2020-01-20 3 min read


Planning & Strategy.

Making & Manufacturing.

  • I (finally) learned of Flexpipe last week, and am all about the projects in their photo gallery. Related, I'd love to follow an Instagram account that's full of factory photos - no fabrication or "advanced manufacturing" stuff, just Flexpipe and 8020 and DIN rail and whatnot. I mean, look at 8020's sorry Instagram account - if anyone out there knows who's managing it, tell them we should talk :)
  • A pithy (but otherwise slightly off) video explaining how cashews are processed; A jerky video of a streetside manual cashew processing stand; A short video of a more professional looking (but way greasier, somehow) cashew de-shelling operation. If anyone can find what a *really* nice cashew operation looks like, send me a link - from my browsing, it looks like the degree of modernization in the industry is really low.

Maintenance, Repair & Operations.

  • The Shinto practice of Shikinen Sengū is a periodic ritual occurring every 20 years in which large parts of the Ise Grand Shrine are systematically reconstructed. There are apparently design reasons why such maintenance is necessary, but the galaxy brain take is that the ritual has the effect of transferring skills to the next generation and therefore ensuring the longevity of the shrine.
  • The timberland and wood products company Weyerhaeuser controls 2.3% of contiguous US timberland, an area 56% larger than the state of Maryland.

Distribution & Logistics.

  • A video of the Maeklong Railway Market, an open-air market in central Thailand which is set up literally on top of an active railroad line.
  • The Tel Aviv central bus station is the largest rail terminal in the world. Originally planned at two stories, it eventually ballooned to seven - mostly due to a desire to increase rentable retail space. "One abandoned area of the station has been occupied by a bat colony."

Inspection, Testing & Analysis.

  • Particle accelerators only work if you can aim one particle with enough precision to strike another particle nucleus to nucleus; if you can't aim at and repeatedly hit an area the size of an average nucleus (roughly 10−28 m2) then your accelerator won't really do much. Hence the SI-recognized unit of measurement barn, as in "you can't hit the side of a barn."
  • A new working paper that shows "that although more high-income people move into the neighborhood after a [upscale, i.e. "market rate"] building is completed, the increase is totally absorbed by the new building. The arrival rate to nearby units does not seem to change...Rents near a new building go down by about 5-7% relative to rents slightly further away or near the sites of future construction."


A teardown of a Soyuz descent module's digital clock, vintage 1984.

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