E-Ink Playing Cards, Steam-Powered Spacecraft, and Pissing Off Canadian Geese

I bring you the finest Internet reading in my weekly Linkfest

Clive Thompson

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A photo of the “Cosmic Flare Oil Wheel” by Optikinetics. It is a round wheel, flat like a record in a record player, seen from above. It has multicolored splashes of paint/dye all over it in irregular patters — blobs of orange, areas of yellow and white, blue and red too. The periphery of the disk is dark black, as the center
Cosmic Flare Oil Wheel” by Optikinetics

It’s time for my weekly Linkfest — in which I collect together the finest stuff I could find in the last week of surfing the intertubes. I’ve done 64 of these so far.

Let’s begin …

1) 💡 An anthology of psychedelic light-show wheels

At clubs and raves in Britain from the 1970s to the 1990s, the DJs would sometimes project trippy visuals behind them as they played — generated by transparent wheels covered in art, with a light shining through.

The DJ Kevin Fouth has collected together a ton of these gorgeous, eclectic works in a book, Wheels of Light. That one above is a disk made by Optikinetics. As he told The Guardian

I DJ under the name Further with my friend Pete Williams and we mix wheels, slides and video to create a shifting collage that turns a room into a living, fluctuating artwork.” Now he has created his own book, Wheels of Light, a history of British psychedelic club visuals. “We’ve all been to clubs and raves of some kind, and the lighting often plays second fiddle. My book takes a dive into the tools used by the crews at the back of the room and displays the original art for light shows.

You can see more examples of these trippy disks at the publisher’s site or the Guardian piece!

2) 🐎 The psychological benefits of reintroducing urban work-horses

A photo of a dark brown horse drawing a wooden cart in the countryside
Photo by Randy Fath on Unsplash

In the Guardian, Angelique Chrisafis reports on a fascinating trend in several small towns in France: They’re bringing back working horses.

Why? A bunch of reasons, some of which are environmental — horses do not produce any immediate greenhouse-gas emissions, as a large truck would do. The horses are mostly being used to pull garbage trucks or ferry children to school.

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Clive Thompson

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