This week, Russia turned its attention to the things that really matter by investigating, well, the gayness of #MyCalvins. An app was pitched at SXSW that connects people who are passionate about shooting guns (because God forbid gun shooters should ever shoot alone). In America, pot had better revenues than Girl Scout cookies. A campaign to feed ducks vegetables, not bread, got real traction. (Quack quack.) Obama made his Supreme Court nomination. (Woot woot.) And from that we learned that MERRICK GARLAND—cleverly pointed out by Teju Cole—is basically an anagram for KENDRICK LAMAR. 

As the US softens its stance on pot—it’s now full-on legal in four states (plus D.C.) and medicinally in 23 (plus D.C.)—Dan Baum takes a bracing look at the dark legacy of the nation's war on drugs and looks at changing attitudes around the world. From Harper’s:

"You want to know what this was really all about?” he asked with the bluntness of a man who, after public disgrace and a stretch in federal prison, had little left to protect. “The Nixon campaign in 1968, and the Nixon White House after that, had two enemies: the antiwar left and black people. You understand what I’m saying? We knew we couldn’t make it illegal to be either against the war or black, but by getting the public to associate the hippies with marijuana and blacks with heroin, and then criminalizing both heavily, we could disrupt those communities. We could arrest their leaders, raid their homes, break up their meetings, and vilify them night after night on the evening news. Did we know we were lying about the drugs? Of course we did.”

Monkey Business Casual
Swedish inventor Simone Giertz builds shitty robots that help with everyday activities in the worst way—a helmet that brushes your teeth, a machine that paints your lipstick, an alarm clock that slaps you awake. While mechanically sound and beautiful, Simone’s robots are, intentionally, a bit off. A comment on limits of automating everyday tasks, her latest project fights internet trolls.

Can we talk about brain implants and augmentation without getting all dystopian and post-human for a second? Dr. Ted Berger's experiments with an artificial hippocampus may stir uneasy prognostications of Total Recall proportions. But in terms of genuine, human potential, such experiments offer great hope for sufferers of Alzheimer's and other long-term memory disorders.

Lord knows we’ve all done it. Some of us do it most days. So when a mainstream article calls this here moment in history the “time to bring back the noble art of public weeping,” there’s only one thing to do!

From our friends at The Lifted Brow, this piece on the completely unknown Sadistik Exekution—dubbed the "Scariest Death Metal Band of All Time"—is a tale of lost undergrounds, the cultural destruction of gentrification, and the death of beautiful ugliness through regulation and rising rent.

We'll admit to having read more books on cryptography than the average human, and to having attempted too many times to explain why it's interesting to other humans who have nodded along kindly, and patiently, at the bar. In his book ​Crypto​, Steven Levy did a better job than most of explaining the history and urgency of this most wonky of topics. Here, on Backchannel, he breezily restates the stakes of a crypto war long in detente, freshly reignited by the FBI–Apple standoff.

The leaked New York Times ​Innovation report provided a fascinating look into the venerable newsroom and its response to an industry in upheaval. Now a new and more strict editorial policy on anonymous sources should be understood in the context of this quest. Despite no explicit mention of digital technologies, this tightening has everything to do with an increasingly networked media environment characterized by abundant content and access.

We just learned that YouTube started as a dating site. So without further ado: “Hello my future girlfriend…”

Over at NPR, there was a bizarro memo from magical thinking world, in which the major stakeholders (radio stations) have decided that podcasting and non-broadcast listening don’t have to be the future ​if we just don’t talk about them​.

Truck art is a thing in India. Horn Please is a documentary that explores genuine personality and owner pride in the transport industry. We're really digging the loud, contrasting color and bold 3D-like typography. These truckers are bringing it to the street. This Instragram is the best for a look at Indian typography.


The Overprint is a weekly newsletter from Make Ready + The Alpine Review.
Illustration by Chris Lange.