The Last Light

“In April 2020, the weird and ambitious startup Magic Leap cut its workforce in half and delayed plans to take mixed reality glasses mainstream. The company had a wealth of ideas about how ordinary people might use its hardware, which overlays virtual images on reality. But after years of development, many were still prototypes or tech demos…Inside the company, though, a few dozen developers were building what they describe as one of Magic Leap’s most exciting projects. It’s called The Last Light: an interactive story about a young woman dealing with the death of her grandmother, designed to show the storytelling potential of mixed reality.”

—Adi Robertson, “Fading Light: the story of Magic Leap’s lost mixed reality magnum opus.” The Verge. July 6, 2020.

Now available as a free download.

The Sifter

“The Sifter is a publicly available searchable database and is designed to be a tool to aid in finding, identifying and comparing historical and contemporary writing on food and related topics. It is overseen by an advisory board of rotating members of the Oxford Symposium on Food & Cookery as well as other friends of food history. As with Wikipedia, it will be populated by its users. Entries will be made both in standard English and the language of the original document. It will be possible to enter data in over 150 writing systems. As many countries as possible will be included. Corrections may be made by registered users. Data visualization will be a component. With the aid of this tool it is our hope that what has been invisible will come into focus.”

https://thesifter.org/

Karst Stone Paper

“Made from 100% sustainably recycled stone, and without any bleaches or acids, Karst Stone Paper™ is rebuilt from first principles to be better than wood-pulp paper: more durable, more sustainable, and infinitely smoother to write, scribble, doodle or draw on. If there’s a better way to make paper, we haven’t found it.”

https://www.karststonepaper.com/

Community Land Trusts

“A CLT [community land trust] is a mechanism by which land is held in trust and managed by a nonprofit, used for whatever a community chooses, whether that’s housing, small businesses, cultural spaces, gardens, parks, or farms. The land is owned by a trust, which keeps it out of speculators’ hands, but residences and other structures can be privately owned and inherited, allowing community members to build wealth.

Few know that modern-day CLTs originated here in Georgia, in a civil-rights-era experiment to build economic power among poor black farmers. But the model has proved durable. Over the past decade, as real estate developers have carved up cities and driven housing costs beyond the realm of affordability, interest in CLTs has swelled. There are now 260 of them in the United States. Advocates say CLTs give communities the space and security to develop neighborhoods according to their needs rather than the demands of the market.

—Andrea Lim, “We Shall Not Be Moved.” Harpers. July 2020