On the train to work today I had the opportunity to read Aaron Swartz’s My Life Offline and danah boyd’s I want my cyborg back-to-back. The dichotomy between these two pieces, both from respected internet thinkers, is great. They aren’t necessarily contradictory, but they definitely show the range of emotions people have about being connected.
We were asked a simple question: is Facebook increasing the size of people’s personal networks? This is a particularly difficult question to answer, so as a first attempt we looked into the types of relationships people do maintain, and the relative size of these groups. While the average Facebook user communicates with a small subset of their entire friend network, they maintain relationships with a group two times the size of this core. This not only affects each user, but also has systemic effects that may explain why things spread so quickly on Facebook.
Food Network apparently has a magazine and the first issue actually has a few interesting articles on food and economics. One, titled Reality Check, Please discusses design tricks on menus that restaurants use to manipulate diners’ psychology. For instance: Menus typically show prices right after dish descriptions rather than in a column. Why? So youContinue reading “Reality Check, Please”
While looking for recipes for Steelers-inspired food, I came across this gem on the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: Cardinal Stew 1 – washed up cardinal quarter back 5 – mediocre offensive lineman 3 – legitimate pass receivers 2 â€“ Steeler Coach wannabeâ€™s Toss ingredients vigorously in large (Super) bowl, Bake under extreme heat for 60 minutes. CoolContinue reading “Cardinal Stew”
Our puli puppy Tibor has been escaping from his pen lately. I wanted to see how exactly he was getting out every time we left the house. So I put him in his pen, and recorded this. I feel horrible about having had him scale the pen 4 times, so the pen has been removed.Continue reading “Puli Escape Artist”
I really hope that Taxi Magic succeeds. With GPS and radio dispatch, there’s no reason why ordering a taxi should be such a mystery.
I normally find YouTube response videos to be pretty worthless, but here the value all comes in the retort. Via Buffingtron. Original: Response:
Some good data on preventing onion tears. Instead of buying onion goggles, you should learn to cut onions correctly. I particularly like this part: The placement of various foreign objects between one’s teeth (wine corks seem to be a particular favorite) is of questionable value, except when used as an excuse – if indeed oneContinue reading “Preventing onion tears”
Every once in a while you run across a completely insane story. Today I came to Ian Hibell, famed long-distance bicyclist, by way of the Darian Gap, an uncharted, impassible piece of Panamanian land that separates North and South America. Ian Hibell was the first person to do an overland passing of the Gap asContinue reading “Ian Hibell”
The New Scientist reports on a study suggesting that direct-to-consumer pharmaceutical ads may be ineffective. The best part is that the study uses the natural divide between French- and English-speaking Canadians to create a perfect cross-sectional study (Canada forbids pharmaceutical ads, but US television does not).