Saturday, December 4, 2010

Everything considered, work is less boring...

Genius use of teh interwebs #36C: the Cup Size Choir.  (Do not click if bras offend you.)   And one for the ladies: the animated nudemen clock (not NSFW).

Two new videos from Brian Eno's Seven Sessions on a Milk Sea are available: Allen Loop and Abdominal Crisis.

3D World presents these 10 computer generated short films that you "must see."  These aren't your parents' cartoons - some are quite dark and one borders on disturbing.  And to a certain degree, their ability to spawn those reactions indicates the high level of storytelling achieved.  FWIW, the one I prefer the most is the first, Day and Night.

Another article considers whether technology has "imperiled the type of deep focus required for serious reading and writing."  The answer is no - people just have to exercise personal discipline to create places and times for concentration, regardless of the presence of tech distractions.  Publilius Syrus may have been correct: multi-tasking may be overrated.

Measure of America  is a social science project to define better measures of well-being.  You could spend hours mapping all the different indexes they've developed.  This is a map of their income index by congressional district (darker is higher income).

The entrepreneur's guide to conflicting advice presents common "advice traps" so you can recognize them and know to fall back to your core values.  One is easy: "Build a strong in-house dev team vs.  Save money by outsourcing everything."  Never outsource your core competence.  Which puts me at odds with this article on why you must outsource.  In these top 5 pieces of advice for entrepreneurs, #2 is "don't let people tell you your ideas won't work."  I phrase this as "your baby is ugly - get over it."  In other words, let people say what they want, recognize that your ideas aren't perfect, but execute anyway.  Finally, this list of 10 things I know for sure about building a business includes #3 "Serve customers you respect... Customer service is mostly about mutual respect."
Lightning may not strike twice in the same place, but it sure comes close in some places more than others according to these maps of 310 million lightning strikes.

The four sets of skills you need to succeed in simulation-based design include the following, according to
  1. Background in engineering science.  (This seems like a given.)
  2. Understanding of the computational methods.  (I'm not certain that engineers need to understand the numerical algorithms in their CFD software in order to get good results.  I don't know what's under the hood of my car but that doesn't prevent me from being a good driver. [Not for debate.  Ed.])
  3. Familiarity with CAD software.  (For large organizations this can be problematic.  Because of cost including both licenses and training, many engineers don't have access to the CAD software.)
  4. Knowledge of simulation software.  (Agreed.  To further abuse my car analogy while I don't need to know about the engine, I certainly need to know about all the controls for the driver.)
Apparently Hans Rosling's famous TED talk about data visualization wasn't enough cuz here's another video version of it from BBC TV.  (Same data but cool presentation.)

Don't have a good vision statement to justify tweeting to your boss?  Have one generated for you at What the F*** is My Social Media StrategyWin Without Pitching proposes a new approach to sales that does away with the pitch and instead focuses on positioning and a systematic communications strategy.

Is Get Everything Done (aka AutoFocus system) truly unique or a variation of David Allen's Getting Things Done?  They share several common principles including a single trusted system in which all of your things are logged, offloading your subconscious.

 Yes, indeed - rainbow pancakes.

A beautifully illustrated introduction to color theory.

Ever get confused about the difference between alto and tenor saxophones or black and white pepper?  Get things straight using Difference Between.  ("Black peppers are made from dried immature peppercorns while white peppers are made from dried ripe peppercorns.")

I have a hard enough time with modern English so this guide to Shakespeare misquotes will come in handy.  IMO, the most common misquote also completely reverses the meaning of the quote.  "Now is the winter of our discontent" makes things sound kinda dreary.  But the correct, full quote "Now is the winter of our discontent turned glorious summer by this sun of York" is uplifting and hopeful.

"Is computing minimum communication cost NP-hard?" and other theoretical computer science challenges have a home on Stack Exchange.   If you can draw any conclusions from top selling O'Reilly titles it'd be that Python, HTML 5, and Javascript are really hot with programmers now.

Sabre Warrior is a conceptual design of an unmanned combat air vehicle from Lockheed Martin.

Relive early NASA space exploration on Spacelog where the original transcripts are posted.  Where was the X-37B and exactly what was it doing?

Leadership lesson #6 from the Dear Leader: look at things.

...than amusing oneself.  ~Charles Baudelaire


Francis Shivone said...

I had intended to read the whole post but have been delayed by the a-s-d-f-g-h-j keys. I shall return.

John said...

That should be the A, B, C, D, DD, DDD keys.

John said...


I just read on Cartoon Brew ( that Day & Night was nominated for an Oscar in the best animated short category.

While I'm tooting my own horn, Sensology also got a nomination. I linked to this video earlier in the year.

For the record, the Cartoon Brew announcement is dated 11/30 but honestly I just saw it.