2016-12-19 2 min read



I'm on a mission to find the best hardware store & lumber yard in NYC. I've found a few guides on the subject - one from Time Out, one from the Daily News - and I'm gonna try to hit a few of them up later this winter. If you have recommendations - or want to come with! - let me know :)

Planning & Strategy.

  • I read Private Empire this weekend, Steve Coll's biography of Exxon Mobil under Lee Raymond & Rex Tillerson. Tillerson, of course, was nominated for Secretary of State last week, and I recommend reading Coll's piece in the New Yorker about him - as well as this Washington Post editorial. I find the oil industry troubling in many ways, but I've gotta say: Tillerson seems pragmatic, totally un-crazy, and in some ways (relatively speaking) downright progressive.
  • A good post mortem on Quirky, which points to Quirky's failure to generate truly innovative products and the ways in which their approach led to internal distraction, community disenchantment, and low quality control. This jives with my own analysis, from last year.
  • A good post mortem of Pebble: Basically, don't count on early adopters to make you profitable.
  • Google X's self driving car unit is now Waymo.

Making & Manufacturing.

Maintenance, Repair & Operations.

Distribution & Logistics.

  • Some great gifs of shipping terminals and manufacturing centers, mostly in China, from Google Earth.
  • An explosion at an Airgas facility has led to a nitrous oxide shortage. Reddi-Wip supplies are affected.
  • The phrase "balls to the wall" probably originated amongst pilots, and refers to the balls on centrifugal governors (which are rad) flying up as the plane's engine sped up.

Inspection & Testing.

  • Combine graphene with silly putty, get a *really* precise strain gauge.
  • California governor Jerry Brown says that if Trump shuts down NASA's earth science programs, California will "launch its own damn satellite."
  • The gravity wave data from the LIGO experiments might end up causing problems for general relativity.


Credit to Ryan, Gabe, Chris, Vlad, and Jordan for sending links this week. If you see something, send something :)


Photos from the CIA's mapping unit.

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