Friday, February 26, 2010

Too true to be funny......

Trackur - now a free way to monitor what is being said about you on the interwebs

Trackur is an online reputation & social media monitoring tool designed to assist you in tracking what is said about you on the internet. Trackur scans hundreds of millions of web pages--including news, blogs, video, images, and forums--and lets you know if it discovers anything that matches the keywords that interest you.

Using sophisticated social media monitoring and filtering technology, Trackur is your online reputation guardian. It does the heavy-lifting for you--scanning the web for any mention of your name, brands, and products--so you don't have to.

Today, the company is introducing an entirely free version of the Web-based software suite, giving marketers and small business owners a compelling reason to want to check it out and see why basic Google Alerts simply may not be cutting it anymore.

Found via TechCrunch

2010 Tournament of Books

Today, The Morning News Selection Committee announces the contenders for the Sixth Annual Tournament of Books, the one and only March Madness battle royale of literary excellence. For those of you who are new to the Tournament of Books, it’s literary awarding gone ferocious, March Madness-style.

Each spring they take 16 celebrated novels from the previous year and seed them into a competitive bracket like the kind used in the N.C.A.A. basketball championship. A group of judges is enlisted, and the tournament plays out over the course of five rounds of matches in March. Each match sees two books battling head-to-head in brutal combat, with a judge explaining how he or she has chosen to move one of them to the next round.

This above was taken directly from their site. Sounds fascinating! You can read more here.

This makes it even more interesting!
Each year at this time we also note that we were drunk when we came up with this idea. It’s true: We were in the pool room of a small, dark bar in Brooklyn six years ago, and the next day we decided that this stupid, silly, dare we say profoundly necessary idea still sounded fun. It’s been a blast every year since, and we can’t wait to welcome you to this year’s tournament once it gets underway on Tuesday, March 9, 2010.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

The path to 10,000,000,000 iTunes downloads

Click to enlarge

Found at gigaom

How Millenial are you?

Take a short 14 question Survey from the Pew Research Center and see how you compare to "The Silents", "The Baby Boomers", The Gen-Xers" or "The Millenials".

Google Books will apparently scan anything

Enjoy: Google Books

Top 10 mostcommonly mispronounced foodie words

From the Chicago Tribune

Top 10 Mispronounced Foodie Words

  1. Bruschetta (broo-SKEH-tah)
  2. Gnocchi (NYOH-kee)
  3. Gyro (YEER-oh)
  4. Huitlacoche (wheet-lah-KOH-chay)
  5. Pouilly-Fuisse (poo-yee fwee-SAY)
  6. Mole (MOH-lay)
  7. Paczki (POONCH-key)
  8. Pho (fuh)
  9. Prosciutto (proh-SHOO-toe)
  10. Sake (SAH-kay)

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

The Diagram Prize - oddest book title of the year

The prize, which celebrates the oddest book title of the year, received a record number of submissions in 2009, with 90 books suggested to 2008’s 32. After an intensive judging process, the "Very Longlist" was whittled down to a more palatable six by The Bookseller’s diarist and prize custodian Horace Bent.

Voting has opened on the six books at The winner will be announced on 26th March. Voting buttons are on the left about two-thirds down the page.

The 2008 Diagram Prize was won by Professor Philip M Parker’s unforgettable The 2009–2014 World Outlook for 60mg Containers of Fromage Frais, while other previous winners include: If You Want Closure in Your Relationship, Start with Your Legs, and Greek Rural Postmen and Their Cancellation Numbers.

The contenders:

* David Crompton's Afterthoughts of a Worm Hunter (Glenstrae Press)

* James A Yannes' Collectible Spoons of the Third Reich (Trafford)

* Daina Taimina's Crocheting Adventures with Hyperbolic Planes (A K Peters)

* Ronald C Arkin's Governing Lethal Behavior in Autonomous Robots (CRC Press)

* Ellen Scherl and Maria Dubinsky's The Changing World of Inflammatory Bowel Disease (SLACK Inc)

* Tara Jansen-Meyer's What Kind of Bean is This Chihuahua? (Mirror)

Found at boingboing

Joke book of 1600 year-old jokes

Jokes from the turn of the fourth century compiled by that irrepressible byzantine pair, Hierocles and Philagrius.

From the jokes:
A student dunce orders a lamp from the silversmith. "How big a lamp do you want me to make?" asks the man. "Big enough for eight people to see by," responds the dunce
Someone said to a senator, "I'd really like to see you when you are free for a moment." The senator responds, "And I'd like to see you when you're blind and crippled!"
A young husband asks his wife, "Honey, what shall we do? Have lunch or have sex?" She replied, "By the way, we don't have a thing to eat!"

Delightfully funny, even if they are 1600 years old!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

First Lines: tumblr of first lines from your favorite books.

First Lines, is an interesting tumblr blog comprised exclusively of first lines from books.


Kobo - eBooks for almost any device

Kobo is a global eBook retailer backed by Indigo Books & Music, Borders, REDgroup Retail, Cheung Kong Holdings, and other leaders in technology and retail. They believe consumers should be able to read any book, anytime, anywhere, and on the device of their choice.

The site offers almost 2 million actual book books and over 250,000 PDF. Whether you’re on an iPhone or Blackberry, Mac or PC, Sony Reader or a device they don’t even know about yet, Kobo is geared toward helping book lovers enjoy eReading anytime, anyplace, on any device.

Unless You Will vol. 4

Unless you will, curated and founded by Heidi Romano, is an online journal that showcases a vision within photo-based art. Its goal is to bring together a collection of notable photographers from around the world and present their work.

Sometimes a photo can evoke high feelings of emotion or nostalgia and in a roundabout way it becomes a means of expressing ourselves as photographers. UYW strives to showcase photographers who add layers of meaning and capture these feelings. Their images are a happiness measurement, they give us pleasure, rekindle a memory, or trigger other emotions of their own. UYW's aim is to showcase these talented artists without too many frills, who work with the notions of play, honesty and craftsmanship.

It is a wonderful magazine and well worth a visit. Below are some images taken from the Carlos and Jason Sanchez piece in the fourth issue:

Monday, February 22, 2010

The Future of the Internet

The Pew Research Center has completed an online survey of 895 stakeholders' and critics' expectations of social, political and economic change by 2020. Among the opinions offered are:

  • Google won't make us stupid

  • Reading, writing and the rendering of knowledge will be improved

  • Innovation will continue to catch us by surprise

  • Information will continue to flow freely online, though there will be flashpoints over control of the internet

  • Anonymous online activity will be challenged, though a modest majority still think it will be possible in 2020

The complete 48 page report is available in PDF format here.


Click to enlarge


Curling explained

The Times of London has produced an infographic, designed by Ciaran Hughes, which explains the sport. In the interest of information science, it is offered here:

Click to enlarge

Found at Fast Company

Vintage Book Covers

Tons here, here, here and here.

Friday, February 19, 2010

150 covers of Nabakov's "Lolita"

Dieter E. Zimmer's Covering Lolita presents 150 book and media covers from 33 countries and 54 years. It is fascinating how a country's morés affect the way she is portrayed.

Electrolux plans to revolutionize your kitchen

Electrolux plans to change the way we experience our kitchens - for good.

When you want to cook something using Elecrolux's "Heart of the Home," you simply press down on the surface, and it creates a hole. You can make the hole bigger or smaller by pressing down on a larger or smaller area.

Then you place your ingredients right into the hole you created. No pots and pans needed. The area heats up with a few touches from your fingers.

And it gets better. When you put the food onto the surface, Heart of the Home analyzes the ingredients and offers recipe suggestions.

The company says the design was inspired by "the person driven by culinary curiosity using new technology without removing the essence of cooking."

Not available yet, but I can't wait.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Augmented Reality on Steroids

Blaise Aguera y Arcas, the architect of Bing Maps, gave a neat demo of an augmented-reality map at TED2010. Flickr photos are integrated into street level views, which can result in interesting "time travel" historical views. He also shows how live videos can be added into the maps as well. Every time I see this stuff I am more amazed.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Adobe and Wired Magazine reinvent the medium

Adobe and WIRED magazine introduce a new digital magazine concept that provides an immersive, interactive content experience for readers and innovative possibilities for advertisers.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Amazing implementation of GoogleLiquid Galaxy!

Found at The Proverbial Lone Wolf Librarian

Faulkner novel linked to plantation diary

In William Faulkner’s 1942 novel “Go Down, Moses” the climactic end comes when Isaac McCaslin finally decides to open his grandfather’s farm ledgers with their “scarred and cracked backs” and “yellowed pages scrawled in fading ink” — all proof of his family’s slave-owning past. Now, what appears to be the document on which Faulkner modeled that ledger as well as the source for myriad names, incidents and details that populate his fictionalized Yoknapatawpha County has been discovered.

Patricia Cohen of the New York Times has a fascinating article detailing the discovery and its impact on Faulkner scholarship.

A brief history of everything done in a flipbook

This is a brief history of the universe and life on earth in 3:12 entirely in flipbook form. It was created by student Jamie Bell for an art class.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

The Newseum: Newspaper front pages from an interactive map

The Newseum displays daily newspaper front pages in their original, unedited form chosen by simply pointing at a city on the map. Very cool!

The Facebook Factbook Infographic

Click to enlarge

Found via The Proverbial Lone Wolf Librarian.

The Last Whole Earth Catalog - Electronic Edition

This was the single most enjoyable and important book I owned back in the early seventies. I was living and going to school in California and was trying so hard to get back to the land. I did for a while, and over the course of a few years quite literally wore the cover off of this wonderful resource.

The Last Whole Earth Catalog originally published in 1971 has been released as an electronic edition. It is fully searchable and is as valuable a resource today as it ever was.

From the site
After the WHOLE EARTH CATALOG and its descendants ceased publication, New Whole Earth LLC, headed by entrepreneur and philanthropist Samuel B. Davis, acquired the intellectual property and physical assets of the family of publications from the Point Foundation.

We thought it was important to preserve the heritage of the WHOLE EARTH CATALOG and its succeeding publications. Although the CATALOG's heyday was during a specific and turbulent period of American history, the ideas found in it and in its related publications continue to engage the brightest minds of the 21st century—and Whole Earth LLC believes that those ideas should be preserved as they were originally disseminated.

This collection is not complete—and probably never will be—but it is a gift to readers who loved the CATALOG and those who are discovering it for the first time. The great stuff found on these pages is a celebration of the genius of Stewart Brand and all those associated with the WHOLE EARTH family of publications.

Egypt / Lebanon Montage

This is a montage of footage shot for a Documentary during the summer/fall of 2009.

The documentary was shot entirely on the canon 5D MKll in and around Cairo and Beirut. Big ups to Magic Lanterns Firmware update, as well as the Kessler Pocket Dolly for being a huge help in making this happen.

Music: Nikos - Secret Love

Well worth a watch.... beautiful.

Egypt / Lebanon Montage from Khalid Mohtaseb on Vimeo.

Delightful video promoting scholarship

This is absolutely sure to make you smile. These kids have truly got it together:

Open Office 3.2 ships and logs 300,000,000 downloads

The Community this morning announced the release of the latest version of its personal productivity suite, and announced that the software has been downloaded 300 million times in total since its public debut in April 2002.

Open Office is a free, open-source alternative to Microsoft’s Office desktop software suite, offering basic components of productivity tools such as a word processor, spreadsheet, presentation, graphics, formula and database capabilities. In my experience, it is completely compatible with the Microsoft suite, as well.

Oracle, OpenOffice’s main sponsor after its recent acquisition of Sun Microsystems, and other distributors, offers OpenOffice enterprise support with longer lifecycles.

You can download the latest version of OpenOffice here.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Vanity Barcodes!

Vanity Barcodes' goal is to help businesses take advantage of the little-known marketing potential of decorative -- yet functional -- UPC barcodes on their products. It's a great way to add brand value and engage customers in a way that no other graphic design can!

Beautiful and fun, they are functional, tool! All codes are pre-tested for scan compliance so they'll work just like standard barcodes.

Secret image in New Yorker MAgaazine Cover

This week’s New Yorker magazine features four unique covers, one each by Alt Comics giants Chris Ware, Dan Clowes, Adrian Tomine, and Ivan Brunetti (You can view them all here)

It is certainly easy to miss, but there is a secret image contained within the four covers when they are placed beside each other. Placing the four covers together creates a large image of New Yorker mascot Eustace Tilley, but even knowing that the image is there, it’s very difficult to discern.

Found at where there is a handy animation that more clearly displays the secret.


Pogo is the title and central character of a long-running (1948-1975) daily comic strip created by Walt Kelly and distributed by the Post-Hall Syndicate. Set in the Okefenokee Swamp of the southeastern United States, the strip often engages in social and political satire through the adventures of its anthropomorphic funny animal characters.

Pogo combined both sophisticated wit and slapstick physical comedy in a heady mix of allegory, Irish poetry, literary whimsy, puns and wordplay, lushly detailed artwork, irresistible characters and broad burlesque humor. The same series of strips can be enjoyed on different levels both by young children and by savvy adults. The strip earned Kelly a Reuben Award in 1951.

Here is a fascinating collection of original Pogo drawings. There is also much more comic art available for viewing or purchase at the site. Be warned: There is also a bit of erotica.

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Amazing animated gifs

Just when we all thought animated gifs were so 80s. Davidope is creative director and founder of Volll studio, based in Budapest. Check out these AWESOME animated gifs he made.

The British Library is releasing 65,000 eBooks this spring.

The British Library is promising 65,000 free e-books this spring. The works, from out-of-copyright nineteenth-century authors such as Charles Dickens and Jane Austen, will be made available to Kindle users with the help of funding from Microsoft.

The books will be published in their original typeface and with the original illustrations, and will also be available in printed form from Amazon for around £15.

It's the first time that these first editions have been available in electronic form, and it's taken the library and Microsoft three years to scan them all. There are plans to extend the list to include early twentieth-century books too.

"Making 19th century fiction available for free through the Kindle ebook reader opens up a new global readership for forgotten literary gems," writes British Library chief executive Lynne Brindley in The Times.

"Freeing historic books from the shelves has the potential to revolutionize access to the world’s greatest library resources. To meet the ever increasing demands of our users the library is negotiating with other key industry players to ensure we maximize potential for access."

She said the library was aiming to provide 50 million items in digital format by 2020.

Found at TG Daily

Erwin Olaf's Photography

With an incredibly detailed eye for life in the 1950s and ’60s, Erwin Olaf’s photographs offer much more than what’s seen at first glance. Subtle variations in color and the tiniest of precise touches render his models into actors whose stories transcend the moment in which they are photographed. There is a stunning display and interview at The Morning News. And more at his website.

Olaf is most famous for his commercial and personal work. He has been commissioned to photograph advertising campaigns for large international companies. Some of his most famous photographic series include "Grief", "Rain", and "Royal Blood". Never one to shy away from controversy, Olaf's work is often daring and provocative. Olaf studied journalism in the School of Journalism in Utrecht.

Monday, February 08, 2010

Launched in February 2007, Monocle is a global briefing covering international affairs, business, culture and design. Headquartered in London with offices in Tokyo, Sydney, Zürich and New York, Monocle appears 10 times a year in print and is updated constantly at Developed for an international audience hungry for information across a variety of sectors, Monocle's team of award-winning editors and correspondents have been drawn from The New York Times, The Independent on Sunday, the BBC, CBC and a host of other news and current affairs outlets. More of a book than a magazine, Monocle's designed to be highly portable (it's lightweight and compact) and collectable (it's thick and robust). On-line, the focus is on broadcasting with a wide array of films, slide shows and audio reports. Edited by Wallpaper founder and Financial Times columnist Tyler Brûlé, Monocle offers a comprehensive global briefing under a single editorial brand. In print and online, writers and photographers are dispatched to over 50 countries every issue to deliver stories on forgotten states, alluring political figures, emerging brands, fresh forces in popular culture and inspiring design solutions.

The Sections are:

Affairs: A global mix of reportage, essays and interviews with the forces shaping geopolitics.

Business: Devoted to identifying opportunities and inspiring the reader.

Culture: With a tight group of opinionated columnists, reviewers and interviewers, Culture delivers the best in film, television, music, media and art.

Design: Bypassing hype, Design is dedicated to unearthing emerging and established talent.

Edits: Bite-sized and thought provoking, Edits are vital life improvements curated in a fast-paced well-researched collection.

Thursday, February 04, 2010

Dummy Image Generator: Very Handy!

The Dynamic Dummy Image Generator is a simple tool for generating dummy/filler images on the fly at whatever size you want. Simply add the width, an 'x', and the height of the image you want and the script will spit out a gray box to the size you want with the image dimensions in black Arial text centered in the middle of the box. Like this It is like Lorem Ipsum for images! You can even use the URL as an image source for layout purposes. The author also makes the php code available if you need to run the script on your own server. Very handy for us web designers.

Found at lifehacker

Pew Survey says Teens Love Facebook, Hate Blogging, Are Always Online, and Don't Use Twitter

Ninety-three percent of teens ages 12 to 17 go online, 75% of them own a cell phone, and 66% say they text. 58% of 12-year-olds now have mobiles, compared to 18% just five years ago. Sixty-two percent use the Internet to access information on news and politics, and some teens are even using the Internet as a guardian: 17% say they go online to research information about drug use, sexual health, and other topics that are awkward to talk about with real people.

Social networking is up to 73% of "wired" teens, or those who use the Internet often, compared to the 55% of teens who used the sites just three years ago. However, blogging is down, with only 14% of wired teens saying they blog, compared to 28% three years ago. Commenting on blogs is also down to 52%, from 76% in 2006. And while Twitter may be hot with the older crowd, only 8% of teens ages 12 to 17 say they use the microblogging service. The highest percentage of teens on Twitter is 13% of high school girls ages 14 to 17, but compared to the one-third of adults ages 18 to 29 who update or read a microblogging service, the numbers are low.

Blatantly lifted from Fast Company. More info and charts at the jump.

5 minutes instructional videos

5min is a syndication platform for broadband instructional, knowledge and lifestyle videos. Its library includes tens of thousands of videos across 20 categories and 140 subcategories, which are professionally produced and brand-safe.

5min features content from some of the world’s largest media companies as well as the most innovative independent producers. Video recipes, yoga and fitness routines, tech tutorials, DIY projects for home and garden, health videos on specific conditions, beauty and fashion tips, video game walk-throughs and much more.

Here is a short explanation of Newton's First Law:

Amazon buys touch-screen company. Kindle upgrade?

Amazon aparently wants to upgrade its Kindle e-reader to compete head-on with the Apple iPad In a move toward that confrontation, Amazon has acquired Touchco, a start-up based in New York that specializes in touch-screen technology.

The acquisition “would suggest Amazon is looking to expand its platform perhaps beyond e-readers to encompass more functionality and more content,” said Colin Sebastian, an analyst at Lazard Capital. “It also could help them address some of the form-factor issues with the Kindle,” allowing it, for example, to replace the physical keyboard with a virtual one, he said.

“If touch screens were added to the Kindle or other Amazon devices, it would bring them up to date with the plethora of other screens consumers are becoming used to,” Mr. Sebastian said. “Any device is at a disadvantage if it doesn’t offer it.”

From The New York Times

The Soda Can Library

The Soda Can Library is attempting to list all of the known soda can generations from their inception in 1938 to the last of the steel cans around 1980. The collection is massive and a lot of fun to browse.

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Infographic: Where the government's money comes from and where it goes

click to enlarge

Film Noir Poster Collection

There is a very cool and quite extensive collection of Film Noir posters from the 40s and 50s over at Golden Age Comic Book Stories There is also a great collection of comic book art, stories and images from the era.

Museum admission buttons

Part ticket, part souvenir, museum admission buttons have become quite collectible. I found this image by Kang Kim over at Fast Company. Click to enlarge.

The Presidential Recordings Project

The Presidential Recordings Program was established by the Miller Center in 1998 to make the secret White House recordings accessible through transcripts and historical research. These recordings constitute an extremely rich historical resource, but one that cannot be unlocked without considerable time and experience in working with the tapes. Once unlocked, the tapes can, are, and will make significant contributions to our understanding of recent political history and how the U.S. government works. To that end, the PRP brings together historians, journalists, and a talented team of student interns to work with these materials to transcribe, annotate, interpret, and share them.

This exchange between LBJ and the Haggar Pants Company is priceless (if a bit blue).

But Does It Float

A beautiful and elegantly presented series of images, ideas and quotes. Enjoy.

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

15 must-have web apps for students

In a guest post over at Digitized, Karen Schweitzer lists the 15 must-have web apps for college students. Well done and valuable enough to repost here. – Students who love sticky notes will also love It can be used to create and place digital notes around the web that can be accessed from any computer. Sticky notes can also be sent via Twitter and iGoogle and may be shared with anyone–even people who do not have a account.

Adobe Buzzword – Buzzword is a word processor that works in a web browser instead of on your desktop. This Adobe beta site can be used to create documents, collaborate with others, and track changes from anywhere.

Creative Pro Office – Creative Pro Office is a free suite of web-based office management tools. Features include an office dashboard, project manager, time tracker, calendar, and expense tracking. Creative Pro Office was designed for independent professionals and small tech teams, but it would useful to any student who wants to boost productivity.

Whiteboard – With this free web app, students can collaborate on documents from anywhere and view changes in a snap. Whiteboard allows users write, collaborate, and compare in real time without fear of losing information. – This free web app allows students to turn ideas into color-coded mind maps. is the perfect tool for brainstorming with visual aids.

PromoOnline – PromoOnline is a free way to create PDF documents without having to install software. With a few simple steps, you can create a PDF version of any file.

BibMe – BibMe is a free bibliography maker for students who want to create a fast bibliography or works cited page in MLA, APA, Chicago, or Turabian format. You can enter the required information in yourself or use the search feature to find books, articles, websites, or films.

ThinkFold – Students needing an easy way to work on group projects may find what they need in ThinkFold. This free web-based tool allows users to create documents, add images, and make changes–all in real time.

Awesome Highlighter – AwesomeHighlighter takes some of the confusion out of online research by allowing students to highlight the important parts of a web page and transform it into a less wieldy link.

FlashcardExchange – Easily the world’s largest online flashcard library, FlashcardExchange can be used to create and study flashcards online. Students who don’t have time to create their own flashcards can use ready-made cards created by other people.

Mindpicnic – Using Mindpicnic is like using learning software without the download. Visitors can choose from a wide range of Mindpicnic courses and begin learning as soon as they sign up for a free account.

NoteMesh – Created by students, NoteMesh in a free online service for university students who want to collaborate on a set of notes for a particular class. NoteMesh creates an easy-to-use wiki that can be updated by anyone in the group.

CollegeRuled – CollegeRuled can be used to create a color-coded class schedule, classroom message boards, to-do lists, and much more. Schedules can be linked to from a Facebook profile and accessed from any computer.

NetVibes – Netvibes is a handy app that brings all of your favorite blogs, email accounts, social networks, video providers, and more to one place–great for students who visit the same sites each day.

Walletproof – The beta version of Walletproof is a great online tool for students who need help with their finances. It can be used to set budgets and track expenses. Walletproof will also make budget recommendations and help you find money saving deals shared by other users.

The Periodic Table of World Internet Facts

The Periodic Table of World Internet Facts by Appfrica visualizes the distribution of web access across the globe. Approximately 25% of the world is online and that leaves about four billion people unconnected. Each block contains eight data points and the table is organized and annotated with additional facts and rankings. It is updated quarterly. Visit the site for directions on how to understand the chart.

Click for a really BIG version

Here is the legend: