Fake money saved Brazil

How Fake Money Saved Brazil examines how the country dealt with runaway inflation.

“We called it a Unit of Real Value — URV,” Bacha says. “It was virtual; it didn’t exist in fact.” People would still have and use the existing currency, the cruzeiro. But everything would be listed in URVs, the fake currency. Their wages would be listed in URVs. Taxes were in URVs. All prices were listed in URVs. And URVs were kept stable — what changed was how many cruzeiros each URV was worth.

Still, people used URVs. And after a few months, they began to see that prices in URVs were stable. Once that happened, Bacha and his buddies could declare that the virtual currency would become the country’s actual currency. It would be called the real.


Helveti.ca screenshot

I bought the domain Helveti.ca about four years ago, and had a weblog there for a few months. There was a mixup with hosting, the site was deleted and there was no backup. After languishing for awhile, I revived the site earlier this year and put up a tumblelog.

Obviously, the site is a homage to Helvetica, the ubiquitous typeface created by Max Miedinger & Eduard Hoffman. I try to avoid posting anything that just happens to use Helvetica. Opting instead for artwork, articles, videos, etc. that directly reference the typeface in one form or another.

Stop by and have a look around. Subscribe to the RSS feed or follow @helveticablog on Twitter to keep up to date.

Little houses

In Japan, Living Large in Really Tiny Houses takes a look at Japanese micro homes.

“If you tried to build a normal house on a super-small plot of land, it would end up being really cramped. So in order to make the house as roomy as possible, we have to think up new structures and assembly,” Yamashita says.

Designers indulge in fantasy, like asymmetrical walls, cantilevered floors, or cover their houses in a translucent skin, in order to exploit all available natural light.

History of rap

A history of rap medley featuring Jimmy Fallon, Justin Timberlake and The Roots. Fun to watch, very well done.

Update: In their infinite wisdom, NBC has decided that videos should “expire” on the internet. So much for legal sources. Do a search, I’m sure you can find a copy.