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The Magazine: for curious people with a technical bent
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New feature articles for curious people with a technical bent
New feature articles for curious people with a technical bent

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We're going to make a book — again! Help us fund our Year Two book with 29 stories from independent journalist and essayists, full of wonder and the Wizard of Oz and heritage seeds and submarines, and much more. You can read all about the campaign here https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/glennf/the-magazines-year-two-book-an-anthology-of-curios and become a backer!
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In our latest issue: the modern (literal) Amelia Earhart, MIT's extraordinary student/alumni sci-fi library, Mexico's plans for digitizing its history, and a "punk" private library in San Francisco that spans an incredible range of almost-lost history. In Issue 45.

http://the-magazine.com/45

What happened to Amelia Mary Earhart remains a mystery, but the lack of knowledge picks away at people who want certainty. Did she get shot down by the Japanese? Crash-land at sea? Manage an island landing and live out her days with her navigator, Fred Noonan? (Star Trek: Voyager even posited that she and Noonan were captured by aliens.)

Almost 80 years later, though, Amelia Earhart is about to try again. If all goes to plan, her namesake Amelia Rose Earhart will take off on June 26 to follow the route that stymied her predecessor — and complete it. In Amelia Reincarnated, Liana Aghajanian follows Earhart’s journey to reach this point.

With our feet back on the ground, we had the happy simultaneous landing of three articles about libraries, which appear in this issue.
The world is a funny old place, and a few years ago I discovered that the Megan Prelinger I was hearing so much about in Internet archiving and related circles — along with her husband, Rick — was a Megan I knew from high school, decades before. The couple have created interesting resources that are both useful and unconventional, and Chris Higgins visited their unique private library in San Francisco a few months ago while researching a story about the Internet Archive, to which the Prelingers have also contributed. Chris explains the appeal of The Punk Library. I visited the Prelinger Library this last April, and I came away full of wonder about what individuals with passion and patience could accomplish.

Julie Schwietert Collazo looks into how countries, Mexico in particular, control their digital destinies in Own the Past. In the past, nations still in the throes of development would let richer countries handle archives, artifacts, and digitization. Now, there’s an effort to reclaim the task of conversion, while still making resources available to the rest of the world.

Finally, a wonderful secret lies in a nondescript room in a student building at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Squirreled away and overwhelming, the Mad Scientist Club of generations of MIT students and associates has created a remarkable library, unparalleled in its combination of range, depth, and accessibility. Tate Williams indoctrinates us in its secrets.
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There are many words in English for a place of involuntary confinement. A list of such terms is so popular — its origins unknown — that it appears on many Web sites in exactly this form:

"Mainline joint, skinner joint, stoney lonesome, con college, glasshouse, bucket, club fed, greybar hotel, big house, slammer, calaboose, castle, cooler, country club, crowbar hotel, digger, farm, guardhouse, hole, joint, jug, juvie, pen, pokey, rock, sneezer, stockade, the clink."

(Jail, in America, is a place of short-term confinement, typically where you await trial, and operated by sheriffs.)
We have so many terms because so many people have been imprisoned and so many more are in prison now. America incarcerates more people per capita than any nation in the world: about 50 percent more than Russia and four to five times more than China.

In that light, Theresa Everline explains how the world’s first penitentiary, a place literally designed to encourage penitence, became a museum that offers artists a place for site-specific work that references the prison and prisoners. The museum has a Captive Audience, but it fosters captivating work. One of the works at the museum physically depicts the statistics above.

We’ve all pulled a potato chip out of a bag or a carrot from a bunch and thought, “That looks just like Teddy Roosevelt.” We haven’t? Well, your president may vary. But seeing faces and shapes in food is not unusual. (The Faces in Things Twitter account often features comestibles.) Photographing cheese curls that are Curly with a Fringe on Top is a bit more so. Gabe Bullard talks with Andy Huot, the creator of a popular Instagram account featuring carefully shot photos of cheese curls that look like things. Gabe examines why we, too, pay attention to such things.

Jonathan Seff thinks inside the box rather than Off the Grid as an erstwhile crossword-puzzle maker. He sold a few, and it’s hard work to make and market them. Jon talks to the fellow who makes the leading software used by constructors, as well as to makers and mentors. You can download one of Jon’s unpublished puzzles at the end of his article.

Finally, in Funny Face, Kevin Purdy looks at P22, a font foundry that looked to artists for inspiration for its early designs. It wound up buying a hunk of waterlogged type-design history that it’s trying to recover.
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Issue 44's cover
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Our latest issue is out! Read about aquaponics (free), CoderDojo, a world traveler (stuck in Greenland for a bit), & a luthier in Brooklyn. Articles by Lee van der Voo, Ciara Byrne, Kendra Pierre-Louis, and Phillip Pantuso. http://the-magazine.com/41
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Issue 40 is now out:

We ache a bit for the past in this issue of The Magazine — some of the ache is nostalgia, some is practical, some about family, and some about what has been taken away and can’t be restored. We can’t look ahead without glancing back.

Liana Aghajanian explains the enduring appeal of the accordion, which is the Main Squeeze for an increasing number of musicians. The accordion is an invention of the 19th century that hit its peak in America in the mid 20th century through successive waves of immigrants, each of which had adopted the squeezebox as their own. After a post-Welk decline, the accordion finds itself the center of attention again. (The photos for this article are by Liana’s partner, Keegam Shamlian.)

Justine Ickes spent some time with her Turkish husband’s parents, knowing little of their language and sometimes crossing custom. Yet she finds, in My Hazelnut Heart, that family and common sense cross all boundaries.

The death of someone you know is never taken lightly, whatever influence that person has had in one’s life. In the case of Lori Adorable, she has written A Requiem for Scott MacNally, a teacher who took part of her youth from her, and whose passing she wished for devoutly. She discovered his poorly hidden secrets through Google, and news of his death came by smartphone. But with his demise, Lori reflects on whether the persistence of memory on the Internet will ever give her freedom from the past.

That shot of a crazy scientist or slightly risqué old-style dancing doesn’t just appear out of thin air. Rather, stock footage archives index and provide this kind of material on demand for television, movies, and online projects. Colleen Hubbard looks at the End of the Reel as she visits Oddball Film + Video, a small company with quirky archives that persists among giants like Corbis and Getty.

http://the-magazine.com/40
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The cover of issue #40.
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Cover of issue 39
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The latest issue is out! http://the-magazine.com/39
Seed saving preserves heirloom plants and vegetables; Minecraft videos demand attention (and mine cash); lost teddy bears may be found through social media; and an egg-allergic writer finds good news for herself and everyone in the development of new flu vaccines that don't rely on incubating in eggs.
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The book we crowdfunded to make of the most responded-to work from The Magazine's first year is printed! I have shipping copies! It is leaving the printer today and over the next few to go to fulfillment houses and then to backers and pre-order buyers!

The hardcover is 216 pages, sewn signatures, embossed cover, foil-printed spine, dust jacket, four-color inside, lavishly illustrated, beautifully designed by a long-time friend. I honestly couldn't be more pleased by how it came out.

The cover is by +Amy Crehore and there are articles by over two dozen terrific contributors, and illustrations and photographs by a dozen more.

We're still accepting pre-orders http://the-magazine.com/book for a couple more days until we lock down deliveries, and then will sell — just orders! The book will just ship!
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