Here’s a fascinating short documentary (about 11 min.) on the Hong Kong neon sign industry, which was at its peak in the ’80s and ’90s but is now in serious decline with businesses installing LED signs now.

And here’s a crazy fact I bet you didn’t know: when a glassworker is designing the a neon sign, the tube’s start and stop points are determined not so much by the letter form but by where he’ll be able to most easily bend the glass without burning his hands.

(via Hoefler and Rands)

Tuesday, January 7

This 60-year-old video made by Hamilton is so fascinating. It shows the ingenious mechanics and principles of how a mechanical watch stores and releases energy to keep near-perfect time. This is the sort of “smart” watch I find interesting, useful, and attractive.

Friday, December 6

“You’re one of the great quarterbacks playing the game today; you’ve had a lot of success. And yet you’ve done it all without a mustache.”

It started with a Kickstarter campaign earlier this spring. The Planet Money team sold 25,000 t-shirts (just plain ‘ole shirts made by Jockey) and then tracked the creation of that shirt all around the world — from the cotton seed to the end product.

The reporting, the short videos, the writing — the whole website — is extremely well done. This is definitely worth reading through and watching all the videos. I’d start with the Kickstarter video, since that sets the stage for the final product.

Very cute and clever video:

‘Skew’ turns the idea of skeuomorphism on it’s head: we re-made some well known skeuomorphic interface designs in the materials and objects they were trying to imitate; as well as subtly commenting on the mundane cycle of the digital day-to-day.

If you can, watch it from your iPhone.

Also: here’s the making of that shows how they shot the video and what the apps are made of.

Friday, November 8

I’ve watched this video half-a-dozen times, and it’s funny every time.

Beautiful short video by Stephen Kenn. From the description:

The Encounter Collection by Stephen Kenn explores the significant act of passing an object on from one generation to the next. It is in this exchange, accompanied by words of wisdom, that a boy is often called to a life of courage. While aware that everyone’s life experience is unique, and often painful, this film focuses on the experience of a boy losing his father and yet retaining the love and passion that was intended for him.

Friday, October 25

XOXO is about people who use technology to build thing they’re proud of and do the work that they love. Though I’m bummed I wasn’t able to be at XOXO this year, I’m not that bummed because I had very good reason: my wife’s and my 2nd son, Giovanni, was born just a few days before the festival.

Fortunately, I’ve been able to attend vicariously thanks to the event videos of each speaker. So far I’ve watched Marco Arment’s talk on fear and competition, Cable Sasser’s talk on stress and pressure, and Maciej Cegłowski on simplicity and other things.

Each of these talks were incredibly inspiring and encouraging to me.

Friday, October 4

John Mayer, Grammy Award-winning singer, songwriter, and guitar player is also a watch collector.

Friday, August 16

There’s a year-long wait list if you want John Willhoit and his shop to restore your classic Porsche. (Via Panzarino.)


Friday, July 26

Vassilis Lazarides has been hand-building musical interments for almost 25 years. It takes him 299 hours to make a single acoustic guitar (at 8 hours a day, that’s more than 37 days of work).

This is incredible to watch. What starts out as a single roll of Aluminum gets transformed into a Tesla Model S thanks to the help of 160 robots and several factory workers.

This video is a collection of over 200,000 pictures taken around Saturn’s Rings over the past 8 years set. And it’s set to a waltz. Half the time I’m not even sure what I’m looking at, but it sure is gorgeous.

Friday, July 5

Simon Christen spent two years filming this beautiful video that he calls a love letter to the fog of the San Francisco Bay Area:

I spent many mornings hiking in the dark to only find that the fog was too high, too low, or already gone by the time I got there. Luckily, once in a while the conditions would be perfect and I was able to capture something really special. Adrift is a collection of my favorite shots from these excursions into the ridges of the Marin Headlands.

Friday, May 31

Fantastic short documentary about Baltazar Ushca, the last man who still mines and sells ice from Ecuador’s Mount Chimborazo. (Via Patrick Rhone.)

Okay, so here’s where I admit that I’m an avid John Mayer fan. His live show in LA back in 2007 is perhaps one of my all-time favorite recordings ever — I wish I could have been there in person.

You know how at a concert it’s normal to have an opening act, a 2nd band, and then the headlining band? Well, for this show Mayer did all three: his acoustic songs as the opening act, then a blues jam session with the John Mayer Trio, and then headlined with his studio band playing his more popular hits.

The video of the concert has a couple songs and other behind-the-scenes tidbits that you don’t get with the audio-only version. I have the iTunes version, and I often turn this on and then just listen to the audio while working. But just recently I saw that the full-length version is also on YouTube. So, boom. Here you go.

Kicking off today’s first YouTube Friday video is this how-to for making one of those huge mall pretzels. Via Cameron Moll’s whimsical new Tumblr, Check This, Boys.

Friday, April 12

This video, made by Hamilton over 60 years ago, still holds true to the same mechanics and principles of how a mechanical watch stores and releases energy to keep near-perfect time. (Via Justin Blanton.)

Why shoot your own Hyperlapse video when you can build a website that will use Google Street View to do it for you? Amazing.

Speaking of cars, here’s an awesome, old-school, and informational video explaining how a differential gear works. Whatever you do, don’t skip the intro.

Kicking off today’s edition of YouTube Friday is the fastest production car on the planet, the Hennessey Venom GT. The car with a top speed of 265.7mph, and holder of the Guinness book of world records for the 0-300kph run.

And yes, Mr. Wayne, it does come in black.

Friday, March 15

Amanda Palmer’s recent TED talk on connecting with fans and learning how to let them to support your art is amazing. She shares some crazy stories also shares her journey as an artist learning to connect with her fans. (Via Duncan Davidson and Sean Sperte.)

Friday, January 25

A Vimeo channel featuring videos of makers making. Click through with caution — you may never come back.

And I think it’s fair to say that this line from Billy Tennent in his video introducing him and his hand-made leathers brand pretty much sums up one of the most wonderful things about hand-made goods:

The perfect piece of any craft — leather work, in particular — is it’s fit for function. It does what it’s designed to do, perfectly.

Update: There’s a Those Who Make website as well, which, in addition to the videos, also has some interviews.

Well, I’m definitely on nostalgia overload, but I still think I’ll stick with Safari.

Most of these concepts are probably nothing new to most of you. But the presentation is fun, and the scientific reasoning for why these concepts actually are helpful is, well, helpful. (Via Patrick Welker.)

Speaking of “cute” this custom-built apartment packs a lot into just 350 square feet.

Related: Ben Brooks thoughts on this video and how poorly we probably make use of the space in our homes and how the products we use may be a contributing factor to that.

The first YouTube Friday was supposed to be just a one-off event. But the feedback has been great, and I too have been having a blast taking Fridays as a day to link to things a little more fun. Kicking off this installment is this short film about a cute little creature who lives in a vending machine in Tokyo.

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