Archive for May 2010

#  Mapping Tourism →

May 25th, 2010 at 18:25 // In Worth Seeing 

The map is interesting, but the way it’s made is what I really like. Ahti Heinla used data about number of users and photos at a given location from photo site Panoramio to tell where the most tourists are going. Surely this doesn’t yield a perfect data set, but it’s damn clever.

(via MoWIL)

#  The Bechdel Test →

May 24th, 2010 at 15:37 // In Worth Considering 

To pass, a movie (or any work of fiction, really) has to have three things:

  1. At least two women
  2. Who talk to each other
  3. About something besides a man

The title link is of a site that tests movies against the Bechdel, also an explanatory video and the full story of it’s origin (and name).

(all via Mark Larson)

#  Sayre’s Law →

May 21st, 2010 at 17:07 // In Worth Knowing 

It’s not perfect, but this one of those things worth noting for posterity:

“In any dispute the intensity of feeling is inversely proportional to the value of the stakes at issue”

(indirectly via This column will change your life, which talks about Parkinson’s Law of Triviality)

#  The Kinds of People There Are →

May 19th, 2010 at 19:32 // In Worth Reading 

A charming comic about some of them.

(via Reddit)

#  How Humans Spread →

May 18th, 2010 at 16:30 // In Worth Seeing 

I liked this animated map of the spread of paleolithic man, but it probably won’t change your life.

(via Reddit)

#  Text Playlists →

May 17th, 2010 at 16:19 // In Worth Reading 

This doesn’t help with my feeling that all I’ve been doing recently is sharing stuff Liz Danzico liked or made, but it’s too good an idea to ignore. Frank Chimero says:

I keep what I perceive to be a more valuable, important morgue file: one made of the best writing on the web I come across. … Most revolve around what it’s like to be making things in 2010, and a lot of the people that I respect the most have pieces in it. It’s almost a pep talk in text form. I visit it when I’m down, when I’m lazy, when I’m feeling the inertia take over.

(via Bobulate, who shares her own playlist)

#  Why Women Have Breasts →

May 14th, 2010 at 15:39 // In Worth Considering 

This had never crossed my mind:

The full, plump bosom seen in the human ape is an anomaly. No other primate has a permanent breast.

I would extend the article’s evolutionary point to say that we’re probably the only species that has ever been successful enough to select so strongly for aesthetic preferences of members of the species. A quick look couldn’t find anything about this, but I’d be interested to know that I’m wrong.

(via Reddit, whose comments offer this visual of the topic, and the male version)

#  How to Prosper in the Stock Market →

May 13th, 2010 at 16:30 // In Worth Knowing 

In 1994, Charlie Munger (best known as the guy Warren Buffett runs every business decision by) identified why Newsweek — to choose the most fashionable example — would struggle:

That’s what happened to The Saturday Evening Post and all those things. They’re gone. What we have now is Motocross—which is read by a bunch of nuts who like to participate in tournaments where they turn somersaults on their motorcycles. But they care about it. For them, it’s the principal purpose of life. A magazine called Motocross is a total necessity to those people. And its profit margins would make you salivate.

He says a number of other seemingly unrelated things worth hearing.  The speech as a whole is massive and rambling, but has enough good nuggets that I wouldn’t discourage you from reading it.

(via kottke)

#  Askers v. Guessers →

May 12th, 2010 at 15:26 // In Worth Considering 

I think this is a useful dichotomy:

An Asker won’t think it’s rude to request two weeks in your spare room, but a Guess culture person will hear it as presumptuous and resent the agony involved in saying no. Your boss, asking for a project to be finished early, may be an overdemanding boor – or just an Asker, who’s assuming you might decline. If you’re a Guesser, you’ll hear it as an expectation. This is a spectrum, not a dichotomy, and it explains cross-cultural awkwardnesses, too: Brits and Americans get discombobulated doing business in Japan, because it’s a Guess culture, yet experience Russians as rude, because they’re diehard Askers.

(via Bobulate)

#  Making Salt more Efficient →

May 10th, 2010 at 16:46 // In Worth Considering 

There’s very little meat in this article, and the fact that PepsiCo is likely to have patented whatever improvement they may have made saddens me, but I love this idea in the current anti-sodium climate:

“If we could figure out a way of getting the salt crystals to dissolve faster, then we could decrease the amount of salt we put on a snack with no compromise on taste.”

(via kottke)