Thing:The Best Magazine Articles Ever by Kevin Kelly. KK is putting together a list of the best magazine articles ever, spanning from an 1816 article on criticism to a piece from tomorrow’s New Yorker on hospices, and people are voting on them. This is the most obvious instant bookmark you’ve come across in quite some time.
Thing:Mood, twitter, and the new shape of america by Harvard’s Complexity and Social Networks Blog. Some math people did a Twitter-data thing to map our state-by-state zeitgeist as it changes throughout the day and across the country. You can read about how they did it, or you can watch the mesmerizing video:
Conclusions: people in Florida and California are pretty much never unhappy; Georgia is happy but the relatively grumpiest state in its neighborhood; and the Mississippi delta region and parts of the midwest are pretty much never happy.
America’s favorite time of day: quittin’ time is an obvious favorite, but early birds (people up between 5 AM and 7 AM) tend to be obnoxiously chipper* and have skewed our whole mornings green. America’s least favorite time of day: the post-lunch-pre-quittin’-time death march is pretty bad, but apparently oceans of horror start washing all over Twitter after 1 AM. Except in Florida and California, where they just have oceans of warm water.
MyNaTour is a travel community committed to sharing “real and responsible tourism,” living green, and respecting local ways of life. Their web presence is a fine Drupal site, and they asked us for a little help in making it even better.
We upgraded MaNatour’s core Drupal installation plus about three dozen modules, correcting several major security issues along the way. We also added Facebook integration, migrated the site’s hosting to Bluehost, removed an obsolete subdomain, and more.
THING:Sergey Brin’s Search for a Parkinson’s Cure from Wired. Google co-founder Sergey Brin, who’s made a life of using the power of algorithms to “organize all the world’s information,” is using that same kind of power in an attempt to cure Parkinson’s Disease. Since discovering he carries a gene mutation that puts him at risk of contracting the disease, Brin has sought “to bypass centuries of scientific epistemology in favor of a more Googley kind of science. He wants to collect data first, then hypothesize, and then find the patterns that lead to answers. And he has the money and the algorithms to do it.”
THING:Travel itineraries from Flickr photo trails from Geeking With Greg. Greg Linden links to a paper by American and Israeli researchers on “cleverly [using] the data often embedded in Flickr photos (e.g. timestamp, tags, sometimes GPS) to produce trails of where people have been in their travels.” It makes sense that the most interesting points along a path would also be the most photographed, so this could be a great way to note can’t-miss spots, common travel routes, and typical trip durations. An inspiring quote from the paper:
By aggregating such timed paths of many users, one can construct itineraries that reflect the “wisdom” of touring crowds. Each such itinerary is composed of a sequence of POIs, with recommended visit times and approximate transit times between them.
THING:How Rap Tears Up the Boring Art Vs. Commerce Argument from The Awl. Selling out has a different connotation in hip-hop than it does in other spheres. Though punk and hip-hop grew up at the same time and place and in the same socioeconomic conditions, the two have had very different ideas on mass appeal. (Yes, this is lumping thousands of musicians and millions of fans into two groups. I’m sorry.)
We can all agree the Black Eyed Peas sold out — they completely changed everything about their sound and image, conscious of their brand and marketability the whole time, and wedding receptions will never be the same. I’m sure they weep into their pallets of Franklins every night, thinking about all the underground respect they lost in the process. But many rappers have been able to market themselves without significantly changing their sound. None of this is new information, but the Awl article certainly presents a worth-reading take on the issue.
A Video of Americans Pretending to Care About the World Cup
Even though the U.S. lost its knockout round match against its nemesis Ghana, this World Cup still produced one of the best moments in American soccer history, and certainly the most widely experienced — Landon Donovan’s last-minute, life-or-death goal against Algeria did the kind of Twitter damage unseen since Michael Jackson’s death. An amazing montage of Americans from Arkansas to France celebrating the score:
THING 1:Help me help my friend in DC from MetaFilter. An internet forum takes on the Russian mob… no, that’s literally what happened. The dad in Taken could’ve saved a whole lot of trouble if he’d simply paid the $5 MeFi registration fee. THING 2: New Social Networking Site Changing The Way Oh, Forget It by the Onion. This is exactly what you think it is, and you will not regret reading it. THING 3: I knew it was coming, and it still got me. That means it’s like a dry heave, but in a good way:
The perfect soundtrack for old footage of NASA missions? Kelly Clarkson’s “Since U Been Gone,” chopped & screwed. This video simultaneously makes no sense and is the most fitting depiction I’ve ever seen of everything about outer space. The glory and horror and striving and solitude — who would’ve ever guessed we’d need an American Idol to soundtrack space travel?
I’ve watched this thing every day this week. I could hammer out 10 pages on it by tomorrow night, but I’ll spare you that if you at least watch it through the 1:53 mark.
Thing: Social, Super-Sized by social-creature. “The same technology that allows us to be more connected than ever before imaginable, on its flip side, perhaps even simply through contrast, has increased our capacity for loneliness. We have built up a new tolerance level, and all we do is want more more more. Hence, the compulsion to feel a part of something, something massive, surrounded by hundreds of thousands of other people, all experiencing the same trending topic stream together as it scrolls by.” We should feel both comfort and horror when we think of the ways technology is enhancing (taking advantage of?) our prehistoric/biological need for social connection. In other words, how would Genghis Khan have used Foursquare?
Thing: 10 Ways to Access Blocked Stuff on the Web by Lifehacker. Now, if a site wants you to pay money for content, and you choose to access that content without paying, you’re stealing — whether you like Rupert Murdoch or not doesn’t change that fact. However, there are plenty of times when we’re unable to get to something, and there’s a perfectly good reason to bypass whatever’s in the way. Whether that means getting around Gmail downage, avoiding an overeager office or university page-blocker so you can get work-related research done, dodging an oppressive government, or watching legally streamed TV from another country, the internet always wins.
Thing: Why Teenagers Are Growing Up Slowly Today from Newsweek and Kids Learn Math Easily When They Control Their Own Learning from Psychology Today. The construct that comes to mind when we use the word school has little in common with the ideal learning environment. And it’s not about tweakable elements like student-to-teacher ratio — it’s about the whole concept of school and what we’re really trying to accomplish. You know this. But it’s worth repeating from top to bottom until everyone knows this.
I swear I’ll do three sets each of Radioheads and Ghostfaces at max weight, max reps for saying this out loud, but CONFESSIONTIME: I like two Creed songs. So it’s with only 99% ironic passion that I’m able to join in the LOLETARIAT on mocking this song Scott Stapp recorded for the Florida Marlins.
But you’re telling me you’re serving up “One-strike-two-strikes, swing aweey-ahhh/ A Diving Catch-hh! A stohe-len beeaase-ahh/ A perrfec game-uh! A trih-pul play-ahh!/ Anoe-tha playhoff ra-ace, YES?/ WORLSEERIESCHEIMPSWE’LL [CRACK!] BEE!”, all over Friday Night Lights guitars run through the NASCAR-mosh filter? Oh, it’s summertime, friends:
Ambitious dunk contest participant somehow, someway winds up with half his leg submerged in the basket. You want to talk about mainlining social media — note the immediate cameraphones-to-ladders ratio once everyone realizes what’s happened.
The citizen journalism impulses of today’s youth? Flourishing.
I was impressed by ENGINE’s approach to the design process as well as their creativity. They ‘got’ me and were able to design a site that showcases my professional activities as well as my personal interests and overall quirky vibe.
– Dr. Katina Rae Stapleton