Magnitude and Direction, Issue #7 | 22 May 2018


I'm experimenting with different days/times to send out this newsletter. Normally, I do Friday in the early afternoon. For this one I'm clearly trying out Tuesday mornings. Which do you prefer? Let me know.


Hardware, Prototyping, and Fabrication

Spyce is a Boston restaurant founded by MIT grads and run by robots. Specializing in wok-based food, it belies a good understanding of which culinary feats robots are and are not currently good at.

How to use the slip casting technique with urethane resin to create parts that look like they were blow-molded.

Build a portable, collapsible workbench with this tutorial from Elisha.


Software and Programming

Japanese researchers have developed an AI that can write haikus just by looking at pictures. Its poems only make sense 5% of the time, though.

Make your own hand-drawn maps, right on your computer!

"Break Free" is a new pop song by Taryn Southern, and everything but the lyrics was composed entirely by an AI.

FontCode is a way to hide secret messages in plain sight by imperceptibly changing the shape of text.


Science, Engineering, and Biomedicine

Researchers in Japan have created wood alcohol that won't make you go blind.

These contact lenses can help correct for colorblindness.

Nouns slow us down.

Science has determined the age at which puppies are cutest.


Mapping and Data Science

Watch New York City's population ebb and flow like a living creature.

What is it about Spain that's killing so many British people?

It's both "Yanny" and "Laurel" and the New York Times made a tool to show it.


Events and Opportunities


Map of the Month

The New York Times' map of the shadows cast by NYC buildings can help you strategically avoid, or embrace, the summer sun.


Odds & Ends

Monkeys can't sue you for infringing on their copyrights.