Weekends are for burning things to the ground, especially if you’re angry that Croatia just lost the World Cup final. Me, I’m not angry, just disappointed. So instead of burning things down, I’m going to share links with y’all. Let’s talk about gay history, vision, and the alignment of city streets.

  • Let’s begin with a really interesting tale about a collection of pins for the British LGBT movement that were discovered in a south London attic. They belonged to Paud Hegarty, an English gay rights activist. Gavin McGregor, the author of this piece, has now begun making arrangements to put the pins on display as a sort of mini-museum.
  • New York City isn’t really a city of publicly accessible alleyways. There’s rarely space between buildings, and more often than not, alleys are closed off with gates. Nonetheless, Cortlandt Alley in Manhattan’s Chinatown has become of the most-filmed spots in the city, because it’s one of the few places available for filming when directors need a secluded, gritty-looking urban location. Jen Carlson of Gothamist explains.
  • I grew up during the edutainment boom of the ’90s, so I have fond memories of a lot of educational software. I never got to experience Secret Writer’s Society, though, but in retrospect that might have been for the best: as Phil “Shadsy” Salvador of The Obscuritory explains, a bug in the game’s swear filter, combined with a text-to-speech feature, could cause the software to curse at its users.
  • Urban planning postdoc Geoff Boeing uses a polar histogram to map the distribution of orientations of streets in various cities around the world. Some, like Toronto, are laid out on clear grids. Others, like Seoul, are a complete mish-mash of roads in all directions. I like grids wherever possible, but there’s something interesting and mysterious about navigating a haphazardly laid out city.

That’s all for now. See you next week! And please don’t burn anything down while I’m gone.