Photo by Jonatan Pie

Photo by Jonatan Pie on Unsplash.

Admittedly, with this new Fresh Links section on the blog, I’m not sure how the Sunday Edition will be shaped going forward. I appreciate your patience as I undergo some experimentation.


Get Schooled in the No-Nonsense Art of Survival — Outside Online

This doesn’t do much to work against the whole “Canada is a frozen tundra” mantra, especially this quote from Eva Holland:

As I slogged through deep snow and deeper darkness toward my tent, tripping and scraping my shins on chunks of broken ice concealed by fresh powder, I reminded myself that I had come here intending to suffer.

However, the overall premise of the Extreme Polar Training course on Baffin Island is where it need to be — between scientific endeavour and the shear wonder of the Arctic, there’s a reason to explore the region again and again.


A timeline map of the 200,000 year history of human civilization — Ollie Bye

This is a great visualization of the spread of mankind out of Africa and into the rest of the world.

Anytime I see pieces outlining the spread of our civilization, I fall back to Jared Diamond’s Guns, Germs, and Steel masterpiece. Whether or not there are falsities in his book, Diamond’s logical approach to the spread of mankind across the globe was one of the greatest history lessons I ever encountered. National Geographic turned Diamond’s book into a TV series in 2005, which is well worth the watch, even if you’ve read the book.

(Via Kottke.)


How I Use Things 3 from Cultured Code

Not sure where this originally stems from, but this handy flow diagram I discovered on Reddit for using Things 3 would stand as a nice printout tacked to a bulletin board for quick reference.

Step 2 is particularly in-depth.


Alto’s Odyssey’ took three years to make, and that’s all right — Engadget

Ryan Cash, Snowman’s director for the series of serene Alto iOS games:

We’re kind of figuring a lot of this out on the way. Alto’s Odyssey will sort of only be our second step into this world. We were kind of, I don’t want to say blindly, hoping for the best. We’re kind of just making it up as we go. I think we’re feeling pretty good about it now, but we’re also pretty young in the industry.

Aren’t all the best things just made up as you go? Flying by the seat of your pants is the only way to invent things, it seems.


Behind the Scenes of Apple’s Portrait Lighting System — Apple

At this point, it’s hardly surprising to see the depth and detail Apple pursued to get this feature right. We already know Apple has more than 800 people working on the iPhone’s camera (that was in 2015 — surely the team has grown by now), and hearing they have to bring in even more brilliant minds to nail a feature goes to show Apple’s obsession with getting it right.

I myself don’t find Portrait Lighting particularly useful, but this could improve over time. I’m of the opinion certain features have to be implemented just to prove you can do something, to strike inspiration in third parties to take what you’ve proved possible and run it to a new level.

This, in and of itself, is one of Apple’s core strengths.


In with a new MacBook — Finer Things in Tech

David Chartier on the MacBook Pro Touch Bar:

I think I’ll need time to understand the Touch Bar. Coming from an iPad, I’m certainly interested in the potential of a section of my keyboard that can adapt to the task at hand. Already, in a couple apps, I found shortcuts in the Touch Bar for which I didn’t know the keyboard shortcut; that was quite useful.

I’m not convinced Apple is going to do away with the Touch Bar. There’s a vocal segment of owners who have no use for it, but I wouldn’t be surprised if there is a less vocal segment who appreciates the added functionality over the function row. The MacBook Pro is used by developers and designers, sure, but it’s also used by a huge array of other users as well — many of whom are discovering shortcuts in apps (like David and myself) for the first time thanks to the Touch Bar.

No bold predictions here, but I wouldn’t be surprised if Apple tweaks the Touch Bar a bit and roars full steam ahead on the feature.


Merkur Offshore Wind Farm — Finn Beales

I’ve highlighted Finn’s work once or twice in the past. I admire how he can take an absolutely mundane topic — exploring one of General Electric’s wind farms — and find a way to pull art out of it.

I’m not aware of how prevalent wind farms are across the world, but there are two wind farms near my home which bring extraordinary awe each time I drive through. St. Leon’s wind farm in Southern Manitoba is Manitoba’s first wind farm project. It cost the province $230 million to produce 73 Danish-built turbines, which were built in 2 different phases.

All the statistics aside, these wind turbines are one of the coolest sites you’ll find in Southern Manitoba. From afar, the turbines look like modern, stripped-down wind mills, scattered willy nilly across the escarpment. However, the closer you get, the larger the turbines become. So when someone says each blade of the turbine is 135 feet long, and you realize that that’s about the length of an infield on a baseball diamond, you start to recognize the wonder of these machines.

I’m not sure how good the St. Leon Wind Farm is at producing electricity, but I’m quite sure of its ability to elicit an optical illusion.


Your ‘Lite’ App Should Be Your Only App — Audacious Fox

Kyle Dreger, in his now oft-linked piece on lite apps:

Why does Twitter Lite feel more like Twitter than anything the company’s done with their main website or app over the past few years? Are Facebook, Twitter, and Google truly so married to ads, analytics, and A/B testing frameworks that their only shot at making a reasonably sized, fast app is to start fresh? Will these lite variants actually stay that way, or will the bloat slowly creep back in?

Something about Kyle’s minimal blog design tells me he has an eye for minimal and efficient apps.


That’s one way of testing out a new layout for the Sunday Edition. Next week could be something entirely different.

Happy Sunday. All the best in the week ahead.