• The Long Life and Fun Times of Roger Angell

    This interview with living legend Roger Angell, whose writing first appeared in the New Yorker in 1944 and is still writing for them at the age of 99, is full of gems like this one, when he interview Benny Goodman as a high schooler:

  • The Swim that Kicked Off China’s Cultural Revolution

    In 1966, Chinese leader Mao Zedong had a PR problem. His Great Leap Forward policy had resulted in tens of millions of deaths from famine, his health was rumored to be failing, and he was afraid, following the recent de-Stalinization of the Soviet Union, that his legacy was not secure. So he went for a swim.

  • Was the World’s Oldest Person a Fraud?

    Maybe it was all the Guinness Book of World Records reading when I was a kid, but I probably pay more attention than many people to the list of the world’s oldest people. At 122 years and 164 days, Jeanne Calment is the oldest person to have ever lived. At the time of her death, she had lived for almost 5 years longer than the previous record-holder, which I have always found a little fishy. So it was with great interest that I read Lauren Collins’ New Yorker piece on a recent challenge to...

  • Amazing Senegalese Sand Painting

    In less than a minute, this Senegalese sand artist working on the island of Gorée creates a portrait by pouring sands of different colors over a wooden board with glue on it. The way that the painting emerges at the last second out of seeming disorder is a lovely shock, like a magic trick.

  • The Neighbor’s Window

    From filmmaker Marshall Curry, The Neighbor’s Window is a poignant short film about the odd relationships you can sometimes form with your neighbors in big cities, even if you never meet in real life.

  • The Times of Bill Cunningham

    In 1994, legendary street fashion photographer Bill Cunningham gave a six-hour interview about his life and work. This interview was recently rediscovered and made into a documentary called The Times of Bill Cunningham. Here’s a trailer:

  • An Online Collection of Mexican Cookbooks (1789-Present)

    The University of Texas at San Antonio maintains a collection of over 2000 Mexican cookbooks dating from as far back as 1789 and a selection of those is available online.

  • Map of Areas Most Often Missing During Handwashing

    With news of more than 70,000 confirmed cases and 1700 deaths from the COVID-19 virus, the importance of handwashing is once again front and center. Using data from a 1978 study on the hygiene of health professionals, this is a map of the most missed areas when washing hands.

  • Face ID Compatible Respirator Masks

    This site is making N95 respirator masks that work with facial recognition software, so that, for example, you can unlock your phone while still wearing a mask.

  • The Process Genre

    From Duke University Press and author Salomé Aguilera Skvirsky comes what looks like an intriguing book on the beloved phenomenon of “how things are made” media — you know, things like “how to” cooking videos and IKEA instructions — The Process Genre: Cinema and the Aesthetic of Labor (at Amazon). From the book’s introduction:

  • Universe Sandbox

    Universe Sandbox is a interactive space & gravity simulator that you can use to play God of your own universe.

  • Billie Eilish Interviewed by AI Bot

    Collaborating with the team at Conde Nast Entertainment and Vogue, my pal Nicole He trained an AI program to interview music superstar Billie Eilish. Here are a few of the questions: