Cabinet of Curiosities: April 21, 2023

Time for my Friday cabinet of curiosities, where I share fun and interesting links that caught my attention this week.

Today: retro arcades, nostalgia from the future, oral histories of old software, and more ✨

A vintage cartoon showing a sparkly rainbow shooting out of a heart-shaped locket
Read more: Cabinet of Curiosities: April 21, 2023

1) Atomteller, Delft blue plates showing not pastoral windmills but German nuclear plants, a vision of tomorrow’s nostalgia. “Monuments to error – yesterday’s hope – tomorrow’s folklore”:

Six vintage-style ceramic plates depicting nostalgic-type illustrations of nuclear power plants

2) A long, detailed thread about arcades, pinball, and pachinko machines in (mostly) Japanese Showa-era (1930s-1970s) movies, with accompanying blog posts

3) An oral history of KidPix by Craig Hickman, creator of the iconic children’s bitmap drawing program which was published by Broderbund in 1991

(By the way, you can play with a JS/html version of KidPix on the web here:

A screencap of the app "Kid Pix" version 1.0  showing a drawing program with simple icons

4) Can plastic-eating fungi solve the polypropylene problem? These researchers think so.

Polypropylene is the type of plastic that makes up bottles, plastic furniture, tupperware, and many other applications. When discarded, it tends to go to the landfill (or into the world’s oceans).

Enter: fungi! 🍄 In the study, they produce enzymes, which are excreted and used to break down substrates, for more rapid plastic degradation. Yum.

5) I love these funky, colorful collages with touches of vintage imagery by A Soft Wrongness (asoftwrongness on Instagram and Big Cartel)

A collage of nature imagery like frogs, owls, mushrooms, and leaves, with the text "There is magic waiting to be unearthed (if I can summon the precise combination of unknowable words)"
A collage of 1980s cartoon imagery including Popples, Muppet Babies, and Rainbow Brite characters. Lots of it is pink and purple. The text reads, "Socialized to be sweet"






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