Saturday, May 14, 2011

Expecting fair treatment because you are good...

I'm suffering from a bad case of DUBU (deadly URL build-up) so look out - this one's gonna be ugly.

Music Soothes the Savage Beast

Soundtrack of the week: Absalom by Stick Men. (Not included simply because of the Faulkner tie-in.)

Musician Trey Gunn blogs about the "gap of frustration," the awareness that what you're doing is not good enough.  We get frustrated when we've achieved at a high level in one activity but haven't yet achieved in a second activity.  We know what it feels like and that we're not there yet.  He quotes Ira Glass who advises doing a lot of work to get through this.  Trey himself finds it to be a source of energy.

The listeners of voted for the 100 quintessential jazz songs of all time. #1 is Dave Brubeck's Take Five.  Like jazz?  Then you oughta know about the One O'Clock Lab Band from the University of North Texas.

This visualization of a Daft Punk mashup is really excellent.
Now make your own music. Turn your keyboard into a beatbox with Qwerty BeatsOtomata is a little interactive experiment in sound generation.  glitchscape is similar.

Somehow These Next Four are Related

A cool binary clock.

Feeling listless?  Try these 77 motivational thoughts.   Admittedly, the fact that Rothko's was first is one reason I post the link here.  "To paint a small picture is to place yourself outside the experience.  However, you paint the larger picture, you are in it."  (I don't know what that has to do with motivation either.)

Many young people have never heard the sound of a dialup modem.  I'll never forget it.  But I didn't know a little guy inside the box made it.

There an auction of Hollywood memorabilia this weekend and you must read the catalog even if you're not interested in actually purchasing anything.  They are offering the original car from Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (est. $1 million - $2 million), an alien costume from Aliens (est. $80,000 - $120,000) and hundreds of pieces of animation art.

Why Do I Keep Saying I Hate Infographics?

From the Space Shuttle to a Star Wars Executor Class, compare the size of all your favorite space ships.

You people think I must have a lot of spare time to write this.  But whomever diagrammed the lyrics of Rebecca Black's Friday must really have nothing better to do.  And while I'm certain that she's a very nice and talented young lady, this song and video rank way up there with the worst I've ever seen.

Part 4 of the essential visualization resources brings us mapping tools.

I Do Not Have Food Issues

This makes me want to make some Jello: 6,200 fps video of a cube of gelatin bouncing off a flat surface.

Guess what's the #1 noble element on the periodic table of meats.  C'mon, you know.  Without it, "life on earth as we know it could not exist."  If you're a traditionalist when it comes to your elements, here's a nice dynamic periodic table with all sorts of factoids about the elements.

Van Gogh's One Starry Night done entirely in delicious bacon.

Via Booze Dancing we find this flow chart for deciding what to drink after work.  Would my beer mavens eat Beer Chips?  Do porters really go best with grilled food?

I didn't know whether to file this under art or food: man steps into 1,100 liters of peanut butter - museum wants him to pay for damaging this work of art.

Things Mom Told You Not To Discuss in Public

A gallery of bizarre urinals.

Proof that every professional has a professional society: aPaws is the Association of Professional Animal Waste Specialists.

This is a crappy list of foods that make your poo change color.  Crappy because it left out licorice.  But my beer friends will have to vouch for whether Guinness belongs on this list.

After all, it's only polite.
Do not click this if you are easily offended. (After that last picture, is this warning really necessary?)

What Do You Mean, You Don't Care About Creating Websites?

Use CSSWARP to create text that follows a curve path.
You can make upside down text. An interactive table of Unicode characters - so you can easily figure out that ❤ is ❤.  You can see how the box shadow property appears on various browsers.  Img to Css does exactly what it says - it converts an image to HTML/CSS. Here's another cool little web experiment in splitting circles.

Whatever you want to call them - sparklines, sparkbars, sparkblocks - Tufte's inline data micrographics are coming to Twitter.

Three Dreams of Black is an experimental, interactive, WebGL/HTML5 film from ROME (  It seems to only work in Chrome but it's worth watching.

Tired of Working for The Man

Engineers come in 8th in U.S. News' report card on the best careers with a median salary (2009) of $90,900.  They also earn grades of  B (job satisfaction), A (prestige), and B+ (job market outlook).  I wonder about the prestige.

A former computer systems administrator turned sales persons at Fog Creek has written the 4-part essay on the very most basic things your company needs to know about sales.
  1. Introduction This section is good if only for use of the word "inveigle."  (I looked it up - to persuade by means of deception.)  But the core message here is "Sales is a conversation about how to solve a problem."
  2. The most important sales skills  This involves asking good questions, telling good stories, and knowing the difference between benefits and features ("features get you to zero, benefits move you beyond").  I'm also curious about this stat: the average time in a sales call between the end of chit-chat and the start of the pitch is 49 seconds.
  3. The pain-free way to close a sale Simply put, "So, what do you think?"  And when it comes to objections, "An objection is
  4. How to get the most return for your time selling Here he writes about blocking off dedicated time each day for sales calls, including both new prospects and follow-ups with existing prospects.
This is some of the best sales advice I've read in a long time: "You can do really well selling to nobody."
    A Big Vocabulary is Neat

    Spell out anything with Icon Scrabble.
    Is cursive a 21st century skill?  If you can't write cursive (or can't write it well) can you read it?  Will it be easier to people to forge your signature?  I personally can't imagine having to print everything.  I take notes on the computer as much as the next guy but nothing beats a pen and paper.  Of course, my cursive leaves a little to be desired in the legibility department (as those at work who have to read it will attest).

    If educating children is of interest to you, the 32-million word gap might be of interest.

    This list of random facts about Shakespeare includes the fact that his was the first recorded use of the word excellent and 2,034 other English words.

    Last time I couldn't get in Harvard.  Now I'm apparently not able to complete 8th grade in 1930.  "Name and locate the principal health resorts in the United States."  Club Med?

    The Playboy Club Bunny Manual from 1968 includes a list of demerits for transgressions such as "too pale lipstick."

    More textbooks online: Book of Proof is an introduction to proving mathematical theorems.

    Things I Know Only One Person Will Like
    • A collection of handheld electronic games
    • Vintage photos of Moscow from 1909
    • Cool outer space photos for your desktop wallpaper
    • Our Hollow Earth (I can't really name anyone who'll like this but it's so completely bat-shit crazy that there's probably only one guy who will.  Probably the guy in the picture.)
    The Dreaded Bullet List of Science
    • Mentor Graphics announced FloEFD for Siemens NX.
    • ANSYS reported a 16.2% increase in total revenue for 2011 Q1 over the same period in 2010.
    • Boeing honored Altair with a Performance Excellence award. 
    • Tinkercad is a 3D, solid-modeling based, web driven, CAD system for artists and makers. 
    • Are you a student?  Do you want to win some money?  Can you design something that solves a problem?  Then perhaps you should try for the James Dyson Award.
    In engineering and applied geometry, the leap from 2D to 3D is huge.  Therefore, imagining 10D is well beyond where my brain can go.  But this video on understanding the 10th dimension is helpful. "All possibilities are contained within the tenth dimension."
    Sophomoric and funny aren't mutually exclusive.  source
    My Therapist Worries About Me and Mushroom Clouds

    A relatively detailed article on Operation Downfall, plans for the invasion of Japan in 1945.  My father likely would've been one of those soldiers wading ashore.  I'm here because he didn't have to.

    Pictures of nuclear everything.  I think I posted these photos of nuclear tests before (maybe from another source) but some of them are worth seeing again.

    Eccentric not Insane

    Exactly what it sounds like:  Apparently, Mr. bin Laden and I have something in common. OK, two things.  Click only if you like dogs.

    Hot on the tail of Nyan Cat comes h. like assuming the bull won't charge because you're vegetarian.

    Edited 15 May 2011: Added missing link to Jello video.


      G-LO said...

      Yo John!

      Thanks for posting the link to the after work drinking flowchart.


      John said...

      You're welcome, G-LO. I take 'em where I can find 'em. And that's odd since I've decided to quit consuming alcohol.

      Francis Shivone said...

      Wow. So many good ones. I have been here and back many times.

      The flow chart was more accurate than I thought it would be.

      The jello drop, mesmerizing.

      Bunny Mother? I read way too many pages and wished (I'm not telling anyone else) that we still lived in that world.

      Urinals. I had the opportunity to visit the LA Dodgers locker room (off season) and wouldn't leave until I used one there. It's something primal.

      I'll stop. Great job.

      John said...

      Fran: Thanks for the comments. I'm beginning to worry about your interest in urination.