When making decisions, my instinct is to find relevant graphs. Browsing for baby names has proved to be no exception. At first, the results were interesting, but not surprising. Names spike in popularity and then gradually become passé.
The exciting twist came when I discovered a second category of names. These names experienced the same meteoric rise to popularity at some point in time, but this new category of names was slowly making a resurgence & becoming popular again! My favorite find, so far, is “Samuel” which has experienced three separate rises in popularity. “Naomi” is pretty cool too in that it is more popular now than during its first 1920s high.
The most recent episode of 99% Invisible was both unexpected and fascinating. It’s a collaboration between author Jon Mooallem and the band Black Prairie. A musical story-telling extravaganza about how we try to fit nature into our modern lives.
Wild Onesis about the cutesy stuffed animals, the eco-tours, and the byzantine methods of conservation that evolve when our experience with wild life goes from something natural to something designed. Human-animal interaction has become a designed experience and the story of that transition… is sometimes dismaying and weirdly reassuring.
The stories are beautiful, insightful, and well worth a listen!
[For the Dark Sky weather app,] instead of packing color information into the three [RGB] channels, we pack data representing the weather at different times. In the blue channel we store an image of the temperature, say, at 8am. In the green channel we store the temperature 4 hours later (at noon). And in the red channel goes the temperature 4 hours later still (4pm). … By packing sequential data into the color channels of the image, you get a great picture of how the temperature is changing!
A very cool accidental visualization of global temperature changes from the forecast.io blog, which goes into a lot better detail as to why this rainbow effect appears.
Today I realized another reason why I like xkcd so much. In many ways Randall Munroe’s work on the comic parallels Bill Watterson’s work on Calvin & Hobbes. Both artists have comics that range from simple (1, 2) to insightful (1, 2). Both also push the boundaries of their medium. Watterson innovated with unbroken half-page Sunday comics, allowing him to add more art to his comics and experiment with visual flow. Munroe builds amazing comics that expand across time and space, beyond what any paper-based comic could hope to accomplish. What a joy to be have wonderful artists, like these, to enjoy!
I started using Google Reader six years ago, almost to the day, and can’t imagine all the ways those twenty thousand plus posts have influenced my life. Luckily, even when Google Reader shuts down on Monday, my digital reading can cary via Feedbin and Reeder.