1. White House Flickr
As Barack Obama preps for his inauguration day, It's Nice That takes us through the first four years of his presidency in a highlight reel of the White House Flickr page. Moving, humorous and nostalgic, the photo ops also show off Obama's remarkable photogenic quality.
2. South American Cholo
CH friend and contributor Phuong-Cac Nguyen presents "South American Cholo," a film documenting the rise of North American gang culture in São Paulo through interviews with notable gang figures. Set to release March 2013, we encourage readers to take a look at the trailer on Vimeo.
3. Liquipel 2.0
Introduced at the CES 2013 show, Liquipel 2.0 is a new nano-sized, waterproof skin for your smart phone. Liquipel adheres to smart phones on a molecular level, making it more like a coating rather than a waterproof case. The new coating is expected to hit stores later this year.
4. Mr. Bingo's Hate Mail
For a nominal fee, London-based illustrator Mr. Bingo will send you personalized bit of hate mail on the back of a vintage postcard. In a recent video Mr. Bingo shares his series of offensive cards and how his "Hate Mail" series—which is now also a book—got its start. Voluntary victims of Mr. Bingo's witticisms include everyone from the New York Times to the comedian Jimmy Carr.
5. Massimo Vignelli
In celebration of the legendary Italian graphic designer Massimo Vignelli's 82nd birthday, Brainpicking's looked to Debbie Millman's "How to Think Like a Great Graphic Designer" for some choice quotations from the artist. With snippets on everything from love to intellectual elegance, Vignelli shows himself not only as a graphic designer but as a true creative genius.
6. Can Computers Be Funny?
As artificial intelligence improves, teaching computers humor has become an increasing field of study, but how do you teach one to pick up on a punchline? In an article for The New York Times, Alex Stone introduces the world of programmers dedicated to creating algorithms that help computers understand everything from sarcasm to "That's what she said" jokes, with the ultimate goal of creating artificial casual conversation.
7. Fat and Furious
Every Friday afternoon two French graphic designers re-imagine the classic burger from top to bottom. Variations to date have included everything from a Cannabis-inspired burger with weed-laced buns to a Thanksgiving version topped with sweet potatoes and cranberry sauce. With so many to choose from, Sous Style offers up a snack of five creative burger sensations.
8. Quiet Shop
As part of its No Noise retail initiative, Selfridges London plans to introduce a Quiet Shop, which will feature logo-free products and a quiet room for reflection. To fill the shelves of the new space, Selfridges reached out to several iconic brands like La Mer and Marmite in order to produce still-recognizable versions of their best-selling products.
9. Most Influential Beers
Food and drink publication First We Feast delves into the origins of the craft beer movement by looking at the 20 most influential brews. Topping the list are Bear Republic's Hop Rod Rye, Alagash White and Westmalle Tripel.
10. Snow in Jerusalem
This week, an unexpected snow storm left Jerusalem under a beautiful and rare blanket of white. Cool Hunting contributor Andrea DiCenzo captures the historic city for the Huffington Post in a series of gorgeous photographs.
11. Hatchet Job of the Year
The second annual Hatchet Job of the Year announced its shortlist for the best literary reviews of the year. In a world of Amazon reviews, e-books and the twitter-verse, the Hatchet Job of the Year award is designed to celebrate extraordinary criticisms and bolster the sadly shrinking influence of literary criticism and critics. The Hatchet Job of the Year is the brainchild of The Omnivore, a website dedicated to rounding up a cross section of the latest in literary reviews.
12. Father Philanthropy
In an excellent profile from The Avant/Garde Diaries, Mississipi native Mark Landis reflects on a life forging paintings. Far from a for-profit imitator, Landis became an unlikely philanthropist when he started donating forged works to small museums across the US dressed as a Jesuit priest.