VW Beetle Club Chair by The Rag and Bone Man

 

This is the Beetle Club Chair by The Rag and Bone Man, a company founded by British couple Lizzie and Paul who specialise in scouring junkyards across the United Kingdom for interesting scrap before repurposing it into functional works of art.

Each new piece starts life as a recovered junk, the team uses traditional metalworking techniques and vintage machinery to reshape it and give it a new purpose. They reshape their discoveries into furniture, lighting, jet engine clocks, crankshaft tables, chairs, bar stools, wall fittings, desk lamps, and a slew of other pieces.

VW Beetle Chair Collage

This is The Rag and Bone Man’s first club chair, it’s made using a classic VW Beetle hood on the back, with simple light grey wool fabric upholstery and the outer shell has been waxed and buffed to a soft satin surface. The chair is mounted to a classic five-leg mid-century swivel base.

When placing your order you can opt for a range of fabrics and leathers for the upholstery, and it’s important to note that the swivel bases may vary slightly on every chair and fixed bases are available upon request.

The VW Beetle is one of the best selling cars of all time and it remains widely loved around the world. Those with a love for classic cars and air-cooled engines will have no trouble fitting the VW Beetle club chair into their homes or offices.

Visit The Store

 

The post VW Beetle Club Chair by The Rag and Bone Man appeared first on Silodrome.

United States of Letterpress

Field Notes Fall 2020 is here...well almost. The order went in as soon as we were allowed, and we now depend on Fedex and Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs. All being well, they will be in stock next week.
I think you're going to like them...

FREEDOM OF THE PRESSES

Our 48th Quarterly Limited Edition for the Fall of 2020 is the “United States of Letterpress,” which features the work of nine independent letterpress shops from across America. This series demonstrates a wide array of craftsmanship, ingenuity, and love for the age-old and tactile process of letterpress printing.

Fnc48 B2B Ss

With the help of our friends at Finch Paper of Glenn Falls, New York, and The French Paper Company of Niles, Michigan, we shipped each shop a different color cover stock (all from French’s Pop-Tone line) and specified the same two ink colors (Rhubine Red and Process Blue) for all of them. The results are as varied and thoughtful as the participants involved. 

Continuing a tradition embossed into the history of American letterpress printing, the layouts, themes and messages are highly personal statements about heritage, geography, tradition, and social issues, and they also demonstrate the diversity and strength of today’s letterpress community. 

In 2015, we released the “Two Rivers” Edition with The Hamilton Wood Type & Printing Museum of Two Rivers, Wisconsin, and we leaned on them this time too. With Hamilton’s help, we crafted a list of letterpress printers we wanted to work with. Luckily for us, they all said yes.

Fnc48A All Rev

3-PACK A

Includes one cover designed by Full-Circle Press of Nevada City, California. One of two by Genghis Kern of Denver, Colorado. One of two by Mama’s Sauce of Orlando, Florida.

 

Fnc48B All Rev

3-PACK B

Includes one of two cover designs by Springtide Press of Tacoma of Washington, One of two by Brad Vetter of Louisville, Kentucky. One of two by Ben Blount of Evanston, Illinois.

Fnc48C All Rev

3-PACK C

Includes one of two cover designs by Rick Griffith of Denver, Colorado. One of two by Erin Beckloff of Springboro, Ohio. One cover by Starshaped Pressof Chicago, Illinois. 

Fnc48A Fly

FLYLEAVES

Skylab Letterpress of Kansas City, Missouri printed our designs for each book’s flyleaf, including a reproduction of a border from the Bay Psalms Book (1640), thought to be the very first book printed in the American colonies. 

MILES COVERED

Lake County Press, of Waukegan, Illinois, pre-printed the Field Notes elements on the exteriors and interiors of the cover stock, which was then trimmed down from standard 26" x 40" press sheets to 8.5" x 13", with the art arranged 2-up on a sheet. We then shipped one color to each of the letterpress printers. 

The printers utilized any and all methods at their disposal, with the only dictate being that they print a 2-color design using our specified red & blue inks.

Fnc48 B3B Close

The covers and flyleaf sheets were shipped back to LCP, where light tan Graph Grid interior pages, printed on Finch Opaque Smooth “Bright White,” were waiting. All the elements were then collated, bound, stapled, and cut, and the 3-Packs assembled.

This project was produced through the craft and creativity of twelve printers around the country, with the help, gumption, and know-how of countless others, passed down by job-printers, collectors, and hobbyists over the last several centuries.

THE PRESSES

Letterpress & Design
Genghis Kern, Denver, Colorado
Full-Circle Press, Nevada City, California
Mama’s Sauce, Orlando, Florida
Brad Vetter,  Louisville, Kentucky
Springtide Press, Tacoma, Washington
Ben Blount, Evanston, Illinois
Erin Beckloff, Springboro, Ohio
Rick Griffith, Denver, Colorado
Starshaped Press, Chicago, Illinois

Additional Printing
Thomas Printers, Ogden Utah
Skylab Letterpress, Kansas City, Missouri
Lake County Press, Waukegan, Illinois

THE PAPER

This special Quarterly Release was made possible by the cooperation of Finch Paper of Glenn Falls, New York, and The French Paper Company of Niles, Michigan. Field Notes has had a long relationship with both of these American mills, and we’re grateful that they joined us in celebrating the letterpress community.

Frinch Color
SPECIFICATIONS:
  • 01.

    Proudly printed by the good people of Lake County Press, Waukegan, Ill.

  • 02.

    Cover: Printed on 1 of 6 French Pop-Tone 100#C stocks with a thick, brute force, 1-color application of “Linotype Slug Gray” soy-based Superior ink. It was then sent to 1 of 6 Letterpress printers around the U.S.A. and smashed with a 2-color application of “Process Blue” and “Rubine Red” letterpress inks.

  • 03.

    Innards: Finch Paper Opaque Smooth 60#T “Bright White,” with a fine, 1-color application of “Double Knee Duck Canvas Light Brown” soy-based Toyo ink.

  • 04.

    Cover and innards printed on a Heidelberg Speedmaster XL 105 40" 6-color printing press, as well as various vintage presses (see flyleaf for more details).

  • 05.

    Bound with a Heidelberg Stitchmaster ST 270 5-pocket saddle stitcher with cover feeder/scorer & Rima RS 10S in-line stacker.

  • 06.

    Corners precisely rounded to a 3/8" (9.5mm) radius with a Challenge DCM double round-corner machine.

  • 07.

    Memo book dimensions are 3-1/2" × 5-1/2" (89mm × 140mm).

  • 08.

    FIELD NOTES uses only the Futura typeface family (Paul Renner, 1927) in its materials.

  • 09.

    All FIELD NOTES memo books are printed and manufactured in the U.S.A.

  • 10.

    Pack A UPC: 858493003936, Pack B UPC: 858493003943, Pack C UPC: 858493003950

Have you played… Call Of Duty: Warzone?

A screenshot showing a shooty boy in Call Of Duty: Wazone in free fall towards the map, having just leapt from a plane

I consider myself quite the all-rounder when it comes to playing games. I’ve sampled a little bit of what sometimes feels like every game ever made during my five-squared years on this earth. And yet somehow, inconceivably, before last year’s Call Of Duty: Modern Warfare I’d never played a CoD game before. I’ve no idea how it happened (or didn’t happen), but it did (or didn’t).

Then, as if to make up for all that lost time, the CoD Gods dropped Call Of Duty: Warzone on me a scant few months later. And in a twist of irony, I’ve played very few games since.

(more…)

Biirrinba Carries Life

The Clarence River flows through the hearts of all those who live along its banks.

 

One afternoon, after a long hiatus of contact, help was humbly sought and lovingly given.

 

I called my childhood friend Dan Ross seeking his counsel.

 

At the time, my day-to-day was centered around raising my two young children, but a lofty dream remained in the back of my mind: to be the first person to solo navigate one of Australia’s wildest waterways, the 400-kilometre-long ‘Biirrinba’ (Clarence River), surviving off the land and the river. But I’d hit a snag in my preparations: my Dad.

 

 

Hayley Talbot and Dan Ross kayaking the Clarence River. All photos: Thunderbox Films.

 

 

As a kayaking beginner, some may have seen what I was setting out to do as only a few stations short of insane. My Dad was among this bunch and could not offer his blessing. It was confusing because in many ways he had prepared me for an undertaking like this my whole life – martial arts training from childhood, out at sea on boats, feeding me oysters straight off the rocks before I could talk, and encouraging me to get my hands dirty in the wild, camping, fishing, catching crabs... But on a journey like this ­– solo for several weeks, completely isolated from help – he couldn’t trust in my skills and was turning his back.

 

 

"We want every person in the Clarence Valley and beyond to know what is currently happening upriver and what, if left unchecked, will happen downriver."

 

 

As the departure date grew closer, the active projection of my father’s fears surged over me like a storm, eroding my self-belief. Dejected, I wound up at Dan’s place, silently staring into a cup of tea. His progression, from professional surfer to Patagonia Global Sports Activist and high-performance coach, centred on a holistic approach to mindset, training, and preparation. He seemed like the right place to turn.

 

 

Dan Ross surfing at the mouth of the Clarence River, Australia.Dan Ross getting barrelled near the mouth of the Clarence River, Australia.

 

 

“Close your eyes and bring your attention to your breath,” he told me. “Take your mind to a moment, place, or person that has brought you happiness and deep love. Feel the elevated emotions associated with this moment as you return there. Feel what you felt, see what you saw, and fill your body with this energy upon each breathLet it heal the conflict in your heart and mind. Now open your eyes… and message your Dad. You both need to go for a walk.”

 

I didn’t get my Dad’s blessing on that walk, but I did successfully journey that river home. Home to my family, myself, and, despite having had knots in his stomach for weeks, you’d have been hard-pressed to find a prouder man waiting there on the banks when I paddled in than my Dad. Standing on the sand too, was Dan.

 

 

Fast-forward four years, and we’d gone from friends who grew up surfing the same waves, watching and being guided by the same elders, to linking up to advocate for our community and protect its way of life. Dan and I have been working to understand our homelands and the plans being made for them. It’s been a journey of both history and of identity.

 

 

Dan Ross and Hayley Talbot take in a waterfall on the river.The pair take in a waterfall, flanked by Mount Gilmore, on the river.

 

 

The mighty Biirrinba carries life through as she winds like an emerald serpent from her source at Rivertree, high in the Great Dividing Range to where she becomes the sapphire sea at Yamba. We’ve met courageous people all along this river: traditional custodians, generational farmers, conservation scientists, fishermen, and knowledgeable locals. We’ve listened to the stories of the three Indigenous nations Gumbaynggirr, Bundjalung, and Yaegl.

 

The river Dan, I, and these countless others grew up alongside is a precious natural resource. Sadly, it’s often the same old story, instead of ensuring its health, protection, and preservation, myopic political entities and mega-corps are seeking to exploit it.  There are currently 18 active exploratory mining licenses in the pristine upper reaches of the Clarence River, and on top of that, there are four councils out west who have revived interest in damming part of the headwaters to redirect water inland for Big Ag.

 

Earlier this year, Castillo Copper released its latest report of drill findings at Cangai, just upriver of Grafton. They have expressly stated their intention to progress the site to an open cut mine and they are now seeking a mining lease from the NSW Resources Regulator to expand their operations. Corazon Mining, meanwhile, is busy promoting their findings at Mt Gilmore, the backdrop to the jewel of the river, the Clarence Gorge. In mining circles this area has been dubbed ‘Cobalt Ridge’, owing to the grades of cobalt that have been discovered. Mining the fragile ridgelines of any river, particularly in light of the numerous, environmentally disastrous failures with such methods, is fraught with danger and risk.

 

  

"This a rallying cry to activate local hearts and to foster community, which is the bedrock of our society."

 

  

On the Clarence itself, there have been many fish kills associated with historic copper mining impacts in the last century. The rare and stunningly beautiful Eastern Cod, found only in two rivers in the world, was almost completely decimated. Only through diligent conservation efforts has it just recently been brought back from the brink of extinction.

 

 

Biirrinba passes through three Indigenous nations: Gumbaynggirr, Bundjalung, and Yaegl.

 

 

This a rallying cry to activate local hearts and to foster community, which is the bedrock of our society. We want every person in the Clarence Valley and beyond to know what is currently happening upriver and what, if left unchecked, will happen downriver. The Clarence needs sustainable strategic planning and forward-thinking solutions that honour the past with future-focussed stewardship prioritising clean air, healthy soil, and reverence of water as our most precious resource.

 

Our internal worlds create the external world. So what action does tending to the internal garden look like for you? Beneath the crushing weight of the climate crisis, the global pandemic, and a new boiling point of racial injustice, violence and protest, we’ve perhaps never needed to tend to our internal gardens more.

 

 

Dan Ross and Hayley Talbot.The duo is pushing for strategic planning and future-focussed stewardship of The Clarence. Photo: Gary Parker.

 

 

Banner image: Biirrinba/The Clarence River from the air.

 

____________________________________________________________________

Author Profile

 

Hayley Talbot

 

Hayley Talbot
Hayley is the founder of Caring For The Clarence a
restoration project which involves the planting of 5,000
endemic koala and nectar feeder food trees, fostering community,
healing, and connection post-bushfires. Alongside Dan Ross she
is working on forthcoming documentary 'Rivertree'.

Avalon Emerson: DJ-Kicks

The American DJ, known for her breathtaking, hyperkinetic club anthems, delivers a wide-ranging, shape-shifting set of techno, breakbeats, and leftfield pop.

David Toop: Apparition Paintings

The veteran British composer, improviser, author, and scholar assembles a dreamlike, mercurial album of sonic collage that doubles as a philosophical treatise on sound and memory.

SALEM – “Starfall”

Earlier this week, SALEM popped back into all of our lives when they used their official channels to post their recent STAY DOWN mixtape, which originally aired on NTS Radio back in May. The mix contained new material from the group, including an isolated track called "CAPULETS," and it marked the first new … More »

Deftones – “Genesis”

Last month, Deftones announced a new album, Ohms -- the follow-up to 2016's Gore -- and shared its lead single and title track. Today, the band is releasing a second single, "Genesis," which also happens to be the album's opening track. It comes attached to a music video that was directed … More »

★ Apple Watch Series 6: Graphite Is the New Black

One of the numerous lamentable aspects of product introductions in the coronavirus era is the lack of any sort of post-keynote hands-on access to the products. Apple’s product photography is nonpareil, but there are some things you need to see in person. Color is one. And for how things feel, well, you obviously need to have whatever it is in hand — or in this case, on wrist.

With this week’s new products, the ones I was most interested in seeing, feeling, and trying in person were: the Graphite stainless steel Series 6 Apple Watch (how dark is it? how polished?), the new Solo Loop and Braided Solo Loop bands (how stretchy are they? how comfortable? better than the regular Sport Bands or just different?), and the new Leather Link strap (how’s it compare to the Leather Loop?).

Apple sent me the following products for review, which arrived early Wednesday morning — without having asked me if I had any specific requests:

  • Graphite stainless steel Series 6 (44mm)
  • Graphite Milanese Loop
  • Solo Loop (black)
  • Braided Solo Loop (black)

The advantage, perhaps, of having boring but very consistent taste is that I’m very easy to predict. While what Apple sent wasn’t an exact match for my personal “what I’m most interested in” list, it was remarkably close, and sending the Milanese Loop instead of the Leather Loop is better for the single biggest question on my mind — evaluating the Graphite stainless steel finish.

But that’s not all. Part of the thing with the Solo Loops is that they’re rather precisely sized — they stretch to take on and off, but they’re meant to fit your wrist in their unstretched state. Going by Apple’s print-and-cut-out DIY sizing PDF, the difference between each size is less than 6.6 mm. According to Apple’s paper tool, I should take a size 7, but I’m closer to an 8 than a 6.

The sent me each of the Solo Loops in two sizes: 7 and 8.

And, indeed, the size 7 fits me perfectly. The size 8 straps fit OK, but they’re loose — not little-kid-wearing-their-dad’s-watch loose, more like someone-who-prefers-a-slightly-wiggly-fit loose.

Whoever on the Apple’s Watch team decided which sizes to send me absolutely nailed it. It’s uncanny. I checked with a few of my fellow hacks and Apple sent them the exact right sizes too. Nobody was asked to measure their wrists, nobody was asked which hole they use in the regular Sport Bands. I can’t get over this. I feel like I just lost $5 to a carnival barker who correctly guessed my age to the exact year, and I want to get back in line to bet another $5 to see if he can guess my weight.

Graphite Stainless Steel

In addition to the wrist-size guessers, I would like to nominate the color-naming team at Apple for a nice bonus this year. They do good work.1

Graphite is an excellent name for this stainless steel finish. It is darker, but it is not nearly black. Describing where Graphite lies on the spectrum compared to the other dark metallic finishes in Apple’s product line really does require words, not photographs. I mean, compare Apple’s product photography for the Space Black Series 6 in stainless steel (only available in Hermès models this year) with Graphite Series 6 in stainless steel. Apple’s photos make them look indistinguishable. For posterity, I’ve saved copies of Apple’s product shots of the Series 6 in Graphite, Space Black Hermès, and Space Black Titanium (which I very much like, but which really ought to be called Space Gray, because it’s definitely not black).

In real life, the difference is very clear. Apple’s photography captures Graphite very accurately, but makes Space Black look much lighter than it actually is, to accentuate its polished surface in comparison to Space Gray aluminum and Space Black titanium. (I don’t have access to a new Series 6 in Space Black, but I do own Space Black Series 3 and Series 0 watches, and Apple’s Space Black is the same across Apple Watches old and new.) Apple’s Space Black DLC finish for stainless steel is truly jet black — it’s the polished glossy black of Darth Vader’s helmet. Graphite is more like a darker shade of silver — it is definitely darker than regular “silver” stainless steel, but just as definitely not black.

Another good comparison is to last year’s Space Gray iPhone 11 Pro, which is also stainless steel, dark gray, and highly polished. My Space Gray iPhone 11 Pro is definitely darker than the new Graphite Apple Watch. To my eyes, Apple’s Space Gray steel (as seen on iPhones) plays as black or near-black, unless you put it against something truly black. Graphite never looks black.

Apple’s dark gray stainless steel finishes, on a spectrum:

  • Space Black Apple Watch (darkest)
  • Space Gray iPhone 11 Pro
  • Graphite Apple Watch (lightest)

Outdoors in daylight, my Space Gray iPhone 11 Pro looks closer to Graphite than to Space Black; indoors at night, it looks closer to Space Black than to Graphite.

I think this is a good change for Apple’s “dark” stainless steel watches. Space Black made more sense with the original Series 0–3 form factor, where the displays were sharp-cornered rectangles and had larger bezels. The Space Black finish effectively blurred the seam between the display sapphire and the steel case, and helped disguise the fact that the displays had awkwardly large bezels. The watch as a whole looked like a shiny black monolithic capsule. With the Series 4 redesign that carries through to this year’s Series 6, that sort of disguising isn’t necessary, because the displays are larger and have round corners. Also, Graphite looks more obviously like polished steel than Space Black — they might well be equally polished and glossy, but because Graphite is lighter-colored it has a mirror-like effect that Space Black doesn’t. It’s more glanceably premium-looking. It’s shiny.

That shininess carries through to the Graphite Milanese Loop, which definitely looks darker than the regular Silver stainless steel Milanese Loop, but just as definitely is not black. Again, Apple’s product photography for Graphite is very true to life to my eyes.

My Space Black Link Bracelet — from my original Apple Watch back in 2015, still in pristine condition thanks to the near-imperviousness of the DLC finish — looks fine with the Graphite Series 6 watch. It’s definitely not an exact color match, but on the wrist, it plays. The mirror-like finish of Graphite stainless steel helps it pick up the color of whatever band you pair it with. (Apple still sells the Link Bracelets, in Silver and Space Black stainless steel, and the Space Black one still costs $100 extra — $450 vs. $350.)

Why do the dark Hermès models still use Space Black instead of Graphite? I think that’s to precisely color-match the existing Space Black hardware of Hermès watch bands. But who knows? It really does seem a bit curious that Apple’s dark stainless steel Series 6 models are only available in Graphite, and Hermès’s dark ones are only available in Space Black.

Solo Loops

I know not every Apple Watch owner has a Sport Band, but I assume a general familiarity with it as the canonical, iconic Apple Watch band. Visually, the new Solo Loop looks like the Sport Band on the wrist. But it feels quite different.

For one thing, the Solo Loops are half the weight of the Sport Bands. My regular Sport Bands (42/44mm width, S/M length) all weigh about 25 grams according to my kitchen scale.2 The new rubber Solo Loop weighs only 13 grams and the Braided Solo Loop just 11 grams. (Apple’s velcro Sport Loop bands remain the lightweight kings, at just 9 grams. Personally I’m just not a velcro guy, but I see tons of people wearing these straps.)

In addition to the weight difference, they also feel quite different because they’re more supple. If you hold a Sport Band by the connector and stick it out horizontally, it only droops a little, like a diving board in need of repair. If you hold one of new Solo Loops by the connector, it droops straight down. It seems axiomatic that stretchiness and suppleness go hand-in-hand, but on the wrist you can really feel it, especially comparing the rubber Solo Loop to a regular fluoroelastomer Sport Band. It’s like baby’s-butt-cheek soft and supple.

In terms of getting them on and off the wrist, I’d say they’re both clearly in “just right” range on the Goldilocks scale. If they were stretchier, they might be a bit easier to get on and off, but I think they’d then be too loosey-goosey on the wrist. Once on your wrist, the Solo Loop bands are very secure. And though Apple has a footnote on its Solo Loop web page stating “Band may increase in length over time”, I suspect they’re a little less stretchy than they could be to make them more durable.

Here’s how Apple describes the Braided Solo Loop fabric:

Made from 100 percent recycled materials, the 16,000 polyester yarn filaments in each band are interwoven with thin silicone threads using advanced braiding machinery then laser cut to an exact length. The 300D construction offers a soft, textured feel and is both sweat-resistant and water-resistant.

(“300D” is the type of polyester — thinner and lighter than 600D.) I can’t do better than Apple’s own description: it does feel soft and textured, and it does seem water-resistant for a fabric band. I soaked mine under a faucet, and it’s not magic — it does get wet. But if you’ve ever worn a NATO-style watch strap, or one of Apple’s old Nylon Woven Bands, or one of my personal favorites for mechanical watches, an Erika’s Original MN strap, you know that these sort of nylon/polyester straps dry fairly quickly even after swimming.

I really like both of these straps, and will probably wind up wearing one or the other with my Apple Watch for the foreseeable future. I hope both prove popular enough to become perennial mainstays in Apple’s band lineup.


  1. Have you seen how many named colors there are when you customize watch faces in WatchOS nowadays? It’s arguably too many choices from a user interface perspective, but the names for these colors are just chef’s kiss spot-on. ↩︎

  2. Intriguingly, that includes the Nike Sport Bands — you might think that all those holes would make them at least a few grams lighter than their non-perforated brethren, but you’d be wrong. ↩︎︎

Tencent’s Ownership of Gaming Companies Draws U.S. National Security Scrutiny

Owen S. Good, reporting for Polygon:

The Trump administration wants to know more about U.S. video game companies’ involvement with China’s Tencent Holdings, whose relationships with American firms includes full ownership of Riot Games, a significant minority stake in Epic Games, and publishing deals with Activision Blizzard.

Bloomberg reported on Thursday that the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) sent letters to Epic, Riot, and others to ask about their protocols for securely handling Americans’ personal information.

Tencent is the world’s largest video game vendor, but its U.S. holdings are not limited to just that marketplace. It also has stakes in Reddit, Discord, and Snapchat maker Snap Inc.

Epic Games, Activision, Reddit, Discord, Snap — that’s quite a portfolio of companies that, collectively, consume a lot of attention of younger Americans.

Link: polygon.com/2020/9/17/21444293/tencent-ownership-investment…

The TikTok ‘Acquisition’ Soap Opera Continues

The New York Times:

The exact ownership structure of TikTok under the proposed deal is unclear.

That simple sentence really says it all when it comes to how bananas this whole saga is. This is supposedly a deal that just needs to be signed, not a preliminary discussion, but the “exact ownership structure” remains unclear?

While rushing to secure a deal, TikTok is also hunting for a permanent chief executive to replace Kevin Mayer, who resigned in late August, citing the changing political pressures of the role. Vanessa Pappas, the general manager of TikTok in North America, took over in the interim.

Among those whom TikTok has talked to about the job is Kevin Systrom, a founder and former chief executive of Instagram, people briefed on the matter said. Talks are preliminary, and no final decisions have been made, they said.

Systrom didn’t like working for Mark Zuckerberg, but might agree to work for Larry Ellison. Sure. That doesn’t sound completely made up just to float a plausible name.

Link: nytimes.com/2020/09/17/technology/tiktok-deal-revisions…

Light Streams through a Swelling Canopy of Woven Bamboo in China’s Karst Mountains

All images © Lllab.

An understated bamboo canopy situated among the verdant landscape of the Karst Mountains in Yangshuo, China, offers respite from the sun and frequent rainfall that blankets the area. Designed by Lllab. Architects for the outdoor theatrical performance of Impression Sanjie Liu, the curved structure merges seamlessly with the surrounding environment. Bamboo trees line the pathway the canopy occupies as it stretches across 140 meters.

Smaller lanterns are positioned at the entrance to the venue before the larger structure guides visitors to the main performance stage, which sits at the bank of the Li River. The canopy is hand-woven by local craftspeople, who utilize a specific technique that allows the suble form to be made entirely of the organic material without the use of glue or nails. Inside the permeable walls are load-bearing posts.

In a statement about the surging form, Lllab. notes that the architecture mimics the performers’ movements:

The hand weaving, bamboo playing off the tension of one another. The topography of the canopy ceiling dancing between columns of bamboo as if unsupported. Even the way guests are intended to move from lantern to lantern, in a narrative of interaction. Together these subtle hints encourage a particular frame of mind, readying the guest for the main feature.

To explore more of the architectural firm’s projects, head to Instagram. (via designboom)

 

Maintenance release: Godot 3.2.3

Godot contributors are proud to release Godot 3.2.3 as a maintenance update to the stable 3.2 branch. The main development focus for this version was to fix regressions reported against the fairly big 3.2.2 release from June, but in the process many other bugfixes for older issues have been merged.

There's one big change for C# users though, which is that the .csproj project definition now uses a more modern format relying on a new Godot.NET.Sdk, which should help solve many build issues. This also enables changing the target .NET framework: by default, it is still .NET Framework 4.7.2, but it can be changed manually to .NET Standard 2.0 or greater.

Download Godot 3.2.3 now and read on about the changes in this update.

Note: Illustration credits at the bottom of this page.

Changes

Godot 3.2.3 includes over 500 commits from ca. 100 contributors. There were fixes all around the engine to address regressions, backport new fixes from the master branch, as well as a wide array of usability enhancements and documentation improvements.

Consult the complete changelog (sorted by authors or by reverse chronological order) for an exhaustive list of all changes.

Here's a hand-picked list of the some of the main changes in Godot 3.2.3:

  • Android: Fix Return key events in LineEdit & TextEdit on Android (GH-40469).
  • Android: Add option to enable high precision float in GLES2 (GH-33646).
  • C#: New csproj style with backport of Godot.NET.Sdk (GH-41408).
    • Note: This change breaks forward compatibility, C# projects opened in 3.2.3 will no longer work with 3.2.2 or earlier. Backup your project files before upgrading.
    • Additionally, this change seems to cause issues when using Mono's MSBuild on Windows. See "known incompatibility" below for advice on what build tool to use instead.
  • C#: Add Visual Studio support (GH-39784).
    • Note: At the time of this release, there's a known issue with the Visual Studio C# add-in. It should be fixed soon via a new release of the add-in.
  • C#: Fix crash when pass null in print array in GD.Print (GH-40078).
  • C#: Fix restore not called when building game projects (GH-40596) [regression fix].
  • C#: Fix potential crash with nested classes (GH-40777).
  • C#: Fix endless reload loop if project has unicode chars (GH-41886) [regression fix].
  • Core: Fix debugger error when Dictionary key is a freed Object (GH-39906) [regression fix].
  • Core: Fix leaked ObjectRCs on object Variant reassignment (GH-39903) [regression fix].
  • GDScript: Auto completion enhanced for extends and class level identifier (GH-41318).
  • GLES2: Fixed mesh data access errors in GLES2 (GH-40235).
  • GLES2: Batching - Fix FORCE_REPEAT not being set properly on npot hardware (GH-40410).
  • GLES3: Force depth prepass when using alpha prepass (GH-39865).
  • GLES3: Fix OpenGL error when generating radiance (GH-40558).
  • HTML5: Improvements and bugfixes backported from the master branch (GH-39604).
    • Note: This PR adds threads support, but as this support is still disabled in many browsers due to security concerns, the option is not enabled by default. Build HTML5 templates with threads_enabled=yes to test it.
  • HTML5: More fixes, audio fallback, fixed FPS (GH-40052).
  • HTML5: Implement HTML5 cancel/ok button swap on Windows (GH-40755).
  • IK: Fixed SkeletonIK not working with scaled skeletons (GH-39803).
  • Import: Fix custom tracks causing issues on reimport (GH-39968) [regression fix].
  • Import: Fix upstream stb_vorbis regression causing crashes with some OGG files (GH-40174) [regression fix].
  • Input: Support SDL2 half axes and inverted axes mappings (GH-38724).
  • iOS: Add support of iOS's dynamic libraries to GDNative (GH-39996).
  • iOS: Fix for iOS touch recognition (GH-40723).
  • iOS: Add methods to embed a framework (GH-41081).
  • iOS: Fix possible crash on exit when leaking translation remappings (GH-41635).
  • LineEdit: Add option to disable virtual keyboard for LineEdit (GH-40588).
  • macOS: Add support for the Apple Silicon (ARM64) build target (GH-39943).
    • Note: ARM64 binaries are not included in macOS editor or template builds yet. It's going to take some time before our dependencies and toolchains are updated to support it.
  • macOS: Set correct external file attributes, and creation time (GH-39977) [regression fix].
  • macOS: Implement confined mouse mode (GH-40054).
  • macOS: Implement seamless display scaling (GH-40201).
  • macOS: Refocus last key window after OS::alert is closed (GH-40732).
  • macOS: Fix crash of failed fork (GH-41188).
  • Networking: Fix UDPServer and DTLSServer on Windows compatibility (GH-40374).
  • Particles: Fix 2D Particle velocity with directed emission mask (GH-41145).
  • PathFollow3D: Fix repeated updates of PathFollow3D Transform (GH-40197).
  • Physics: Better damping implementation for Bullet rigid bodies (GH-39084).
    • Note: This makes the behavior of the GodotPhysics and Bullet backends consistent, and more user-friendly with Bullet. If you're using damping with the Bullet backend, you may need to adjust some properties to restore the behavior from 3.2.2 or earlier (see GH-42051).
  • Physics: Trigger broadphase update when changing collision layer/mask (GH-39895).
  • Physics: Fix laxist collision detection on one way shapes (GH-39880).
  • Physics: Properly pass safe margin on initialization (fixes jitter in GodotPhysics backend) (GH-40377).
  • Project Settings: Enable file logging by default on desktops to help with troubleshooting (GH-40121).
  • Project Settings: Fix overriding compression related settings (GH-40340).
  • Rendering: Fixed images in black margins (GH-37475).
  • Rendering: Allow nearest neighbor lookup when using mipmaps (GH-40523).
  • Rendering: Properly calculate Polygon2D AABB with skeleton (GH-40869).
  • RichTextLabel: Fix RichTextLabel fill alignment regression (GH-40081) [regression fix].
  • RichTextLabel: Fix center alignment bug (GH-40892).
  • Script editor: Don't open dominant script in external editor (GH-40735).
  • Shaders: Fix specular render_mode for Visual Shaders (GH-41536).
  • Sprite3D: Use mesh instead of immediate for drawing Sprite3D (GH-39867).
    • Note: This is a major change that should greatly improve performance. If you notice any behavior change aside from better performance, please report an issue.
  • SkeletonIK: Fix calling reload_goal() when starting IK with start(true) (GH-40768).
  • TileSet: Fix potential crash when editing polygons (GH-40560).
  • Tree: Fix crash when hovering columns after removing a column (GH-41876) [regression fix].
  • Windows: DirectInput: Use correct joypad ID (GH-40927).
  • Thirdparty library updates (mbedtls 2.16.8, stb_vorbis 1.20, wslay 1.1.1).
  • API documentation updates.
  • Editor translation updates.
  • And many more bug fixes and usability enhancements all around the engine!

Known incompatibilities

While we strive to preserve compatibility in the 3.2 branch, there's a lot of surface covered in a game engine and some bug fixes might have an impact on your projects if you somehow used a bug as a feature. Here's a list of known incompatibilities / changes that you might need to be aware of:

  • C#: The new .csproj format is not compatible with earlier Godot releases. When you open your project in Godot 3.2.3, a backup of the old project file should be made with the extension .csproj.old. Rename it to .csproj if you need to roll-back to 3.2.2 for some reason.
  • C#: Mono's MSBuild version seems to pose problems with the new .csproj format on Windows. If you have issues building your project after the upgrade, please try to select a different build tool in Editor Settings > Mono > Builds. The recommended build tools are "MSBuild (Visual Studio)" (installed with Visual Studio 2019) and "dotnet CLI" (installed with .NET Core 3.1).
  • Input: The improvements made to better support modern SDL2 gamepad mappings may introduce regressions in the detection of some specific models. If you notice any mapping issue, please file a bug report.
  • Physics: The fixes to the damping implementation for Bullet physics may impact how your 3D physics behave, if you relied on that feature. See GH-42051 for advice on how to change your damping values to reproduce the pre-3.2.3 behavior.

If you upgrade from 3.2 or 3.2.1, be sure to also check the changes from 3.2.2 which might impact your project.

If you experience any unexpected behavior change in your projects after upgrading from a previous version to 3.2.3, please file an issue on GitHub.

Support

Godot is a non-profit, open source game engine developed by hundreds of contributors on their free time, and a handful of part or full-time developers, hired thanks to donations from the Godot community. A big thankyou to everyone who has contributed their time or financial support to the project!

If you'd like to support the project financially and help us secure our future hires, you can do so on Patreon or PayPal.


The illustration picture is from Human Diaspora, a gorgeous sci-fi First Person Shooter developed by Leocesar3D. It was just released as Early Access on Steam, and you can follow its development news on Twitter.

An Immaculately Restored Datsun 240Z – The Original Nissan Z Car

 

The Datsun 240Z is one of the most popular, and arguably one of the most important, Japanese cars of its era. With the recent release (at the time of writing) of the Nissan Z Proto, now is a fitting time to take a look back at the original Z car, and to marvel at how much the prices have skyrocketed in recent years.

The Datsun 240Z you see here is a comprehensively restored 1972 model and by a stroke of luck it’s wearing almost the same shade of Lime green as the new Z Proto. The car has a black interior with coloured carpeting and vented seat backs, it has a traditional wood-rimmed steering wheel and a polished wood gear knob to match.

The restoration process was thorough but the team behind it had the presence of mind to keep the original stickers and tags throughout, the vehicle is also fitted with its original engine and 4-speed manual transmission.

Datsun 240Z Grille

There have been a few very minor (and reversible) changes made to the car in the name of convenience and performance, it’s now fitted with a ceramic-coated exhaust and a Frigiking air-conditioning system, as well as Rota wheels on all four corners.

The engine bay will bring great joy to anyone with a love for tidiness and attention to detail, it’s the best-organised bay we’ve seen in some time and it’s always a marvel at how much room there is for access around the engine – a far cry from modern engine bays that require mechanics to have multi-joined arms no more than 1/4″ in diameter.

The car is showing 29,292 miles (at time of cataloguing) though thanks to the restoration it appears essentially brand new throughout.

Datsun 240Z Engine Bay

The Datsun 240Z was originally released in 1969 (1970 model year), and it was known as the Nissan Fairlady 240Z in some markets. At the time of its release the styling of the car was compared to both the Jaguar E-Type and the Porsche 911, the design of the 240Z is frequently pointed to as a highlight of Japanese auto design from the era, and it remains very popular to the modern day.

As the model name suggests, the 240Z was fitted with a 2.4 litre L24 inline-6 with a single overhead cam, two-valves per cylinder, and twin Hitachi SU-type carburetors. The engine was capable of 151 hp in stock trim, a respectable figure for the day. Nissan fitted all versions of the Z car range with four-wheel independent suspension – MacPherson struts up front with Chapman struts in the back, front disc brakes and rear drums were also standard.

The styling, handling, performance, and engineering of the 240Z were highly praised by the motoring press upon release and long waitlists began to form at dealerships across the country. The 240Z would be followed by the 260Z in 1974 and then by the 280Z in 1975 (in the North American market), these cars were fitted with 2.6 litre and 2.8 litre engines respectively.

Datsun 240Z Back

Early, original examples of the Datsun 240Z that have survived the intervening decades with out being scrapped or rusting to oblivion are now highly collectible and they’re seeing the similar climb in prices we saw with air-cooled Porsche 911s a few years ago.

The 1972 Datsun 240Z has a price estimate of $75,000 to $90,000 USD and it’s being offered without reserve by RM Sotheby’s in late October as part of the Elkhart Collection. If you’d like to read more about it or register to bid you can click here to visit the listing.

Datsun 240Z Seats

Datsun 240Z Nose

Datsun 240Z Centre Console

Datsun 240Z Wheels

Datsun 240Z Trunk

Datsun 240Z Steering Wheel

Datsun 240Z Side

Datsun 240Z Rear

Datsun 240Z Nose

Datsun 240Z Front

Datsun 240Z Engine

Datsun 240Z Door

Datsun 240Z Badge

Datsun 240Z AM FM Stereo

Images: ©2020 Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

The post An Immaculately Restored Datsun 240Z – The Original Nissan Z Car appeared first on Silodrome.

How much do you care about Covenant balance?

I’ve seen people discussing Covenants in World of Warcraft‘s upcoming Shadowlands expansion and how they don’t feel like they can choose one based on the aesthetics or storytelling — the fact that the Covenants add real, tangible power to a character means that they will always be subject to balance issues. This makes sense to...

Kaweco Sport Coral Collectors Edition Fountain Pen Review

Kaweco Sport Coral Collectors Edition Fountain Pen Review

(Sarah Read is an author, editor, yarn artist, and pen/paper/ink addict. You can find more about her at her website and on Twitter. And check out her latest book, Out of Water, now available where books are sold!)

Kaweco Sport pens are petite but practical, colorful, fun, and affordable--making them the Pokemon of the pen world. They are almost too collectible, between new color series releases and a scattering of limited and collectors editions.

Kaweco Sport Coral Collectors Edition

This new Collectors Edition is a Coral color--not to be confused with (or to be entirely confused with) the Kaweco Sport Coral Guilloche Special Edition released by Fontoplumo earlier this year. While the two are extremely similar in name and color, there are a few obvious differences. The Coral Guilloche has gold debossed lettering that specifically says "Coral by Fontoplumo" on one of the pen facets, and the body has a patterned texture to it. This Coral Collector's edition has the classic Sport smooth plastic, and the lettering is debossed but has no color to it. It says "collectors edition" on the facet. See? Totally different. I'm of the bold opinion that you can't have too many coral pens, anyway.

Kaweco Sport Coral Collectors Edition BB Nib

Speaking of bold, this baby comes with a double broad nib option, which happens to be the model I was sent. This nib is a show-off. It will absolutely highlight the best properties of your ink as it glides across the page. This thing is for writing with emphasis, and I love it.

Kaweco Sport Coral Collectors Edition Cartridges

The one downside to the double broad nib is that it will eat through your ink supply faster, and this wee pen only takes short standard international cartridges (or a few options of specially-made wee converters that, by all accounts, are not great). You can find a lot of lovely colors and inks in short cartridges, though, including some beautiful ones from Kaweco. And there's always the option of refilling your cartridge with a syringe. There are also success stories out there from the brave souls who have eyedroppered their Kaweco Sports, but that's a step outside my comfort zone.

Kaweco Sport Coral Collectors Edition Writing

Kaweco nibs are easy to swap around, so you can customize that element of your pen, if you like. Replacement nibs are about $11.50 for steel, which I think is very reasonable. You can also get clips that friction fit in a variety of metal color options for around $6. Considering this pen costs under $25 to begin with, you can get a lot out of a low investment here. The price point puts it in a great range for gifts, too.

Kaweco Sports are tiny workhorse pens. Workhorse ponies. Workponies? In any case, they are small, adorable, tough, reliable, and full of rainbows. This coral color is incredibly charming--classic, but bright and cheerful. I'm not entirely clear where the fuzzy line is drawn between special editions, collectors editions, and limited editions, but I imagine this is one you don't want to wait on.

(JetPens provided this product at no charge to The Pen Addict for review purposes.)


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Kaweco Sport Coral Collectors Edition

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