Archive for April 26, 2007

Pretty accurate, especially about the coffee

Sometimes, you just have to jump on a meme, and the Imagini VisualDNA at least looks pretty cool, and the process of choosing photos is sort of fun. Here’s mine:

Can you overdose on Ho Hos?

It’s odd enough that anyone decided to track which cities eat the most Ho Hos per capita, and it’s random that Pittsburgh tops the list, but the best thing about the Post-Gazette coverage of this “story” was apparently the lack of application of common sense or basic math literacy, allowing the orignal story to claim that the average Pittsburgher eats over 1.5 Ho Hos a day. It’s a little sad that this slipped through the editing process given how clearly ridiculous that statistic is. I particularly like the computation in the correction that, if their original statistics were correct, Pittsburghers together would be responsible for over half of the worldwide Ho Ho consumption.

Pretty, pretty food

I’ve seen this type of side-by-side comparison done for models, but this commparison of ads of fast food with photos of the real fast food as it is served is – well, okay, not very shocking at all – nobody expects fast food to look anything like the ads. But it’s still interesting to see quite how different the reality can be from what they are selling. [via Boing Boing]

Things I Do Not Need, But Want

Over the past couple of days I’ve come across a few things that I absolutely do not need, and absolutely covet – mostly because I am a huge geek:

  • spicelab small magnetic spice rack – display your spices mounted in test tubes! I’d use up the spices that come with it and then use it to store the herbs I grow in my backyard….
  • blossom lights – led lit branches with faux flowering buds are so pretty
  • pretty much everything at Pololu, a new-to-me robotics shop – I suspect they even sell gears!

The Context of Art

This article describes an experiment where onne of the world’s top violinists plays for change in a subway station. The purpose is to determine if people recognize the quality of the performance out of context (spoiler: for the most part, no) but there is some interesting discussion of what this says about the current tempo of our lives and the ways in which we appreciate art. It would be really interesting to do the same experiment at the end of the day when the context is still the same but people are under less of a strict schedule, in general.

Free Software Advocacy

A couple of weeks ago, I was at a Free Software Foundation member’s meeting at MIT, and during the lunch break I overheard an interesting conversation. I cluster of five stereotypical geeks (male, bearded, pony-tailed, etc.) were talking. One of thm was regailing his friends ith a story of a clueless woman he had the misfortune of listening to talk about her computer usage. This woman was talking to a friend about typesetting a paper using LaTeX – it was later determined that she worked in some capacity in a physics lab. She described how it was good for equations and the friend asked if it was expensive. The woman thought and said that because they were part of the lab it was free, but that if you just had to buy it it was really expensive. She then thought a little more and noted that she knew someone who had it on their Mac and it was free, but she thought it didn’t seem as good and was probably a knockoff. The group laughed and generally concurred that this woman was painfully clueless and generally ought not be allowed computers at all.

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