Look, I don't know you. I don't know what sequence of events led you, in this moment of your life, in this moment in history, to click on a headline that asked you if you had anything better to do than click on this kind of headline. Maybe you genuinely don't have anything else in your life but watching Will Arnett make half-assed Lego Batman and Bojack Horseman drawings on a whiteboard. Maybe a terrorist is holding a gun to your head and demanding you show him motion pictures of Will Arnett immediately. Maybe it's the year 3535 and you're an alien archaeologist trying to figure out why all records of human civilization abruptly stop in the summer of 2018.
Moleskine's Pen is the main attraction of the Smart Writing Set. The writing instrument has a built-in camera and tech from Neolab to capture all of those marks as the tip hits the paper. That Paper Tablet, named for its tablet-like edges and thickness, holds paper with an invisible grid that helps with the conversion process. Those notes and drawings are then beamed over to the Notes App on iOS for safekeeping. Don't worry Android users, there's mobile software on the way for you, too.
Satellite images, with their zoomed-out view, have a way of reducing the world's features to a series of shapes and lines. In a new project called Land Lines, artists Zach Lieberman and Matt Felsen partnered with Google's Data Arts team to create an interactive platform that lets people explore these shapes with the drag of a finger. Think of Land Lines as reverse Google image search, but for lines. Using computer vision technology, Liberman and co were able to build a tool that matches hand-drawn lines to those found in a database of more than 50,000 Google satellite images. Draw a line on your desktop or phone, and Land Lines will find a landmass, freeway, bridge, river--something--that follows the same contour.
Freelance illustrator Barry Blitt keeps folders and folders of Donald Trump photos on his computer--nearly 400 total, he says. "They're pictures of him at strange angles, like from the back," says Blitt, adding that Trump's head looks like it is "sculpted out of some kind of pudding." The current president, he says, makes for an endlessly fascinating muse. "I didn't know anyone could look like that. He's like an instruction manual for how to caricature." Born in Montreal, Blitt, 58, has been inking illustrations for the New Yorker since 1992 and has also contributed drawings to the New York Times, Vanity Fair, Rolling Stone, and Mother Jones. He has a knack for rendering political moments with dark humor, and the most recent presidential election has meant he's busier than ever. His most recent cover took aim at President Trump's frequent golf trips, showing the president lobbing balls at the White House's shattered windows. Another cover offered a sly commentary on Russia's influence on the election: Vladimir Putin takes the place of the magazine's mascot, with Trump as a moth under examination. As the reality sinks in that Trump will likely be a main subject for four more years, I talked to Blitt about capturing the president's quirks, how he got his start, and learning to loosen up. Barry Blitt: Actually I'm living in the house that Arthur Miller wrote Death of a Salesman in many years ago.