The Kantar Information is Beautiful Awards 2014 celebrate excellence and beauty in data visualizations, infographics and information art.
Hexels is a unique grid-based art tool for PC and OS X that has garnered some acclaim from game developers for its retro digital aesthetic. See what people are making in Hexels, or try it yourself for free. [more inside]
Earlier this year, a Rolling Stone interview with Tool guitarist Adam Jones and drummer Danny Carey revealed the legal trouble that has prevented the band from producing an album since 2006's 10,000 Days. [more inside]
Search for word usage in movies and television over time.
Movies and television shows often reflect cultural trends of the time they are made in. Even movies that take place during the past or future can say something about the present through metadata or production style. Using the Bookworm platform, Benjamin Schmidt, an assistant professor of history at Northeastern University, provides a tool that lets you see trends in movie and television dialogue.
The Case for CDs -- as CD sales continue to plummet, Grantland's Steven Hyden takes a "glass-half-full perspective" on those numbers, discusses format nostalgia, and the five types of albums that justify the continued existence of CDs. [more inside]
It used to be that a CD or good old fashioned 12" vinyl would simply play, and your only indication of when it was about to end would be the album tracklisting printed on the sleeve. Hearing another song start up just as you thought the album was finished and got up to change the record was always an unexpected thrill - a surprise encore in your bedroom, a sort of reward for listening right through to the end. Yes, the iPod and its many variants have transformed the way people listen to music, but as someone who grew up waiting excitedly when an album finished to see if there was an extra hidden treat at the end of an album, I'll always see the death of the secret song as the sad flipside of its success. [more inside]
Staying_On-Topic in r/intelligentanimals posts a huge number of links explaining why Corvids (crows, ravens, magpies, etc) are amazing.
As foretold by the prophets of Atlantis, before its destruction, a mortal (Dave Weigel of Slate) has come to reveal the true story of Prog Rock. [more inside]
Yesteryear's Tools is an Internet Magazine that concentrates on hand tools, the toolmakers and the tool distributors that operated mostly between the mid-1800s and mid to late-1900s. Particular attention centers upon the markings and labels of such makers and distributors, specifically those that can be classified as manufacturers and/or major distributors. [more inside]
They were a couple of blokes from a small city in in England who started out messing around with instruments. Paul played the guitar and drums, and Phil the saxophone, but both were interested in electronic music by the likes of Kraftwerk. Phil also liked hip-hop, and Paul got into acid house in the late 1980s. One afternoon, Paul slapped together a happy little song based on a sample from a now-forgotten instrumental cover version of some pop hit, and called the little ditty Chime. Even before it was pressed on vinyl, DJs were asking for it, and Orbital was born. [more inside]
In the last decade, no organ of music criticism has wielded as much influence as Pitchfork. It is the only publication, online or print, that can have a decisive effect on a musician or band’s career.... [W]hatever attracts people to Pitchfork, it isn’t the writing. Even writers who admire the site’s reviews almost always feel obliged to describe the prose as “uneven,” and that’s charitable. Pitchfork has a very specific scoring system that grades albums on a scale from 0.0 to 10.0, and that accounts for some of the site’s appeal, but it can’t just be the scores.... How has Pitchfork succeeded where so many other websites and magazines have not? And why is that success depressing? A lengthy history and review of Pitchfork [Media], from an inexpensive online alternative to a music zine, to "indie" music kingmaker, and thoughts on pop music (criticism). [more inside]
Right in Two - Tool ft. Carl Sagan (SLYT/NSFW) Warning: there is some footage of dead bodies. [more inside]
The official Google Earth plugin is one free download that makes all sorts of cool stuff possible in your browser. There's a full screen version of the program (complete with underwater views and 3D buildings) which can be searched by entering queries at the end of the URL. There's a framed version with support for layers, historical imagery, day/night cycles, and the Google Sky starmap. Less useful but more fun are Google's collection of "experiments" demonstrating the possibilities of the Earth API, including a "Geo Whiz" geography quiz, an antipode locater, a 3D first-person view of San Francisco, a virtual route-follower, and MONSTER MILKTRUCK!, a crazy fun driving simulator that lets you careen a virtual milk truck through the Googleplex campus, ricochet off the Himalayas, or explore any other place you care to name. Lots more can be found in the Google Earth Gallery -- highlights include a look at mountaintop removal mining, a real-time flight tracker, a guide to trails and outdoor recreation, a 360 panorama catalog, geotagged Panoramio photos, and the comprehensive crowdsourced Google Earth Community Layer. And while it's too large to view online, don't miss loading the Metafilter user location map into a desktop version of Google Earth! [more inside]
In preparedness circles, EDC means Everyday Carry, being items one keep on or near one's person at all times, to help with both planned and unforeseen events during the day. A lot of opinions about what should be in an EDC kit exist, but the minimum usually recommended seems to be a cell phone, light source and small folding knife. The EDC blog shows pictures and lists of submitters' EDC kit. [more inside]
Flame is a really nice web-based experimental painting programme from Slovak animator and designer Peter Blaskovic.
Scientific calculator. Graphing calculator. Fraction calculator. Unit conversion calculators. Inflation calculator. Fuel cost calculator. WPM calculator. Homework assignment timeline calculator. Stock valuation calculator. Distance calculator. Meteor impact calculator. Currency calculator. BMI calculator. BPM calculator. [more inside]
Detexify is a neat little tool that let's you draw a symbol and then finds the corresponding LaTeX notation. The explanation is an interesting read as well.
Meeting Ticker -- if this helps shorten even one meeting by one minute, it'll have been worth it.
"Text Utilities" is a useful browser-based tool for geeks. It's a web page that does all sorts of operations on text, e.g. escape/ unescape, hashing, regexp testing.
JetBytes is a free, no-signup, one-off file-sharing service.
Wanna test if your ISP (or company or university) is blocking or throttling BitTorrent traffic? Want some tools to diagnose network problems in your "last mile" connection? Google to the rescue: M-Lab! Predictably, with the recent announcement and publicity, the servers are now getting hammered. So post this? You can help: Host a Glasnost server (tests for BitTorrent). *Results so far. Coming soon are apps to "Determine whether an ISP is giving some traffic a lower priority than other traffic" and "Determine whether an ISP is degrading the performance of a certain subset of users, applications, or destinations". Power to the People, bay-bee!
I Hardly Know Her - is an "alternative way to view Flickr photostreams. It is designed to facilitate high quality viewing with minimal distractions." By Justin Ouellette, creator of Muxtape.
SFXR by Tomas Pettersson - Ever needed a skilled Foley artist and an audio lab for making sound effects? No, probably not, but even the most amateur game designer needs sound effects for his game. Now, thanks to Tomas Pettersson the long tradition of stealing sound effects from other games is finally over. It doesn't do much more than little 8-bit bleeps and bloops, but it sure feels nice to have original, royalty-free sound effects for your game, or just for fun. [previously]
The town of Jerome was incorporated on March 8, 1889 when Arizona was still a territory. A mining town of the real 'wild west' variety, Jerome was incorporated after three devastating fires within an eighteen month period that nearly destroyed the town. Jerome was a wild town with little law enforcement, building codes, or real government. It earned the title "The Wickedest Town in America" by the New York Sun in 1903 for being a hotbed of gambling, prostitution, and vice. [more inside]
When you write, will you pick Gentle, Normal, or Kamakaze mode? - “Write or Die is a web application that encourages writing by punishing the tendency to avoid writing. Start typing in the box. As long as you keep typing, you're fine, but once you stop typing, you have a grace period of a certain number of seconds and then there are consequences.”
page2rss is a simple, effective RSS scraper. For instance, here's an RSS feed for Astronomy Picture of the Day. A powerful feature: "You can add a button to your browser's bookmarks toolbar that will create Page2RSS feed for the page you are currently viewing."
FontStruct lets you quickly and easily create fonts constructed out of geometrical shapes, which are arranged in a grid pattern, like tiles or bricks. Once you're done building, FontStruct generates high-quality TrueType fonts, ready to use in any Mac or Windows application.
Kwout, Use it to grab a quick quotation or other screen shot from a web site and embed it into a blog or other website (one click to Flickr and Tumblr).. [via/via] [more inside]
Apparently the lead singer from Tool has had sex with many of the luminaries of Country Music. [more inside]
Don't know which candidate to support in the 2008 election? Let a web script match a candidate to your views!
"I’m going to draw a chart for her with lines and arrows". Diagramming web apps: ajaxSketch, bubbl.us, flowchart.com, mindmeister, gliffy and mindomo.
Picnik. Free, online photo editing tools.
Factbites is a new approach to web searching - the results make sense! Factbites offers users meaningful, relevant sentences from every site in the search results. For example, durian.
Meet Chet Zar, February's featured artist on OPi8.com. In addition to his own art, animation, and work with Cannibal Flower, Chet designed Hellboy's arm; the villain Serleena from MIB2; the gut-shot animation from Three Kings (sepsis!); and a bunch of videos, live show projections, and web stuff for Tool. Gooey. I mean, groovy.
Get Your Own Name, Buster! It's doesn't get any sillier than finding out how many people in the U.K. are at this very moment walking about pretending to be you; the limey bastards. But it's humbling, to say the least - and a bit of fun too. [Via Linkmachinego and Plep.]
Tool played in Philly last night, and I was lucky enough to go. Always wanted to see them, but for certain reasons, never have till now. Any bands out there you've been wanting to see live, or wanted to see live before a split-up ruined your chances?
Assume your heroic form with this harmless, addictive bit of Flash. (Warning: probably coming to you by email soon, if not already.)
Check out the Milko Music Machine. It was chosen as the Macromedia Site of the Day and is hysterical! You can select video clips, vocals and music for a bovine music video. Moo, moo, moo.
Stop what you're doing and go here now! It's an online anagram maker, put in your whole name, and set the word length as high as you can. At 3 letters per word the letters 'MatthewHaughey' spell out hundreds of phrases, the best shown below (punctuation by me):
Why hate? hug mate!
Heat may wet Hugh?
Eat Wham, they hug.
They wag meat, huh?
Why hate? hug mate!
Heat may wet Hugh?
Eat Wham, they hug.
They wag meat, huh?