Panobook: A Notebook for Your Desk

Kickstarter:

It all started with an insight about how we use notebooks. Even though we spend 8 hours a day doing digital work on a computer, notebooks are an essential analogue tool. We noticed, while sitting at a computer, it would be great to have a notebook directly in front of us. But that would require a different type of notebook, one with more of a panoramic ratio. So that’s what we made.

Panobook works great on a desk, either in front of, behind, or to the side of your keyboard. We wanted to create a notebook that was always open and always within arm’s reach.

I think this is a great idea, but this review sold me.

American Opera – “Sidewalks” (Song Premiere)

Today we have the premiere of American Opera’s new song “Sidewalks” for you. The track comes from the upcoming album, Small Victories, which is due out on Spartan Records on June 30th. Pre-orders are now up.

Vocalist John Bee, described the song:

“Sidewalks” is about two lost souls fumbling their way through life. Two complete strangers who walk the same streets, looking for the same thing, but they never find it because they are too scared, too lost, too hurt, too far gone. The help they need, the people they need, everything they need is right there in front of them. They just can’t see it because they are blinded by life. They live in their own worlds that are the result of every moment, every interaction, every fleeting thought they have ever had. They are blinded by their own shit. They can’t see each other.

I loved working with Meeko on “Sidewalks.” We’ve worked together in the past and it was a real privilege to work with her again. She’s one of those people who doesn’t seem to understand how truly talented she is and it’s a bit maddening. It’s as if it’s effortless for her. She flew in to Atlanta on no sleep and completely knocked it out of the park. She makes another appearance later on in the album which is probably my favorite part of the record.

Settling All Family Business (Encore Episode 149)

Encore 149

On this week’s episode of Encore I am once again joined by special guest Deanna Chapman. This week it’s all about a whole bunch of new music that’s been recently released. We talk about new music from Manchester Orchestra, Bleachers, Rise Against, and All Time Low. We also give some thoughts on Apple’s WWDC and their new products, and answer a question about creating playlists and when and how we listen to them. There’s also some comic book talk, and the usual discussion of there being too much new stuff to consume.

Hope you enjoy! Have a great weekend.

Things 3: The To-Do Listing App I Recommend Most

Things 3 was recently released. MacStories has a good run-down:

An app’s visual design is, in many ways, a matter of preference. But as far as I’m concerned, you would be hard-pressed to find a better looking to-do app than Things. The first time I opened it on my iPad, I couldn’t help but pause a few moments to admire it. And while that initial sense of awe wore off after a few days of use, its residual impact can be judged by the way Things has ruined other apps for me. Things 2 looks archaic by comparison, and even more modern task managers like Todoist and 2Do appear dated after using Things 3. The only task manager I’ve come across that feels like it’s from the same design era is Microsoft’s successor to Wunderlist, To-Do.

This is the to-do/task manager app I most recommend. I, personally, still use Omnifocus, but that’s because I’m a crazy person and have pretty specific way I manage tasks. But, for most people … Things 3 is the way to go.

Introducing Chorus 2.0

One of the best parts about running my own website again is that I can work on improvements and changes and roll them out when they’re done instead of waiting for the never ending drudge of bureaucracy. Today I’m excited to bring you a collection of changes, improvements, additions, and new features that I am calling Chorus 2.0. Basically, I’ve spent the past year or so learning about what makes this website work, what doesn’t work, what needs to be improved, and how to better organize the information we push into it each day. And of course, how you, the reader, are using it. I’ve taken what I’ve learned and combined that with an optimization obsession to get this website to load as fast and reliably as possible on virtually any device you view it on. You may not see a lot of outward changes, but there were thousands of lines of code tweaked and changed along the way. I want to quickly go through some of the bigger changes, and introduce you to some of the more headlining features.

Open Letter To Kevin Durant: This Boring NBA Postseason Isn’t Your Fault, It’s Ours

Michael Rosenberg, writing for Sports Illustrated:

The problem with your Warriors experience is that there was no struggle. You showed up, killed everybody and won. It was not surprising or interesting. It feels like a bunch of parents conspired to put the best players on the same Little League team. Sure, you’re going to win, but we all expected that as long as you stayed healthy. (And no, Kerr’s back injury does not count. Please.)

You have the two best pure scorers in the league (you and Curry) and two of the five best defensive players (Klay Thompson and Draymond Green). That’s it. That’s the whole screenplay. The rest is just special effects.

The playoffs this year have sucked. When one team is so clearly better than any other team (and probably any other team ever assembled), that’s what happens. I’m disappointed.

The Secret Plan for the Days After the Queen’s Death

The Guardian:

In the plans that exist for the death of the Queen – and there are many versions, held by Buckingham Palace, the government and the BBC – most envisage that she will die after a short illness. Her family and doctors will be there. When the Queen Mother passed away on the afternoon of Easter Saturday, in 2002, at the Royal Lodge in Windsor, she had time to telephone friends to say goodbye, and to give away some of her horses. In these last hours, the Queen’s senior doctor, a gastroenterologist named Professor Huw Thomas, will be in charge. He will look after his patient, control access to her room and consider what information should be made public. The bond between sovereign and subjects is a strange and mostly unknowable thing. A nation’s life becomes a person’s, and then the string must break.

Ethics Can’t Be a Side Hustle

Mike Monteiro, writing for Dear Design Student:

In the last few months I’ve had a lot of designers ask me “Where can I do good work?”And they don’t mean “good” as in quality. They mean good as in “on the side of the angels.” They look at the world, they see a garbage fire, and they wanna help put it out. That’s commendable. If there’s been a shred of a silver lining lately, it’s been seeing so many people rally to activism. It gives me hope.

Where can you do good work? The answer is so obvious as to be painful. Right where you stand. That’s where you do good work.

Todd McFarlane (Still) Answers to No One

Vulture:

For a time he’d harbored visions of playing baseball by day and drawing comics by night, so with the former option closed to him, he focused on the latter. He already had promising inroads, having earned a spot penciling a story in a low-selling Marvel series called Coyote near the end of college, followed by dribs and drabs of work for Marvel and its rival, DC Comics. His star rose with a short run on a Batman story, and a longer run on Marvel’s The Incredible Hulk. Then, in 1988, he was assigned to Marvel flagship series The Amazing Spider-Man, and made one of the biggest career jumps in comics history.

It’s hard to overstate how revolutionary the 27-year-old McFarlane’s visual take on Spidey was. “When I took over the book, I thought they were doing Spider-Man with an emphasis on man,” he says. “I took it and did Spider-Man, big emphasis on spider.” All of a sudden, the wall-crawler was swinging, crawling, and leaping in a way that felt thrillingly animalistic. His knees would rise to his ears, his toes would point like daggers, his mask’s eye holes grew to massive proportions, and — most famous of all — his webbing would writhe and twist around itself like cylinders of linguini.

“Welcome to Geekdom:” Spidey Extravaganza Part 1

Yours truly is on the latest episode of “Welcome to Geekdom” talking all about Spider-Man, Spider-Gwen, and all kinds of nerdy Spider-stuff.

Jason Tate returns to the podcast to talk about The Spectacular Spider-Man, Spider-Gwen, and Miles Morales. Comics covered include Spider-Gwen #1-5, Spider-Gwen #1-18, Spider-Man #1-15, Ultimate Comics Spider-Man #1-28, and Miles Morales: Ultimate Spider-Man #1-12.

Here’s the Overcast link if that’s your bag.

The Boy Scouts Can Do a Good Turn Finally

James Dale, writing for The New York Times:

The Mormon Church’s latest announcement suggests that this time has come. It would therefore be a good moment for the Boy Scouts of America to take the opportunity to end anti-gay discrimination within its organization, without exception. The Boy Scouts has debated this issue for so many years already, to which I bear witness from my own struggles to change scouting so that it would accept gay youth and leaders.

In 1990, the Boy Scouts expelled me for being gay. I was a 19-year-old assistant scoutmaster in the New Jersey troop where I earned my Eagle Scout badge. For the next decade, I fought my expulsion, challenging the anti-gay policy on the basis that it violated New Jersey’s law against discrimination, including sexual-orientation discrimination.

In 2000, my lawsuit ended up before the United States Supreme Court. The justices then held, by a 5-to-4 vote, that the Boy Scouts of America was exempt from the state law prohibiting discrimination based on sexual orientation because of the First Amendment. The court concluded that the Boy Scouts effectively had a legal right to exclude gay people because the organization viewed them as “immoral” and “unclean.”

Makes Me Laugh (Encore Episode 148)

Encore 148

On this week’s episode of Encore I am once again joined by special guest Drew Beringer. This week we talk all about the new albums from New Found Glory and Paramore. First we catch up a little (Drew got married!), talk a little basketball, Funkos, the usual. Then we dive into the most recent releases from New Found Glory and Paramore and talk about their place in the music scene and their careers as a whole. Mixed within is a talk about Blink-182 and if they should shake it up with a new producer like NFG did (spoiler: probably), and a talk about leaks not mattering much these days, and how we feel about long wait times between album announcements.

Winners and Losers of the Recent Nuclear Holocaust

McSweeneys:

The nation was recently rocked by retaliatory nuclear blasts that have turned much of America into a barren wasteland, decimating the population, triggering the rise of firestorms and supervolcanoes, and generally bringing civilization to the brink of collapse. Let’s take a look at the political fallout.

Perfect satire of the “politics as theatre” bullshit made popular by Chris Cillizza and the like.

Sorting 2 Metric Tons of Lego

Jacques Mattheij:

After a trip to lego land in Denmark I noticed how even adults buy lego in vast quantities, and at prices that were considerably higher than what you might expect for what is essentially bulk ABS. Even second hand lego isn’t cheap at all, it is sold by the part on specialized websites, and by the set, the kilo or the tub on ebay.

After doing some minimal research I noticed that sets do roughly 40 euros / Kg and that bulk lego is about 10, rare parts and lego technic go for 100’s of euros per kg. So, there exists a cottage industry of people that buy lego in bulk, buy new sets and then part this all out or sort it (manually) into more desirable and thus more valuable groupings.

I figured this would be a fun thing to get in on and to build an automated sorter. Not thinking too hard I put in some bids on large lots of lego on the local ebay subsidiary and went to bed. The next morning I woke up to a rather large number of emails congratulating me on having won almost every bid (lesson 1: if you win almost all bids you are bidding too high). This was both good and bad. It was bad because it was probably too expensive and it was also bad because it was rather more than I expected. It was good because this provided enough motivation to overcome my natural inertia to actually go and build something.

In the Spotlight Playlist: 50 Songs You Need to Hear

This week we unveiled our “In the Spotlight” feature where we highlighted 50 bands we thought you needed to hear. In the feature we’ve got blurbs and “recommended if you like” hints to try and convince you to listen to the bands, but sometimes just having all the recommended tracks in a playlist to churn through is the way to go.

Our “In the Spotlight Playlist” is available on Spotify and Apple Music.

An Act of Monstrous Cruelty

Paul Weldman:

Here at the Plum Line, we write a lot about the mechanics of politics — the processes of governing, the interplay of political forces, the back-and-forth between citizens and lawmakers, and so on. We do that because it’s interesting and because it winds up affecting all our lives. But there are moments when you have to set aside the mechanics and focus intently on the substance of what government does — or in this case, what government is trying to do.

I won’t mince words. The health-care bill that the House of Representatives passed this afternoon, in an incredibly narrow 217-to-213 vote, is not just wrong, or misguided, or problematic or foolish. It is an abomination. If there has been a piece of legislation in our lifetimes that boiled over with as much malice and indifference to human suffering, I can’t recall what it might have been. And every member of the House who voted for it must be held accountable.