rest assured that it’s VERY CLEVER.
- EmotiKarl: A suite of emoticons/emojis inspired by famous fashion fascist and almost-certainly dreadful human being Karl Lagerfeld. I’m not sure who this is for, but perhaps YOU are the target audience.
- Turn Your Instagram Pics Into Nail Art: This is on Kickstarter and hasn’t reached its goal yet, so it’s up to YOU to make sure that you will one day be able to turn all your sepia-tinted pictures of food into stickers you can put on your nails. Actually a very clever idea indeed, and the app/interface looks rather slick – I imagine you’ll see a lot more of this.
- Drone Delivery Coming To San Francisco: IN YOUR FACE, AMAZON! This may or may not be real, but it’s San Francisco so probably is – QuiQui is a ‘coming soon’ service which offer residents of the city’s Mission district the option to have items from pharmacies delivered by drone within 15 minutes for a $1 surcharge. HUGELY theoretical, but this sort of local thing could actually work quite well – you just need one person at the store and another piloting the vehicle, although obviously there’s no money in it on this basis. Can someone set this up in SW8 to do booze, fag and rizla runs, please? Thanks.
- Rorschmap NYC: Taking footage from New York city Department of Transportation webcams and making live, moving kaledioscopes of them. Pointless but soothing and should be ripped off for London as part of an installation somewhere please thankyou.
- Factbot: Web Curios favourite Shardcore has made this artbottwitterthing which plays on the fact that you can literally trust NOTHING you read online any more – Factbot tweets algorithmically generated facts paired with suitable images every 4 hours. Some of these facts are plausible, others patently false, but the overall effect is funny and ridiculous and a sort of wonderful deconstruction of our relationship to ‘information’ online.
- Stupid Things Clients Say To Designers: Available as posters for you to hang in your studio and gaze at as your read the 19th email from a client asking you to make ‘it’ ‘pop’ more.
- First Tweet: A service from (I think) Twitter itself which allows you to see what the first tweet from any given account is. No purpose whatsoever beyond the frivolous, although I’m sure it will be used to UNMASK the latecoming arrivisme (is that a word?) of all sorts of people by smug twats.
- Uncomfortable Design: Cool little project reimagining every day objects so as to render them functional but sort of unpleasant to use. The saucepan is a work of evil genius – I quite like the idea of creating a house where all the tools and furniture are built on these lines and then forcing someone to live in it OH HANG ON NEXT SERIES OF BIG BROTHER! Can someone please get in touch with the production team, as this would make it the fabulous cross between reality TV and the ‘Saw’ films that I for one have been waiting for for YEARS.
- Super Hi Res Face Pics: You know how when you’re in love with someone you can look at them really, really close and for the most part sort of forget that they are made of meat, and not really look at / focus on the rheum and sebum and stuff? Well this is a bunch of people you probably don’t love, in really uncomfortably close detail – MMMM, PORES! Not great if you’ve got a touch of the bodyhorrors.
- Play Me Dating App: Another week, another unnecessary attempt to reinvigorate the dating game – this time by making it a…er…game. Play Me is actually quite a clever conceit, asking you a series of questions about the sort of stuff that your stalkee is into – the more popular that person is, the harder the questions are – the idea being that you need to demonstrate a degree of interest compatibility before it allows you to begin harassing them. Although surely google sort of makes this quite easily gameable? YOU’RE ONLY CHEATING YOURSELVES.
- Speed Reading App Bookmarklet: Remember Spritz from a few weeks back, an app which let coders turn their webpages into superspeedreadable horizontally scrolling textfountains? No? Jesus. anyway, this is a little bookmarklet which basically does the same for any webpage you happen to be on – it’s a little janky, but it does prove that the system really does work.
- Popular vs Actual Frontpages: A really interesting experiment in which actual newspaper front pages on March 5th are positioned next to how they would have looked had they reflected the most popular stories on said newspapers’ websites. A little facile as there are all sorts of factors which determine ‘popular’ stories online, but interesting to see the discrepancies / changes.
- How To Kill Yourself With Household Goods: NB – Web Curios in no way advocates suicide, but who knew that 40 teaspoons of cinnamon could be fatal? Not this webmong.
- Holipics: The annual collection of awesome pics from the Indian festival of colour (and, less commented on but equally true, the festival of getting absolutely off one’s nuts on criminally strong bhang lassi, or so people tell me). Anyway, as ever the Atlantic delivers some gorgeous photographs.
- Weird Digital Music Video Thingy: I honestly have no idea whatsoever what this is – some sort of ambient music visualiser thingy in 3d graphics. It’s strangely soothing, though, and I just lost about 3 minutes looking at it which means it’s either really compelling or that I am starting to feel the effects of not quite getting enough sober sleep last night.
- The Museum Of Bad Art: This is actually a real-life physical place in America (of course), but it’s online archive is a thing ofincredible non-beauty. If nothing else, this will provide you with a WEALTH of brilliant crap pictures for your next soul-sapping powerpoint crapshow.
- Soundslice: What looks to be a very sophisticated virtual sheet music and tab notation service, which if you or your kids are learning an instrument could well be superuseful.
- The Greatest Titles In Dance Music: When you’re making ambient techno I imagine it’s hard to come up with a suitably evocative and descriptive title for what is basically 8 minutes of low-intensity bleepy woobles. All the kudos, then, to the people whose creative endeavour is immortalised in this list – my personal favourite is the deliciously sinister ‘Gift Wrap Yourself, Slowly’ (it’s the comma that makes it) – what’s YOURS?
- Relay – Gif Texting: An appwhich lets its users communicate to each other solely via the medium of gifs. If you’re a certain type of person, and your friends are too, then you might well like this quite a lot. I’m not judging, honest.
By Erik Jones
THE SECTION WHICH IS TRYING TO DECIDE WHICH OF THE BELOW LINKS IS GOING TO BE THE SUBJECT OF A POORLY-THOUGHT-OUT DAILY MAIL ARTICLE IN THE NEXT 24 HOURS (AND HAS DECIDED THAT IT WILL PROBABLY BE ‘CLOAK’, IF IT’S NOT ALREADY BEEN DONE) BECAUSE, TERRIFYINGLY, “LOOK, THEORETICAL NEW APP!” IS NOW ‘PROPER’ NEWS WHICH IS SORT OF CRAZY REALLY ALTHOUGH IF IT MEANS THAT SOMEONE WILL ONE DAY PAY ME MAIL WORDRATES TO WRITE THIS CRAP THEN MORE POWER TO THEM (YES I KNOW THAT THAT WILL NEVER HAPPEN, STOP LOOKING AT ME LIKE THAT), PT.2:
- Nipple.io: My other pick for ‘app most likely to be written about by the Mail in the next 72 hours’ is this one – Nipple is basically a quantified self project, applied to sex – the idea being that you are gently encouraged to diarise and annotate details of your SEXY ENCOUNTERS to…er…learn more about your sex life, I presume, although I do sort of question what it’s likely to tell you that you don’t know already. It’s made by a pair of Italian guys which means that the site is full of minor linguistic idiosyncracies and makes the whole thing quite a lot less odd than it might otherwise be as a result.
- Nepalese Dog Portraits: Apparently in Nepal painting portraits of canines on bits of metal is a ‘thing’. You too can get a picture of your dog, painted on a bit of metal by a Nepalese person, thanks to this website. I’m simultaneously happy and disappointed that this appears to have missed the Doge bandwagon.
- Fake Albums and Fake Reviews: There was a timewaste-y game which did the rounds a few years back in which people were encouraged to take a random image from flickr and a random sentence from Wikipedia to create fake albums (look, that was sort of how it worked, don’t bugme for details). This takes that idea and runs VERY FAR with it, featuring not only made-up albums by made-up artists but also imagining what the music on said albums would sound like and offering critical reviews. The next step is for someone to record said music – come on, what are you waiting for?
- They Will Eat You: A first person zombie survival game – the game itself isn’t that great, but I really like the design / aesthetic of the site overall, and especially the opening animation.
- Bear Simulator: Hot on the heels of goat simulator comes this Kickstarter project, which puts you in the leather vest and jeans combo beloved of Vauxhall’s hairy man community and deposits you at the door of Hoist!…oh, no, hang on, the other sort of bear. Sorry. (AND THEN I GOT OFF THE BUS).
- Mark Ditto Mark: I REALLY LIKE THIS. Wanky as you like, Mark Ditto Mark is a broser extension which turns the whole web into a conceptual novel where the main character is a mysterious man named Mark Ditto. Install it, and every name you read online will magically become Mark Ditto, which makes spending 10 minutes reading the news a truly bizarre and disorienting experience.
- Iconic History: Your recent browsing history, displayed as a massive collection of those little tab icons you get in your browser. Really interesting way of seeing what sites you look at most often, and almost certain to be ripped off at a modern art fair near you VERY SOON INDEED.
- The World’s Heaviest Phone Case: Have you ever wanted an iPhone case which turns the device into a massive, unwieldy dumb-bell? OH GOOD!
- Some Ancient Maps: A lovely collection of scanned maps from between 1000 and 1300. No more, no less.
- Gifs Paired With Music In Fullscreen: The most interesting thing about this is how it chooses which music to pull. It throws up some great combinations.
- Dead Colours: All of the colours from the palette which feature the hexadecimal number ‘DEAD’. For some designer somewhere this is going to form the basis of a really satisfying in-joke which their client will never, ever get.
- Free Fonts For 2014: Look! Free fonts!
- The Fuji Cannon: The whole ‘pics now embedded in tweets’ thing has meant you can now do quite interesting stuff by tweeting images in sections, quickly, so that they appear one after the other in users feeds to ARTISTIC effect. This little toy automates that – plug in a picture and it automatically slices it into 3 and tweets it in one, three-tweet burst. Just because you can, really.
- Randomised Map Design: Algorithmically fcuked-with maps; these are lovely.
- Briibe: An interesting idea, although there’s no evidence that it works AT ALL. Briibe lets users send messages to famouses on Twitter and pledge money to a good cause (UNICEF) if they reply – basically so 1D fans can potentially pay to get Harry Styles to send a disinterested one-word response to their marriage proposals. Sort of amazingly desperate, really.
- Post-Apocalyptic Jungles On Streetview: Little hack for Google Streetview which lets you see what your street (or anywhere really) might look like when humanity’s all but extinct and the plants have taken over – SEX IS MY ADVENTURE (that’s a very obscure joke that only one person who I know might get; sorry about that).
- Listen To Buttcoin: An incredibly childish website which makes fart noises of varying pitch and duration to track Bitcoin transactions in realtime – the differing pitch/length correlate to the size of the transaction. Human ingenuity, eh?
- Knolling: I had NO IDEA that knolling was a thing (it is a thing) – this is a guide to why it is GOOD. What? Oh, right – knolling is the practice of arranging things at 90-degree angles to each other to pleasing aesthetic effect – OCD sufferers will probably get a massive kick out of this.
- Sesame Street Pi Day: For Pi Day last week Sesame Street invited kids to send in their drawings of numbers – this site is cycling through the digts of pi, theoretically FOREVER, using these illustrations. Very cute, and features The Count who is indisputably the best Sesame Street character EVER.
- Weird Gifs: A collection of them, no less.
- Old Screensavers In CSS: Just in case you want the flying toasters on a modern computer (and why wouldn’t you?).
- Plink Collaborative Music Maker: This is a lovely interface and it makes rather nice sounds – it’s just a shame nooone seems to be using it. I think you could have quite a lot of fun with this with a few people collaborating – have a play.
- Photos From Aleppo: The mess in Syria’s been going on 3 years now. This is a selection of pictures of life in Aleppo by photojournalist Pablo Tosco.
- Al Qaida – The Magazine: This is quite incredible. Apparently now in its 12th issue, this is Al Qaida’s monthly propaganda publication – or at least that’s exactly what it appears to be – featuring articles on jihad, the iniquities of the West’s involvement in the Middle East, the evils of the international Jewry…all the usual things you’d expect. And, er, a couple of pages of bomb-making instructions at the back. I am fully expecting a knock in the door from the authorities VERY SOON.
- LIVE FROM SPACE!!!: The space stuff on TV was quite amazing this week; this is National Geograohc TV’s chanel which shows all sorts of remarkable stuff like where the ISS is at any given point, and live vidfeeds from it and is basically amazing in every way possible.
- Custom Bongo Service: Wow. A company which will make whatever pr0n you want, on spec. You tell them what you want and they quote you for it – you pay, and eventually you presumably get your dream bongo. Obviously they are clear that nothing illegal will be countenanced and no models would be made to do anything they don’t want to, but if you really need an explanation of exactly why this is a bit weird and creepy and potentially wrong, let me remind you of The Terrifying Story of Swap.avi.
By Eli Horn
THE CIRCUS OF TUMBLRS:
- Wes Anderson Palettes: Colour palettes derived from shots from the films of Wes Anderson. BONUS ANDERSON – here’s a short film detailing exactly how much Anderson likes to use symmetry in his films.
- Creepy White Guys: A collection of messages received by (as far as I can tell) mostly Asian/oriental woman from white men on the internet. About as classy and uplifting as you’d imagine.
- Games & Food: Food in videogames.
- Videogame Birds: Birds in videogames.
- Start To Crate: Crates in videogames.
- Beargames: Videogames featuring large, hairy men in sweaty Vauxhall nightspo…oh, hang on, that wasn’t funny earlier either.
- Christian Nightmares: Let’s be clear – Web Curios has no problem at all with your religion, probably. This though is a brilliant collection of some of the more patently ridiculous / bigoted / mental examples of the Christian faith – we’re talking the spittle-flecked lunacy of the Chick Tracts, that sort of idea. Linked here in non-loving memory of everyone’s favourite bigot Fred Phelps who died yesterday.
- I Too Am Soas: Another week, another bunch of students doing the Harvard thing themselves. I’m rather trepidatiously waiting for the near inevitable WHITE RIGHTS riffs on these which probably exist already but which I don’t really want to search for.
- All The Records: Probably the best idea on here this week, this Tumblr documents one woman’s attempt to listen to and appreciate every single record in her husband’s MASSIVE collection. A brilliant project, and refreshingly unwanky reviews of classic and not quite so classic albums.
- Stand Up Comic Gifs: Just in case you need a go-to resource for gifs of comedians doing their comedian thing.
- Yves De Camps: Creepy, surreal little cartoons with a slightly unpleasant edge. I LIKE.
- Why Do I Online Date?: Screenshots from sad online dating lives. There is always someone whose love life is bleaker than yours, ALWAYS.
- Humanea: My second-favourite tumblr of the week, this one collects pictures of people and matches them to Pantone numbers. Lovely selection of portraits, too, with some fascinating faces.
- iPhone Oil Paintings: Fingergrease pics on iPhones. Strangely quite good.
- Heds Will Roll: Newspaper headlines editors WISH they could have used. Contains real contributions from ACTUAL JOURNALISTS.
- Build A Bird: Choose your images and make your own Flappy Bird clone. Interesting mainly as I didn’t know you could build this sort of thing on Tumblr (what do I know?).
LONG THINGS WHICH ARE LONG AND AT LEAST ONE OF WHICH WILL HAVE YOU IN TEARS I WARN YOU:
- Working At The Bookies: An incredibly bleak portrait of one frustrated writer’s life working in a betting shop. The style’s very good, to the point where part of me did rather ignobly wonder whether it wasn’t in fact a work of fiction; you get a very real sense of despair, and you can almost smell fag ash and tears.
- The Punishment Of The Future: There have been quite a few articles in the PROPER press off the back of this this week; it’s worth reading the original, though, as it’s sort of horrifying. Looking at what a potential future of criminal punishment might look like, the article quickly descends into a dystopian vision of a world in which incredible degrees of psychological suffering are inflicted on prisoners with a degree of creativity which would be applause-worthy were it not also so utterly barbaric. Also contains a lot of interesting philosophy about personal identity over the course of extended lifespans, and to what extent one can be considered to be a single personality (and as such entity) over the course of a multicentenary lifespan.
- Short Stories About Self-Checkouts: A selection of shortish fictions based around the slightly surreal landscape of the supermarket self-checkout. This is in totality VERY LONG, but each piece (by JW Vorvick) is brilliant in its own right; I particularly recommend the Chris Martin monologue and the conversation between Marx and Locke about the wider phiosophical implications of the whole self-checkout system, which I promise you is LOADS funnier than I realise I have just made it sound.
- LRB On The Branson Takedown: If you quite like the idea of a book exploding some of the mythology around Virgin’s relentlessly self-promoting founder but don’t actually fancy reading the whole thing then this LRB review/summary is a pretty good alternative.
- Things That Noone Tells You About Having Kids: A Quora thread whose quality or veracity I am in no position to judge but which struck me as rather a nice, if a touch sentimental at times.
- Invisible Children – 2 Years On: Hey! Hey! Remember Joseph Kony? Remember KONY2012, and everyone you ever went to school with suddenly becoming passionately interested in Ugandan politics and Central African issues? Probably not, because we all have the memories of gadflies. Anyway, this is a really interesting look at the slightly suspect Invisible Children charity behind the whole thing, and the bloke who had the breakdown and ended up naked and screaming by the LA freeway in the aftermath of his unexpected (but evidently much-sought) fame.
- Internet Predators Are Not Everywhere: An interesting and important piece about how exaggerating paedogeddon on social media is actually a very bad idea and in some respects even counterproductive.
- An Interview With The King Of Weird Cinema: Read this and then go and order some mushrooms and the Jodorowsky back catalogue. Seriously – how can you not love a man who fired George Harrison from a film mid-shoot because the actor refused to bare his anus on camera? A very good interview with a truly unique mind.
- Not Getting By In The Gig Economy: Now that we have sites like Taskrabbit and the like offering to connect people who will do piecemeal tasks for piecemeal pay with those who need, say, their laundry collecting and the dog walked we’ve ushered in a whole new era of excitingly flexible employment opportunities, right? Er, not so much. A rather depressing look at how these services actually work for those who use them (clue: they don’t, really).
- On Ugliness: Collector’s Weekly on the impossibility of an agreed definition of ‘ugly’ as an aesthetic concept. Properly interesting, honest.
- The Best Juggler Ever: A truly fascinating article profiling a man called Anthony Gatto, widely acknowledged as being the most talented juggler ever to have lived, and how he gave it all up. Shows you a very particular world you’ve probably never even thought of and makes it real, which is sort of the hallmark of all great feature journalism.
- Profiling The Wu: A 10-part portrait of the 20 year old hiphop collective. You may want to listen to Enter The Wu Tang 36 Chambers whilst you’re reading this.
- My Dementia: This is the one that will make you cry – I read this yesterday morning and had tears streaming down my face by the end (then again I’m a sensitive soul). A VERY LONG but startlingly well written account by author Gera Saunders of how it feels to be slowly succumbing to dementia. Saunders’ lucidity and linguistic prowess is outstanding – even moreso as you read through and begin to realise how difficult the mere act of committing these thoughts to paper must have been. Touching on her mother’s struggle with the disease, the manner in which dementia affects one’s sense of self,coping strategies and all sorts of other things, this is basically required reading if you know anyone who’s suffered from or is suffering from the condition. Tissues at the ready, though, seriously.
By Babak Hosseiny
FINALLY, MOVING PICTURES AND SOUNDS!
2) A beautiful, beautiful song, and I love the video too (weirdly messianic undertones aside). This is Lyla Foy with Feather Tongue:
3) I mentioned ‘wearables’ up there – surely they’re just going to be the slightly clunky hinterland between current tech and the proper cyborg stuff? This is a very slick proof-of-concept video about what some of this stuff might look like when we have electronics in our faces:
4) Neneh Cherry is 50! 50!!!!! Do you think she ever gets annoyed that the only song she is ever going to be remembered for is Buffalo Stance? Hm. Anyway, she has her first album out for aaaaaaaaages and this is a track from it which she’s done with Robyn – I rather like this, especially what happens to the production in the last 90 seconds or so – the video’s by PROPER WEB ARTIST Dario Vigorito and all sorts of glitchywebgood:
5) UK HIPHOP CORNER! Grime’s having something of a renaissance at the moment, thanks in no small part to the larger-than-life charms of Big Narstie – this is a great track from Scrufizzer (an awesome MC) and Linden Jay. Reminds me of the sort of production which made Dizzee so exciting all those years back but with a bit of a modern, jump-up twist; this is called ‘Just Cool Nuh’:
6) Laser Cat Is Back! This is a promo vid for a Miami art show. I don’t know WHAT’S going on:
7) Spreadsheet Blues by John Matthias is LOVELY all round. Soothing black and white-isms:
8) This is…just wow, really. LOOK AT THEIR FACES! Obviously all done by models and a pisstake on a variety of things and tropes in hiphop (UK and worldwide) and ‘chav’ culture and stuff…isn’t it? I don’t know what to think. THE FACES!:
9) Finally this week, you will not be able to unsee this. SORRY! HAVE FUN, WEBMONGS!:
That’s it for now