Ephemera – Toucan Needs A Home
The Beauty of Craig’s List
The “pedagogical agent” camped out in the uncanny valley, built a home, and had generations of creepy kids.
Orthography – Futility Closet ““If the professors of English will complain to me that the students who come to the universities, after all those years of study, still cannot spell ‘friend,’ I say to them that something’s the matter with the way you spell friend.” — Richard Feynman This has always been my problem with English. It’s a broken system where we blame the user. Watching kids learn to speak shows you just how many illogical choices there are in the language. tags: weekly english spelling How GM makes a car sound like what a car is supposed to sound like — Thoughtful Design — Medium “In general, to improve fuel economy in a car, you want to reduce the engine’s RPM. Over the past few decades, the auto industry has been doing that. In the 90s, says Gordon, a 4c engine might be cruising at 3,400 RPM. Today, it’s below 2,000. But as you reduce the speed that the drive shaft is rotating, you lower the frequency of the sound it’s making. There comes a lower limit where the engine is making what Gordon calls “groan-y and moan-y” noises which people find unpleasant. The car sounds broken. So cars had to keep the engine’s RPM above a certain level, hurting their fuel efficiency, or risk alienating customers.” tags: car […]
Specialists – Futility Closet “microbiohydrogeochemist: one who studies small flora and their relationship to underlying rock strata by using chemical methods and SCUBA equipment biohydromicrogeochemist: a very small geochemist who studies the effect of plant life in hydrology “ tags: specialists words stems roots weekly english collision detection: “Wired Love”: A tale of catfishing, OK Cupid, and sexting … from 1880 “It’s all quite nuttily modern. Wired Love anticipates everything we live with in today’s online, Iphoned courtship: Assessing whether someone you’ve met online is what they say they are; the misunderstandings of tone and substance that come from communicating in rapid-fire, conversational bursts of text; or even the fact that you might not really be sure of the gender/nationality/species of the person you’re flirting with. “ tags: weekly telegraphy history english language communication Nineteenth Ward Bank: 1908 | Shorpy Historical Photo Archive “The idea behind the 19th Ward Bank, run by the Provident Loan Society, has been described as “a government-approved pawnshop for the indigent.” “ tags: bank ward nyc 1908 history photograph weekly Creating a False Memory in the Hippocampus Total Recall for mice. Arnold’s nightmares are now becoming possible. “Memories can be unreliable. We created a false memory in mice by optogenetically manipulating memory engram–bearing cells in the hippocampus. Dentate gyrus (DG) or CA1 neurons activated by […]
How Einstein Thought: Fostering Combinatorial Creativity and Unconscious Connections | Brain Pickings “Combinatory play seems to be the essential feature in productive thought.” tags: einstein thought creativity connections weekly School for poetic computation “school for poetic computation is an artist run school launching this fall in New York. A small group of students and faculty will work closely to explore the intersections of code, design, hardware and theory — focusing especially on artistic intervention. It’s a 10 week program, a hybrid of residency and research group, that will happen multiple times per year to be a powerboost for creativity. Our motto is: more poems less demos.” h/t Gardner Campbell tags: code poetry language beauty programming computer english weekly 10 Rules of Internet – Anil Dash “Most websites treat “I like it” and “This is good” as the same thing, leading to most people on the Internet refusing to distinguish between “I don’t like it” and “It’s not good”. When a company or industry is facing changes to its business due to technology, it will argue against the need for change based on the moral importance of its work, rather than trying to understand the social underpinnings. “ tags: rules internet society weekly Why Life in America Can Literally Drive You Insane | Alternet ” Many of us, sadly, are ashamed […]