Tate Williams

Browsing the "Design" Tag

flocking

What Exactly is Christmas Tree Flocking?

Originally published at Mental Floss on Christmas morning 2015. Of the many curious holiday traditions (figgy pudding? wassailing?), one of the oddest has to be spraying down small trees with a mixture of adhesive and cellulose fibers to satisfy our longing [...]

March 4, 2016 Arts & Culture
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The Chaos Behind Closed Doors: Zero History, The Cabinet & airbnb

Originally published on Blue Ant, August 31, 2015.  Victorian English literature is filled with angst about what chaos lies behind proper and unassuming exteriors. In Conrad’s Heart of Darkness, Marlow says Brussels always reminds him of a “whited sepulchre,” a [...]

October 31, 2015 Arts & Culture
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The Short Life—and Awesome Resurgence—of the Aluminum Christmas Tree

Originally published on Mental_Floss, Dec. 24, 2014. For a short window in the 1960s, aluminum Christmas trees gleamed in living rooms nationwide—but this glorious, glittering reign would be all too brief. Within the decade, they were relegated to the curb as aesthetic [...]

January 4, 2015 Arts & Culture
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This Week in Science Funding: Schizophrenia and Reclaiming Rat Island

A digest of science and environment news, originally published on Inside Philanthropy. This week, eradication of rats on tropical islands, a war on animal abuse, and a historic boost to mental health research. I blog about the latest in funding for research, science [...]

August 4, 2014 Science & Environment
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In Detroit, a Groundbreaking School Comes Back as Condos

Originally published at Curbed on June 18, 2014.  Due to plummeting enrollment and a troubled district, vacant school buildings—heck, just vacant buildings—are none too rare in Detroit. After 19 years of abandonment, the Nellie Leland School, however, is no longer vacant—it, as abandoned [...]

July 14, 2014 Arts & Culture
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In the Garden Cemetery: The Revival of America’s First Urban Parks

First published in American Forests magazine spring/summer 2014. |  In the 1820s, America’s cities had a problem: People kept dying, and church burial grounds were filling up. [...]

June 16, 2014 Arts & Culture, Portfolio
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Modifying Nature (Humans Included) To Save It

Originally published on Futures Exchange. | Imaginative minds are exploring some strange and audacious solutions to our worst environmental problems. [...]

December 22, 2013 Portfolio, Science & Environment
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Science Fiction Can Save Environmentalism

With public interest in the gutter, the green movement needs a shot of futurism | Essay originally published on Futures Exchange, via Medium, on October 22, 2013. [...]

October 31, 2013 Geek, Portfolio, Science & Environment, Writing
punk

Is There a Punk Aesthetic?

Originally published in Souciant Magazine on December 12, 2012. The back cover and spine of Punk: An Aesthetic are almost entirely white, with a clean, black typeface. Seen from a distance on a bookshelf, it could be any modern art book. But the [...]

December 14, 2012 Arts & Culture, Geek, Portfolio, Writing
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99% Invisible episode on Dazzle camouflage

The great podcast and radio show “99% Invisible”  featured the Picasso-zebra camouflage of World War I ships called “Dazzle” or “Razzle Dazzle” in its most recent episode. The story of Dazzle is really cool, and I did a post about [...]

November 17, 2012 Geek, Science & Environment, Writing