hypertext, words and more


  • From Kevin Purdy writing for Ars Technica:

    Reed, a writer and game designer himself, picks one game for every year from 1971 through 2020. He adds an involving dive into the pre-1970s history of experiments, games, and brutally unforgiving code. Each decade also gets its own introduction, and there are summaries of 500 other text games included. Each of the game picks started out as a post on his Substack, though they have been revised and more deeply integrated with their historical context in the book.

    There are classics you might expect, like Adventure, MUDHitchhiker’s Guide, and Trade Wars. There are definition-stretching inclusions, like the original Choose Your Own Adventure book, The Cave of Time, and Dwarf Fortress. And there are probably at least 20 games most of us have never encountered.

    All modern games owe their successes to some of earliest text games. Classics have laid the foundations for concepts like world-building, multi-dimensional narratives that bend the mind and even multiplayer. Before that, table-top adventure games informed some of the concepts and ideas text games explored and evolved. Before that, well, let’s just say the ancient battle of light versus dark rages on still to this day.

    Check out Aaron Reed’s book, 50 Years of Text Games here at Kickstarter

  • Peter Cullen is a legendary voice actor. Notably, he’s voiced Optimus Prime of The Transformers since 1986. Some of his other voice acting credits include Gremlins, Chip N Dale Rescue Rangers, Winnie the Pooh and literally hundreds of others. My personal favorite are his epic narrations from the fabled Toonami Promos of the early 2000s. These promos would be used as bumpers between regular programming and often would promote special films to be featured during the Toonami programming block on Cartoon Network.

    The Big O promo easily sits at the top of my list. Not only is Big O one of the best animated series ever created, but this Toonami Promo is slammin’. The duet of Peter Cullen’s deep but stoic concentrated voiceover and the electronic flat beat-esque house background track gets me amped every time. These kinds of bumpers just don’t get cut like they used to. It’s an absolute banger of a promo:

    I would never advocate for piracy but if you’re curious what Toonami programming was like back then, visit here to get a sense for the nostalgic vibe of Toonami.

    I’m fairly sure Peter Cullen even voiced other Adult Swim promos as well. Surely there’s some Cullen VO just sitting in the Williams Street video archives. If you have access to these or know someone who does, please email me. Until then, here’s some other Cullen Toonami Promo gems I have saved:

    Gundam 0080 Toonami Promo

    Gundam Wing Endless Waltz Toonami Promo

    Outlaw Star Toonami Promo

    Rurouni Kenshin Toonami Promo

    Dragon Ball Z: Dead Zone Toonami Promo

    Gundam Wing Epic Promo (Long Version) Toonami Promo

  • History was made this past summer. The first inmates to graduate from Yale x University of New Haven have earned their degrees while incarcerated at the MacDougall-Walker Correctional Institution. Yale partnered with UNH in 2021 to give these inmates a path to two and four year degrees. It’s a transformative idea, and this program extends to the men’s and women’s federal prison in Danbury Connecticut.

  • Tressie McMillan Cottom writing for The New York Times:

    In the historical scope, it makes sense why protracted conflict marred this city. It is less obvious what a Juneteenth celebration would mean for Portland. The city does not have Texas’ history with enslaved people. It does not have the cultural history of the American South. And it is not a central part of the Great Migration story of Black history.

    The Portland rodeo is a celebration trying to fasten Juneteenth’s specific story of freedom from slavery to universal themes of place, home and equality. Now that Juneteenth is a federal holiday, communities across the country are doing the same complicated dance. This nation still has not fully acknowledged its national debt to slavery. How can it find a unifying national message around Black freedom without acknowledging white accommodation of slavery? A rodeo is as good a way to explore those tensions as any other. Like a rider wrestling a bull beneath bright lights, reconciling national narratives is not a pastime for the faint of heart.


    Like every story about enslavement and the American West, you cannot talk about Juneteenth in Portland without talking about land. “Ivan very intentionally had the rodeo here at the Expo Center,” Oregon State Senator Lew Frederick said. The Expo Center is near Vanport, a formerly Black working-class enclave built around the shipping industry in the 1940s. A massive storm, followed by flooding, wiped Vanport off the map in 1948. Frederick says there remains a notion among Black Portlanders that the flooding was a convenient excuse for displacing the city’s thriving Black enclave.

    Having the rodeo near Vanport is a way of saying that this is an event for you, for us. And that we remember. For State Senator Frederick, Juneteenth is not only about commemorating news of freedom for Galveston’s enslaved people. It is also about remembering in places where a lot of effort has been made to forget. “That’s what Juneteenth is managing, to tell the history that we have not been told. So it can be told in an Oregonian way.”

    Black Cowboys have been around since long before the cattle-driving era, but sadly pop culture has diminished their myth and legend. These folks deserve every right to commemorate Juneteenth and reclaim their much deserved piece of Western Heritage. Bringing people together to acknowledging and reconcile history over song, pageantry and bucking horses sounds like a superb idea. I know where I wanna be next Juneteenth. I’ll see y’all in Portland.

  • From Jenny Brewer of It’s Nice That:

    Susan designed the icons for the Macintosh’s graphical user interface. At the time, the notion of a GUI was revolutionary: just a few years prior to the Mac’s release, people could only interface with a computer through arcane commands written in code. By providing an image-based way to execute computer commands, the Macintosh made computers more intuitive and less intimidating. 
    As part of the original Mac team, Kare created some of the first digital fonts, the UI for MacPaint and some of the most persistent icons in computing such as the trash can/bin, the save disk and the smiling Mac. Kare added to the UI an element of friendliness and emotion. The icons that she designed were playful and simple enough to be recognisable to users around the world. 

    I am particularly taken by this image from Kare’s sketchbooks. A beautiful icon. Strikingly simple, yet infinitely complex. An icon that gave birth to thousands if not millions more since.

  • Truly devastating. Ryuichi Sakamoto dies at 71. Cancer claims another great. One of the greatest pioneers of electronic music. An early adopter, a vanguard of just so much. His influence alone was revolutionary and profound. He was deeply beloved, and considered to be the father of J-pop and other synth-pop influences.

    From Pitchfork:

    “While undergoing treatment for cancer discovered in June 2020, Sakamoto continued to create works in his home studio whenever his health would allow,” Sakamoto’s management, Commmons, wrote in its statement. “He lived with music until the very end. We would like to express our deepest gratitude to his fans and all those who have supported his activities, as well as the medical professionals in Japan and the U.S. who did everything in their power to cure him. In accordance with Sakamoto’s strong wishes, the funeral service was held among his close family members.”

    The man knew how to create magic out of thin air. I mean just listen to this stuff:

    Unbearably tragic to think about him being gone.

  • Seeing Apple’s homepage, spurred me to share the same quote:

    This is no time for apathy or complacency. This is a time for vigorous and positive action.

    — Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

    Read Stride Toward Freedom for free here

  • It’s not everyday you discover century old jeans in a mine shaft!

    Allen Armstrong, CEO and founder of the Castle Dome museum, mine and ghost town where Schlichting made his find, had previously explored the same shaft but missed the trove of jeans, coming within 20 feet of it. He did, however, find a pair of Levi’s 201s—a lower-priced version of the classic 501s, created around 1890 with cheaper buttons and a linen label rather than leather—on his first rappel to the shaft two decades ago.

    To authenticate the Levi’s, Armstrong turned to Levi Strauss & Co. historian Tracey Panek, who drove out from California. “She carried [the jeans] around for two hours like they were a little kid in her arms,” says Armstrong.

  • […] At the same time, his use of double images and the search for hidden images which characterise his Surrealist experimentation are persistent aspects of his work during the 1940s, when Dalí moved to the United States, where he lived between 1940 and 1948. The dropping of the atom bomb on Hiroshima and Nagasaki on 6 and 9 August 1945 shocked Dalí, who depicted the bombings in many of his landscapes from that year, including Idilio atómico y uránico melancólico (Atomic and Uranic Melancholic Idyll, 1945). In this work, Dalí uses his characteristic figurative style inhabited by soft shapes, represented within a black image whose hollows illuminate another reality outside that which is identified by the aeroplane, explosion and bombs. Beginning in the late 1940s, Dalí’s work moves into a new mystical/nuclear phase, in which he makes a number of works that depict the disintegration of the atom in paintings with religious subject matter.

    Read More at the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía