Nicer Things

A new little Tumblr site I will maintain with all my favorite nice things that one can buy. From whiskeys to bags, electronics and even terrariums, you’ll be able to find it there. What’s that? Yes, of course it has its own Twitter feed.

Disclaimer: Links to Amazon are associate-tagged links that give me a few dollars kickback if you decide to buy the item through my link. It’s appreciated.

Welcome to America

The harrowing story of writer and journalist Elena Lappin, who flew to Los Angeles and promptly got detained, searched, held and deported under horrible conditions.

The handcuffs came off just before I was locked in a cell behind a thick glass wall and a heavy door. No bed, no chair, only two steel benches about a foot wide. There was a toilet in full view of anyone passing by, and of the video camera watching my every move. No pillow or blanket. A permanent fluorescent light and a television in one corner of the ceiling. It stayed on all night, tuned into a shopping channel.

I’ve previously traveled into the US quite frequently as a ‘visitor’, and I’ve been treated horribly (though, obviously not even close to Elena’s ‘special treatment’) every single time. Once, I was escorted to a small square office, where I was intensely interrogated and researched for more than an hour after a thirteen hour transatlantic flight. The attitude is very much that you’re a threat to the country, and it’s up to you to submit to intense interrogation and searches or face instant deportation.

When I came back from One More Thing and I skipped the ‘visitors’ immigration control line at LAX — at least 120+ bodies long — and walked through the ‘US Residents’ line with my wife, getting friendly and casual treatment was absolutely shocking to me.

A Simple Suggestion

Ah, Bing. From the moment it was launched, the design community frowned upon Microsoft’s attempt at a search engine. Its comically poorly stretched word-mark typography. Its overdesigned landing page. And then there was the question of it copying Google search results.

Yes, it’s been a rocky ride for Bing. For Microsoft in general, really. Never has the company faced challenges on so many fronts.

In response to these challenges, Microsoft (quite impressively) is moving forward with a surprising amount of consistency in style and design. ‘Metro’ is the name of the game, and you can see it on your Xbox, on your PC, on your phone… heck, even Microsoft’s main website has funky colored squares now.

Yes, it’s hip to be square. But wait, Bing remains… well, Bing. A few days ago, Bing unveiled their new, ‘uncluttered’ search experience. As you may notice, it’s nothing like anything Microsoft is putting out right now.

 Read the full post

Coachella 2012

Coachella 2012 was an interesting music festival experience. As a European, I’ve been to many music festivals, some small, some large. Since I moved here, I’d only attended Outside Lands, a festival in San Francisco’s beautiful Golden Gate Park. Personally, I think that without camping, one can’t really say it’s a ‘true’ music festival, and by that measure Coachella was my first festival in the United States.

I shot some photos with a new camera, as I wasn’t going to bring my 5D Mark II, I got a chance to put the Fuji X10 through its paces. I wasn’t disappointed.

All photos in this post were taken at the second weekend of Coachella with the Fuji, by me or Bre. Friendly notice: these photos are not yours. Don’t use them in your work or republish them without my permission. But you knew that, right?

 Read the full post