In this week's edition, we have craft, coffee, clowns, cities, and a non-alliterative 90s software flashback.
Japanese craftsman Yasuo Okazaki uses old-school woodturning skills learned from his father to make Kokeshi dolls. It's always fascinating to watch someone's mastery over their tools and skills, and this video is a mesmerising demonstration of that. My favourite part is when the wood starts to burn from the friction as he eases the doll's head into its socket on the body. (Via Colossal)
Article: Clowns terrorising France. Really.
A contender for last week's most bizarre news story, The Atlantic's Zach Goldhammer published (on Halloween, appropriately) this look at a recent trend of evil clowns committing random acts of violence across France. The best part is his review of the history of face-painted violence, including a notable 1836 case, which "generated intense curiosity about hearing a mime speak". I can't help but think of this classic clip.
Interactive: A surreal trip back in Windows time
This one's a great mix of tech nostalgia, programming genius and surreal humour. Interaction artists Zombectro and Jankenpopp have created an in-browser homage to Microsoft's mid-90s operating system, full of pixelated humour and clever tricks. Spend some time in Windows 93, it's good fun.
Article: Coffee and Craft
Rian van der Merwe is a clever design/web person who's geeky about coffee and posts interesting stuff online all the time (don't believe me? Check his newsletter). He's also a good writer. So this post musing on his love of coffee and the value of craft ticks a lot of boxes for me. Read it, over a cup of coffee, then go learn how to make something (Japanese doll-making?).
Data: Urbanisation, visualised
The Lincoln Institute of Land Policy has collected and crunched data on the population growth of 120 cities around the world, published in the Atlas of Urban Expansion. The most interesting bit is the videos they've made, showing how these cities grow over a century. I was particularly fascinated with the way Johannesburg explodes around the 1980s.