Tate Williams

Writing

tny 11.8.04 cvr

Adrian Tomine brings alt-comics sensibility to highbrow illustration in ‘New York Drawings’

An underground comic book artist at heart, it’s clear that Adrian Tomine isn’t quite comfortable in the role of highbrow magazine illustrator. And a Sacramento-born Californian at heart, he isn’t entirely comfortable identifying as a New Yorker either. And yet, [...]

November 15, 2012 Arts & Culture, Blog, Geek, Portfolio, Writing
2

Ekranoplan, the Russian behemoth that didn’t survive the Cold War

“Ekranoplan,” said Gareth. “A ground effect vehicle. He’s mad.” … The ekranoplans reminded Milgrim of the Spruce Goose, which he’d toured in Long Beach as a high school student, but with its wings largely amputated. Weird Soviet hybrids, the ekranoplans; [...]

October 21, 2012 Geek, Science & Environment, Writing
iStock_000001253030XLarge

Can playlists ever replace mixtapes?

From 2001 to 2004, I created one mixtape every two months, compiling the best of the music I had been listening to at the time. The idea, inspired by a Cameron Crowe interview, was to make a diary in music [...]

October 7, 2012 Arts & Culture, Blog, Science & Environment, Writing
kernel-panic

How my computer crisis was like a predator attack

Having never experienced a true computer emergency, it’s been easy to consider myself immune from them. It’s like how I had never missed a flight until I was almost 30, and thought I had some kind of superpower. But once [...]

October 3, 2012 Blog, Geek, Science & Environment, Writing
USS_West_Mahomet_(ID-3681)_cropped

Blue Ant > Dazzle Camouflage

How do you camouflage an inflatable mylar drone in the shape of a penguin? You really can’t, but for the climax of Zero History, one character opts for a disruptive paint job known as “dazzle” as a way to break [...]

October 2, 2012 Geek, Science & Environment, Writing
brabus-maybach-760756

Blue Ant > Brabus Maybach

“Most people don’t self-drive these,” Bigend said, pulling out onto Sunset, headed east. “Most people don’t drive them at all,” Hollis corrected, from the passenger seat beside him. She craned her neck for a glimpse back into what she supposed [...]

September 23, 2012 Arts & Culture, Geek, Science & Environment, Writing
46756rufghfghgh

Blue Ant > The Curta

In a subplot of Pattern Recognition, Cayce Pollard uses a rare prototype of an early computing device as a bargaining chip for a crucial email address. She makes a straight offer to a menacing, drunken ex-spy — even trade, email [...]

September 14, 2012 Geek, Science & Environment, Writing
PopSci

1960 PopSci offers a glimpse into optimism, darkness of Cold War America

The most immediately notable thing about this 1960 issue of Popular Science I picked up a vintage market is the smell. It smells, heavily, of chlorine. Not just chlorine, it smells like an indoor whirlpool Jacuzzi, like filmy chlorinated water [...]

September 8, 2012 Blog, Science & Environment, Writing
429px-Michelin_Poster_1898

Blue Ant > Bibendum

Cayce Pollard in Pattern Recognition has a unique ability to judge how the market will respond to logos and brands. At the root of this rare talent, for which Bigend employs her, is a “phobic reaction” to trademarks she’s had [...]

September 5, 2012 Arts & Culture, Geek, Writing
mg_culturespy_3446

‘99% Invisible’ Uncovers the Hidden World of Design

Originally published in the East Bay Express, 2012 Roman Mars’ radio show and podcast is changing the way we look at design — and maybe the nature of public radio. By Tate Williams When people think of design, they usually conjure [...]

August 30, 2012 Arts & Culture, Portfolio, Writing