Super Fake Nice

In case you didn't happen to catch it on their Instagram, the newest EP from Self is now available. It's the first official, cohesive, release since the b-side compilation Porno, Mint & Grime in 2005. There has been a smattering of single songs here and there since then but nothing you'd call an album or EP. So, as a Self superfan, it's a welcome bit of news. It's on Rdio, Spotify, iTunes, Amazon.

While you're checking that out be sure to see the video for "Runaway", see them on Kimmel tomorrow and listen to "Hey, Hipster" - potentially the most contentious song in the Self catalog.

You Are Not Late

I posted about this in the sidebar but please, please, take some time today to read this wonderful piece by Kevin Kelly - You Are Not Late. It is, at the core of it, a reminder that the Internet is still in its early days and all things are still quite possible.
In terms of the internet, nothing has happened yet. The internet is still at the beginning of its beginning. If we could climb into a time machine and journey 30 years into the future, and from that vantage look back to today, we'd realize that most of the greatest products running the lives of citizens in 2044 were not invented until after 2014. People in the future will look at their holodecks, and wearable virtual reality contact lenses, and downloadable avatars, and AI interfaces, and say, oh, you didn't really have the internet (or whatever they'll call it) back then.
And that's just a PIECE of the whole. If you've forgotten what a pioneering time we live in, now's the moment to remind yourself.

Friday Videos - July 25th, 2014

This week may seem a little heavy on the music videos but I promise they offer some serious entertainment. Enjoy the videos and, moreso, enjoy the weekend. If you still need a little something more, hit up the Summer Mix Series, enjoy some music, get inspired, and make a mix this weekend! Thanks.

The Pattern Library

I've no clue what I would use them for but I'm just enjoying browsing through the offerings of The Pattern Library. I'm particularly into the illustrated pieces like this or this. Is there a Shared dropbox folder I can hook into that enables my desktop background to just randomly cycle through these?

Mondo goes Vinyl

Here's the deal: Austin, TX's Mondo has got it figured out. When it comes to delivering unique pieces of collectible art that appeal to a true, undying, fan. They have it nailed. Their posters are unbelievable, their album re-issues are out of this world and now they're doing vinyl toys. Including these Mousers and an Iron Giant to name but a few. You can see more on mastermind Justin Ishmael's Instagram. I promise there is nothing but the greatest fandom behind that link.


Makota Azuma managed to take the geeky phenomena of sending items to space with a large balloon and turn it into something a bit more artistic than the norm. Granted, Space Pizza is already pretty much the pinnacle of things you can send to space but his Exobiotanica project sends a variety of flowers and bonsai trees into the upper atmosphere.

There's also something lovely in the morbid nature of the flowers death - both in their being uprooted for the project and their plummet back down to the surface.

Read more here and here.

Help Desk

VHX makes great usage out of a customer support service called Helpscout. It houses all of our inbound email from customers and content creators as well as houses our knowledge bases. Suffice to say, we like them a lot.

So, it was pretty flattering to be asked to be part of their recently relaunched site. You can watch the great profile they did on us under online services. I think it confirms the absolute nerdy sound of my own voice but I'm still pleased to see such great shots of our office, coworkers and, moreso, solidifying a nice relationship with such a solid company.

Mythical Creatures By Gary Baseman

Gary Baseman is currently running a campaign to help fund a documentary entitled Mythical Creatures. The film would tell the tale of his father's exploits during World War II, escaping Poland, fighting Nazis, hunting men to avenge his family's death and moving to North America. The story itself sounds compelling but the idea that it will be told in Baseman style - a mixture of live action, animation, theater and whatever else may be rolling around in his head.

Summer Mix Series 2014

The Summer Mix Series is back! I was a little hesitant at first as music discovery and compilations are largely fueled by new listening habits - namely Spotify and Rdio. So, it's surely going to be a bit different from the original undertaking because downloading large zip files and importing them into iTunes seems much less common.

However, just because habits have changed doesn't mean there isn't a time and place for finding new music. The first two mixes - Outlaws and Vintage Obscura 2014 are phenomenal. I would have never found this kind of music - especially not this well curated - from any of my streaming services. So, we're off to a good start.

As this may be the last iteration of the series, lets step up the submission game! I look forward to hearing what you've got to offer.

Self - Runaway

Having been a fan since the earliest days, I think I can say that this new Self video for Runaway is their finest all around. Granted, So Low is a quintessential slice of late 90's fashion but that was damn near 20 years ago. The new video features cats - lots of them. Is it pandering? Probably. Is it cute enough to not matter? Absolutely.

The song's a catchy bit as well. Looking forward to the new EP release, Super Fake Nice, on July 29th but lets be real - the cats make the video.

Greenhouse Political

The Greenhouse browser plugin does an excellent job of providing some additional context to any article in which you see a politicians name appear. By leveraging data from Open Secrets, the plugin highlights politicians names and provides additional insight on where their funding comes from. No matter what the political leaning - Far Left, Far Right, Red, Blue, Anything in Between - there's always a large chunk of influential money on the table. Maybe that's a bit pessimistic but it's seems realistic as well.

Pretty handy. Oh, and it was written by 16-year old from Seattle. He can't even vote which sort of makes it the cherry on top.

Dom Jacob

Really enjoying the ultra simple portfolio of Dom Jacob. It's deceptively sparse in its ability to showcase his work. I love the color palette, the shifting background colors and nod towards an overall small screen experience.

His Tumblr is pretty sweet too.

The Internet's Own Boy: The Story Of Aaron Swartz

Brian Knappenberger's latest, The Internet's Own Boy is a profile on Aaron Swartz, a name you may not know but have absolutely felt the presence of in your Internet life. At 14, he invented RSS. Yes, seriously. He also was a leading force in the stance against SOPA and helped to spearhead the ongoing battle with Net Neutrality. Oh, and he also co-founded Reddit. He was a masterful programmer, a thoughtful person and just a brilliant mind in general.

His story is sad one, as he took his own life at the age of 26 due to legal battles involving his procurement of a lot of academic journals. Not distribution mind you, just procurement. It goes without saying, it's sad. However, it's also equally inspiring. Doing something with an impact on the world is possible, you just have to do it.

The movie is available for free (legally) on as Swartz was one of the minds that helped shaped Creative Commons.

Last Chance High

VICE does a great job of covering a lot of news. Like, a lot of news. I think in that deluge sometimes some of their smaller stories get lost in the shuffle. Over the weekend I finished watching through Last Chance High - an eight part series profiling Chicago's Moses Montefiore Academy - a school for the city's "most at-risk youth."

It is, without a doubt, a great micro-profile on a macro-level problem. It manages to touch on just about everything - illegal drugs, troubled youth, absent parents, imprisoned parents, legal drugs (which may be as much of a problem as the illegal sort) and an underlying rage within the kids that they don't have the mental tools to cope with. Maybe not the most uplifting series but it's got moments of real heart and, hopefully, is a way to properly contemplate some of the larger social issues at play out in the world.

via Becky

Friday Videos - July 18th, 2014

The term for this weeks playlist is "Grab Bag." I mean, it's probably that term for every week as well but this week feels particularly all over the place. Enjoy! Have a great weekend!

Memory Hole

The bizarre creation that is Memory Hole defies description. Sure, you could say it's a 1997 style gallery of borderline disturbing yet still oddly hilarious videos but that's not doing it justice. It's filled with imagery that I can't articulate and I'm completely content with that.

via Paul.