Site News
I’m Back / New Web Host

Heya everyone, I’m back from my prolonged break. Thanks for your patience. I’ve got some good new stuff coming soon, including the craziest software distribution scheme you’ve ever seen.

On addition, I’ve changed web hosts, so please let me know if you experience any issues or performance problems with the site.


I’m Not Dead

Hey everyone, I know it’s been a long time. Sorry I haven’t gotten a chance to post anything new for a while. I started a new job a few months back and I’ve just been insanely busy. I usually post in the mornings before work, but lately I’ve just been going to work early to get a jump on stuff. My current project is starting to wind down a bit so I promise there will be some great new stuff coming in July.

For most of the history of the site I’ve either been underemployed or employed in a job I didn’t really care about so it was easy to focus a lot of time on MM. However I’m really, really enjoying my new job at a company called AppNexus. (I’m a software developer for those of you who didn’t know or guess). We’re actually hiring a ton of people right now so if you live, or want to live in, NYC, Portland, Seattle, San Francisco, London, Paris, Hamburg or Tel Aviv, you should check out our careers page. And if you do apply, mention me because we get pretty decent referral bonuses.

Longer term I’m going start trying to figure out how to make this site more collaborative and less of just a catalog of things I like. I have a huge archive of scanned material that is not on the site and an even bigger trove of stuff I haven’t gotten a chance to scan.

Meanwhile, if you get bored, the sites on the right are all really good. Also, readers of this site will probably love the amazing magazine collection at It’s curated by the always amazing and indefatigable Jason Scott

No New Posts This Week

I am travelling this week for work and will probably not get a chance to post any new articles. But unless you’re one of the dozen or so regulars who have read the site for the last 7+ years, I suggest you peruse the archives. I’ve posted almost 9000 articles over the years and a lot of the best are ones you’ve probably never seen.

You can start with the very first post in October 2005, or try reading by year. The site was just getting started in 2005 but there is some great stuff there. You can also try browsing by category; From the Archives, Just Weird and Scary are a few of my favorites.

Or browse by tag. I only started tagging posts a few years ago, so there are lot of posts that they don’t cover but you can’t go wrong with The World’s Fair,  In the Future,  Computer Ads or a collection of what Hugo Gernsback was up to 80 years ago. Personally I’m a big fan of headgear.

I’ll return to my normal posting schedule next week, but while I’m gone, I’d love to see what your personal favorite posts are in the comments.




The House I Live In SF Premiere

The House I Live In is premiering in SF and Berkeley today and I hope any of you in the Bay Area will go see it. My sister Melinda produced the movie and she’ll be doing a Q&A after the 4PM and 7:10PM shows at the Sundance Cinemas in SF.

While I admit to being a little bit biased, it has also been getting really good reviews like this one in the New York Times. Also it’s currently rated 92% on Rotten Tomatoes.

For a little historical context (really, this stuff is in the movie), check out the drugs tag on this site.

Sundance Kabuki Cinemas: 1881 Post Street, San Francisco, CA
1:20, 4:00, 7:10 & 9:45
tickets: https://www.sundancecin…

Shattuck Cinemas: 2230 Shattuck Ave. Berkeley, CA 94704
2:00, 4:30, 7:00 & 9:30
tickets: https://tickets.landmar…

Eugene Jarecki’s seminal film Why We Fight dissected the underbelly of the American war machine. Now, with scalpel-like precision, Jarecki turns his lens on a less visible war—one that is costing more lives, destroying more families, and quickly becoming a scourge on the soul of American society. In the past 40 years, the War on Drugs has accounted for 45 million arrests, made America the world’s largest jailer, and destroyed impoverished communities at home and abroad. Yet drugs are cheaper, purer, and more available today than ever. Where did we go wrong, and what can be done?


Director Eugene Jarecki on the Daily show talking about the movie:

The House I live In

This is the trailer for The House I Live in, a movie about the drug war that my sister Melinda produced. It won the Grand Jury Documentary Prize at Sundance this year and is amazing. You should all see it when it comes out.

The House I Live In – Official Site
The House I Live In – Apple Trailers Site

Design Fixes

Following up on the comments everyone left yesterday I’ve made the following fixes:

  • Increased the font size for article text and comments. I’m looking into changing the fonts as well.
  • Fixed the big gap that appeared between the article text and comments with short articles
  • Fixed issue where the recent comments box was having the first letter of every word capitalized.
  • Added underlines to links in comments
  • Very long links in comments will be automatically truncated. (They will still work though)
  • Added padding so the content isn’t completely flush with the side of the browser in IE and mobile chrome.
  • Changed the Next and Previous page links to actually say Next and Previous.
  • Looking into providing a greyer version of the site for those that find it a bit bright and contrasty.

What else is bugging you?

New Design

As you can see, I’ve made a few changes to the design of Modern Mechanix. It’s the first redesign since, well, ever. I am sure there are going to be issues over the next few days and I’d like to hear about them. If you encounter a bug, don’t like a font choice, or find something is missing, please feel free to commend on this post.

I’ve totally rewritten the back-end code for the blog and along with the new, less fragile theme it will be much easier for me to add new features and functionality. I’ve also moved the blog to a new, much faster server.

There are a few things you might want to check out with the new theme. While I’ve been tagging posts for sometime, there wasn’t really any way to see a list of them. That functionality is now in the side bar, and I’ll be adding a page with a complete list soon. The pages for an individual publication (example) and issue (example) have been revamped and are, I think, a lot more usable. The Cover Gallery has been revamped, but I’m not linking to it on the home page until I see what effect it has on performance (there are a heck of a lot of images on that page).

The next things I have planned are to make the search functionality and the comments system both suck less. If you have any particular changes you’d like to see there, please let me know.

Welcome to the new site, and please let me know what you think.

Site Outages

Over the last few days the server I host MM on has started crashing randomly. I’m not really sure why, but I’ve been planning on moving the site to another host anyway. So this seems like a pretty good reason to do it. However, I’m a bit busy with work this week (the kind that pays the bills) so I might not be able to get everything migrated until sometime next week.

Until then, the site will probably be down sporadically. Sorry for the inconvenience.

I’m Back

Hey everyone. I’m back from Vacation. TAM London was great and I managed to score a fantastic tour of CERN. Really the whole trip was fantastic.

I’m still trying to catch up at work, but I should have some new posts up in the next day or so.


I’m leaving on vacation tomorrow. I’ll be heading to NYC to visit my family and then over to Europe. My current itinerary is:

  • 10/12-10/15 – Amsterdam – No specific plans, I’ve just always wanted to go. They have a museum of torture devices and another entirely of paintings of cats. It’s possible these are the same museum.
  • 10/16 -10/18 – I’ll be at TAM London. TAM8 in Vegas was a lot of fun, but I rather despise Vegas. TAM London has an amazing speakers list, an awesome city and a much better graphic designer.
  • 10/19-10/20 – Geneva – I’m going to take a tour of CERN. Actually the whole impetus for this trip was that I really want to take a tour of the LHC. Sadly, they’re not giving tours of it right now. I suppose that has something to do with it being turned on and all. I’m still psyched to tour CERN though. Maybe I’ll get to see the actual office where Tim Berners-Lee invented the blink tag. It’s pretty crazy; you have to reserve a spot three months ahead of time. I discovered this last month. Luckily someone canceled so a space opened up. If you work at CERN and can get me in to see of any part of the LHC I will be your best friend forever.
  • 10/21-10/21+x – I’m not sure. I was thinking either Berlin, or Munich. Berlin sounds great, but Munich is on the way and has the biggest science museum on the planet. Then maybe Marseilles? Suggestions?
  • 10/21x+n -10/29 – Valencia/Barcelona – again, not sure what I’m going to do, just always sounded nice. Then I fly home.

If you’re going to be in one of those cities at the same time as me and would like to grab a drink, send me an email. Also, if anyone has any tips or suggestions I’d love to hear them, either in the comments or via email.

If you’re interested in how my trip is going, I’ll be posting updates to my twitter feed (@shopsinc).

I’ve queued up a bunch of new posts, so there should be fresh content on the site pretty much every day that I’m gone.

See you in November!