✱ 5ives 019 by Evan Troxel


"The complex was on average 50 meters below ground covering an area of approximately 6750 acres with eight miles of corridors, 400 branches and 399 individual offices," SubBrit explains. There were escape tunnels, as well, "one going out to the banks of the Albert Canal in Belgium, and one which came out in a farmer's potato store in the village of Kanne." It had its own water supply and even a dedicated wine cellar for NATO officers, who might need a glass of Europe's finest chardonnay to help feel calm enough to launch those missiles.

2. This Dreamy Drone Tour Shows the Rebirth of Downtown Los Angeles (Video)

Los Angeles's swiftly mutating downtown is usually viewed at street level. Now, thanks to filmmaker Ian Wood, we get a top-down perspective of the city's transformation in this gorgeous video, which he shot with a lightweight remote-controlled quadcopter and camera system. 20 stories up, there's change afoot as well.

3. 5 reasons it’s time for a 4-day work week

Research suggests it won't just make us happier -- it will actually make us more productive.

4. Remake Class - The Third Teacher Plus by Cannon Design

We explored the question, "How can we empower teachers to become hackers/designers of their learning experiences and environments?" We unpacked and reclaimed the concept of "hacking" as a tool for prototyping change and held a hands-on workshop to explore these ideas in action.

5. Simon Sinek: Why Leaders Eat Last (Video)

In this in-depth talk, ethnographer and leadership expert Simon Sinek reveals the hidden dynamics that inspire leadership and trust. In biological terms, leaders get the first pick of food and other spoils, but at a cost. When danger is present, the group expects the leader to mitigate all threats even at the expense of their personal well-being. Understanding this deep-seated expectation is the key difference between someone who is just an “authority” versus a true “leader.” 


✱ 5ives 018 by Evan Troxel

#018 on the 18th. Nice.

1. The Food Lab: Maximize Flavor by Ultra-Smashing Your Burger

By now we all know that the old piece of burger wisdom, "never press on your burger!," is either patently false or, at the very least, wildly inaccurate. Heck, there's an entire successful burger chain devoted to using the technique. While a more traditional griddled burger might be cooked with the goals of a loose, tender texture in mind, a smashed burger goes for one thing only: maximum crust.

2. Why You Rarely Notice Major Movie Bloopers

The visual field accounts for the recent past in order to prevent us from feeling like we’ve gone mad.

3. 1977: David Bowie’s “Heroes” Cover Shoot: The Outtakes: Masayoshi Sukita

4. The Two Faces of the Moon

The far side looks *nothing* like the side that faces us. After 55 years, we may finally know why.

5. Impostoritis: A Lifelong, but Treatable, Condition

Now I wake up most days with a voice on the left side of my head telling me what an incredible failure I am. But the voice on the right side tells me that I can change the world—and I try to pay more attention to it. My life goal in changing the world is to make the culture of science and engineering supportive of everyone with interest, ability, and willingness to work hard, independent of race, gender, sexual orientation, other interests, or anything else

And a quote for the weekend:

You have no friends. You have no enemies. You only have teachers. By James Victore.

You have no friends. You have no enemies. You only have teachers. By James Victore.

✱ 5ives 017 by Evan Troxel

1. Have We Been Interpreting Quantum Mechanics Wrong This Whole Time?

For nearly a century, “reality” has been a murky concept. The laws of quantum physics seem to suggest that particles spend much of their time in a ghostly state, lacking even basic properties such as a definite location and instead existing everywhere and nowhere at once. Only when a particle is measured does it suddenly materialize, appearing to pick its position as if by a roll of the dice.

2. Why Classic Rock Isn’t What It Used To Be

Led Zeppelin is classic rock. So are Mötley Crüe and Ozzy Osbourne. But what about U2 or Nirvana?

3. Ask Me Anything: I am Buzz Aldrin, engineer, American astronaut, and the second person to walk on the moon during the Apollo 11 moon landing. AMA!

My first words of my impression of being on the surface of the Moon that just came to my mind was "Magnificent desolation." The magnificence of human beings, humanity, Planet Earth, maturing the technologies, imagination and courage to expand our capabilities beyond the next ocean, to dream about being on the Moon, and then taking advantage of increases in technology and carrying out that dream - achieving that is magnificent testimony to humanity. But it is also desolate - there is no place on earth as desolate as what I was viewing in those first moments on the Lunar Surface.

4. 18 Things We Learned from Buzz Aldrin's Reddit AMA

The Cliff's Notes version of the Buzz Aldrin's AMA

5. Belief is a Skill

A reintroduction to the six-year-old version of yourself

And a quote for the weekend:

When men are employed, they are best contented; for on the days they worked they were good-natured and cheerful, and, with the consciousness of having done a good day’s work, they spent the evening jollily; but on our idle days they were mutinous and quarrelsome.
— Benjamin Franklin

You might be asking yourself what 5ives is all about. Find out here.

✱ 5ives 016 by Evan Troxel

1. Visualizing Algorithms

...algorithms are also a reminder that visualization is more than a tool for finding patterns in data. Visualization leverages the human visual system to augment human intellect: we can use it to better understand these important abstract processes, and perhaps other things, too.


When architecture devolves to a set of binary reactions to pre-existing images: a HOUZZ “Ideabook” made manifest, our humanity is diminished. Rather than celebrate new ideas we find defendability in reprocessing predigested pastiches we revert to the 19th century idea of “Style” as the controlling aesthetic authority.

3. 10 Tricks to Appear Smart During Meetings

Like everyone, appearing smart during meetings is my top priority. Sometimes this can be difficult if you start daydreaming about your next vacation, your next nap, or bacon. When this happens, it’s good to have some fallback tricks to fall back on. Here are my ten favorite tricks for quickly appearing smart during meetings.

4. The longevity gap

Costly new longevity drugs could help the wealthy live 120 years or more – but will everyone else die young?

5. The Putter: A Meditative Video on the Art of Making Scissors by Hand

On its most basic level, this is a five minute video of a guy making a few pairs of scissors by hand. But what could have been a mundane shoot of a master craftsman using archaic tools to create common household objects, is completely elevated by filmmaker Shaun Bloodworth into something strikingly beautiful. The film’s subject, Cliff Denton, is one of the world’s last “putters” (literally “a putter togetherer of scissors”) who works at Ernest Wright & Sons in Sheffield, a company that has been hand-making scissors and shears for 112 years. Watch and be transfixed. Is this another example of autonomous sensory meridian response? Music by The Black Dog.

And a quote for the weekend:

There’s few things that get you over your own crap more than working hard.
— Adam Savage

You might be asking yourself what 5ives is all about. Find out here.

✱ 5ives 015 by Evan Troxel

After taking a couple of weeks off for a much needed vacation, 5ives is back.

1. Digital photos way back from the year 2000 (Game Boy edition)

And speaking of Nintendo (bonus linkage)

2. D-day landings scenes in 1944 and now – interactive

Peter Macdiarmid has taken photographs of locations in France and England to match with archive images taken before, during and after the D-day landings. The Allied invasion to liberate mainland Europe from Nazi occupation during the second world war took place on 6 June 1944. Operation Overlord was the largest seaborne invasion in military history, with more than 156,000 Allied troops storming the beaches of France

3. The History of the Tax Code

I know... taxes. But check it out anyway.

4. The Fermi Paradox

Some people stick with the traditional, feeling struck by the epic beauty or blown away by the insane scale of the universe. Personally, I go for the old “existential meltdown followed by acting weird for the next half hour.” But everyone feels something.
Physicist Enrico Fermi felt something too—”Where is everybody?”


There are more elegant ways to brew coffee today than ever before. And yet one of the most popular methods involves a sterile plastic tube that bears a striking resemblance a certain enhancement pump for the male anatomy. It is called the AeroPress, and it is $25, simple to use, and makes a very good--and very fast--cup of coffee.

And a quote for the weekend:

We cannot solve our problems with the same level of thinking that created them.
— Albert Einstein

You might be asking yourself what 5ives is all about. Find out here.

✱ 5ives 014 by Evan Troxel

1. Why You Hate Work

For most of us, in short, work is a depleting, dispiriting experience, and in some obvious ways, it’s getting worse.

We often ask senior leaders a simple question: If your employees feel more energized, valued, focused and purposeful, do they perform better? Not surprisingly, the answer is almost always “Yes.” Next we ask, “So how much do you invest in meeting those needs?” An uncomfortable silence typically ensues.

2. Frank Lloyd Wright Tried to Solve The City

Frank Lloyd Wright hated cities. He thought that they were cramped and crowded, stupidly designed, or, more often, built without any sense of design at all. He once wrote, “To look at the plan of a great City is to look at something like the cross-section of a fibrous tumor.” Wright was always looking for a way to cure the cancer of the city.

3. 10 Things to Learn From This Year's Best Graduation Speech

Sure, you could have a politician, an entertainer, or some other big name give the graduation speech at your college. But can you beat the advice you'd get from the Navy SEAL who commanded the raid that got bin Laden?

4. Bob Dylan on Sacrifice, the Unconscious Mind, and How to Cultivate the Perfect Environment for Creative Work

"The best songs to me — my best songs — are songs which were written very quickly. Yeah, very, very quickly. Just about as much time as it takes to write it down is about as long as it takes to write it."

5. The Bidding for the 2022 Olympics is a Disaster Because Everyone Figured Out That Hosting is a Total Waste

Bidding on the Olympics has been justified for years by one big economic lie: investing in hosting Olympic Games will lead to long-term economic growth.
It doesn't.

And a quote for the weekend:

"Be brave enough to live creatively. 

The creative is the place where no one else has ever been. 

You have to leave the city of your comfort and go into the wilderness of your intuition. 

You cannot get there by bus, only by hard work, risking and by not quite knowing what you are doing. 

What you will discover will be wonderful; yourself."

--Alan Alda

You might be asking yourself what 5ives is all about. Find out here.

✱ 5ives 013 by Evan Troxel

1. Breathing City - Manhattan's at Work and Home Population by Hour

Inspired by John Nelson’s breathing earth and Conveyal’s aggregate-disser post, I wondered if I could make a breathing city. Manhattan looks somewhat lung-like, so it seemed natural. Should be a fun, quick project. How naive I was.

2. Massimo Vignelli, 1931-2014

Michael Beirut: It was Massimo who taught me one of the simplest things in the world: that if you do good work, you get more good work to do, and conversely bad work brings more bad work. It sounds simple, but it’s remarkable, in a lifetime of pragmatics and compromises, how easy it is to forget: the only way to do good work is simply to do good work. Massimo did good work.

3. someone ought to… 

If you find yourself in a situation where someone is at the table or at the water cooler or whatever and they’re going off with the proverbial “you know someone ought to…”, ask them why don’t they do that very thing? If nothing else their reaction will be amusing.

4. When the Earth Had Two Moons

Not one moon but two? A celestial impact that produces a landslide instead of a catastrophe? Yeah, let us get back to you on that.

5. Death at 19,000 Feet - Sherpas, Fate and the Dangerous Business of Everest

For decades, climbers from across the globe have hired Sherpas, an ethnic group settled in the high Himalayan valleys of Nepal, to help them reach Everest's brutal 29,000-foot summit, the pinnacle of so many adventurers' aspirations. And for nearly as long—with the innumerable perils of high-altitude mountaineering—Sherpas have tempted fate for their clients' goals and the survival of their families.

And a quote for the weekend:

There are two games you can play with someone else's balloon. Chase it around and keep it aloft, or pop it with a pin. Choose wisely.

--ze frank 

✱ 5ives 012 by Evan Troxel

1. How to get the best out of photo apps on your smartphone

Dan Rubin, editor-at-large of the Photographic Journal and an early Instagram adopter, takes a tour of London to test some of the best smartphone photography apps. [...] – and offers some cool tips and tricks of what you can do with those shots afterwards

2. Where the Twin Towers Stood

The September 11 memorial and museum’s location at ground zero in Lower Manhattan is one of its most notable features, according to Steven M. Davis, a partner at Davis Brody Bond, the lead architects for the museum. “If you think about the notion of a traditional museum as an icon which contains exhibits, here we have the inverse,” Davis says. “These are exhibits that are in fact the icon.” 

3. Design Is About Intent

Intent means purpose; something highly designed was crafted with intention in every creative decision. Frank Lloyd Wright explained that intent drives design with the credo “form follows function“; P&G calls this being “purpose-built.” The designer is the person who answers the question “How should it be?”

Overarching intent is easy. The hard part is driving that conscious decision-making throughout every little choice in the creative process. Good designers have a clear sense of the overall purpose of their creation; great designers can say, “This is why we made that decision” about a thousand details.

4. The Best Commencement Speeches, Ever

5. Can These $20,000 Houses Save the American Dream?

Our goal was to design a market-rate model house that could be built by a contractor for $20,000 ($12,000 for materials and $8,000 for labor and profit)—the 20K House, a house for everybody and everyone. We chose $20,000 because it would be the most expensive mortgage a person receiving today’s median Social Security check of $758 a month can realistically repay.

And a quote for the weekend:

Don't bend; don't water it down; don't try to make it logical; don't edit your own soul according to the fashion. Rather, follow your most intense obsessions mercilessly.

— Franz Kafka

✱ 5ives 011 by Evan Troxel

1. Incredible Bird's Eye View of Famous Cities

Architecture is amazing. It's larger than life. It's a treat to the eyes. But as years pass we tend to overlook this beauty. It becomes a part of everyday scenario that you only focus on utility and not the design itself. While this is a part and parcel of how things work, architectural photography can reintroduce old structures in a new light and make you rediscover structures in a way you never knew.

2. Advice on Life and Creative Integrity from Calvin and Hobbes Creator Bill Watterson

3. The Topography of Tears

4. Why America’s favorite anarchist thinks most American workers are slaves

5. An Inside Look at the Insanely Complex Formula 1 Steering Wheel

And a quote for the weekend:

If at first the idea is not absurd, then there is no hope for it.

--Albert Einstein

✱ 5ives 010 by Evan Troxel

1. 42 Hours of Buckminster Fuller’s Visionary Lectures

Think of the name Buckminster Fuller, and you may think of a few oddities of mid-twentieth-century design for living: the Dymaxion House, the Dymaxion Car, the geodesic dome...But these artifacts represent only a small fragment of Fuller’s life and work as a self-styled “comprehensive anticipatory design scientist.”

2. ‘JIF’ Is the Format. ‘GIF’ Is the Culture.

3. 50 Things

Be yourself. Create. Inspire, and be inspired. Grow. Laugh. Learn. Love. Welcome to some of the best years of your lives.

4. Engineering Management: Why are software development task estimations regularly off by a factor of 2-3?

This is the best metaphorical description of the creative process I have read. Give this one to your manager who asks how long it is going to take to complete a project (if they even actually ask before deciding for you). It relates closely to fractals, and here is a great podcast that goes into the assertion that the hidden cost is the actual true cost.

5. The Man Who Literally Built Star Wars

One of the most memorable elements of the original Star Wars in 1977 wasn't the story, or characters, or even the soundtrack. It was the set design.

And a quote for the weekend:

What is important is seldom urgent, and what is urgent is seldom important.

– Dwight Eisenhower

✱ 5ives 009 by Evan Troxel

1. Ancient Egyptians transported pyramid stones over wet sand

2. The Forgotten Concept Cars of the 60's - Part 1 - Part 2

3. Boyhood

Richard Linklater's BOYHOOD -- a fictional drama made with the same group of actors over a 12-year period from 2002-2013 -- takes a one-of-a-kind trip, at once epic and intimate, through the exhilaration of childhood, the seismic shifts of a modern family and the very passage of time. 

4. Look over the watchmakers' shoulders at Nomos Glaashütte

5. Travel Back in Time With Captivating GIFs of Obsolete Technology

And a couple of bonus links for #5; more galleries from my new favorite photographer Jim Golden, the first for his Murdered Out gallery and the second has more obsolete tech images.

And a quote for the weekend:

If you obey all of the rules, you miss all of the fun. 

-- Katherine Hepburn

✱ 5ives 008 by Evan Troxel

1. Magnetically Actuated Micro-Robots for Advanced Manipulation Applications

The exactness, overall output, and speed are amazing. But whenever I see something like this what I really want to know is how much time/effort went into creating the instructions for the robots to follow. It's like a car, or just about any other manufactured product. They don't just appear out of thin air. The manufacturing process has been designed and probably took more time to design than the product itself.

2.  Innoveracy: Misunderstanding Innovation

Horace Dediu explains what innovation is and how it differs from novelty, invention, and creation.
Novelty: Something new
Creation: Something new and valuable
Invention: Something new, having potential value through utility
Innovation: Something new and uniquely useful

3. Americans think owning a home is better for them than it is

4. Project Thirty Three

Project Thirty-Three is a shrine to circles and dots, squares and rectangles, and triangles, and the designers that make these simple shapes come to life on vintage album covers.

5. Tools for Unlocking Innovation

And a quote for the weekend:

"It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends upon his not understanding it!"

--Upton Sinclair

✱ 5ives 007 by Evan Troxel

I've been following this thread on Quora for over a year now (thank you, email notifications) and I recommend browsing through it. There are lots of goodies like this parable that was just recently added. If you're not on Quora, you should be. It's a great resource.

Have a great weekend.

Every morning in Africa, a gazelle wakes up. It knows it must run faster than the fastest lion or it will be killed.
Every morning a lion wakes up. It knows it must outrun the slowest gazelle or it will starve to death.
It doesn’t matter whether you are a lion or a gazelle: when the sun comes up, you’d better be running.

And a quote for the weekend:

“There is nothing quite so useless, as doing with great efficiency, something that should not be done at all.”

--Peter Drucker

✱ 5ives 006 by Evan Troxel

1. Storms

"Landscapes are living eco systems and environments. They have existed well before, and will hopefully be here way beyond the time we are here. When taking photographs, time and space seem hard for me to measure. Whenever I shoot a ‘quality’ image, I know it. At those moments things are quiet, seem simple again – and I obtain a respect and reverence for the world that is hard to communicate through words. For me those moments happen when the exterior environment and my interior world combine. Hopefully the images presented help communicate what is visualized during those times."

2. 100 Behind the Scenes Photos from 2001 A Space Odyssey

3. How To Be A Design Boss Without Losing Your Soul

"That method--working until you’re happy with the results--doesn’t fly when you’re reviewing someone else’s work. You can’t just glance at a designer’s work and give vague feedback; it’s extremely frustrating (you’ve had clients who’ve done that too, I’m sure). In the role of art director, I’m also not going to get hands-on with someone else’s design. So if you aren’t going to get hands-on, and you can’t “work until it feels right," what do you do?"

4. Johnny Cash, Eighties Man

"Johnny Cash has been rehabilitated before. There were the stints in actual rehab programs during his life, for drinking and drugs. There was spiritual rehabilitation, occasioned by his marriage, in 1968, to June Carter, an event and idea fixed in recent cultural history by the movie “Walk the Line.” And there have been several musical rehabilitations, most vitally in the series of American Recordings albums that returned Cash to critical and commercial success in the last two decades of his life, recorded under the firm-handed guidance of the producer Rick Rubin. Now, another attempt at musical rehab is underway with the release of a collection of lost songs, most of which were recorded in 1984 and have been assembled under the title “Out Among the Stars.” Johnny Cash’s son, John Carter Cash, is trying to redeem his father’s lost decade."

5. Field Notes: The “Shelterwood” Edition for Spring 2014

✱ 5ives 005 by Evan Troxel

1. Bird by Bird: Anne Lamott’s Timeless Advice on Writing and Why Perfectionism Kills Creativity

Perfectionism is the voice of the oppressor, the enemy of the people. It will keep you cramped and insane your whole life.

2. Mark Wagner - Money is Material

"Money and currency don't actually exist in the real world. They're just something we've made up."
For his gallery, go here.

3. Building the next Pixar

Some of Pixar's most illustrious alums, steeped for decades in Pixar's potent creative culture, reveal how they apply the company's philosophies of success to their own ventures--and you can, too.

4. Hand-drawn cityscapes

Be sure to check out the Tumblr too.

5. Monument Valley

"An illusory adventure of impossible architecture and forgiveness."
Start with some impossible MC Escher architecture, make it a true 3d puzzle, and present it all in axonometric shaded art? YES. Make sure you watch the videos. Oh, and if you decide to buy it, use this link (App Store) and I'll get a little bit of a kickback.

✱ 5ives 004 by Evan Troxel

1. The Virtual Genius of Oculus Rift

Like flying cars and robot butlers, VR is one of those revolutions that went from wow to lame without ever actually materializing in between. Two years later, the Oculus Rift—the dorky name is a point of nerd pride—still doesn’t look particularly futuristic. It looks like a pair of chunky ski goggles with opaque black plastic where the lenses should be. Time will tell whether it’s a gateway to a new virtual frontier, but one thing is clear already: you look weird wearing it. But put it on anyway— ...Oculus Rift is different. It’s not what you expect.

2. Abandoned Paris Metro Stations Reimagined

This project aims to bring back to life these ghost stations by giving them a new purpose. At a time when New-York is talking about the 'Lowline', why couldn't Paris profit from its underground potential and invent new functions for these abandoned places?

3. Always. Be. Knolling.

You've probably seen instances of knolling without knowing there was a word for it.
And be sure not to miss Knolling.org.

4. Beauty of Mathematics

"Mathematics, rightly viewed, possesses not only truth, but supreme beauty — a beauty cold and austere, without the gorgeous trappings of painting or music."
— Bertrand Russell

5. The Making of Neon Signs

✱ 5ives 003 by Evan Troxel

1. The Trippy ’60s, Courtesy of a Master

On a recent morning in a townhouse office on East 32nd Street in Manhattan, reality was treading closely, and somewhat strangely, in fiction’s footsteps. The client sitting in the conference room, waiting for his real-life ad man, was the show’s creator, Matthew Weiner. And the ad man was not just another bright, creative type from the art department. It was Milton Glaser, who — probably more than any graphic designer of his generation — forged the sophisticated, exuberant advertising look of the late 1960s, the time “Mad Men” is now traversing, and whose work to publicize the show’s new season will begin appearing next week on buses and billboards around the country.

2. How “Breaking Bad” and “House of Cards” Killed the Oscars

The old days of studio largesse are over—even for Spielberg, arguably the most powerful and versatile filmmaker in Hollywood. And if he has to hustle, what about the hordes of less prepossessing talent who find themselves frozen out by the studios? They’re heading where the money is: foreign financing, television, cable, HBO, or Netflix.

3. Take It to the Limit

...Archimedes, the greatest mathematician of antiquity, realized the power of the infinite.  He harnessed it to solve problems that were otherwise intractable, and in the process came close to inventing calculus — nearly 2,000 years before Newton and Leibniz.

4. Autodesk, the Metastasizing Cancer of the 3D World

This is about how I’m seeing a single company, single handedly, through mismanagement, incompetence, and above all, complete and utter ignorance, is doing rampant harm to a wider industry on which at least a part of their own existence depends. Combined with an unhealthy dose of disrespect for their customers this is nothing more than a recipe for disaster. A recipe that, unfortunately, is cooked up and served to its customers to chow down on.

There are some obvious parallels to the architecture industry in this article. It's revealing, damning and depressing.

5. Interview: Alan Adler Answers Your Questions About Coffee and Throwing Objects

A while ago you had the chance to ask inventor Alan Adler about making the perfect cup of coffee and throwing things really far. Below you'll find his best coffee brewing tips and the answers to those questions.

More great Q&A with the inventor of the Aeropress, my favorite way to make coffee.

✱ Introducing My 5ives by Evan Troxel

I recently signed up for a newsletter that delivers 5 links to me each week. Just five. And I love it. (Thanks Kerry!)

I have thought about doing something VERY similar for a while now, and this has tipped me over the edge as a way to share things that never seem to fit into a single post. They are usually things that I come across, probably shared by someone else, that I have added to my Instapaper reading list, Watch Later queue on Vimeo or YouTube, or emailed to myself to check out later when I have time (and the former weren't options).

So I'm going to share with you the 5 best links I come across on Fridays because the internet is awesome for sharing. I'll only pass along stuff that I think is worth your time. 

Here are this week's 5ives (all open in new tabs):

  1. If the Moon Were Only One Pixel: A Tediously Accurate Scale Model of the Solar System
  2. The Invention of the AeroPress (My favorite way to make coffee) 
  3. Alec Baldwin: Good-bye, Public Life
  4. The Art of the Title - True Detective
  5. Mars One Way