Dive Into What the Web Looked Like 10 Years Ago With This Site

Ten Years Ago
Ten Years Ago

When it comes to the internet, our memories can be short. It’s hard to imagine life without reddit or YouTube, which didn’t come around until 2005, or Gmail, which was technically a beta product until 2009. And responsive web design wasn’t really a thing until 2012. The internet of a decade ago looked a lot different than it does now.

New website Ten Years Ago makes it easy to look back into the weird world of mostly forgotten web history, as The Next Web reports. The site peers into the World Wide Web as of July 28, 2007, showing the now-simplistic-looking early designs of sites like YouTube, Amazon, The New York Times, and reddit. And old-school web design isn't the only retro treat. You also get to enjoy the advertising of 2007, back when John Mayer was enticing people to watch Live Earth and fans were eagerly awaiting The Simpsons Movie.

The site is powered by the Internet Archive’s Way Back Machine, which captures web pages as they appear now so that they can be used as citations later. Ten Years Ago is a useful tool in that it gathers together sites captured on the same day, so you can recreate what you might see if you were trawling the web on that day in July 2007. Back when even Apple, one of the most design-obsessed companies around, had a website that looked a little clunky.

Chances are, the web will look even more radically different a decade or more in the future. Will we still remember what YouTube looked like now? Probably not. Enjoy thinking of the web design of 2017 as cutting-edge while you can. Someday, it will seem ridiculously outdated.

[h/t The Next Web]

Hong Kong's Peculiar Architecture Can Be Explained by Feng Shui

iStock
iStock

Most people are familiar with feng shui—the ancient Chinese art of arranging one's environment to maximize good energy—as it applies to interior design. But you don't need to walk into a building to see feng shui at work in Hong Kong: It's baked into the skyline.

This video from Vox examines how feng shui has shaped the design of Hong Kong's skyscrapers. Some of the most extreme examples are dragon gates: large holes cut out of the center of buildings. The idea is that dragons, which are said to live in the mountains behind the city, will be able to fly through the openings and into the water. If their passage is blocked, bad luck will befall any buildings in their way.

Some superstitious design features are a little more subtle. In the lobby of the HSBC building, the escalators are positioned at a strange angle to fend off the bad energy flowing into the space. When Hong Kong Disneyland hired a feng shui consultant (a real and lucrative job), they were told to shift the entrance 12 degrees to keep chi from flowing out.

But not every architect in Hong Kong takes feng shui into account. The Bank of China Tower is infamous for its sharp angles, which feng shui experts claim damages the positive energy around it. Anything bad that happens to the surrounding businesses is immediately blamed on the tower, and the neighboring HSBC building even installed cranes that are meant to combat any bad luck it radiates.

You can watch the full story below.

[h/t Vox]

How Makeup Artists Transformed Heath Ledger Into The Joker in 'The Dark Knight'

Warner Bros.
Warner Bros.

Heath Ledger gets most of the credit for reinventing The Joker with his performance in the 2008 film The Dark Knight. But creating a look for the character that diverged from the comic books was a collaborative process, and makeup artist John Caglione Jr. played an essential role.

In an interview with IGN, Caglione reflected on the makeup he did for The Dark Knight that earned him an Academy Award nomination. Unlike his work on movies like Dick Tracy (1990) and Chaplin (1992), precision wasn't the goal in this case. Instead, he wanted to give The Joker an organic appearance that matched director Christopher Nolan's realistic take on Gotham City and a crazed style that reflected the character's unpredictable nature.

"What would it be if this guy slept in his makeup?" he said in the interview. "If he didn't spruce up his makeup for two weeks? You think of a clown's makeup and for the most part they're pretty detailed with sharp lines, but this had to be the opposite of that."

Caglione worked with Ledger to scrunch and contort his face as he applied the makeup—an old trick borrowed from theater. This method resulted in lines and creases in the paint that made it look like the character had been wearing his makeup for days.

The makeup artist also drew inspiration from classic art and cinema when crafting the character. At the start of the design process, Nolan sent Caglione a book of abstract Francis Bacon portraits for him to reference. During the interrogation scene, The Joker's dark eye makeup is smudged above his eyebrows, a nod to Eric Campbell who played the villain in many Charlie Chaplin films.

You can watch the full interview below.

[h/t IGN]

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