By Rob Walker
The workweek is winding down, and as usual you’re looking for webby distraction. Well guess what? I have suggestions.
Podcast Win: Fans of video games, gamer culture or just really good radio will be pleased to hear that the excellent podcast “A Life Well Wasted” has released its first new episode since 2010. The theme of the hourlong show is “Work,” and it includes segments with the famous John Romero discussing his precareer career, and the eccentric Nick Smith, known to some as Ulillillia.
If you’ve never heard this podcast, clearly a labor of love beautifully put together by Robert Ashley on a highly irregular schedule, it’s worth checking out the archive. Think of it as the “This American Life” of games! Actually that’s a terrible description, but the show really is great. Plus every episode is accompanied by an appealing limited-edition print by Olly Moss—a cool gimmick.
Robots vs. Drones March Madness Alternative: Popular Science has created a bracket of the “strongest, fastest, and strangest landbots and sky drones around,” and invites you to “vote for your favorites.” I’m partial to BigDog, of course.
Object of the Week: The Claustrophobic Notebook is spiral-bound on both sides, “to prevent its opening.” A great gift for the aspiring writer in your life who you think should find some other aspiration. Via BookofJoe.
Anti-social Add-On: Are you unhealthily obsessed by how many “likes” your status updates get? OK weirdo, then go cold turkey and break your habit by installing the Facebook Demetricator, which “invites Facebook’s users to try the system without the numbers, to see how their experience is changed.”
Tasty Visual Feat: “I created a series of hand-made pantone chips using everyday foods.” Needless to say, prints are for sale. Via OBlog.
Oops: Business Insider compiles what it asserts are The Best 404 Error Pages of All Time. I’m skeptical of that claim, but some are pretty funny.
From the Air: Jeffrey Milstein’s surprisingly interesting overhead photographs of airports. Via Atlantic Cities.
Abstract Pastime: Zone out to this fast-growing collection of one-minute abstract videos being submitted for possible inclusion in a MoMA event called Abstract Currents, in conjunction with its “Inventing Abstraction” exhibition. If you feel like actually doing something, you can create and submit your own. Or you can just zone out. Via Hyperallergic.
Educational Programming: If that sounds too highbrow, try this: Reddit’s Explain Like I’m Five forum has inspired a video series, in which topics like existentialism, stock market volatility and the crisis in Syria are explained to actual 5-year-olds. If you’re not careful, you just might learn something.