Monthly Archives: May 2007

Visualizing wartime

IBM has a tools called Many Eyes that allows people to create visualizations of day. This is related to my previous entry, but this time it’s Coalition fatalities in Iraq

Design That Solves Problems for the World’s Poor

The New York Times has an article on a show at the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum in New York which includes many items to show a grasp of the depths of world poverty and ingenious ways to attack it. such as the 20-gallon rolling drum for transporting water, above.

The OLPC is also there, as well as the design of other things.

I thing there are things people need that are essential — whether they be materially well off or not — and things they don’t need. I believe the exhibit focuses on the former. For example, as Nicholas Negroponte says, the point of OLPC is not the laptop, it is the focus on education that the OLPC enables. It is not that every child in the world should have a new thing.

That said, I think some of the design is….cool. Now if someone would design a half decent cart to help me get my groceries home without a car, I would be happy. But I digress.

The Gadgets are coming!

Ok, I think there is alot of hype behind gadgets, widgets, etc. But there is also alot of potential power, as well. Technically your web site / page / blog / what have you ends up become much like a spreadsheet. Your blog+widgets = the next killer app. (There’s the hype thing again).

Anyway check out LabPixies and decide for yourself. For instance:

LabPixies – YouTube Top 10 – Coolest Gadgets on the Web!

Here’s the source:

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The great Kevin Kelly

One of FM’s author is Kevin Kelly, of Kevin Kelly — Cool Tools

He’s much more than this. He has been doing cool stuff for many years, whether he was working on the Whole Earth Catalog (the Internet in a catalog form 🙂 ) or helping launch WiReD (before it became TiReD). His cool tools section of his web site always has interesting articles in it.

It’s a shame the Whole Earth Review isn’t around anymore. But KK’s web site is: soak it up.

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Miss USA 2007 Falls during the evening gowns competition of Miss Universe 2007 or Web 1.0 vs Web 2.0

So you think you are having a bad day. Well at least this isn’t you…

This was one of the most popular photos on Yahoo! Miss Universe on Yahoo! News Photos

With the Web 1.0, if you mess up, many knows about. With Web 2.0, they tell all their friends, meaning that many more people know about it. 🙂

Operation Enduring Freedom: Coalition Fatalities

The site Operation Enduring Freedom: Coalition Fatalities has an online database with death counts for foreign fighters in Afghanistan. Only the US and Britain (just) have more deaths than Canada.

It says casualties, but the count is deaths, not injuries.


For people who need to produce PDF files for whatever reason, this tool has been recommended to me:

Download |

Dietcoke Plus?

Call me closed minded, but I think there is something wrong about getting your nutrients fromDiet Coke. Or Diet Pepsi, or …any such beverage!

Cape Breton or Good dear good!

I was listening to Le Lys Vert tonight from the the great album, Fire in the Kitchenand I had a desire to search out some Cape Breton music. Here’s a selection, from the more traditional Mairi’s Wedding by the Rankins to Sleepy Maggie by Ashley MacIsaac:

Finally, here is the great Bette MacDonald doing Mary Morrison

Ella or the wonders of YouTube

Now that American Idol is over 😉 perhaps I can interest you in Ella singing “Stomping at the Savoy”, in the UK in 1961. (With Oscar Peterson on piano!!) My favourite version is her singing it with Louis, but this version is a scorcher.


Get Better ….

…by going to the the web site / blog called Pick the Brain: An Analytical Approach to Self Improvement. It has lots of good material such as articles on Overcoming a Loss of Motivation and How to Write Something Worth Reading. It also has lots of great links to other places.

C’mon. You can do it! 🙂

The Facebook API

Facebook has a very simple API to put things in your profile. Can you guess it from looking at this link to the great video by The Postal Service? 🙂

Barats and Bareta on Mother’s Day

I’ve seen this a number of times, and it never fails to make me laugh. These guys must be brothers in real life.

So while Mother’s Day has past, get a laugh now and save it for NEXT year.

Asteriods grows up

Part of being smart is knowing how to have fun, I believe.

When I was a kid, I loved going to the arcade and playing things like Asteroids. Now they come as nifty Flash apps like this: Luminara.

Have fun!

reCaPTCHA is a fascinating Web 2.0 idea

What is reCAPTCHA?

To quote the WiReD blog:

The idea behind reCAPTCHA is that, as long as we’re all solving these CAPTCHA puzzles, why not throw in some minimal additional data? By adding a second image with an unsolved word from the Internet Archive book scanning project, ReCAPTCHA allows users to channel their CAPTCHA solving skills into real world benefits.

To me, this is an innovative idea of putting the world to work. I wonder how many more companies are employing this approach?

Wake up at 4 a.m / nap at noon. Really!

Now, I used to try and do this (minimize the amount of sleep I could get by on), but I find the drawbacks outweigh the benefits. But I think sleep needed is highly dependent on the individual. If you would like to try and get by on less, try reading this article: Sleep Adjustment – Gain 10 days per year – Dumb Little Man

Since you have to work….

….why not try to get in the middle of these three circles?

The blog, The Chief Happiness Officer, can help.

One of the great essays of all time…

…and one that will continue to be relevant for a long long time to come. It’s George Orwell: Politics and the English Language

Monty Python on Soccer and Philosophy!

This is great on so many levels: as a comment on philosophy, soccer/football, and well, it is just cleverly funny. See:

YouTube – Monty Python – International Philosophy

Web 2.0: the Machine is Us

I’ve seen this video many times, but it always makes an impression on me. See for yourself:

IBM developerWorks: Emerging Technologies You Need to Know blog presents Mike Wesch’s overview of Web 2.0

A very nice blog on Design

Some day, my blog will look as nice as Design Observer: writings about design & culture

File under “Where do people find the time to….” :)

See World of Warcraft too sexy for my shirt

Lady Madonna

Last bit of music from the …well, you know…


Apparently, this page goes some way to explaining “i can has cheezburger” (one of WordPress’s top blogs) I CAN HAS CHEEZBURGER? » Blog Archive A Special In-Depth Analysis by David McRaney – L337 Katz0rz «

I still don’t get it.

How good is your Karma?

You can find out here at Get Good Karma.

Hey, you don’t want to come back as a bug, do you?


Flickrvision is a fascinating view of the world. Literally. You see a world map and photos that people are posting to flickr. You just have to see it.

Long Gone Lonesome Blues

Her’e the great Hank Williams Sr singing Long Gone Lonesome Blues

In case you forget…a video on how to use a telephone

This video is amazing. Made 80 years ago, it is meant for people who have never used the telephone before. While it is fun to watch in itself — I love the MMMMMs coming out of the woman’s head! — it also reminds us how quickly we adapt and absorb new technology.

YouTube – How to Use the Dial Telephone (PT&T/AT&T, 1927)

Giovanni Sollima – Sogno ad Occhi Aperti (Daydream) PART 1

Why is YouTube great? Here’s one reason, this beautiful and fascinating video of a wonderful cello piece: Giovanni Sollima – Sogno ad Occhi Aperti (Daydream) PART 1

New ways word can trip you up.

I think this is fascinating. A professor downloads some Word documents that were posted with changes still in them and his 8 year old son finds them for him.

See the story here: The views of Iraq you weren’t supposed to see | Salon News

Among other things, it is an illustration of how even a common software product like Word is too sophisticated for it’s users

How do the numbers add up (visually!)

Chris Jordan does an amazing job of depicting statistics. The magnitude is simply….awesome.

Check out his current work here.

For instance, see

a depiction of two million plastic beverage bottles, the number used in the US every five minutes.

David Pogue, Good IT Design and TED

I like all three! Pogue is very entertaining, but he has alot of good points, too. And if you haven’t heard of TED before, you are in for a treat. See:

TED | Talks | David Pogue: When it comes to tech, simplicity sells (video)

Need a new idea? Go to a different room

ScienceDaily has a good article on how our spaces affect the way we think, feel and act:

Ceiling Height Can Affect How A Person Thinks, Feels And Acts