Why is this interesting?

Why is this interesting? is a daily email by Noah Brier & Colin Nagy exploring intriguing aspects of diverse topics ranging from geography and culture to business strategies and environmental issues. Each post delves into the unique characteristics, challenges, and insights related to various subjects and locations around the world.

Geography and Culture Business and Innovation Environmental Concerns Digital Culture and Social Media Literature and Art Personal Development Travel and Exploration

The hottest Substack posts of Why is this interesting?

And their main takeaways
1266 implied HN points β€’ 06 Mar 24
  1. Birdwatching can be a rewarding hobby that connects us with nature and can lead to deep emotional connections with birds.
  2. Ecological grief is a real and intense response to environmental losses, including bird deaths caused by human-driven changes.
  3. Efforts like building natural bridges and enacting bird-friendly legislation demonstrate steps we can take to protect wild animals amidst ongoing environmental challenges.
1085 implied HN points β€’ 07 Mar 24
  1. The U.S. government had a significant influence on the creation of modern American travel guides through literal spies like Eugene Fodor and Temple Fielding.
  2. Eugene Fodor, a successful guidebook publisher, was an officer for the CIA's predecessor during WWII and continued to use spies as writers for his company.
  3. The travel industry has evolved from its CIA roots to offer guides catering to various interests and lifestyles, providing valuable insights into different cultures beyond borders.
784 implied HN points β€’ 14 Mar 24
  1. Augustus Welby Northmore Pugin was a significant figure in the Gothic Revival movement, known for his diverse design portfolio from churches to furniture.
  2. Pugin's conversion to Catholicism influenced his strong belief in Gothic architecture as a spiritual style that could restore order and morality to society.
  3. The collaboration between Pugin and Charles Barry on the Houses of Parliament exemplifies the power of Gothic design to inspire and uplift a society, leaving a lasting impact on London's architecture.
603 implied HN points β€’ 18 Mar 24
  1. Kelsey Keith, brand creative director for Herman Miller, describes her varied background in editing design and architecture publications.
  2. Her media diet includes a mix of work-related and personal interest subscriptions like AD Pro, New Yorker, and Bloomberg Business Week.
  3. She recommends lesser-known writers like Stephanie Madewell and Fred Nicolaus, and praises the app Libby for library downloads on Kindle.
904 implied HN points β€’ 05 Mar 24
  1. Saddle stitching with two needles creates strong and elegant seams on thick leather like saddles, emphasizing craftsmanship and durability.
  2. The saddle stitch process is a symbol of true luxury, centered on effort, rarity, and longevity, contrasting with mass-produced items.
  3. Hermès still values traditional saddle stitching in their leatherwork for its quality, despite openness to technological advancements if they can improve quality.
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1327 implied HN points β€’ 21 Feb 24
  1. Commemorative pins like 'znachki' from the Soviet era reflected hope for prosperity and open exchange of ideas across borders
  2. Certain 'znachki' symbolized optimism for peace and collaboration, contrasting with current geopolitical tensions
  3. The collection of 'znachki' serves as a wistful reminder of past hopes for Russia's future and the ongoing need for change
1085 implied HN points β€’ 27 Feb 24
  1. A new recommendations site, Why is this interesting? Recommends, has been launched after almost five years of planning, bringing together over 1,000 product, book, and software recommendations from their past newsletters.
  2. The use of AI has played a crucial role in extracting and categorizing product recommendations from a vast amount of text, making the process more efficient and manageable.
  3. The team behind the site is open to feedback and suggestions, emphasizing user engagement by encouraging exploration, purchases, and sharing ideas for further improvements.
1327 implied HN points β€’ 20 Feb 24
  1. Paul Theroux emphasizes the ease of staying updated on world events via online news sources and the convenience of assessing contradictions.
  2. Theroux recommends starting with Shakespeare for reading and emphasizes the satisfaction of diving into his works.
  3. Theroux prefers trains over planes for travel and advocates for road trips for the sense of freedom they offer.
1568 implied HN points β€’ 13 Feb 24
  1. Techniques in watercolor painting include wet on dry, wet on wet, and fading, each creating different effects.
  2. Choosing the right paper impacts the outcome in watercolor painting, with cold-pressed paper offering a rougher look and hot-pressed paper enabling better detailing.
  3. Don't limit yourself with perfectionism in art; view each piece as a stepping stone in your creative journey.
542 implied HN points β€’ 12 Mar 24
  1. Nick Cave's pandemic-recorded album 'Idiot Prayer' showcases the unique and poignant sound of the Fazioli piano.
  2. Fazioli pianos are luxury instruments crafted in Italy, known for their exceptional tonal range and precision.
  3. Each Fazioli piano takes three years to build, reflecting the brand's commitment to combining physics, technology, and artistry.
1447 implied HN points β€’ 12 Feb 24
  1. Ruddy Aboab, head of Fip Radio, shares his media diet, starting and ending his day with music and incorporating various sources like Fip radio, France info, and magazines.
  2. Ruddy's reading includes books like 'L’étΓ© des Charognes' and 'Nino dans la nuit' by Simon Johannin, showing his interest in raw, emotive writing.
  3. Ruddy's deep dive into freediving after watching a documentary led him to immerse himself in the world of apnea, competitions, and sea-related content online.
1870 implied HN points β€’ 01 Feb 24
  1. Modern TV often portrays fathers as incompetent or negative figures, but Bluey from the TV show Bluey presents a heartwarming and ambitious portrayal of the modern dad.
  2. Bandit Heeler from Bluey breaks away from the tired stereotype of the bumbling dad by being a primary caregiver who inspires us to be more present, playful, and patient.
  3. Bluey aims not only to entertain children but also to teach parents important lessons, such as experiencing childlike wonder and being present in the lives of their kids.
1206 implied HN points β€’ 15 Feb 24
  1. Encountering artists that grant permission to be true to oneself is powerful.
  2. Redefining 'work' as a sense of purpose, like Rita Deanin Abbey did, can be a bold and pragmatic choice.
  3. Abbey's creation of her own museum challenges conventional gender roles and inspires self-trust and empowerment.
2171 implied HN points β€’ 18 Jan 24
  1. Watercolors are unforgiving; mistakes with watercolors are hard to fix because once you put them down, you can't really change them.
  2. Mastering a craft takes practice; just like with watercolors, it's crucial to first understand and excel in the medium before focusing on the message or artistry.
  3. Using technology like drawing apps can help with the challenges of traditional mediums like watercolors; these tools offer the convenience of undo and redo functions that are not available in physical art.
422 implied HN points β€’ 13 Mar 24
  1. Michael Mann is known for his meticulous attention to detail in filmmaking, like the extensive training for the cast in 'Heat'.
  2. The 1957 crash in Guidizzolo, known as the 'Kiss of Death', ended the Mille Miglia race and symbolizes audacity and the recklessness of youth.
  3. The photo of Linda Christian kissing Marquis Alfonso de Portago before the fatal crash is seen as a haunting symbol, with Christian's seemingly detached gaze hinting at a premonition.
723 implied HN points β€’ 28 Feb 24
  1. Sir Paul Smith discovered Aesop deodorant during his travels and appreciates the brand's growth near his stores, showing a positive outlook on retail piggybacking.
  2. Collaboration between stores serving the same customer base can create a positive synergy benefiting all, contrary to a strategy of spiteful competition.
  3. Over-association with another brand can potentially impact the image and story of an independent brand negatively, as seen in Aesop's evolution and potential risks for Sir Paul Smith's brand.
1809 implied HN points β€’ 24 Jan 24
  1. A Texas schoolteacher named Michael Bise recreated 85% of GAP playlists from his time working there.
  2. GAP took its in-store playlists seriously, with a trend director driving the music selection.
  3. The project of collecting and sharing GAP playlists is a reminder of the emotional experience of in-store shopping compared to online shopping.
1870 implied HN points β€’ 22 Jan 24
  1. Philip Stockton follows a chaotic and headline-driven media diet.
  2. He recommends reading 'Art of War' by Sun Tzu for competition and Edward Tuftes series on Data Visualization for designers.
  3. Stockton suggests spending time underwater in the ocean and recommends everyone visit a place with good underwater visibility.
1990 implied HN points β€’ 17 Jan 24
  1. Players' evolving playing styles demand specialized sneakers beyond just ankle support and cushioning.
  2. Sneaker design has shifted focus to meet specific playstyles like cutting, running, and jumping.
  3. New era of playstyle specialization in basketball shoes emphasizes using the right tools for optimal performance.
482 implied HN points β€’ 08 Mar 24
  1. The Operations Order follows a structured format with key sections such as Situation, Mission, Execution, Service Support, and Command and Signal.
  2. Using the OPORD model ensures important information is communicated effectively, reduces risks, and speeds up operations.
  3. The concept of mission command in the military emphasizes decentralization of decision-making and thorough understanding of the operation's intent to adapt quickly and reach the end goal.
1628 implied HN points β€’ 23 Jan 24
  1. Greatest Hits compilations in the music industry have historically shaped artist canons.
  2. Streaming platforms now use curated playlists like 'Essentials' instead of traditional Greatest Hits albums.
  3. Artists should consider creating their own curated Best Of playlists to guide fans through their catalog.
1387 implied HN points β€’ 30 Jan 24
  1. AI-driven summaries are becoming more prevalent, affecting how we consume information.
  2. Tech-enabled summarization tools can be helpful due to the abundance of content, but they may strip away depth and context.
  3. Relying too much on AI for distilling information raises questions about the loss of individual interpretation and meaning-making.
1990 implied HN points β€’ 11 Jan 24
  1. Batak cuisine is known for its spicy dishes using Andaliman peppers.
  2. Andaliman peppers are related to Szechuan peppers and provide a unique tingling sensation on the tongue.
  3. The numbing sensation of Andaliman peppers can be experienced in Batak highlands, creating a surprising culinary discovery.
1870 implied HN points β€’ 12 Jan 24
  1. Having a camera crew or a podcast mic can add authority and credibility to a content creator.
  2. The visual presentation, like a podcast mic in shot, can influence perceptions of credibility even if the content itself is not impactful.
  3. Demonstrating credibility in the creator economy is crucial, and visual cues like microphones are a modern way to achieve it.
361 implied HN points β€’ 11 Mar 24
  1. Geoff Rickly reads voraciously, including magazines, newsletters, and novels, with a preference for publications with a strong physical presence.
  2. Rickly recommends John Fosse's 'Septology' as a transformative read that had a profound impact on him as an artist, blending modern and eternal spirituality.
  3. Rickly fell into a deep rabbit hole exploring perfumes, starting from wanting to smell good to seeking unique and even repulsive scents, mentioning various indie perfume brands and his personal favorite, MeM by Antonio Gardoni.
1689 implied HN points β€’ 10 Jan 24
  1. Skateboarding history traces back to Florida and the invention of the ollie trick.
  2. The impact of Florida skaters like Alan 'Ollie' Gelfand changed the direction of skateboarding.
  3. The evolution of skateboarding from vert to street style and the influence of skaters like Tony Hawk.
965 implied HN points β€’ 06 Feb 24
  1. The Hair Metal genre was saved by incorporating crime themes in music videos.
  2. Hair metal bands used crime-related narratives to stay relevant and attract mainstream success.
  3. The Hair Metal Crimewave videos helped to keep the genre around longer than expected by engaging audiences with grit and substance.
1689 implied HN points β€’ 09 Jan 24
  1. Noah Brier reflects on the creative process in skateboarding videos
  2. Skateboarding videos show the hard work and numerous attempts behind impressive tricks
  3. Watching talented and creative people discuss their work process is inspiring
723 implied HN points β€’ 14 Feb 24
  1. Ski trail ratings were standardized in 1964 due to pressure from insurance and Walt Disney was involved in creating the colors and shapes used today
  2. Trail ratings are subjective and vary between resorts, with ratings based on factors like vertical grade, obstacles, grooming, and more
  3. Ski trail ratings differ between regions like the West/Rockies and East Coast in the US, and between Europe and the US, impacting how difficult trails may feel
844 implied HN points β€’ 08 Feb 24
  1. Mosquitos are the world's deadliest animal and are vectors for diseases like Malaria.
  2. Innovative strategies like gene-editing are being used to control mosquito populations.
  3. Technology like Oxitec's gene-editing approach shows promise in suppressing mosquito populations without harming other species.
904 implied HN points β€’ 02 Feb 24
  1. An Indian disco record, Disco Jazz, found a new, enthusiastic audience years after its release due to algorithms and word-of-mouth.
  2. Disco Jazz stands out for its blend of genres and unconventional elements compared to traditional Indian disco music.
  3. The rediscovery of 'Aaj Shanibar' led to increased interest from international DJs, new releases, and proceeds going to the singer for her future music projects.
784 implied HN points β€’ 07 Feb 24
  1. Understanding time as an ingredient in cooking is crucial for creating excellent dishes.
  2. Different cooking time ranges affect flavor profiles and textures; shorter times for quick sauces and longer times for richer stocks.
  3. Extended cooking times, like in master stocks, can create deep complexity, history, and community in dishes.
1387 implied HN points β€’ 05 Jan 24
  1. People have strong preferences for specific pens and writing tools.
  2. There is a variety of pens and tools preferred by different individuals for writing tasks.
  3. Some individuals have specific pens they prefer for different purposes like work, travel, or drawing.
904 implied HN points β€’ 25 Jan 24
  1. DIY pedal builders are making their own guitar effects pedals for a fraction of the cost of retail ones.
  2. Some manufacturers 'goop' their pedals to protect their designs, which DIY enthusiasts see as a lack of consumer transparency.
  3. The DIY pedal community has influenced big-name manufacturers, with popular pedals like the Klon Centaur being reverse-cloned for wider accessibility.
301 implied HN points β€’ 04 Mar 24
  1. Ahmed Al Omran shares his diverse media diet, including newspapers, RSS feeds, newsletters, podcasts, and social media platforms like Twitter and Instagram.
  2. Al Omran recommends 'Endel,' an AI-generated personalized soundscapes app, and expresses a preference for trains over planes due to the unpleasant aspects of flying.
  3. Japan is highlighted as a must-visit destination known for its attention to craftsmanship across various aspects of culture, providing unique experiences.
422 implied HN points β€’ 22 Feb 24
  1. The Presidential Physical Fitness Award had high standards like 40 push-ups, 10 pull-ups, and a 6:30 mile run, with the goal of improving national health and reducing childhood obesity.
  2. The program was ingrained in the US school system and became a cultural memory for a certain generation, showing the impact of collective fitness goals.
  3. China is now emphasizing physical fitness similarly to how JFK did in the 1960s, with a focus on societal benefits like fitness and achievements reflected in their social media platforms.