Algae Drives An Exoskeleton, the “Pavement Surgeon”, and Why Legalese Makes No Sense

I bring you the finest reading material in my weekly Linkfest

Clive Thompson



Monday’s done.

Which means that, like the ticking of some remorseless clock, my Linkfest arrives, brimful with the finest reading I could find on the Internet.

Let’s begin …

1) 🎨 The “pavement surgeon” of Lyon, France

I’m coming to this one late, but I just stumbled across the work of Ememem, a French artist whose métier is the cracks in urban pavement (above). He finds them and fills them with gorgeous mosaic artwork.

I love how he turns the accidents, breakages and sheer entropy of urban existence into the framework for visual pieces. As Colossal writes …

The artist repairs gouged sidewalks and splintered facades with colorful mosaics that he describes as “a poem that everybody can read.” Intricate geometric motifs laid with pristine tiles hug the cracks and create “a memory notebook of the city. It reveals what happened, the life in these public places,” he tells Colossal. “Here cobblestones have been picked up and thrown. There a truck from the vegetable market tore off a piece of asphalt…”

There are more photos at that Colossal post, as well as at Ememem’s Instagram feed and web site.

2) 🚚 How “dollar vans” fill in the gaps in NYC’s transit

If you live near the subway or a reliable bus line in New York, the transit system is great. But a ton of neighborhoods — mostly low-income ones — have truly terrible service. You have to walk blocks and blocks and blocks to catch a bus or find a subway station.

So over the decades, a network of unlicensed “dollar vans” has emerged, where plucky entrepreneurs drive around underserviced neighborhoods and offer rides where transit doesn’t.



Clive Thompson

I write 2X a week on tech, science, culture — and how those collide. Writer at NYT mag/Wired; author, “Coders”.