4 min read

N.102/ The December Days

THIS WEEK → Surreal Bookstores ⊗ Maze Making ⊗ Poor Audio ⊗ Shipping Routes ⊗ Things Learned in 2021.
N.102/ The December Days

Welcome to issue 102.

Hi. Sammy here.

Is it that time of the week again? To this, I can offer a distinct answer: Yes.

Whatever you present arrangement and posture to the possibility of December let’s all take a moment to enjoy some high quality internet.


What sort of hotel is this?

HELLO, I’m Sammy Haywood and you’ve signed up for the Making Hay: Whilst The Sun Still Shines a weekly newsletter, which primarily features a curious, creative, and considered look at the world in internet form.

Below you’ll find an instalment of the newsletter, which contains a variety of items, some of them with a bit of additional commentary from me, and a closing note.

As always there is a one click unsubscribe at the bottom.

Read on. Share promiscuously.


A Surreal New Bookstore Has Just Opened in China

M.C. Escher in full book loving effect.

There is something about architecture in China that is always over the top and this is no exception. Come for the mind altering architecture and stay for the books.

Credit: Shao Feng


Here's Why Movie Dialogue Has Gotten More Difficult To Understand (And Three Ways To Fix It)

Ben Pearson | SlashFilm | 30th Nov 2021

In theory, this should be a golden age for movie sound. There’s better digital recording and mixing equipment than ever, theaters are incentivised to offer a premiere experience, and home equipment is more expensive, elaborate, and ubiquitous. Slashfilm’s Ben Pearson tried to break down the various causes of the problem and propose some solutions. It’s a thorough (and quite enjoyable) read.


How the World’s Foremost Maze-Maker Leads People Astray

Nicola Twilley | The New Yorker | 22nd Nov 2021

This is a fun read with one of the world's premiere 'maze consultants' about how it all came about and what one can learn from building over seven hundred mazes across the world.


Bread on Earth

A bread library

For those of you that have (re)discovered the craft of bread making during COVID: Bread on Earth is a geeky library of recipes, essays, pictures and links, all about the art of the loaf.


Ship Map

Visualising the supply chain

This mesmerising interactive map uses positioning data of cargo vessels to replay shipping routes around the world. Disable the map (in the options settings) and see how the position of ships trace the outline of continents!


52 things I learned in 2021

Tom Whitwell | Medium | 1st Dec 2021

Tom Whitwell’s list of 52 things he learned during the past year is always worth a read. Here are some examples from the list:

  • 35. Clean rooms used to make semiconductors have to be 1,000x cleaner than a surgical operating theatre, because a single transistor is now much smaller than a virus. [Ian King]
  • 37. The notion of a personal ‘Carbon Footprint’ was invented by Ogilvy & Mather for BP in the early 2000s. [Mark Kaufman]
  • 47. The entire global cosmetic Botox industry is supported by an annual production of just a few milligrams of botulism toxin. Pure toxin would cost ~$100 trillion per kilogram. [Anthony Warner]


I’ve often noticed that we are not able to look at what we have in front of us, unless it’s inside a frame.
– Abbas Kiarostami

Thanks for your time, energy and presence in making it all the way to the bottom.

Spelling mistakes, glaring omissions, furious rants or grudging tips of the hat, I welcome it all.

Till next time,


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Making Hay: Whilst The Sun Shines
A optimistic newsletter helping you to get curious and think critically each Monday.

The office is located in East Melbourne, Victoria, the traditional lands of the Wurundjeri people. I acknowledge that the culture showcased here owes the roots of its theory and practice to traditional and Indigenous knowledges, from all over the world.

We all stand on the shoulders of many ancestors – as we learn, and re-learn, these skills and concepts. We pay our deepest respects and give our heartfelt thanks to these knowledge-keepers, both past, present and projected.⁠

To offset the carbon emissions of this newsletter, I plant one native Australian tree for every issue. I encourage you to do the same in your country.