Sunday, 7 December 2014

Samantha Zaza

Years ago, I stumbled upon the amazing drawings of Samantha Zaza on Skineart. The girl dreaming in the tree was an instant favourite and I have loved it ever since.

Read an interview with Samantha here.

Or follow on her blog.

More of her art on Pinterest and Flickr

Thanks, Samantha!

Scooter Suitcase

Love this!

Business design is airline approved. Bonus!

Check it out here.

h/t Glenn.

Friday, 5 December 2014

Phantom Terrains

Love this!

" The sound of each network is heard originating from the router's geographical location, producing clicks whose frequency rises with the signal strength — akin to a layered series of Geiger counters. Routers with particularly strong signals "sing" their network name (SSID), with pitch corresponding to the broadcast channel, and a lower sound denoting the network's security mode."

Listen here.

h/t Glenn.

Artificial Intelligence. Amazing and Frightening.

 "It would take off on its own, and re-design itself at an ever increasing rate," he said.

"Humans, who are limited by slow biological evolution, couldn't compete, and would be superseded."

Stephen Hawking warns artificial intelligence could end mankind

And a classic from Elon Musk:

“With artificial intelligence we are summoning the demon. In all those stories where there’s the guy with the pentagram and the holy water, it’s like – yeah, he’s sure he can control the demon. Doesn’t work out,” said Musk.


Monday, 1 December 2014

Cymatics - the science of visualizing audio frequencies

See also (scroll down).

h/t Glenn.

Gimme Gadget: The Inkless Forever Pen


How the World’s First Computer Was Rescued From the Scrap Heap

"the machine could execute 5,000 instructions per second, a capability that made it a thousand times faster than the electromechanical calculators of the day. (An iPhone 6, by contrast, can zip through 25 billion instructions per second."

Article at Wired.

Moving Walls = Tiny Home Joy

Love it.

Thursday, 27 November 2014

Rape Culture at the University of Virginia

A harrowing read.

"They burble about UVA's honor code, a solemn pledge not to lie, cheat or steal; students are expected to snitch on violators, who are expelled. UVA's emphasis on honor is so pronounced that since 1998, 183 people have been expelled for honor-code violations such as cheating on exams. And yet paradoxically, not a single student at UVA has ever been expelled for sexual assault.
"Think about it," says Susan Russell, whose UVA daughter's sexual-assault report helped trigger a previous federal investigation. "In what world do you get kicked out for cheating, but if you rape someone, you can stay?"


Never run in a neighbourhood

The current upheaval in Ferguson brought to mind Trayvon Martin. Stumbled upon this and it stayed with me.

"Today I read about Trayvon trying his best not to run when he thought Zimmerman was hounding him. A friend says she was on the phone with Trayvon before he died, and that’s the account she gives. I don’t know Trayvon’s momma. But it seems she likely had the same proverb for her son that I had for mine. “Never run in a neighborhood.”

My son broke that rule when he was 7. He was Scouting for Food with the Cub Scouts on a service project in Buckhead, a posh McMansion neighborhood in Atlanta. Before I could stop him, he was running across the lawn of a mansion with the other little boys in blue uniforms. My scream stopped him in his tracks. I wasn’t so scared about him running just then. I was terrified that he’d forgotten the rules. I was terrified that he’d be with his white friends eight years from then and think he could run."

Article here.

Cannot imagine having to warn my kids against running in public, or running while carrying something in their hands.

See also: The 'Rules' African American Parents Follow

Friday, 21 November 2014

How top colleges figured out how to turn away Jews

"...For the years learning up to the early 1920s, the Jewish population at Yale was steadily increasing. The Yale administration first tried to limit the scholarship money available to Jewish students and, when that failed to deliver the desired results, they decided to require more than just an excellent admissions exam score to secure entrance to the freshman class. Yale, Karabel explained, insisted that would-be matriculants be of a certain "personality and character" consistent with whatever arbitrary requirements the admissions board deemed relevant..."

Oy Vey

Speaking two languages is better for your brain than Sudoku

"Bilingualism, or the brain’s ability to accommodate two languages, means your brain is perpetually working to tune out one messaging system. When someone can think equally well in more than one set of words, your cognition skills sharpen."

Read here.

Scribbler Joy - Picturebook Makers

Just stumbled upon Picturebook Makers courtesy of Shaun Tan, one of my favourite author/scribblers.

Discover how these author/scribblers dreamed up their picturebooks.

Tree House Love

First spotted this awesome book in all its GIANT glory in a bookstore in Shanghai.  Full of wonderful tree houses from around the world. Figured I'd wait until I moved home to Melb before getting this beast of a book delivered to me. Birthday looming... I think it might be time *rubbing hands together gleefully*

Giant book joy

Damn. Just realised Amazon and Book Depository only sell a smaller version of the book. Will have to track down the giant copy elsewhere. The smaller version is still beautiful, but doesn't have the same impact as GIANT.

Antibacterial frenzy

Nuts how I have to dig around a supermarket shelf and read labels carefully to find soaps and other household cleaners that are not antibacterial. 5-6 shelves, full of antibacterial this, that and everything.

Just saw an ad on TV yesterday for antibacterial wall paint. Sheesh!

FIve reasons why you should probably stop using antibacterial soap

Thursday, 20 November 2014

Let's all go outside and roll around in dirt

"Although correlations have been noted between the composition of the gut microbiome and behavioural conditions, especially autism1, neuroscientists are only now starting to understand how gut bacteria may influence the brain. The immune system almost certainly plays a part, Mazmanian says, as does the vagus nerve, which connects the brain to the digestive tract."

Gut-brain link grabs neuroscientists

Tuesday, 18 November 2014

Tiny Home Love

I would love to park this by the beach and chill-out for a month or so.

$22,000 mortgage-free home

Scientists Use Wikipedia to Predict Disease Outbreaks

"...researchers at the Los Alamos National Laboratory, examining three years' worth of Wikipedia data such as searches for symptoms or diagnoses, managed to create very accurate forecasts of the spread of dengue fever in Brazil and influenza in the U.S., Japan, Poland and Thailand.
They were also able to make predictions, although less accurate ones, of outbreaks of tuberculosis in Thailand and China and of the spread of dengue fever in Thailand, the researchers reported in the journal PLOS Computational Biology."

Read here

Why I have been away

They're a little older now, but here are a couple of favourite pics from not terribly long ago (though it feels like waaaaay back when).

Big Sister

Little Brother