homeaboutarchivepodcastnewslettermembership!
aboutarchivepodcastmembership!
aboutarchivemembers!

kottke.org posts about currency

The new design for UK coinage is

posted by Jason Kottke   Apr 02, 2008

The new design for UK coinage is fantastic.

As you can see in the image to the right, the Shield of the Royal Arms has been given a contemporary treatment and its whole has been cleverly split among all six denominations from the 1p to the 50p, with the £1 coin displaying the heraldic element in its entirety. This is the first time that a single design has been used across a range of United Kingdom coins.

This is my favorite bit of design so far this year. (via we made this)

Update: Jonathan Hoefler compares the new UK coins, designed by a first-time currency designer, to the new US five dollar bill.

Below, the new five dollar bill, introduced last month by the United States Department of the Treasury. The new design, which features a big purple Helvetica five, is the work of a 147-year-old government agency called the United States Bureau of Engraving and Printing. It employs 2,500 people, and has an annual budget of $525,000,000.

It looks like Purple Modernistan is invading the US from the southeast.

Jay-Z as economic indicator? In his new

posted by Jason Kottke   Nov 09, 2007

Jay-Z as economic indicator? In his new video for Blue Magic, the rapper flashes Euros, not US dollars.

When I start seeing rap stars flashing euros instead of U.S. dollars, I know our economy is in trouble.

Relatedly, supermodel Gisele Bundchen wants to be paid for her modeling and sponsorship gigs in euros, not dollars. (Or maybe not.)

Play Money

posted by Jason Kottke   Jul 18, 2006

During the depths of the dot com bust, Julian Dibbell looked online for a job and found one as a commodities trader in the Ultima Online virtual world. During one particularly productive month, he made almost US$4000. Dibbell has a book coming out about the experience, Play Money: Or, How I Quit My Day Job and Made Millions Trading Virtual Loot. In addition to being available at bookstores in meatspace, Play Money will also be on sale in the virtual world of Second Life in the currency of that world (Linden dollars). From the press release:

In-game versions of Play Money designed by Second Life coder/publisher Falk Bergman are available for L$750. These copies can be signed by Dibbell at his in-Second Life interview with journalist Wagner James Au on July 27th. For the Second Life resident who needs something a bit more tactile, L$6250 buys a real-life copy of Play Money, shipped with care to the buyer’s real life address, in addition to the standard in-game version.

(At the time of this press release, Linden dollars are trading at approximately L$300.00 to the US$1.00. Adjusted to US dollars, an online copy costs US$2.50, and the price of a real-life copy bought in-game is around US$20.85.)

Dibbell will be signing his virtual books in Second Life on July 27th. Caterina read Play Money and has some thoughts on its relation to her work/play at Ludicorp. And here’s a preview of Chinese Gold Farmers, a documentary on gold farming sweatshops in China.

The Del Monte Note is a $20 bill

posted by Jason Kottke   Jan 06, 2006

The Del Monte Note is a $20 bill with a Del Monte banana sticker that was affixed to it during the printing process so that the serial number and Treasury seal are partially printed on the sticker. “In the summer of 2004 a college student in Ohio received it as part of an ATM withdrawal and shortly there after posted it on eBay where it sold to the highest of 12 bids.”

New Swiss banknotes, the result of a

posted by Jason Kottke   Dec 15, 2005

New Swiss banknotes, the result of a design competition, feature an embryo, the AIDS virus, and a skull. “Considering the history of Swiss banking, one cannot help but make the connection between the gold bar on the 1000-Franc bill (the gold of African dictators hidden in Swiss vaults) and the skull on the same bill (that of their victims).”

Street food in Bangkok

posted by Jason Kottke   Nov 16, 2005

We’ve been eating a lot off the street[1] here in Bangkok. On our morning and afternoon walks to and from the Skytrain[2], there are one-person food carts each serving up a particular little snack for 5-10 baht[3] apiece. It’s a good grazing situation; lunch yesterday lasted about five hours[4] and consisted of some orange juice, a thai iced coffee, pork balls on a stick, grilled chicken on a stick, some sort of sweet coconut custard thing, chrysanthemum juice, some noodles that very much tasted like ramen (with pork), more sweet coconut custard things, some peanut crepes…

[1.5 hour interlude for a foot and thai massage[5] that I quite enjoyed and Meg quite didn’t]

…fried dough balls, pork and pineapple on a stick, a bag of orange soda, pork crepes with tiny egg[6], and dessert tacos. Altogether it was maybe US$6 for the two of us (and my dad ate some too).[7]

I love eating this way and it was something that was sorely missing in HK.

[1] From street vendors, not literally off the street.

[2] Auto traffic is awful here…traffic jams everywhere. So we’ve been using the Metro (subway), Skytrain (the elevated train), and the river taxis to get around. They get us to most places we need to go. There are motorcycle taxis available, but we’d rather not split up on the journey. Two/three-person motorcycle-powered rickshaws called tuk tuks are also available, but we’ve heard conflicting reports of the usefulness/sketchiness that we’ve opted out of them altogether.

[3] It’s about 40 baht to a US dollar. A meal at a small restaurant with tables on the street cost us around US$5 for the two of us, including gigantic beer.

[4] We started out at Aw Kaw Taw market, walked over to Chatuchak market, and then to the area around Sala Daeng.

[5] The massage was around US$7 per person. I want one every day.

[6] Onto each crepe, the cook cracked a tiny egg. He made up about 10 for the woman ahead of us and cracked 10 tiny eggs, one for each crepe.

[7] To those who say they can’t afford to travel, I say to you: stop making excuses. If you’ve got the income and leisure time to be spending time reading this blog, are sufficiently motivated, and make it a priority in your life[8], you can certainly afford it. The most costly item is the plane ticket, but if you watch for deals and are flexible in where you want to visit (maybe you go to Brazil instead of Thailand), you can get over here for less than you might think. And once you’re here, you can get by on $20 a day, including lodging. Travel is cheaper here as well, buses and trains are always an option, and there are several low-cost airlines that serve the region. It requires a little effort and intrepidity, but low-cost international travel can be done.

[8] This is the big sticking point for most people, I think. If you choose to have a family or focus on your career or pursue a costly photography hobby, you might not have the money or flexibility to travel this way. But that’s a choice you’ve made (on some level)…and I would argue that if you’re 30 years old, you can arrange to make an overseas trip once every 3-5 years, and that’s about 7-8 trips by the time you’re 60.

OPENSTUDIO was announced at the conference today

posted by Jason Kottke   Sep 16, 2005

OPENSTUDIO was announced at the conference today by John Maeda. Keith sez about the project: “described as an experiment in creativity, collaboration, and capitalism, Open Studio is designed to simplify tools for the creative process and provide a pseudo-currency model for tool use and sharing.” Gotta go check this one out in the Media Lab space here.