Hello internet friends,

how about starting the week with something rather lovely? Then here we go, a long love letter to the scientifically out-dated but still rather amazing dinosaurs model at Crystal Palace in London.
That’s quite a story. A slightly more modern take on these animals – if probably just as untrue – is by this Australian company, which tries to recreate dinosaurs as real-sized animatronic models. Now where are the feathers?

They say that one should avoid the kinds of restaurants that have a menu with pictures – a piece of advice that I have found to be completely silly, as these things go. I wonder (actually, I don’t) what they will say about a menu written completely in Emoji.

Kids these days don’t really want to read their tech news anymore. (Get off my lawn… đź‘´) So obviously they get it from the one place where they find everything – YouTube. And this guy is the number one Tech-YouTuber out there.

Remember CDs? If you’re Japanese, you probably look at your stack of rented CDs, shake your head and think “Remember?”

A very different way to get digital content happens in Cuba, where the Internet is a very scarce good. They call it El Paquete and it is very fascinating, indeed.

Only in Russia: Moscow airport gets Kalashnikov souvenir shop

Meanwhile in Singapore: The world’s first network of fully self-driving taxis is up and running. I wonder if it’s possible to get these things to drive slow enough to breed some Pokemon Go eggs – which might be just the thing to get the country that’s obsessed with that game to adopt self-driving cars for real.


Cities, real, imagined and lost

Hello internet friends,

not many things from the 90s are still pretty cool – one of the few exceptions is the Super Soaker. Learn a bit about the nerd who invented those things.

I am absolutely fascinated by the “Lost Cities” series over at The Guardian.
Some I already knew about –Babylon, Troy, obviously, because I did read the Illiad and more than one Schliemann biography, Pompeii and the Angkor megacity that we discussed before. And all the others are just as interesting.
Have you heard of Cahokia before?

I like me some geotags and GPS coordinates and maps and such things. So do millions of gadgets worldwide – from mobile phones and cameras to drones and autonomous farming equipment. Turns out that plate tectonics are now a factor on how well these things work.

I can’t really remember how many bad fantasy novels I read in my lifetime – but I do know that quite often the maps were a lot more interesting than yet another hero’s journey. Now I can have the maps without the stories – on Twitter. This bot tweets a new fantasy map every hour.
It is really lovely. And if you want to know how it’s done – here you go.

The nice thing about fantasy maps is the fact that they are, well, fantasy and don’t have to show the messy side of geography. Unlike Google maps.



Hello internet friends,

you know how bats tend to leave their sleeping areas in huge groups, forming big clouds and managing to do that without crashing into each other? Well, turns out they do crash into each other quite a lot. Make sure to watch the video, it is rather interesting.

More animal nerdery news – if you enjoy the deeps of the ocean, have a look at Nautilus Live. It’s a livestream of a remote controlled submarine with real-time commentary by a bunch of often rather giggly marine scientists.

When I was a child I spent my summers doing stupid stuff like trying to figure out how fast I can read The Lord of the Rings or how long I can pretend to be asleep in the morning before someone actually started to worry about me. Turns out there is at least one rather fascinating, yet highly questionable alternative way for children to spend a summer.

Oh, good.

Remember Marina Joyce from two weeks ago? The YouTuber who suddenly was in the middle of a strange conspiracy theory? The Guardian talked to her and her mother about this weird situation.
At least her fans only had to imagine their idol being brainwashed. Things can be pretty different in other parts of the YouTubery.

Turns out when you legalize one drug, people who profit from illegal drugs pivot their business.


Rule 40

Hello internet friends!

Are you all watching the sports thing in Brazil? Yeah, me neither. But I do like the fact that it gives us great internet things, like this analysis of gymnast Simone Biles’ signature move.
Pretty, pretty impressive.

While we silly humans amuse ourselves with these kind of games, our fellow primates are slowly plotting our demise. First they get our secret documents, then they’ll cook us.
This is not going to end well.

One of the many overly nerdy things I enjoy – and I’m not talking about the ~cool~ nerdy things, like crushing it and writing JavaScript apps – is public transport. So obviously a story of a new “bus” which drives above other cars is absolutely fascinating to me. Just look at that thing. It’s supposed to run on rails, so it is both not a bus and probably won’t scale very well.

So, apparently the internet decided that we don’t like cargo shorts anymore. Which is obviously crazy, where else would we store our cargo in summer?
If this topic is too controversial for you, maybe this will take your mind of it.

I have been saying it for a while: maybe we don’t meet aliens because we’re on one of the first planets to develop far enough.

Let’s talk about our favourite cafĂ©s. You know the one – exposed walls with a couple of prints, tables made out of reclaimed wood, that italian-style coffee maker – but what you really should order is the cold brew. Turns out these things are everywhere and they look the same all over the world.


Before I let you go out there and have a productive week (:face_with_rolling_eyes:) let’s do some housekeeping. Every week I tend to have more links than I want to put into these emails. They now have a place on the internet and usually appear there a couple of hours after you get this email. It’s an experiment and it’s on medium dot com, so I think you can subscribe to it, somehow. Hm. It has an RSS feed as well, so maybe that’s what you like better.


Coffee and Chocolate

Hello internet friends,

besides a constant sense of dread (which in itself is of course a bit silly – the world isn’t actually getting worse) these emails are mostly fuelled by coffee. Turns out this isn’t just in my head. And yes, I did just compare my puny newsletter writing to Olympia-grade sportsmanship.

There are the usual birthday presents – and then there is this: Norway considers giving mountain to Finland as 100th birthday present
Giving someone a mountain, that is quite something.

Have you seen that trailer to that comedy/action movie/summer blockbuster? No? Well, good for you. Just stop watching movie trailers.

I don’t think I ever Vine’d – not my medium, as they say. Turns out many content producers on Vine are leaving the platform. Owned by Twitter, it seems to have the same problems as their main product:

When I first started most of the comments were supportive, then as I gained followers things just got uglier and uglier and it didn’t seem like Vine was interested in doing anything about it.

Sounds familiar?
Meanwhile in Instagram-land: Instagram is building the anti-harassment tools Twitter won’t

Internet fame is a weird beast – because the media we consume these days is often very personal and the connection to the people we see on our screens and hear in our ears seems to be shorter than ever – these people are just an at-reply away, after all.
And that seems to have very strange consequences, especially on YouTube.
Which might be something that might not be a problem here: My Father, the YouTube Star.

What! Europe has too much chocolate. idk man, I’d be totally willing to help with that problem.