Lipstick Colors across the World

Source: The Independent (UK), Jun 2015

The International Lipstick Colour of The Year Report, commissioned by Heathrow airport, looked at the most bought shades in cities such as Sydney, Barcelona, London, Paris, Shanghai, Hong Kong and Vegas.

Following the study, Heathrow airport, which has Europe’s largest range of beauty products, is currently running a celebratory capsule collection of lipsticks hand-carved into mini sculptures by artist Hedley Wiggan, using the most popular shades from the survey and taking some of the world’s most visited landmarks: Big Ben, Eiffel Tower,  Burj Khalifa, Statue of Liberty and Shanghai’s Tower.

Mark Zuckerberg on Happiness

Source: FB, Jun 2015

Zuck on Happiness

Watch the Water-Skiing Squirrel

Grothendieck: Disturbing the Context

Source:  LessWrong, Oct 2010

Fields Medalist Alexander Grothendieck describes his own relevant experience in Récoltes et Semailles

Since then I’ve had the chance in the world of mathematics that bid me welcome, to meet quite a number of people, both among my “elders” and among young people in my general age group who were more brilliant, much more ‘gifted’ than I was. I admired the facility with which they picked up, as if at play, new ideas, juggling them as if familiar with them from the cradle–while for myself I felt clumsy, even oafish, wandering painfully up an arduous track, like a dumb ox faced with an amorphous mountain of things I had to learn (so I was assured) things I felt incapable of understanding the essentials or following through to the end. Indeed, there was little about me that identified the kind of bright student who wins at prestigious competitions or assimilates almost by sleight of hand, the most forbidding subjects.

In fact, most of these comrades who I gauged to be more brilliant than I have gone on to become distinguished mathematicians. Still from the perspective or thirty or thirty five years, I can state that their imprint upon the mathematics of our time has not been very profound. They’ve done all things, often beautiful things in a context that was already set out before them, which they had no inclination to disturb. Without being aware of it, they’ve remained prisoners of those invisible and despotic circles which delimit the universe of a certain milieu in a given era.

To have broken these bounds they would have to rediscover in themselves that capability which was their birthright, as it was mine: The capacity to be alone.

Understanding Visual Language

Source: Fast Company, Jun 2015

Symbolic icons tend to last.

A question designers may ask linguists has to do with how language changes over time. If language constantly changes because people and their culture evolve, why should the more visual aspects of language not follow suit, including the language of man-made objects?

Language is not just verbal or written. Speech as a means of communication cannot strictly be separated from the whole of human communicative activity, which also includes the visual. The word “imagination” definitely suggests that we can also think in images.

Visual language is defined as a system of communication using visual elements.The term visual language in relation to vision describes the perception, comprehension, and production of visible signs. Just as people can verbalize their thinking, they can visualize it.

A diagram, a map, and a painting are all examples of uses of visual language. Its structural units include line, shape, color, form, motion, texture, pattern, direction, orientation, scale, angle, space, and proportion. The elements in an image represent concepts in a spatial context, rather than the time-based linear progression used in talking and reading. Speech and visual communication are parallel and often interdependent means by which humans exchange information.



Quantifying Your Sex Life (?)

Source: The Verge, Jun 2015

a number of quantified sex apps (and at least one gadget) have been introduced. The apps differ in certain respects: Nipple relies on user reported data while Spreadsheetsgenerates data collected through motion sensors; Lovely collects its data through an enhanced cock ring. But they’re all driven by the same basic principle: the more you know about the sex you’ve had in the past, the better sex you will have in the future.

By tracking metrics like frequency of sexual encounters, duration of sexual activity, and speed of thrusting, quantified sex apps promise algorithmically enhanced pleasure, improving intercourse through sophisticated data analysis. It’s an alluring proposition — who among us doesn’t want better sex? — but there’s just one problem: there’s no indication that any of these apps actually work.

Optimizing sexual pleasure is a highly subjective — and incredibly personal — process; what matters more than data analysis is simply communication.

“The only metric [that matters] is how wide someone’s smile is” at the end of the experience.


The Price of Light has Dropped by 120,000x since Babylonian time

Source: Lucept website, Nov 2014
(original source HERE)

Related Resource: NPR, May 2014

  • KESTENBAUM: Here’s the answer he got. In Babylonian times, 4,000 years ago, a day’s labor would buy very little light. You could buy enough light to illuminate a room but not for very long.
  • NORDHAUS: Maybe 10 minutes. It was really expensive.
  • KESTENBAUM: A day’s wages got you 10 minutes of light.
  • KESTENBAUM: By the time Bill Nordhaus does his light study in the 1990s, if you work a day, how many hours of light do you get?
  • NORDHAUS: Maybe 20,000.
  • KESTENBAUM: Twenty thousand hours?