Zero degrees right now. Or, as they call it in Oymyakon, tropical:
People here regularly consume frozen meat, keep their cars running 24/7 and must warm the ground with a bonfire for several days before burying their dead.
Pictures are here. Why do they live there? I don’t know. If every house had a FOR SALE sign, it might be the depressed property market. Another claimant for the “preposterously cold city” title is Verkhoyansk, which was in the news a few years ago: “In January 2012, the town was attacked by a pack of about 400 wolves. According to biologists, the attack was due to a mass migration caused by a shortage in the wolves' natural food sources, in particular blue hares.”
It might be cold now, but at least when we say “the wolves are bad this year” we’re talking about basketball.
Related: what’s the difference between absolute zero and absolute hot? The BBC explains.
INTERNET POWER! The early days of the internet aren’t well represented. Aside from the Wayback Machine, where can you find the early, i.e. ugly days? On VHS tapes telling people how to Internet. Andy Baio is doing good work here. Necessary work. FastCompany Design:
The tapes are artifacts of an extinct Internet, providing insights into the way we saw the web 20 years ago, and perspective on what it has grown into today.
Here’s part 1 of Internet Power! from 1995.
I haven’t watched the entire thing yet, but I hope there’s a kid with a spiky haircut who is learning how to be a Cyberpunk. There was such a word, you know. Billy Idol even made an album based on the idea, even though his persona didn’t seem intelligent enough to make the distinction between the CPU and the monitor, let alone “hack” it to “gain access” to other computers. People were talking about these things before the web, before browsers. It’s an odd period. On one hand, this was futuristic . . .
On the other hand, it wasn’t futuristic at all. Everything looksd like a school brochure put together with Windows dingbats.
As you might expect, nostalgia for nostalgia’s sake is kicking in:
Ironically, this "early web" aesthetic has been popping up everywhere over the past few years, adhering to the popular theory that nostalgia comes in 20 year cycles. You'll find it in fashion, music, and even homages by web designers themselves, who yearn for the simplicity of '90s web design and the anything-is-possible feeling of the pre-corporatized Internet.
The simplicity of 90s web design. True enough, in the sense that a musical composition limited to three notes is simple. Speaking of three notes:
Baio tried to recreate a common feature of the early era of personal websites: the embeddable, autoplaying MIDI file. These were extremely popular on early personal web pages.
That’s one way of putting it, yes. So were GIFs of flaming skulls and rotating “under construction” banners. Or this guy.
No one who put those up ever finished the page.