Next time I cross the Atlantic, I shall stop a moment to reflect on everything that’s happening in the background to make this possible. AeroSavvy has a great post explaining how the North Atlantic Tracks system works.
This experimental visualization tool from the Internet Archive is a fun way to explore the popularity of a given concept:
The Anatomy of a Tweet. Unsurprisingly, a tweet is composed of much more than 140 characters. There’s a scary amount of metadata coming along with it.
Serialization formats are not toys. Things to watch out for if you are building a web application that takes YAML, XML or JSON input. Watch it even if you don’t: being aware of how easy it is to break software is sobering.
Game of Thrones — the French Baby Boys’ Names Edition. An hilarious take on the evolution of the most popular boy’s names in France. Also from the same excellent Strange Maps blog, I can’t help but love the straightforward honesty of cartographer Jacques-Nicolas Bellin who admitted to the following on his 1753 map of Australia:
I’m currently reading Mark Miodownik’s Stuff Matters and discovering little snippets information about materials I wasn’t aware of. For example, that the reason reinforced concrete works so well is because “as luck would have it, steel and concrete have almost identical coefficients of expansion” (p. 75). In passing, he also warns against the simplistic equation concrete = ugly:
But the truth is that cheap design is cheap design whatever the material. Steel can be used in good or bad design, as can wood or bricks, but it is only with concrete that the epithet of ‘ugly’ has stuck. There is nothing intrinsically poor about the aesthetics of concrete.