A Small Shock To The System May Help Brain With Math from NPR Shots. To start, this article is not saying that in order to do math you should electrocute yourself. It is saying, though, that small electrical impulses to the head can help with tasks that require heavy thinking/memorization. It’s not a DIY thing at all, but they do believe that the impulses synchronize the synapses in some way that benefits us measurably. Neat.
submarinecablemap.com — a map of part of what we take for granted. There’s a lot of cable to keep us all connected.
Water Trapped For 1.5 Billion Years Could Hold Ancient Life, from NPR. The scale on this is strictly impressive. It’s the oldest water found to date, and is the tiny remains of an ancient ocean. The even crazier part is that they’re going to still analyze this sample for signs of life. SCIENCE, yo!
RT @neiltyson: Not that anybody asked, but the symbol “lb” for pound comes from an abbreviation of the constellation Libra, the scales.
Google+ just launched a new design, in conjunction with their 2013 I/O conference. In short, it’s beautiful; very clean, and a great implementation of the “flat design” that according to the world is just now taking over.
Microsoft is definitely one of the pioneers with flat design, with their Windows Phone system and with what is now Windows 8. Some people seem to be confused by the move, but to me it’s always made perfect sense: with so many different screen sizes and resolutions, flat design is really about embracing content, good margins, and most importantly, vector graphics.
I’ve been making websites for years, and I really never liked the Photoshop trend. Making everything in a fixed resolution, cutting all the pieces up, and assembling again was just way too much work for what was mostly a fad. Knowing enough basics about space and the fundamentals of CSS, it’s easy enough to make simple, powerful designs without any raster assets. In short, going the path of pure CSS is about going vector, which looks sharp everywhere and is more efficient in terms of data usage and both server and client resources.
With Google+, it seems clear enough that the next pattern is to enable the content to come through. Microsoft with their Windows interface is invested in color combinations with simple iconography, and the Google way is to keep things mostly white. Facebook does still have its blue banner up top, but largely it’s a white slate as well. White doesn’t clash when you have photos, and re: what I might call the Pinterest effect, it’s images (again, not chrome) that drive the most clicks and views.
Bees are mathematicians. I liked bees already, and this takes them up yet another level. The idea is that the most compact shape is the hexagon, with the constraint that the shape needs to fit together with itself to form a grid with no gaps. That constraint is also significant, because it’s the most efficient way to have all the bees make the shapes themselves, so they can all assemble into one later. It’s a distributed processing system, which is incidentally also the way most software is headed these days.