"From a ship in the South China Sea to the cost of health care in the United States, the range of subjects here is broad, but the common thread is the form of storytelling — an integration of text, video, photography and graphics."
"When I started meditating, I did not realize it would also make me healthier, happier, and more successful. Having witnessed the benefits, I devoted my PhD research at Stanford to studying the impact of meditation. I saw people from diverse backgrounds from college students to combat veterans benefit. In the last 10 years, hundreds of studies have been released. Here are 20 scientifically-validated reasons you might want to get on the bandwagon today:"
"I’m in love with the photo-making process: from the click of the shutter to the final product, it’s magic to me. And although the mechanical click has been replaced by a silent tap, my love for the art and science of photography has only intensified. I’m a firm believer in the idea that "the best camera is the one you have with you," and it’s never been more true than on today’s smartphone-saturated streets."
“The charming visual tale of an introverted little boy who grew up to become the quintessential modern genius.”
“What happens when the two crafts of experimental animation and pottery meet…”
I saw a zoetrope cake once. Here’s its ideal bowl.
“It’s crazy to think that most of this stuff wasn’t possible just six years ago. Today, we have a device in our pockets that can stream any music we want, take high-res pictures, track our daily steps, watch movies, organize notes, check on weather forecasts, and even edit videos with a 64-bit CPU or run Python scripts.”
I really need to ween myself off these must-have-app list articles. Listicles! They’re feeling more and more irrelevant. Perhaps not so much irrelevant as- just unimportant. To me, anyway.
How Britain exported next-generation surveillance
Britain is one of the most surveilled countries in the world. Studies put the number of operational CCTV cameras at between two and four million, for a population of 60 million people. The country’s national DNA database holds records on six million people. Telecoms companies are mandated to store logs of all mobile-phone calls and text messages for 12 months, and to make the data available to government at all levels. […]
In 2009, a House of Lords report described the explosion of surveillance technologies as one of the most significant changes to Britain since the Second World War. It noted:
“Mass surveillance has the potential to erode privacy. As privacy is an essential pre-requisite to the exercise of individual freedom, its erosion weakens the constitutional foundations on which democracy and good governance have traditionally been based in this country.”
This has been described as an acceptable price to pay for greater security, but studies of surveillance technology fail to support that argument. […]
Consent, the bedrock on which the agreement to be policed is based, is meaningless without comprehension, and comprehension is impossible without visibility. It is only when people are brought face-to-face with the reality of surveillance — as the Catts were, and as the people of Washwood Heath and Sparkbrook were — that they see how their privacy, and their right to be presumed innocent, have been affected.
I knew that we have more than our fair share of cameras, but I hadn’t really thought about just how widespread before. A vital read.
"Let me tell you something. If you’re thinking of doing these things, don’t. If you’re currently doing them, stop."
Why some people respond to stress by falling asleep
“You can be driven to sleep simply by having a lot of emotional memories to process,” says Spencer. It takes sleep to provide the space needed to sift through the days’ experiences, and make permanent those that matter.
"Based on the famous dragon illusion by optical illusionist Jerry Andrus, the ‘Amazing T-Rex Illusion’ from Brusspup is just as the name says… Amazing! You probably won’t even believe what you are seeing until you get to the end (but that’s okay, it means your brain is working correctly)."
- Cenote Angelita, A Hidden Underwater River in Mexico [123 Inspiration]
- The kvetching order [Kottke]
- The passage of time captured in layered landscape collages by Fong Qi Wei [Colossal]
- Conversations [Swissmiss]
How to write six important papers a year without breaking a sweat: The deep immersion approach to deep work
When you check in weekly on a long term project, it’s easy to fall into a minimal progress trap and watch whole semesters pass with little results. What if, instead, weekly meetings were replaced with occasionally taking a couple days to do nothing but try to make real progress on the problem?
The trick seems to be not so much blocking out an hour or so each day, but every now and then blocking out an entire two day period when you can completely immerse yourself into a task such as the one bothering me at the moment… Would like that, I think. Distraction-less. And this is one thing I’d like to try really soon, if poss.
How we used email as a customer support system at mySociety
f) Be really disciplined about this. Anything in the support folder represents a customer who isn’t satisified.
g) Make sure at least one person on the team goes and looks at slightly older, harder messages, and bullies appropriate people into resolving them one way or the other.
This particularly works well early on in a product, when there is relatively little support. It’s particularly important then that everyone working on the product lives and breathes the customers. Even just seeing the emails go past with other people answering them can help with that.
This is something I should be bearing in mind, as we’re going through a little thing at work about help desk systems and how we can make better use of them.
Nope. A big duck in, like, the actual sea and that. “We’re one family and all the waters in the world is our global bathtub”, explains artist Florentijn Hofman.
- Giant inflatable ‘rubber duck’ floats into Hong Kong – video (guardian.co.uk)
- World’s Biggest Rubber Duck by Florentijn Hofman (123inspiration.com)
- The World’s Largest Rubber Duck in Hong Kong (enpundit.com)
- The World’s Largest Rubber Duck Arrives in Hong Kong (thisiscolossal.com)
- World’s Biggest Rubber Duck Debuts in Hong Kong (mymodernmet.com)
- Florentijn Hofman’s Giant Inflatable ‘Rubber Duck’ Floats to Hong Kong (laughingsquid.com)
You never know, one if these days someone’s bound to ask me about these things.
Fantastic glitch art. Didn’t know such a style was in style, as it were.
A simple but effective idea from Zhao Huasen. More here. Yet another thing I’m adding to the things-I-ought-to-have-a-go-at-doing-myself list.
From Maria Popova at Brainpickings.org, a wonderful (as ever) review of Internal Time: Chronotypes, Social Jet Lag, and Why You’re So Tired by Till Roenneberg
This myth that early risers are good people and that late risers are lazy has its reasons and merits in rural societies but becomes questionable in a modern 24/7 society. The old moral is so prevalent, however, that it still dominates our beliefs, even in modern times.
Lots to delve in to, including this concept of social jetlag.
In 1908, Kafka landed a position at the Workers’ Accident Insurance Institute in Prague, where he was fortunate to be on the coveted “single shift” system, which meant office hours from 8 or 9 in the morning until 2 or 3 in the afternoon. This was a distinct improvement over his previous job, which required long hours and frequent overtime. So how did Kafka use these newfound hours of freedom? First, lunch; then a four-hour-long nap; then 10 minutes of exercise; then a walk; then dinner with his family; and then, finally, at 10:30 or 11:30 at night, a few hours of writing—although much of this time was spent writing letters or diary entries.
From Adam Tyler Smith, 100 books that should be written. Some marvellous titles here, and there are still lots more to come.