01 . Swimming pools in film and culture: top 30

“Swimming pools aren’t only to lie beside or dive into. They are potent symbols – both enticing and frightening – suggesting all kinds of hidden depths.” (Telegraph).

02. Inside the Knockoff-Tennis-Shoe Factory

“A shopkeeper in Italy placed an order with a Chinese sneaker factory in Putian for 3,000 pairs of white Nike Tiempo indoor soccer shoes. It was early February, and the shopkeeper wanted the Tiempos pronto. Neither he nor Lin, the factory manager, were authorized to make Nikes. They would have no blueprints or instructions to follow. But Lin didn’t mind. He was used to working from scratch. A week later, Lin, who asked that I only use his first name, received a pair of authentic Tiempos, took them apart, studied their stitching and molding, drew up his own design and oversaw the production of 3,000 Nike clones. A month later, he shipped the shoes to Italy. “He’ll order more when there’s none left,” Lin told me recently, with confidence.” (NYT).

03. A Southern Impression: The Printmakers of Alabama

“In the twentieth century, printmakers contributed significantly to artistic expression in Alabama… Their printed impressions of the region, created using both traditional and modern techniques, depict the full panoply of Southern life. From the agrarian Southern scene, to nascent industrialization at the turn of the century and the subsequent poverty and despair of the Great Depression, to the rise of technology in the New Southprintmakers created a visual history of Alabama. In addition, many of them set their sights beyond the state. They captured a potpourri of subjects as they studied in art academies outside the region, and later enjoyed professional careers in the urban centers of America as well as abroad. A number of these printmakers were women, who struggled against significant odds to succeed as practicing artists.” (MMFA).

04. A Neighborhood Revival Starts With a New Public Library (Above)

“As budget cuts chop library programs out of schools, public libraries are becoming increasingly important in their roles to educate entire communities. But they also serve another purpose as town squares for neighborhoods–places where people can come together and share ideas. The new Watha T. Daniel/Shaw Library, which opened this month in Washington DC hopes to become the center of the neighborhood by adding uses that reach beyond reading, and creating a dynamic space that transcends the typical tomb-like library setting.” (Fast Company).

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