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weblog archives
eXTReMe Tracker
Friday, June 28, 2002
My goodness, there's a lot of clipart in the world. A thousand things to think about today, such as: why does this page look horrific in Netscape? Why are we incapable of clawing back three vital, alignment-defining pixels from our new comments box? (thanks to Enetation). And whatever happened to our Sonic Catering sound project? The absence of creative thoughts from newthings is largely due to the imminent appearance of things 16, due in mid-July (subscribe here, via our enduringly old technology subscription service). Print and web each bring their own complications...

Collections from Japan: K-car toys, 'the Most Famous Softdrink's Homepage in Japan!', and, apparently, batteries.


Thursday, June 27, 2002
You might have noticed our obsession with all things small and wheeled. If money was no object, we'd probably get along to Christie's tomorrow for this.


Wednesday, June 26, 2002
We’ve mentioned Nicholson Baker’s American Newspaper Repository before. Their site is now going to some way to fulfilling Baker’s original objectives - to preserve original publications in all their polychromatic glory in the face of official philistinism: visit the excellent gallery to see exactly what’s being preserved (via Portage).

Also, travel through America using vintage postcards, or re-visit the brightly coloured concerns and expectations of an earlier age, with the collected covers of Popular Mechanics magazine.


Tuesday, June 25, 2002
The urge to archive, label, store and present visual material on the web is strong. Visit the archives of PM and AD Magazines, inter-war graphics art publications, with cover art by Paul Rand, spreads on the Bauhaus, Alex Steinweiss, and gorgeous covers like this one by Leo Rackow.

‘The publication, which was the only non-profit, cooperative graphic arts magazine in the US, ran for a total of 66 issues and in February-March 1938 it became a bi-monthly.’

things has finally moved up to broadband as well, although it’s unlikely we’ll be making the site too image-heavy in the future. That said, we have unceasing respect for people like Mark and his site 317x - an online collection of (hi-res!) scans of his extensive record collection (as well as weird music links to die for). Thrill to the cover images such as Leroy Holmes’s ‘New Provocative Films’, 'Stereo Action', Les Baxter’s ‘Space Escapade' or the stunning 'Music from Mathematics'.

More pictures: toy hotrods.


Monday, June 24, 2002
Snowed under today, so pointers to two sites that offer more interesting links than we could ever hope to dredge up. Spitting Image will take you all over the world, from suburbs to steelworks, while Excitementmachine's links page is a compact collection of things to read and do. And that's all. (thanks to David for the first one).


Friday, June 21, 2002
Philadelphia's Daily Jive, which has a nice line in links to the unexplained and plain unusual, points us to the eternally fascinating conundrum of the numbers stations, the eerie but strangely soothing radio broadcasts of unfathomable lists of numerals. In this age of spyware, listening posts and world-wide email snooping devices, the numbers stations are an almost retro slice of Cold War paranoia. Plus, the recordings crackle and fizz in a suitably clandestine way.

Some internet archaeology of our own – explore this forgotten backwater from the early days of homepage building. Also, inside the mind of scientist and Vitamin C enthusiast Linus Pauling.


Thursday, June 20, 2002
Very us – Mc.Clintock is a ‘structured, visual record of everything inside my house’ (via metafilter), brimming full of obsessively detailed minutae. This, for example, is how to catalogue a drawer. The detail is first rate: these are little things - how could we resist?

The way the site is laid out makes brings to mind a visual version of Infocom's celebrated text-based adventure games (especially Hitchhiker’s Guide - one can imagine that the type of things that lurked in bathroom cabinets would come in handy here). And yes, the picture to the left are shelves stolen from the site - apologies. They’re almost as nice as ours.

Elsewhere, a few things that make us wish our digital camera would just hurry up and arrive. Jay Boucher’s photos of the vans of New York is effortlessly elegant (again, a topic we’ve touched on before). And these are two gorgeous galleries: ericalba and elasticspace (the latter has some fine architectural montages, including this one of Centre Point). What’s with the cinematic picture format adopted by most photologs?


Wednesday, June 19, 2002
The guy from Lego called today, sounding sheepish. ‘You know those Lego sets you were supposed to receive?’ he asked cautiously. ‘Well, you were only supposed to get 50. I think you got 1,500.’ We’re off to make movies. Big, epic movies. Think Laurence of Arabia, in highly machined plastic (or anything with big robots, gladiators or spaceships).

Inevitably, someone else has beaten us to it (someone also needs to investigate the links between Lego and religion).


Tuesday, June 18, 2002
A mention on dollarshort led us to this: psychic pets. The mind reels. It seems almost unfair that this program is unavailable in the UK. Chatty pregnant giraffes? They got 'em. Head psychic website here. Keep an eye on it, because the store opens in two weeks time, and psychic pet apparel is bound to be fabulous.

Unrelated, almost (depending on your definition of 'lost') - Whygodwhy has launched Twelve Times Lost - UK readers must pay $1 in candy to get a copy of this print only publication (they might just accept the $0.99 Botan Rice Candy if you're lucky...)


Monday, June 17, 2002
Three decades ago today, five people were caught burgling this building. Today, simply add 'gate' to a word and you have an instant scandal designation.

Happier things. iamcal has some Post-it note paper plane designs - just the thing for slow, hot days in the office. Our instructions seem a bit lofty in comparison.


Friday, June 14, 2002
What's happened to the Franklin Mint? Time was when you couldn't open a colour supplement in the UK without finding their latest catalogue of garish collectables. Then the catalogues vanished (or maybe we stopped buying the right newspapers). Happily, it appears the company is alive and well: 'sharing your passion for collecting.' The categories of gifts are glorious - 'Collectible Knives & Weapons' (with a sub-category of 'Animals & Conservation' - Ted Nugent eat your heart out), 'Collector Eggs' (such as this 'Wizard of Oz' one...) and that old standard, 'Dragons, Myths & Fantasies' (where just $5,400 will buy you the lavish 'Kingdom of the Unicorn Imperial Jeweled Egg').

We got thinking about the Mint thanks to an item in Christie's upcoming Concept Car sale: Lot 4. An 'official Ford Centennial commemorative', this pewter reproduction of the original Ford Model T production line is your chance to own a little slice of Scientific Management.


Thursday, June 13, 2002
Arndale Britain is an elegiac look at the buildings behind the Boring Postcards, with the ultimate intention of comparing and contrasting old and new. See here for our thoughts on Martin Parr's collections

tmn linked to these tiny envelopes, so we counter with Sukie, Brighton-based suppliers to the nation's stationery fetishists.


Wednesday, June 12, 2002
There seems to come a time when a website decides that simply adding to the global link cycle is just a little too introspective. There’s no way that newthings has reached saturation point just yet, but the desire to get fresh visuals up on a website means that original imagery is becoming ever-more seductive. That’s why we go weak at the knees when someone posts things like these crumbling piers, this overgrown car, or the perfectly pixellated compositions produced by the pencam.(And there's more. Look! vintage car brochures!, a virtual stapler!, stadiums in iceland!, still life painting! - you get the picture).


Tuesday, June 11, 2002
A slight aside. You can now download our fantastic shelf instructions - a little late for extended bank holiday DIY, perhaps, but a must-have for all dedicated collectors of things. We scarcely need remind you that another free gift - the things temporary tattoos - is still available: all you need to do is send us an SAE or IRC. Of course, you'll still have to purchase things 15 if you want to get hold of the Sonic Catering Band's CD...


Monday, June 10, 2002
Two illustrations of the sheer complexity of the universe. Firstly, a contemporary take on the famous Charles and Ray Eames film, 'Powers of Ten' (note: this link is odd in the extreme and seemingly nothing to do with the Eames Office). The imagery is taken from Molecular Expressions, which 'explores the world of optics and microscopy'. Their special galleries on computers, crime, fatty acids, watches and Ben and Jerry's ice cream are well worth checking out. Finally, Bad Scrabble, a site that focuses on 'real, unmanipulated examples of Scrabble-tile-chooosing ineptitude'. True proof of the universe's random nature.


Friday, June 07, 2002
Public Lettering is a beautifully conceived site that ties in very neatly with yesterday's musings on found alphabets and random typography. A photographic tour of London's sign-writing, old, and new, this is the first site we've seen that looks at the subject of architectural lettering. Other sites that might be of interest include the Kindersley Workshop and SPA, an irreverent publication aimed at small architectural practices. Their contemporary lexicon includes 'islingtundra':

A vast mental plain of cool minimalism; the natural habitat of childless urban spacemakers making their mark with similar interiors for childless urban clients; a space to think and be; vague notions involving wooden floors, glass walls, occasional dwarf vegetation and something obscure in contoured rubber from Germany.

The latter came via the Dezain blog. Also noticed, Magnetbox, a site that muses on design matters, and makes the odd practical suggestion:

Design a range of house keys similar in shape and size to a modern car key. There would be a clear plastic window in the grip part of the key, and when the door was locked, a red tag would automatically pop into view by means of a simple spring mechanism. Similarly, a green tag or one with 'Unlocked' printed on it would be visible when the door was unlocked. This would serve as reassurance to a range of people prone to worrying about whether or not they have secured their home.


Wednesday, June 05, 2002
The UK is coming down from the long weekend, and the surprisingly successful Jubilee celebrations: 50,000 empty champagne bottles were cleared from the Mall and Green Park last night. A few totally unrelated links. A day in the life is a new photo weblog worth keeping an eye on. Itchy Robot has some found typography. And here is a found alphabet.

The web is awash with small discoveries, whether it be blogs that catch the eye (Travelers Diagram and Exploding Fist), dramatic, visual representations of a website and its links, or even daft stuff like the Bible rendered in Lego. Talking of toys - Game and Watch were all the rage when things was young. Remember this?