The Flying Sailor, an animated short about the Halifax explosion, was nominated for an Oscar today. You can watch it here courtesy of the National Film Board of Canada. If you’ve never explored it before, the NFB website has an incredible library of films all freely available (there’s also apps for most streaming devices).
There’s a new online exhibition from PEI’s Confederation Centre of the Arts that lets you explore the entire handwritten manuscript of Lucy Maud Montgomery’s Anne of Green Gables, complete with wealth of annotations and supplemental materiel. Montgomery wrote a large portion of the novel on the backs of pages of earlier manuscripts, which are all also readable online and detailed here, and there’s a great look at her writing process (including Waverley pen she preferred to use).
It feels good to look forward to new music from Peter Gabriel again. There’s more coming on the next full moon.
This is the copy of the 2nd edition of the design classic Stop Stealing Sheep & Find Out How Type Works that’s been on my bookshelf since university. A newly updated 4th edition was recently published and, what’s more, it’s been made available as a free PDF on the Google Fonts site under a Creative Commons license. They also have an interview with author Erik Spiekermann, who says he’s “kind of hopeful for our craft of communication that we are slowing down once again.” Here’s hoping.
The new edition is thankfully available in paperback as well.
Zanes’s book shares certain features with the strongest books in the (unrelated) 33 1/3 series— singular focus, thorough research, unabashed passion for and devotion to its subject, a strong yet not unwelcome authorial presence and, above all, a compelling argument to make—in this case that Springsteen’s weird, gothic, heartbroken 1982 left turn, equally the product of an acute psychological crisis and the introduction of the TEAC 144 PortaStudio, opened the door to and laid the groundwork for the whole lo-fi, 4-track, homebrew, backpack-and-laptop indie revolution that followed.
The book’s only out in May, but it reminds me I need to catch up with Zanes’ Tom Petty biography (which Chabon also praises).
I’ve sunk more time into other games, but Atari 50: The Anniversary Celebration might be my favourite thing that I played this year. It’s a collection of over a hundred classic Atari games — from the company’s earliest arcade titles, through the 2600 and 8-bit computer heyday, up to the less than successful Lynx and Jaguar years. But it’s how the games are presented that really sets it apart.
You can dive in and quickly play any game you want like any classic game collection, but the best way to explore Atari 50 is through the timeline view. It presents each game in chronological order, interspersed with a trove of historical material and newly produced documentary-style interviews that puts everything in context. You can see Howard Scott Warshaw explain how he created Yars’ Revenge, watch a vintage TV commercial, read the comic book included with the original cartridge, then play the actual game.
Outside of the collection of classic games, Digital Eclipse also created six entirely new games inspired by Atari classics. Vctr-Sctr, an amazingly well-crafted homage to vector-based arcade games like Asteroids, Tempest and Lunar Lander, is one standout. Kyle Orland has an appreciation of it at Ars Technica. There’s also new takes on Breakout, Combat, and Haunted House that all feel just right. Plus an updated version of Yars’ Revenge that offers a graphical update but retains the exact gameplay of the original. They even finished the never-completed Swordquest: AirWorld, providing a long overdue conclusion to the ambitious (if confounding) Swordquest series for the Atari 2600.
Twitter’s been an uneasy fit for me even before… everything, so I’m not sure how eager I am for a replacement. I’m giving Mastodon a shot, though — will try to be at least a bit more active there.
Find me here: @firstname.lastname@example.org
If you need an invite to the mastodon.social server, this link should work: https://mastodon.social/invite/HWUo93p5
Next time around: more photos taken by humans.