Archive for the ‘history’ tag
A really neat little site, which lists out and explains the people who’ve saved the most lives in history. For some reason it had never occurred to me before seeing it to think of some of these science innovations we take for granted now as life-saving, but it’s hard to deny.
(via Marginal Revolution)
At BuzzFeed, Ann Helen Petersen makes and elaborates a really interesting point: Angelina Jolie’s PR in the last 10 years has been amazingly good. Don’t believe it, consider Ann’s great hook:
What was Angelina Jolie best known for in 2004?
a.) Wearing a vial of Billy Bob Thornton’s blood around her neck.
b.) Making out with her brother on the red carpet.
c.) Being the offspring of ‘70s star Jon Voight.
Really interesting little chart from the US Census Bureau: the mean center of population as calculated on every decennial census. As I stepped through, I kept wait for it to drift back to the east a bit. Maybe in a few more hundred years…
Wait But Why explores with an admirable depth the answers that have so far been posited for the Fermi Paradox, which they summarize as:
Some people stick with the traditional, feeling struck by the epic beauty or blown away by the insane scale of the universe. Personally, I go for the old “existential meltdown followed by acting weird for the next half hour.” But everyone feels something.
Physicist Enrico Fermi felt something too—”Where is everybody?”
David Mendoza put together a pretty awesome series of charts of how effective the introduction of the measles vaccine was in stopping new cases across the United States. This one really requires no introduction:
The FIFA World Cup’s going on now, and I learned something I didn’t know as a result:
“From this point onwards the two versions of football were distinguished by reference to their longer titles, Rugby Football and Association Football (named after the Football Association),” Szymanski writes. “The rugby football game was shortened to ‘rugger,’” while “the association football game was, plausibly, shortened to ‘soccer.’”
Both sports fragmented yet again as they spread around the world. The colloquialism “soccer” caught on in the United States in the first decade of the twentieth century, in part to distinguish the game from American football, a hybrid of Association Football and Rugby Football. (Countries that tend to use the word “soccer” nowadays—Australia, for example—usually have another sport called “football.”)
I’d been vaguely familiar with this history, but the extant of the phenomenon and the details of this article presents were new to me.
Eager to identify talented individuals to train as computer programmers, employers relied on aptitude tests to make hiring decisions. With their focus on mathematical puzzle-solving, the tests may have favored men, who were more likely to take math classes in school. More critically, the tests were widely compromised and their answers were available for study through all-male networks such as college fraternities and Elks lodges.
According to Ensmenger, a second type of test, the personality profile, was even more slanted to male applicants. Based on a series of preference questions, these tests sought to indentify job applicants who were the ideal programming “type.” According to test developers, successful programmers had most of the same personality traits as other white-collar professionals. The important distinction, however, was that programmers displayed “disinterest in people” and that they disliked “activities involving close personal interaction.”
I’d never heard of this “histomap” from John B. Sparks. It’s massively big, and a really interesting way to look at the history of the world. Click on the image to jump just to the giant image version.
I love Reddit. While it sometimes gets bad-mouthed for harboring some offensive communities, the meta-community, and the specific experience you can shape for yourself there is in incredible. Randy Olson recently used a copious number of graphs to explain it’s history. It’s a great experience, here’s just one chart: