💉 Birch Bark Issue #59

Welcome and happy Friday! Before we get to the goodies, I just wanted to say thank you to everyone who reads this newsletter! One of the side-effects of creating a newsletter where you share interesting things is that you’re compelled to constantly seek out new things that are interesting. I 100% read more and seek out more modern artists than I would if I weren’t doing this.

So with that, thank you for reading and hopefully finding a few fun things to read/watch/listen to each week!

I’d love to hear what part of the email you like most, so if you feel inspired, leave a comment and let me know what you look forward to the most in each issue.

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On to the fun stuff!


Apparently 2/3 of Google searches result in the user clicking zero links. This can be good for users, but I can tell you from experience that if Google finds your article and parses out the relevant bit for their search results page, your views on that article drop close to zero. I get why users like it and Google wants to do it, but it really sucks for the people making that content.

This is a wild tale of bad luck of 1Password and Substack’s subscription form resulting in unexpected behavior, and causing this poor guy to be charged $2,023 for a newsletter.

Greg Morris on why finding “the perfect app” is a fool’s errand.

As someone who has been working from home for over a year at this point, “The uneasy intimacy of work in a pandemic year” resonated with me.

My weekly link to an NFT article, this one is quite negative on them, of course. My position currently is that I don’t love them. If you like them as an excuse ti support the artists you love, then great! If you think of them as a long-term investment…be careful.

I recently made a video about JPEG still being the king of all image formats, so this article about why JPEG needs to be replaced certainly drew my attention.

And finally, I have not used this in a project yet, but Fontshare is a cool looking alternative to Google Fonts.


This first one is a long one, but it’s also exceptionally compelling. This breakdown of what The 1776 Project was actually trying to do (hint, it’s not to impress historians).

The most fun video I watched last week was this from Mark Rober, where he goes deep on figuring out how scammers work, and hitting them with what he knows how to do better than anyone else…a glitter bomb.

And finally, why the efficacy rate for the numerous COVID-19 vaccines is not the “one true metric” we should be using to judge their actual usefulness.



I’ve been enjoying the hell out of the new record from Middle Kids, Today We’re the Greatest.