"Like every sport, hiking and camping have their totems." An essay on why people care if they look hot (or cool) in the woods.
The NFT market, generally having a very bad year, turns to the very cringey "phygital" art market for redemption.

A new era of aviation? Someday. Maybe.

An all-electric airplane called "Alice" took its first flight on Tuesday, looking to become the first all-electric commercial airplane.

From the Seattle Times, the electric future remains a long way off, due to batteries:

It’s powered by just over 21,500 small Tesla-style battery cells that, at just over 4 tons, make up fully half the weight of the carbon composite airframe.

... In an interview in Moses Lake on the eve of first flight, Eviation CEO Greg Davis conceded that the prototype that took off Tuesday is not the design the company will build later. He said Eviation needs still-to-be-developed advances in battery technology to make its planes commercially viable.

“Are the batteries on the prototype aircraft capable of propelling the certification aircraft, capable of providing sufficient energy? The answer is no, absolutely not,” Davis said.

2d
An environmental activist has been murdered every two days over the past decade. Most of the killings are in Latin America.

American Airlines is haunted.

Waxy has a good roundup of anecdotes and theories regarding the spooky moans and groans heard recently on American Airlines flights.

4d
An audio/visual story drawn from the sonic codes and signatures of Mexico City street vendors.
While Putin's troops invaded Ukraine, a tech company in Kyiv was recreating Darth Vader's voice for Hollywood.

“An effort has been made to illustrate not only the death that occurred but the social and financial status of those involved, as well as their frame of mind at the time the death took place.”

The first female police captain in the US was known for her dioramas: crime scenes showing “cosy interiors combined with death.”

↩︎ Al Jazeera
1w
Scientists estimate the total mass of ants on Earth at about 12 megatons of dry carbon, or nearly 20 quadrillion ants.
With Brazil's government encouraging deforesting the Amazon, preservationists try to sell carbon offsets to protect land.
Multiple things explain the difficulty of nabbing restaurant reservations right now. One big issue: wealthy people's workarounds.

An interview with one of the world’s leading nature sound recordists

Bandcamp has a nice feature about Chris Watson, previously a member of the band Cabaret Voltaire, now an expert in field recordings.

“There’s been a massive change in people’s interest in and desire for the natural world, and I think COVID-19 increased that desire exponentially. People want to soak it up, not just cathartically but as something that they find interesting and stimulating. So it’s a really exciting time to be a nature recordist.”

Some samples from his work:

1w
Noga Arikha: Loss is central to life, but digital existence has made us all into hoarders. Is everything vanity now?

It may now be seen as a dystopian nightmare, the far-flung folly of an autocrat desperate for global approval, but the idea of building a self-contained linear city has preoccupied the imaginations of architects and planners for generations.

Will the world ever be ready for a linear metropolis? Oliver Wainwright traces the history of the city-in-a-canyon dream.

↩︎ The Guardian
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Traditional buildings and materials last not only because they are proven to possess beauty but also because they are answers to the unchanging needs of human nature.

Some thoughts on building homes to last a thousand years—by putting beauty first.

↩︎ Wrath of Gnon
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Thanks to advances in AI, scientists can create completely new proteins in seconds—a process that used to take months.
Images of luxury fortified bunkers being flogged to the ultra-rich on spec.

“Milne’s Pooh doesn’t really use long words, and never waxes explicitly philosophical—anything explicit about death or love ought to get you a bit suspicious.”

Tips on how to identify a genuine Winnie the Pooh quote “in the forgery-filled fleamarket of the internet.”

↩︎ Dirt
2w

This project sought to build upon Jason Scott-Warren and Claire M. L. Bourne’s discovery of John Milton’s copy of Shakespeare’s First Folio at the Free Library of Philadelphia, which gained significant media coverage worldwide.

Notes from an eight-week hunt for John Milton’s personal library. “In the end, I found very little.”

↩︎ Centre for Material Texts
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