The Recommender: Chris Gayomali On Karate, Maps, And The Best Instagram Account Ever So Far!

The three best things on the Internet each week, as recommended by Fast Company team members.

The Recommender: Chris Gayomali On Karate, Maps, And The Best Instagram Account Ever So Far!
[Image: Flickr user Tony Fischer]

Name: Chris Gayomali
Role at Fast Company: Staff writer
Twitter: @chrisgayomali
Titillating Fact: Chris studied karate for over a decade. “When my two younger brothers and I got our black belts as teenagers, we quickly realized that there was no one left in our class to fight–er, “spar” with–but each other. We ended up internalizing all our dumb, angsty feelings all week long and saving it for the ring every Saturday. It was pretty brutal. We wore padded gear, but whatever. Sometimes there was blood… Tears. And I’m a little embarrassed to say that my younger brother, Jon, has knocked me out cold with a swift heel to the jaw on at least two occasions. It was fun, at least?”


Things he’s loving:

1. Patatap
When I first moved to Brooklyn in my early twenties, I had this silly dream of becoming a glitchy electronic DJ, playing sweaty Bushwick loft parties or something. Fast-forward six years later, and basically that left me with a barely touched MIDI keyboard collecting cobwebs somewhere in my closet. So: Patatap! It’s this really cool music tool created by a Google designer that transforms your keyboard (or phone screen!) into an instrument with all these trippy on-screen animations. It’s super addicting. You can almost smell the warm PBR on the dance floor.

2. How an imaginary town became a real town
To protect their intellectual property, old-timey mapmakers would put fake towns and streets in their maps. In theory, this made it easy to prove to a judge that a rival copied your work. (Remember: Making maps without a Street View car was demanding work!) Recently, Robert Krulwich wrote a fascinating post about how one fake town in upstate New York from the 1930s ended up becoming a real town very briefly, and even made it onto Google Maps eight decades later before being taken down. It’s kind of an amazing story.

3. The best account on Instagram
Andrew Kuo is this really talented visual artist, but his Instagram account, @EarlBoykins, is the best thing ever. Explaining it wouldn’t even do it justice. If I could, I would just recommend following him three times. Yes, he’s that good! A sampling:


About the author

Jessica Hullinger is a London-based journalist who covers science, health, and innovation. She currently serves as a Senior Editor at