4241
kevan.org - Scrabble Capital
"In response to Brett Smitheram's call to make Croydon the 'Scrabble capital' of the United Kingdom, an attempt to calculate the current Scrabble capital of the United Kingdom, on the basis of highest word score."
creations  cities  scrabble 
8 days ago
To Identify Whale Sharks, Scientists Looked to the Stars - Atlas Obscura
"Researchers and citizen scientists can upload a photo of a whale shark they’ve seen—ideally, the patch of spotted skin just behind its left gill slits."
fish  software  space 
10 days ago
kevandotorg/nanogenmo-2017: Tillman, Victor Lima, KOD
"The Merchant of Venice, through the 1897 Robinson Telegraphic Cipher [...] The Tempest, through the International Code of Maritime Signals, 1969 [...] Romeo and Juliet, through a list of Internet acronyms from Ed's Web Site, a 2008 Geocities page."
creations  nanogenmo 
16 days ago
'Zombie ant' brains left intact by fungal parasite | EurekAlert! Science News
"Almost like a puppeteer pulls the strings to make a marionette move, the fungus controls the ant's muscles to manipulate the host's legs and mandibles."
parasites  ants  fungi  puppets 
5 weeks ago
Punchdrunk's Kabeiroi: a shapeshifting six-hour mystery tour of London | Stage | The Guardian
"At one point I gave (sedate and self-conscious) chase to a woman I was sure was shouting my name. She turned out to be extremely drunk and absolutely nothing to do with the show."
theatre  pervasive  london 
6 weeks ago
To cure affluenza, we have to be satisfied with the stuff we already own | Business | The Guardian
"While consumerism and materialism are often used interchangeably, taken literally they are polar opposites. If you really loved your car, the thought of replacing it with a new one would be painful."
money  psychology  society 
6 weeks ago
Secret Cameras Record Baltimore’s Every Move From Above
"Individual recognition, however, wasn’t the point; any dot could be followed backward or forward in time, which opened up all sorts of investigative possibilities."
surveillance  police  air  secrets  time 
7 weeks ago
The magic lantern game system – Analog Games
"The Larklamp Game Lantern is a wooden lantern that stands about ten inches tall. Game boards made of shadow and light are cast from patterns cut into the lantern’s removable side-panels."
light  board  games 
8 weeks ago
Tsunami Enabled Hundreds of Aquatic Species To Raft Across Pacific | Newsdesk
"Much of the debris the scientists found rafted ashore was made of fiberglass or other plastic materials that do not decompose and could easily survive six or more years at sea."
plastic  water  transport 
11 weeks ago
Selfie Factories: The Rise of the Made-for-Instagram Museum | WIRED
"Visitors are allotted about 90 minutes to explore the museum, but it’s hard to imagine what you’d do during that time if you weren’t taking photos."
museums  photography  design 
11 weeks ago
Two Ex-Googlers (@2xgbot)
"Two ex-Googlers want to replace your charity shop with a metal sarcophagus that crowdsources its supplies."
creations  twitter  future 
12 weeks ago
Fatberg blocking London sewer could become museum exhibit | Culture | The Guardian
"Alex Werner, lead curator for the new museum at the Museum of London, told the Guardian the fatberg “calls to attention the way we live our lives in a modern city”."
london  pollution  museums 
september 2017
Siri and Alexa can be hijacked with inaudible messages, researchers warn
"They turned voice commands into ultrasonic frequencies that can be heard and used to control devices but are inaudible to humans."
sound  hacking  secrets 
september 2017
How America Lost Its Mind - The Atlantic
"Treating real life as fantasy and vice versa, and taking preposterous ideas seriously, is not unique to Americans. But we are the global crucible and epicenter. We invented the fantasy-industrial complex."
america  psychology  history  delusions  politics 
august 2017
Journalists to use 'immune system' software against fake news | Technology | The Guardian
"The software, which was demonstrated to the Guardian, scans statements as they are made by politicians and instantly provides a verdict on their veracity."
software  politics  news  lies 
august 2017
Adventurers Wanted
"Adventurers Wanted is 250-hour long tabletop roleplaying game: an epic odyssey of battles, monsters and quests, lasting for the entire Edinburgh Fringe Festival 2017."
games  comedy  time 
august 2017
BBC - Future - The animals thriving in the Anthropocene
"It is not clear why cephalopods are proliferating. One possibility is that we are fishing the animals that prey on them."
evolution  squid 
august 2017
Revealed: the insidious creep of pseudo-public space in London | Cities | The Guardian
"Under existing laws, public access to pseudo-public spaces remains at the discretion of landowners who are allowed to draw up their own rules for “acceptable behaviour” on their sites and alter them at will. They are not obliged to make these rules public."
law  cities  london 
july 2017
How ‘Fontgate’ Could Bring Down Pakistan’s Premier - Bloomberg
"The prime minister’s daughter, Maryam Sharif, provided a letter dated 2006 that she said showed she transferred property deeds to her brother. It was written in Calibri font, which the investigation team noted wasn’t released commercially until 2007."
fonts  crime 
july 2017
Are Spotify's 'fake artists' any good? | Technology | The Guardian
"It appeared that musicians such as Cowley were being quietly elbowed out of that limelight in favour of ones who didn’t exist, and in favour of music for which Spotify wouldn’t have to pay royalties."
music  illusions 
july 2017
What’s the best way to cross the Thames in London? We’ve ranked all 63 options | CityMetric
"There are, depending on how you count, about 60 ways of crossing the Thames in London."
london  water  transport 
july 2017
A Game Of Legacy, for & by Bernie De Koven with Coney by Coney HQ — Kickstarter
"As Bernie De Koven, jedi master of play, nears the end of his life, A Game of Legacy explores what it means to pass onto posterity."
games  future 
july 2017
Wikipedia: The Text Adventure
Interactive non-fiction built in real time from the Wikipedia API.
creations  wikis  if 
june 2017
Avocados with laser-printed labels go on sale at M&S in bid to cut paper waste
"The labels, which are etched onto fruit's skin with lasers instead of stickers, will save 10 tonnes of paper and five tonnes of glue every year according to M&S."
light  paper  food  plants  technology  litter 
june 2017
Inspector gadget: how smart devices are outsmarting criminals | Technology | The Guardian
"He said he grabbed some possessions and jumped out a window. Investigators pulled data from his pacemaker which, according to a cardiologist, undermined Compton’s account."
technology  surveillance  crime  lies 
june 2017
BBC technical glitch leaves Huw Edwards in silence on News at Ten | Media | The Guardian
"The BBC News Channel showed Edwards sitting mute for the entirety of the delay, while BBC1 put up a message apologising for the fault and played saxophone music."
news  mutation 
june 2017
How Tinder Could Take Back the White House - The New York Times
"If the user planned to vote for another progressive party, the bot asked if he or she would consider a tactical vote to beat the Tories, voting for the progressive party most likely to beat the Conservatives in their area."
politics  software  illusions  camrad 
june 2017
The Lost Joys of the Screen Saver
"What we abandoned with the death of screen savers—themselves testifiers of disuse—was a culture that could accept walking away from life onscreen."
computers  history  art  via:linkmachinego 
june 2017
Trading Bot BOTUS Will Buy And Sell Stock Based On Trump's Tweets : NPR
"When he says something positive about a company, we buy that company's stock. When he says something negative about a company, we will sell that company's stock short."
software  money  twitter  words 
may 2017
Stephen Wolfram, Introduction to "A New Kind of Science"
"Well, in the actual [snail] shell, the pattern is laid down by a line of pigment-producing cells on the growing edge of the shell. And it seems that what happens can be captured rather well by a cellular automaton rule."
emergence  maths  snails 
may 2017
How many colours would you need to make London’s bus network more comprehensible? | CityMetric
"The first thing our colour system lets you do is dump bus numbers above 100 and use colours as a replacement for the first digit."
transport  colour  london  maths 
may 2017
BBC - Earth - There are diseases hidden in ice, and they are waking up
"Pathogenic viruses that can infect humans or animals might be preserved in old permafrost layers, including some that have caused global epidemics in the past."
pestilence  ice  history 
may 2017
1001 Rogues
"Every day, 1001 Rogues generates an unique roguelike adventure which can take place anytime, from prehistory to the distant future."
games  emergence  random  roguelike 
april 2017
Chuck Wood (@autochucker) on Twitter
"How many mikes could Mike Love love if Mike Love could love mikes?"
creations  twitter 
april 2017
Australia's big things - Wikipedia
"The big things of Australia are a loosely related set of large structures, some of which are novelty architecture and some are sculptures. [...] There are big things in every state and territory in Australia."
australia  architecture  art 
march 2017
US: Bird wearing tiny goggles safely flies through laser beam | Laser Pointer Safety - Statistics, laws, and general laser pointer news
"Unexpectedly, the wing tip vortices did not stay stable as happens with aircraft, but instead broke up quickly and violently."
birds  light  science 
march 2017
blackout poetry generator
"In a certain sense, then, you can think of this process as turning each individual paragraph on the page into its own tiny poem."
poetry  mutation 
march 2017
This site is “taking the edge off rant mode” by making readers pass a quiz before commenting » Nieman Journalism Lab
"On some stories, potential commenters are now required to answer three basic multiple-choice questions about the article before they’re allowed to post a comment."
internet 
march 2017
kevan.org - The Skeleton Deck
"It's a regular poker deck, combined with the numbers 1-6 in eight coloured suits (red Stops, orange Bricks, yellow Suns, green Leaves, blue Drops, purple Shields, white Skulls and black Keys), six wildcards in six of those suits, and the numbers 1 through 52."
creations  cards  games  hacking 
march 2017
KBNNO: Mineral turns sunlight, heat and movement into electricity all at once
"[KBNNO] may be considered a proper and capable candidate to trigger developments of all-in-one hybrid energy harvesting and multi-functional sensing devices based on only a single piece of material."
science  stone  electricity  light 
february 2017
Gallery: 'Brain scans' map what happens during inside machine learning | WIRED UK
"The image shown here is the forward (inference) pass of the ResNet 50 layer network used to classify images after being trained using the Graphcore neural network graph library."
software  maps  brains 
february 2017
Cern's electrocuted weasel to go on display | Science | The Guardian
"The partly-cooked corpse was duly secured for inclusion in [Rotterdam Natural History Museum]'s Dead Animal Tales exhibition."
death  mammals  science  museums 
january 2017
Germany's chess village hopes heritage listing proves 'leap of joy' move | World news | The Guardian
"If, in spite of the home advantage, a Ströbeck player was about to walk into a trap set by the visiting opponent, members of the audience were allowed to shout out the warning “Vadder, mit Rat!” meaning “Father, be careful” in the local dialect."
chess  history  germany 
january 2017
Automated book-culling software drives librarians to create fake patrons to "check out" endangered titles / Boing Boing
"Instead of being a tool, the data becomes a straightjacket: in order to get the system to admit the professional judgment of librarians, the librarians have to manufacture data to put their thumbs on its scales."
libraries  books  computers  illusions 
january 2017
Sorry for the Inconvenience
"395,637 apologies this year. Last: 56 seconds ago by South West Trains."
transport  twitter  via:sarah 
december 2016
The Making Of "How It’s Made"
"At the studio, a researcher collaborates with an engineer at the plant to ensure that the script describing the manufacturing process is accurate."
television  meta 
december 2016
A mysterious 14-year cycle has been controlling our words for centuries - ScienceAlert
"The study suggests that words get a certain momentum, causing more and more people to use them, before reaching a saturation point, where writers start looking for alternatives."
language  science  history 
december 2016
London Tree Map | London City Hall
"The map shows the locations and species information for over 700,000 trees. The recent London iTree report estimated that there are over eight million trees in London, so the map is only a partial illustration of trees in London."
trees  london  maps  via:james 
december 2016
How It's Made Up (@howitsmadeup) on Twitter
"Acrylic-rimmed windows are fitted over the vials to protect them. They also pass under a metal detector. The key is those polymer particles."
twitter  creations  technology  mutation 
november 2016
"Intercapillary Space": Caleb Whitefoord: The Cross Reading, a Modernist Poetry Avant la Garde
"Whitefoord seems to have been the first person to notice that reading [narrow newspaper column] lines across the page, instead of downwards, produced some interesting results."
news  poetry  mutation  via:waxy 
november 2016
How my father, JG Ballard, foresaw our strange present | Bea Ballard | Opinion | The Guardian
"Given that he predicted a B-movie actor (Ronald Reagan) becoming president, I doubt he would have been surprised that a TV reality star ended up doing the same."
ballard  fiction  politics  society 
november 2016
Hanafuda - Wikipedia
"Each time gambling with a card deck of a particular design became too popular, the government banned those cards, which then prompted the creation of new ones. [...] Because hanafuda cards do not have numbers (the main purpose is to associate images) and the long length to complete a game, it has a partially limited use for gambling."
japan  cards  games  history  law 
november 2016
Pietra Paesina’s Ruined Facades | Dataisnature
"The patterns of fractured light and dark within these rocks gives the impression of ruined cubist cityscapes, disjointed mountainous terrains with foliage and vividly etched tautozonal landscapes near the moment of sunset."
stone  cities  illusions 
november 2016
A bot crawled thousands of studies looking for simple math errors. The results are concerning. - Vox
"...they’re 'typos,' errors in transferring data from one program to another, she says. But because academic journals are more likely to publish significant results, these erroneous findings may be more likely to find themselves in the published literature."
maths  mutation  science  software 
november 2016
What are the odds of one vote changing the US presidential election? - 80,000 Hours
"[A] vote with a 1 in 10 million chance of changing the election outcome would be worth $25,000 to your fellow citizens just through its effects on the likelihood of a nuclear war."
politics  maths 
november 2016
Inside the brain of the man who would be 'Blindfold King' of chess | Science | The Guardian
"In 1947, the Argentinian grandmaster Miguel Najdorf played 45 simultaneous games in his mind. He won 39 times in the 24-hour session and was reportedly unable to sleep for three days afterwards."
chess  memory  brains 
november 2016
Glowing statue eyes - Instructables
"[A]dding red LED's in the eyes of statues makes them look diabolical, and brings the focus back to statues after the sun goes down."
eyes  light  stone  monsters 
october 2016
How to Win at Monopoly and Lose All Your Friends - Album on Imgur
"At this point, you will be asked repeatedly to build some friggin' hotels already so that other people can build houses. Don't."
games  board  via:linkmachinego 
october 2016
Wild monkeys throw curve at stone-tool making's origins | Science News
"Without the intention of making a stone tool, and with the right rock types, capuchins produce objects that are shaped like stone tools. [The capuchins] did not use fractured pieces of sharp stone to cut, scrape or dig up anything."
monkeys  stone  history  illusions 
october 2016
Mercedes-Benz driverless cars will hit pedestrians rather than endanger occupants
"If you know you can save at least one person, at least save that one. Save the one in the car."
transport  death  robots  future 
october 2016
Crash: how computers are setting us up for disaster | Tim Harford | Technology | The Guardian
"If you occasionally need human skill at short notice to navigate a hugely messy situation, it may make sense to artificially create smaller messes, just to keep people on their toes."
technology  psychology  transport 
october 2016
Do no harm, don't discriminate: official guidance issued on robot ethics | Technology | The Guardian
"Robots should not be designed solely or primarily to kill or harm humans; humans, not robots, are the responsible agents; it should be possible to find out who is responsible for any robot and its behaviour."
robots  law 
october 2016
The Skryf Robots Write Temporal Poetry with Sand
"Follow the words far enough backward, though, and they begins to smudge and scatter."
robots  writing  poetry  via:viv 
september 2016
Light Capsules from Craig Winslow | Ghostsigns
"These ‘Light Capsules‘ are a non-invasive way of bringing ghostsigns back to life, allowing the letter forms and colours to be fully visible again." Bankside and Stoke Newington, 17-24 September.
light  history  signs  via:sarah 
september 2016
Mobile meteorology: smartphone batteries will change the way we measure the weather - OpenSignal
"With a mathematical transformation, the average battery temperature across a group of phones gives the outdoor air temperature."
phones  weather 
september 2016
Seeing Yellow
"When you print on a color laser printer, it's likely that you are also printing a pattern of invisible yellow dots. These marks exist to allow the printer companies and governments to track and identify you -- presumably as a way to combat money counterfeiting."
paper  secrets  surveillance  technology  colour 
august 2016
'Industrial Painting', Pinot Gallizio: Summary | Tate
"Industrial Painting (1958) is a seventy-four metre long painted canvas by the Italian artist Pinot Gallizio. [...] Following this alternative mode of production, Gallizio’s paintings were sold by the metre in the street market of Alba as well as in commercial art galleries."
art  technology 
august 2016
Astra Nauseam (@astranauseam) on Twitter
Autogenerating a fictional constellation every hour.
space  lies  twitter  creations 
july 2016
IFDB: PataNoir
"The Baron's daughter is missing, and you are the man to find her. No problem. With your inexhaustible arsenal of hard-boiled similes, there is nothing you can't handle."
metaphors  games  language  if 
july 2016
Data Mining Novels Reveals the Six Basic Emotional Arcs of Storytelling
"In particular, the team says the most popular are stories involving two sequential man-in-hole arcs and a Cinderella arc followed by a tragedy."
books  words  graphs 
july 2016
Scientists have created a microscopic, real life-or-death version of Pac-Man | Polygon
"The goal of the study was to discover how euglena respond to being in a life-or-death situation when being chased by rotifers in an physical area that's less than 1mm in diameter."
games  simulations  death  mazes 
july 2016
Prehistoric tombs may have doubled as star-gazing observatories | New Scientist
"Now archaeoastronomers are making the case that [passage graves] could also have been used for spotting stars at dawn, when they are normally too faint to see."
history  secrets  space  light  eyes 
july 2016
Why elections are bad for democracy | David Van Reybrouck | Politics | The Guardian
"With sortition, you do not ask everyone to vote on an issue few people really understand, but you draft a random sample of the population and make sure they come to the grips with the subject matter in order to take a sensible decision."
politics  nomic  future 
june 2016
The London Underground's Iconic Typeface Gets A Redesign | Co.Design | business + design
"Today, the type foundry is announcing a new remastering of Johnston called Johnston100. [It] tries to bring a little bit of Johnston's original spirit back, with wider characters, looser spacing, and a slightly more eccentric feel."
fonts  design  history  london  tube 
june 2016
kevan.org - I charge thee, speak!
I played around with a different take on the same idea five years ago, but didn't do anything with it, so here it is. "Proposed Marcellus Shale Legislation Gets Mixed Reviews."
creations  writing  twitter 
june 2016
Word By Word: Twitter writes The Compete Works of Shakespeare / Shakespeare's Globe
"From Thursday 5 May, the typewriter will begin to type out The Complete Works from start to finish, sourcing its words from Tweets sent out in real time."
writing  technology  twitter  via:viv 
june 2016
Doc around the clock: BBC Arena celebrates 40 years in a day | Sight & Sound | BFI
"Approaching its 40th anniversary in characteristically thoughtful and ludic fashion, long-time producer Anthony Wall and editor Emma Matthews have revisited its archive of over 600 films from which they’ve terraformed a 24-hour film."
television  history  time 
may 2016
Antisocial network: how self-deprecation is taking over the internet | Technology | The Guardian
"...in a world of constantly switched-on, ostentatious displays of popularity and people having an ostensibly TOTALLY AWESOME TIME, perhaps it isn't surprising that things would start to pitch in the opposite direction (known as JOMO, joy of missing out)."
society  internet  illusions 
may 2016
How big tobacco lost its final fight for hearts, lungs and minds | Society | The Guardian
"Printed on the tray was an aphorism attributed to GK Chesterton: “I owe my success to having listened respectfully to the very best advice and then going away and doing the exact opposite.” Japan Tobacco International, owner of the Benson & Hedges brand in the UK, credited the packaging innovation with a near 47% year-on-year rise in sales."
chesterton  cigarettes  advertising 
may 2016
For World’s Newest Scrabble Stars, SHORT Tops SHORTER - WSJ
"The data showed how often a long word would leave the player vulnerable to a counterstrike or a series of bad draws."
scrabble  games  words 
may 2016
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