“I asked Rees if he thought the Papermate—a Classic TM/MC HB2—could be rehabilitated. I confess that I had secretly been hoping he would take an interest in my case and perhaps provide his services pro bono. But he saw through me. His face took on a remote look, and he said coolly, “We can talk about it,” from which I inferred that I would have to make an appointment and bring in the Papermate during office hours. But then I won him back by thanking him for what he has done. By bringing pencil sharpening out in the open, David Rees has lifted a taboo: he has given us all permission to express our love of pencils, to abandon ourselves to pencilophilia—a love that till now has always been slightly embarrassed to speak its name.”—Pencilophilia : The New Yorker
“Think of a bike as a tool, a toy, a connector and a mode of expression with a low barrier to entry. It’s probably the most hackable (and hacked) simple machine on the planet. Bikes not only get us from place to place, they are the focus of a number of conversations about how we organize communities and define and share social boundaries, and how we can harness human power to recycle energy back to the grid. Most importantly though, bicycles are an intrinsic part of how we imagine and design the city of the future. They will play a significant role in shaping identity and communities and influencing social dynamics in urban areas, because they are the next great technology platform.”—The Next Great Technology Platform: The Bicycle - Jason Severs - Technology - The Atlantic
“NEWTOWN, Conn. — J. David Goldin, an eccentric 69-year-old with a handlebar mustache and an obsession with radio, was trolling eBay one evening in September 2010, looking for old radios and recordings, when he spotted an item that piqued his interest: the master copy of a broadcast radio interview with baseball legend Babe Ruth as he hunted for quail and pheasants on a crisp morning in 1937. For a moment, Goldin contemplated bidding. It was the kind of historic recording that would fit perfectly in his collection of more than 100,000 radio broadcasts, all meticulously enhanced and preserved on tapes stored in thin white boxes on a maze of shelves in his humidity- and temperature-controlled basement “vault.” Then he leaned closer to his computer, adjusted his thick glasses and studied the record’s photograph and description. What happened next would set in motion a federal investigation with a twist worthy of a classic radio drama. Goldin exposed what authorities have called “one of the most egregious instances of theft” from the National Archives, where the government preserves billions of historic documents, photographs and recordings.”—In National Archives thefts, a radio detective gets his man - The Washington Post
Our friends at the Bodleian Libraries at Oxford have a new musical crowdsourcing project. You can help them transcribe the Libraries’ music collection (“64 boxes of sheet music, mostly for piano, from the mid-Victorian period, which includes dance music and other pieces designed for home entertainment”). Jolly good!