Alexis Madrigal is a senior editor at The Atlantic, where he oversees the Technology channel. He's the author of Powering the Dream: The History and Promise of Green Technology. More
The New York Observer calls Madrigal "for all intents and purposes, the perfect modern reporter." He co-founded Longshot magazine, a high-speed media experiment that garnered attention from The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and the BBC. While at Wired.com, he built Wired Science into one of the most popular blogs in the world. The site was nominated for best magazine blog by the MPA and best science Web site in the 2009 Webby Awards. He also co-founded Haiti ReWired, a groundbreaking community dedicated to the discussion of technology, infrastructure, and the future of Haiti.
He's spoken at Stanford, CalTech, Berkeley, SXSW, E3, and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, and his writing was anthologized in Best Technology Writing 2010 (Yale University Press).
Madrigal is a visiting scholar at the University of California at Berkeley's Office for the History of Science and Technology. Born in Mexico City, he grew up in the exurbs north of Portland, Oregon, and now lives in Oakland.
Gustavo Arellano unearths a glorious piece of California history today in the Los Angeles Times. Pegging his story to the popularity of food trucks -- taco and otherwise -- he points out that horse-drawn wagon carts were serving up tamales beginning in the 1870s.
On the menu was everything from popcorn to pigs' feet, oyster cocktails to sandwiches, but the majority of them hawked tamales prepared elsewhere and kept warm in steam buckets. Competition spurred innovation -- wagons transformed into portable kitchens with functioning stoves (some illegally tapped into the city's gas mains and water pipes) and featured counters so that as many as eight people at a time could dine around the wagons. One enterprising tamalero even rolled around town in a two-story giant, the top level his sleeping quarters. By 1901, more than a hundred tamale wagons roamed Los Angeles, each paying a dollar a month for a city business license.
I bring this to your attention partially so you can daydream about how delicious those late 19th-century tamales must have been and so we can celebrate the continuities that make our ancestors' lives a little easier to understand. They, like us, loved a good mobile eatery.
Image: XLNT Foods.
Moving forward, Zagat will be a cornerstone of our local offering--delighting people with their impressive array of reviews, ratings and insights, while enabling people everywhere to find extraordinary (and ordinary) experiences around the corner and around the world.
In backalleys, garages, and shops across the world, a class of tinkerers are building new things. With little money and varying levels of formal education, the makers of our globe's cities are innovating with what they have to hand. Separated by language and distance, most don't think of themselves as part of a movement.
At new magazine called Makeshift wants to change all that. In the US, MAKE magazine became a rallying point for do-it-yourself tech nerds and hackers. Makeshift wants to bring that sense of community to the international scene.
"In different cultures [grassroots production] goes by different names: DIY in the US, jugaad in India, jua kali in East Africa, and gambiarra in Brazil," the editors wrote on their new website. "Makeshift seeks to unify these cultures into a global identity."
The magazine's staff includes wunderkind editor-in-chief Steve Daniels, an early-20s IBM researcher, photographer Myles Estey, and editor Niti Bhan, who founded the Emerging Futures Lab. They're based in New York, Mexico City, and Singapore, respectively, a nod to the international nature of their virtual collaboration. They claim contributors from 20 countries.
Makeshift launched a Kickstarter campaign yesterday that will end when the magazine's first issue officially launches on September 30. But we talked Daniels, who we covered when his first book came out last year, into running a little preview of the stories they'll be highlighting here.
The reddit team, our Board, our informal advisors, and many in the reddit community sincerely believe that reddit has the potential, over the next generation, to positively impact journalism, civic engagement, fundraising, product development, and learning.Journalism, civic engagement, fundraising, product development, and learning! That's going way beyond "pageviews," which is what I think most content companies are thinking about. The people who make Reddit -- and to a lesser extent, the people who use it -- believe they are building something fundamentally new and significant in the world. No wonder they have an easier time creating rabid users than your average magazine.
During my short stint in glorious Istanbul last week, I will confess to being lost more often than I knew where I was. That is no complaint. It's the best city to not know where you are because (human, architectural, kitten, retail) microwonders lurk everywhere. The neighborhoods seem nested within one another like Russian dolls. And on the tiniest doll, just a few blocks, we'd find these pieces of stencil art adorning a few walls. They became one way we marked where we stood. "Oh, we're back in the tiny rabbit couple place," I'd say to Sarah, and we'd figure out how to get back to our hotel from there.
All of these little pieces of stencil art were shot in the last week in the streets of Beyoğlu, which must be one of the best city regions in the world. Made you want to go bohemian and start creating miniature art out of antique watch parts. Or something. Enjoy this little tour. And this panorama, shot from the top of our hotel on Sunday morning. That's the Bosphorous in the middle of the photo and the Sea of Marmara beyond Sultanahamet. (Click on it for the full size version.)
This story has gained incredible traction because it is The New AOL (TM) and TechCrunch versus The New York Times.
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