1. Two Very Different Kinds of Illustration | “In late December The New York Times published “The Year in Illustration,” a round-up of the dozens of commissioned illustrations that adorned their pages in 2017. Most of the work is really great and a little of it is not so great, but in any case this overview does a valuable service in highlighting just how much illustration is a part of the organization’s writing. These highly idiosyncratic, unpredictably organic, invariably witty artworks add a vital dimension to Times journalism by facilitating the conveyance of complex concepts, both in current events and the world of ideas.”
  2. Arbitrary deadlines are the enemy of creativity, according to Harvard research | “Amabile’s research turned up one exception to the rule about oppressive deadlines hindering ingenuity: when a manager could convince the creator of the need for speed.” Related: Creativity is a muscle.
  3. What the Entire Internet Looked Like in 1973: An Old Map Gets Found in a Pile of Research Papers | “When the internet began as ARPANET in the late sixties, it included a total of four locations, all within a few hundred miles of each other on the West Coast of the United States. (See a sketch of the first four “nodes” from 1969 here.) By 1973, the number of nodes had grown from U.C.L.A, the Stanford Research Institute, U.C. Santa Barbara, and the University of Utah to include locations all over the Midwest and East Coast, from Harvard to Case Western Reserve University to the Carnegie Mellon School of Computer Science in Pittsburgh, where David Newbury’s father worked (and still works).”
  4. Have Smartphones Destroyed a Generation? | “More comfortable online than out partying, post-Millennials are safer, physically, than adolescents have ever been. But they’re on the brink of a mental-health crisis.”
  5. Logo Pizza | “Current price for any logo: $450 Price increases by $15 with each logo sold. Logos can be purchased only once. You alone get exclusive rights to use it.”
  6. Podcast #369: When — The Scientific Secrets of Perfect Timing | “When it comes to planning for success, we tend to focus on the what and the how. For example, when we set our workout goals, we’ll come up with detailed plans on what exercises we’ll do; when we come up with a debt repayment plan, we decide exactly how we’re going to pay down the debt. But what if success in any endeavor isn’t only decided by the what or the how, but also the when? That’s what my guest today argues in his latest book. His name is Daniel Pink, he’s the author of Drive, A Whole New Mind, and To Sell is Human.”
  7. Lana Del Rey, Radiohead, and the Difficulty of Making Original Music | “Amanda Petrusich writes about musical inspiration, copyright infringement, and the similarity of Lana Del Rey’s ‘Get Free’ to Radiohead’s ‘Creep’.”
  8. The top 5 sequels, adaptations, remakes, and original movies of all time | “Lately, Cinefix has been examining movies based on their sources. First they chose the top five remakes of all time, including the expansion of La Jetée into 12 Monkeys…”
  9. Austin Kleon: My reading year, 2017 | “I read so many good books this year, but here are 15 favorites.”
  10. The Soothing Magic of Things Organized Neatly | “Austin Radcliffe’s book teaches a secret to relaxation: taking in colorful photos of meticulously ordered everyday objects.”