Walking the World, Architectural Renderings, Smiling Fascism, Massimo Vignelli, and Music Globalization

Below are some of my favorite reads and beats from this week.

Slow Journalism

The Proclaimers got it wrong. American journalist Paul Salopek walks way more than 500 miles. In this interview, Salppek talks about his 7-year trek around the world. Police have stopped him a total of 42 times in his first 3 years, an average of once every 100 miles. But 500 years ago, such an ambitious walk would leave him dead.

“As bad as things seem, relatively speaking, we still live in a golden age of freedom of movement.”

Check the Blueprints

You’re featured in some architecture’s renderings and you don’t even know it. Architecture firms are crowdsourcing your images and pitching them to clients. Note: Hipster images are in high demand.

Smiling Fascism

Depression may be genetic but it’s also tied to your environment. Gloomy weather makes you lethargic. Societies that get more sun and socialize are livelier and less depressed. People who set the bar too high on happiness also tend to be more depressed. Depression is complex and personal.

“the reality is that depression is the result of several factors intermixing in ways that are nearly impossible to untangle.”

Massimo Vignelli

A rare interview with graphic designer Massimo Vignelli. He designed the New York subway system in the 70s, giving each line a color and each station a dot. Today’s NYC subway map is too cluttered.

“The life of a designer is a life of fight, to fight against the ugliness. Just like a doctor fights against disease.”

Diplo and Friends

Before the Internet, we had specific categories of music: Rock, hip-hop, country. But the Internet globalized music and morphed into a hodgepodge of undefinable sounds. “Cosmopolitan maximalists” taint what it means to be unique.

+ Radiohead and Lauryn Hill albums to be preserved in Library of Congress

▶ Tunes of the Week

  1. O’Flynn – Desmond’s Empire
  2. Doldrums – HOTFOOT
  3. Maribou State -Raincoats
  4. Earl Swearshirt + Action Bronson – Warlord Weather
  5. Jam City – Today

Listen here

+ Recommended: BBC Radio 1’s Essential Mix, Four Tet X Jamie xx

Thought of the Week

“Genius is no more than childhood recaptured at will.” – Charles Baudelaire

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By Wells Baum

Wells Baum is a daily blogger who writes about Life & Arts. He's also the author of and four books.