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The Best Links 2007

For the fourth year running, here are some of my favorite articles, videos, games, photography, discussions, and design pieces that I linked to in 2007. After you’re done with these, try the lists from 2004, 2005, and 2006.

The streets of Portland are an ice skating rink for cars in this video.

Reconsidering the original three Star Wars movies in light of the prequels. R2D2 = top rebel spy.

Adam Gadahn’s journey from rural California teen and death metal fan to a trusted member of Osama bin Laden’s team of operatives.

Chris Jordan’s photo series, Running the Numbers.

Michael Poliza’s aerial photos of Africa. More here.

Malcolm Gladwell on Enron and the difference between puzzles and mysteries, investigationally speaking.

Smashing Telly, a collection of TV on the web, with an emphasis on documentaries and factual programs. I liked David’s post on Zeitgeist and FEBLs.

Video of an autistic person describing the language she uses to communicate with her surroundings.

Good People, a short story by David Foster Wallace.

Nicholas Felton’s personal annual report for 2006.

A pair of posts from Neatorama on photography: 13 Photographs That Changed the World and The Wonderful World of Early Photography.

The 51 Smartest, Prettiest, Coolest, Funniest, Most Influential, Most Necessary, Most Important, Most Essential Magazines Ever.

Susan Orlean on Robert Lang, former physicist and current world-class origami master. Here’s my post on Lang.

A Line Rider masterpiece. (Line Rider?)

Kremlin Inc., a story of Vladimir Putin’s de facto dictatorship of Russia.

2007 was the year of book art: Thomas Allen’s pulp cutouts, Cara Barer’s water-crumpled books, Nina Katchadourian’s Sorted Books whose spines tell small stories, and Brian Dettmer’s book sculptures.

Joel Johnson’s great post on Gizmodo scolding the site’s writers, gadget makers, and the site’s readers “for supporting the disgusting cycle of gadget whoring”.

Denis Darzacq’s photographs of people seemingly floating above the pavement.

Panoramic photos from the Apollo missions. These are stunning.

Michael Pollan on the rise of nutritionism. His advice for healthy eating: “Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.”

Desktop Tower Defense. This would top my Ten Best Games of the Year list if I’d done one.

On Conscientious, several photographers answer the question “What makes a great photo?”

Shorpy, a photoblog of old photographs, and FFFFOUND!, an image bookmarking site. Neither is probably legal in the strict sense, but they’re both great online curated galleries.

Alberto Forero has collected a staggering amount of photography and design imagery and posted it to his Flickr account.

Social Explorer, interactive demographic maps.

Hypermilers try to wring as many miles per gallon out of their cars as they can. (My post.)

Darwin’s God. Are humans biologically wired to believe in God?

Dan Hill reviews Zidane: A 21st Century Portrait, a film that follows soccer star Zinedine Zidane through a single game.

Minority Kart, possibly the GAGOAT (greatest animated gif of all time).

Miranda July’s wonderful handcrafted web site for her book No One Belongs Here More Than You.

An article on commuting, this crazy thing that most Americans do too much of.

The graph of US home prices from 1890 to the present as a rollercoaster.

As a social experiment, the Washington Post arranged for internationally acclaimed violinist Joshua Bell to play outside a DC subway station. Would anyone notice?

The New Yorker on David Belle and parkour, the sport he invented.

Maciej Ceglowski reports on the Alameda-Weehawken Burrito Tunnel.

NB: Studio’s map of London constructed entirely out of type.

Trulia Hindsight, a map of property development through time.

Movies showing a closeup view of the Sun’s surface.

Video footage of Joseph Kittenger’s record jump from 102,800 feet up. Photo from Life magazine and a Boards of Canada music video that uses the footage.

Alex Reisner’s site, especially the baseball section. (My post.)

Interview with journalist Jonathan Rauch.

The greatest long tracking shots in cinema, including those in Touch of Evil and Children of Men.

Meg Hourihan took a bunch of different chocolate chip recipes, averaged the ingredients, and made cookies from the resulting meta-recipe.

The infamous four guys humping an ottoman video.

Does the Piraha language upend the theory of universal grammar?

Vimeo’s sign in page is lovely.

Tim Knowles’ drawings by trees. (My post. And more.)

How a woman randomly bumped into the person that stole her identity and chased her around until the police showed up to apprehend her.

Portraits of breaking sculpture by Martin Klimas.

Photo gallery that shows families from around the world and the amount of food they eat in the course of a week.

Errol Morris’ investigation of a pair of Roger Fenton photographs in three wonderful parts.

Roger Federer’s conservation of energy and attention helps him perform when it counts.

Jay Parkinson M.D. makes house calls, visits with patients via IM, and is generally trying to find new ways of doctoring.

Anthony Lane’s appreciation of the Leica.

Kohei Yoshiyuki’s photos of voyeurs watching lovers in a Japanese park. (My post.)

A restaurant review from the NY Times, circa 1859. My post about the review and lots more from the archives of the Times.

The story of Oscar the Cat, who comforts the dying at a Rhode Island nursing home.

Portraits of bears by Jill Greenberg. More photos at Greenberg’s site.

Long New Yorker profile of David Simon and The Wire.

Elizabeth Kolbert on bees and colony collapse disorder. And bee space.

Photoshopped pictures of people’s faces combined.

A video round (turn on the sound).

Optical illusion: is the woman rotating clockwise or counterclockwise?

From the excellent xkcd web comic: Little Bobby Tables.

Aicuña is a small secluded town in Argentina with an extremely high percentage of albino residents.

David Foster Wallace’s wonderful introduction to The Best American Essays 2007.

Video depicting several ways to melt a chocolate bunny.

Tyler Cowen on some of the opportunity costs of the war in Iraq.

Beautifully terrifying photos of nuclear tests in French Polynesia.

Standing witness to a Guitar Hero wunderkind playing the game’s most difficult song on expert level.

How America Lost the War on Drugs.

God’s Eye View is an art project by The Glue Society depicting four Biblical scenes as they would have been captured by Google Earth.

The best way to deflect an asteroid turns out to be reflecting sunlight on it with a swarm of mirror bees.

Paul Otlet presages the web in 1934, calling it the “radiated library” or “televised book”. (More context.)

This was my favorite post of the year. I hope you’ll excuse the self-link.

Oh, and maybe the best thing I didn’t link to this year: Daft Hands.

Thanks for reading for the past year. Happy new year to you and yours.