How to make a fountain pen

Fantastic transcription of an article from Scientific American (1879) on how fountain pens are manufactured. Comfortingly, not a lot has changed.

The nib is placed on a piece of pumice rock, which you can see the second worker holding. There are thin articulated gas pipes reaching out from the wall. At its end permanently burns a tiny flame, much smaller than the one on a cigarette lighter. The second worker holds the mouthpiece his hand and directs the flame towards the nib. When he blows into the pipe the flame forms a point and gets much hotter. Through adjusting the amount of air he blows he controls the temperature.)

French shop frontages

A look inside some of the Paris shop fronts, at the life going on behind them, will bring you closer to the vibrant pulse of the city.


Neon Communism

Made in North Korea bills itself as a rare glimpse into a graphic culture developed in isolation. But the relationship between domestic and international politics is more complex than it appears at first glance. You might come across cute pastel wrapping paper adorned with Pyongyang architectural landmarks, made for tourists — the work of some North Korean Wes Anderson — or even an improbable set of commemorative stamps celebrating the UK’s Princess Diana, created in 1982 to mark the birth of Prince William.

It's on until May 13th at House of Illustration.

English fuckeries

Most verbs stay basically the same in different grammatical roles. "Walk" looks like "walks" and "walked." But the word "be" looks nothing like the word "am," which looks nothing like the word "were." This unusual circumstance came to be over thousands of years and can be traced back to an ancient ancestor of English.

English is lols.

Raise a drink to Julie d'Aubigny

In Villeperdue, still wearing men's clothing, she was insulted by a young nobleman. They fought a duel and she drove her blade through his shoulder. The next day, she asked about his health and found out he was Louis-Joseph d'Albert Luynes, son of the Duke of Luynes. Later, one of his companions came to offer d'Albert's apologies. She went to his room and subsequently they became lovers and, later, lifelong friends.

I fell down a wiki hole and came back with gold.

Her Paris career was interrupted around 1695, when she kissed a young woman at a society ball and was challenged to duels by three different noblemen. She beat them all, but fell afoul of the king's law that forbade duels in Paris.

Post Horse

One animal was so decisive in shaping human history that the eminent historian Reinhart Koselleck proposed it as the sole organizing principle in a schema outlining the world’s three great epochs.

Sensational Kodachrome Photos of London’s East End by David Granick

Definitely worth looking at.

“The collection has about 3,000 slides going back to the fifties,” says Dorley-Brown, “but they have been well preserved. Many had been unseen for fifty years or more.”

This one is awesome:

Stifford Estate, Stepney Green, 1961

Mar 2018

How to make a fountain pen

French shop frontages

Neon Communism

Feb 2018

English fuckeries

Raise a drink to Julie d'Aubigny

Post Horse

Sensational Kodachrome Photos of London’s East End by David Granick

Jan 2018

Soulaf Khalifeh on Arabic Typography

UFO Version 3

Bubble burn

Beating Jet lag

Lingua Francas

English - The winners curse

Dec 2017

2017AD by DJ Cable

Treasure trove found in Westminster Abbey attics

Asterix and the Linguist

Politics in the Music Hall

Elmattic takes a well earned bow

Nov 2017

Data visualisation

World cup peregruzka

Wallpaper on the new Apple campus

Aug 2017

Pantone marks a colour to honour Prince

Destructive selection bias

Jul 2017

Innovative block about to break ground on Finchley Road

The Cohen Slayer

Postscript resources

The making of the Maybot

Urban planning done right

Jun 2017

Clay tombs

May 2017

Culture wars

Oil rigs

Ghost ships in Japan

Apr 2017

Going back to the polls

Black Gull Books

You should be watching The Expanse

Mar 2017

Shots fired by Nick Cohen

How to block auto-play videos in Safari

Nov 2016

Divorcing Facebook

Sep 2016

NMCN - Sign up!

Aug 2016

Installing Swift on CentOS 7.1

Swift on a server

Apr 2016

Timbuktu's great save

The real game of thrones

Homebrew, Robofab, Fontlab

Mar 2016

Outback palms - Aboriginal myth meets DNA analysis

Street markets in Soho in 1956

Sep 2015

Rome! In maps

Fuck in a word

Custom Macro Location for Fontlab


Rotten at the top


Freehand klaxon!

Jul 2015

A Heath Robinson Last.fm

Grand Armée Mass Grave Found

Apple Music Predications

Killing the cloud


Jun 2015

With thanks

Jerdon's Courser

String and Hip Hop Klaxon

Feb 2015

Caspian origins for European language

A South American language is dying out because the last two speakers won't talk to each other

Dec 2014

Macchu Re-Release

Feb 2014

Winter is coming

Aug 2013

Ice Cream Truck Soundclash

Jun 2013

Dropbox and BBEdit

Jan 2011

This is cool

This is creepy

Poker Face vs String Quartet

Soviet era electronics

Dec 2010

Support your local MC

Colour of the year

Nov 2010

Mood Swings, Stig of the Dump

Oct 2010

Brightons finest

Verb-T, Kashmere and Ghost

Jul 2010

Digitonal release

Aura Journal

Jun 2010

Fontographer restored