1. #JAK04: Kottke Goes to the “Movies”

    OK, those quotation marks were overkill——you probably know what “movies” are. But how long has that been the case? When does a common term lose its “quotes”?

    In #JAK04, Jason Kottke explored that question as it related to a classic movie phrase: “Lights! Camera! Action!” Here’s Jason:

    "In 1910, D.W. Griffith made the first movie in Hollywood, California, called In Old California. During filming, the frustrated director barked out the three words most associated with filmmaking today: ‘Lights! Camera! Action!’ This package plays off Griffith’s famous phrase, giving you all the tools you need to make a film of your own.”

    What tools, you ask? Subscribers landed some very cool LED throwies (lights), a pinhole camera (duh), and a stash of Mexican jumping beans (action). Here’s how it all looked:


    Curious to see what Jason’s plotting for #JAK05? Wondering who this clever Kottke guy is? Check out his excellent website, kottke.org——then score his next surprise Quarterly box.


  2. #JAK03: It’s Alive!

    Jason Kottke sends creative packages. So creative, in fact, that postal services sometimes don’t know what to make of him. Turns out the Australian authorities do not have a soft spot for Wisconsin sausage. Whoops:

    But did that stop Jason from sending living organisms in #JAK03? It did not. In his letter, Jason related the history of the US parcel post, plus the original “living thing” to travel by USPS: a small child in Idaho, incredibly enough.

    Thankfully, Jason found two far less problematic living items to include: sea monkeys and a sourdough bread starter. Here’s an excerpt from his letter, and a few shots of the contents. Curious? Grab #JAK04.

    In 1914, the parents of a blonde four-year-old named May Pierstorff sent her from Grangeville, Idaho to her grandparents in another part of the state for 53 cents, the going rate for chickens. Word of her excursion quickly prompted the Post Office Department to forbid sending any human being by mail. In 2013 dollars, 53 cents is about $12, which seems like a great bargain for interstate travel. 


  3. #JAK02—It Almost Rhymes with Orange

    Jason Kottke's wildly popular first mailing was all about maps. There's a geography lesson in this one, too——but it's a very different kind. Before we boxed up #JAK02 yesterday, we got out the camera. 

    Insert “Orange you glad you’re a Kottke subscriber?” joke here.