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18 Feb 12:41

Isochrones.From the prefix iso meaning equal and khronos meaning...


From the prefix iso meaning equal and khronos meaning time it literally means equal times. And whereas maps are usually put together with lines of equal distance you can either construct maps, or overlay maps as here, with lines of equal time. The overlay view gives you time contours rather than, say, altitude contours. Handy for checking things like commuting distance. I like how you find little islands where there is fast transport in and out like trains or planes.

You can explore time maps of London at mapumental.

18 Feb 12:40

Goodhart’s Law: when a measure becomes a target, it cease to be...

Goodhart’s Law: when a measure becomes a target, it cease to be a good measure.

In other words, if you pick a measure to assess people’s performance, then we find a way to game it. I like the illustration of a nail factory that sets number of nails produced as their measure of productivity and the workers figure out they can get tons of tiny nails. And, if they switch it to the weight of nails made, they get a few giant heavy nails. Or perhaps the story of measuring fitness by steps from a pedometer only to find they get put on the dog.

Some strategies for helping this are to try and find better, harder to game measures, assess with multiple measures, or to allow a little discretion. More detail in this nice little article.

18 Feb 12:39

The Windscreen Phenomenon.The name for the troubling observation...

The Windscreen Phenomenon.

The name for the troubling observation that where windscreens used to be covered in squashed bugs after a long drive, these days you’ll tend to see your windscreen remains squashed-bug free.

It’s believed this reflects a real and significant decline in insect numbers. Though tracking insect numbers is, however, rather tricky as you could imagine. So don’t ignore bugs, or treat them as pests, value them and, if you have a garden, try to provide some habitat to help them out. Here’s a good article about the windscreen phenomenon.

And, given it’s that time of year, if you’re thinking of New Year’s Resolutions, first take a look at the Fresh Start Effect, and next, if you like Sketchplanations, consider becoming a patron of the arts and supporting me for less than a coffee’s worth a month. It’ll make a massive difference.

See how to support Sketchplanations

18 Feb 12:32

How to grow your own fresh air In his 4 min TED talk, Kamal...

How to grow your own fresh air

In his 4 min TED talk, Kamal Meattle explains how to grow your own fresh air inside with just 3 common house plants. The areca palm works hard in the day, mother-in-law’s tongue during the night, and the money plant cleans out volatile chemicals. He transformed the air inside a New Delhi office park by filling it with these 3 plants to some wonderful health and productivity benefits. You could do much worse than add a few of these to your office.

18 Feb 12:31


18 Feb 12:31

Aqui vemos o primeiro ‘rage quit’ da história.

by Zanfa
05 Feb 11:25

Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal - The Real Supervillain


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Thanks to the patreon typo squad for pointing out that the original version of this had given Bizarro the wrong skin tone. Nerds.

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01 Feb 10:32

Coincidence? I think not

by CommitStrip

01 Feb 10:31

Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal - Fossils


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The weird thing is someone has probably used this argument seriously at some point.

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Thanks, geeks!

01 Feb 10:24

AI May Have Finally Decoded the Mysterious 'Voynich Manuscript'

by BeauHD
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Gizmodo: Since its discovery over a hundred years ago, the 240-page Voynich manuscript, filled with seemingly coded language and inscrutable illustrations, of has confounded linguists and cryptographers. Using artificial intelligence, Canadian researchers have taken a huge step forward in unraveling the document's hidden meaning. Named after Wilfrid Voynich, the Polish book dealer who procured the manuscript in 1912, the document is written in an unknown script that encodes an unknown language -- a double-whammy of unknowns that has, until this point, been impossible to interpret. The Voynich manuscript contains hundreds of fragile pages, some missing, with hand-written text going from left to right. Most pages are adorned with illustrations of diagrams, including plants, nude figures, and astronomical symbols. But as for the meaning of the text -- nothing. No clue. For Greg Kondrak, an expert in natural language processing at the University of Alberta, this seemed a perfect task for artificial intelligence. With the help of his grad student Bradley Hauer, the computer scientists have taken a big step in cracking the code, discovering that the text is written in what appears to be the Hebrew language, and with letters arranged in a fixed pattern. To be fair, the researchers still don't know the meaning of the Voynich manuscript, but the stage is now set for other experts to join the investigation. The researchers used an AI to study "the text of the 'Universal Declaration of Human Rights' as it was written in 380 different languages, looking for patterns," reports Gizmodo. Following this training, the AI analyzed the Voynich gibberish, concluding with a high rate of certainty that the text was written in encoded Hebrew." The researchers then entertained a hypothesis that the script was created with alphagrams, words in which text has been replaced by an alphabetically ordered anagram. "Armed with the knowledge that text was originally coded from Hebrew, the researchers devised an algorithm that could take these anagrams and create real Hebrew words." Finally, "the researchers deciphered the opening phrase of the manuscript" and ran it through Google Translate to convert it into passable English: "She made recommendations to the priest, man of the house and me and people." The study appears in Transactions of the Association of Computational Linguistics .

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31 Jan 08:44

Pichações sem noção feitas por brasileiros

by Paula Muniz

O pessoal costuma usar pichações como uma forma popular de se manifestar contra o sistema. Mas algumas pessoas acharam legal gravar coisas EXTREMAMENTE ALEATÓRIAS em muros e paredes espalhadas por nosso Brasil.

Mas não teve como não rir com algumas destas aqui:


Vale a pena lembrar que o versinho não apoia a pichação de lugares sem a autorização dos proprietários, pois é crime!

O post Pichações sem noção feitas por brasileiros apareceu primeiro em O Verso do Inverso.

11 Sep 20:21

Why RSS Still Beats Facebook and Twitter for Tracking News

by msmash
An anonymous reader shares a report: One of the main reasons RSS is so beloved of news gatherers is that it catches everything a site publishes -- not just the articles that have proved popular with other users, not just the articles from today, not just the articles that happened to be tweeted out while you were actually staring at Twitter. Everything. In our age of information overload that might seem like a bad idea, but RSS also cuts out everything you don't want to hear about. You're in full control of what's in your feed and what isn't, so you don't get friends and colleagues throwing links into your feeds that you've got no interest in reading. Perhaps most importantly, you don't need to be constantly online and constantly refreshing your feeds to make sure you don't miss anything. It's like putting a recording schedule in place for the shows you know you definitely want to catch rather than flicking through the channels hoping you land on something interesting. There's no rush with RSS -- you don't miss out on a day's worth of news, or TV recaps, or game reviews if you're offline for 24 hours. It's all waiting for you when you get back. And if you're on holiday and the unread article count starts to get scarily high, just hit the mark all as read button and you're back to a clean slate.

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28 Aug 19:49

‘Killing Gunther’ Trailer: A Bunch of Comedians Try to Murder Arnold Schwarzenegger

by Jacob Hall

killing gunther trailer

Arnold Schwarzenegger‘s post-politics return to the silver screen has been a mixed bag of weird and sometimes ambitious choices. The ’80s and ’90s action icon remains beloved by his many fans, but it’s become increasingly clear that many modern filmmakers don’t know how to utilize the Austrian-accented muscleman. At the same time, it’s also become increasingly clear that Schwarzenegger himself seems eager to experiment and try new things in his old age (with the notable exception of Terminator Genisys).

So enter the Killing Gunther trailer, which finds the Austrian Oak playing the world’s greatest hitman, who has been targeted by a team of assassins. But it’s a comedy, as the presence of several Saturday Night Live cast members in front of and behind the camera should indicate.

While Schwarzenegger is the main draw here, Killing Gunther is also the directorial debut of Taran Killam, the very funny SNL cast member who was inexplicably released from his contract last year. He also stars in the film, playing a hitman who leads a team of professional killers on a personal mission to take down Gunther, the best of the best, seemingly just because he’s the greatest killer in the world and never lets anyone forget it.

The trailer is all about letting Schwarzenegger ham it up as Gunther and he looks like he’s having a grand ‘ol time. It’s been too long since he’s starred in a proper comedy and this trailer is a reminder that this bodybuilder-turned-actor-turned-governor-of-California is genuinely funny. After all, many of his best roles have been defined by a keen self-awareness – he’s always winking with you, aware that he’s often a preposterous presence in a preposterous movie. With Killing Gunther, it looks like Killam just let Schwarzenegger riff and the results are so unbelievably weird in trailer form that I can’t wait to see how they play out in the whole movie.

The cast is rounded out with recognizable names like Bobby Moynihan (another former SNL secret weapon), the always welcome Cobie Smulders, and the wonderful Allison Tolman, in addition to some lesser known performers. It looks goofy and silly and very much like an SNL digital short concept. Which could be bad news. Or it could be good news, as the mere existence of MacGruber suggests. 

Still, I keep on thinking back to Schwarzenegger, whose recent choices reflect an actor at ease with his legacy but also willing to try new things. The Last Stand is a good old fashioned shoot ’em up directed with panache that makes fine use of his presence. Sabotage, while a bad movie, found him inverting his usual persona to play a darker and more twisted character than he has in the past. Maggie, a zombie drama, is so far from his usual turf that it’s a wonder it even exists. Killing Gunther looks like it could be a lot of fun and part of that has to do with Schwarzenegger looking like he no longer cares about his movie star image. He’s here to play.

Here’s the official synopsis for the film:

A group of eccentric assassins are fed up with Gunther, the world’s greatest hit-man and decide to kill him but their plan turns into a series of bungled encounters as Gunther seems to always be one step ahead.

Killing Gunther opens on October 20, 2017.

The post ‘Killing Gunther’ Trailer: A Bunch of Comedians Try to Murder Arnold Schwarzenegger appeared first on /Film.

28 Aug 19:47

acomik: If it looks like a duck and swims like a duck… it might...

by spenmore


If it looks like a duck and swims like a duck… it might just be a rabbit trying to impress a duck.

Twitter / Instagram

28 Aug 15:59

Take a piece of my world

Take a piece of my world

28 Aug 15:57

abelmvada:As of today, your browser will no longer support the...


As of today, your browser will no longer support the 20th Century. Please update immediately.

25 Aug 17:42

rudescience: gif87a-com: Ejecting a floppy disk in...



Ejecting a floppy disk in space

1.44MB of wheeee.

24 Aug 14:10

Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal - Job


Click here to go see the bonus panel!

The annoying thing about political economy textbooks is that the letters only appear when the Black Candle is lit beneath a Blood Moon.

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09 Aug 16:02

For sharing:Long-ways | Box-ways

For sharing:

Long-ways | Box-ways

09 Aug 15:41

China built the world’s largest telescope, but has no one to run it

by Eric Berger

Enlarge / This picture taken on September 24, 2016 shows the Five-hundred-metre Aperture Spherical Radio Telescope in southwestern China's Guizhou province. (credit: STR/AFP/Getty Images)

During the second season of The Big Bang Theory, the aspiring actress Penny borrows money from Sheldon. Without a second thought, the theoretical physicist grabs a peanut brittle can in which he stores his extra money, and urges Penny to borrow as much as she wants. "This is money I'm not using," Sheldon explains.

Nick Suntzeff, an astronomer at Texas A&M University, recalled this episode when asked why no astronomers had yet taken a lucrative position to run the world's largest radio telescope, in China. The job pays about $1.2 million annually. "Now, that is an exaggeration," Suntzeff said of the TV show. "But I know many astronomers who would do such a thing. They want to be paid well, yes, but the money does not buy you telescope time, or access to supercomputers, or fund postdocs and graduate students."

China has built a staggeringly large instrument in the remote southern, mountainous region of the country called the Five hundred-meter Aperture Spherical Telescope, or FAST.  The telescope measures nearly twice as large as the closest comparable facility in the world, the US-operated Arecibo radio telescope in Puerto Rico. Radio telescopes use a large, parabolic dish to collect radio waves from distant sources, such as pulsars and black holes—or even alien civilizations.

Read 7 remaining paragraphs | Comments

09 Aug 15:28

Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal - Apocalypse Soon


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New plan - win lottery, have Abby Howard draw all of my comics.

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Hey geeks! We're doing this little crossover thing to celebrate Abby's new book, which features properly protofeathered dinosaurs. Check it out!

PS: She'll also be doing an AMA today on reddit.

09 Aug 04:10

Obsolete technology LEGO kits

by Rusty Blazenhoff

Chris McVeigh of Halifax, Nova Scotia builds all kinds of cool things with LEGO. Recently, he's been creating kits that showcase obsolete office technology. This particular kit, which he calls "My Old Desktop: DOS Edition 2.0," features a few reminders of the 1980s office, including a rotary-dial desk phone and a beige desk computer that can be partially fed one of the miniature 5.25" floppy disk replicas.

If this is your kind of thing, be sure to take a look at all of his retro LEGO kits. He's even got a little tiny "Atari" console.


01 Aug 15:43

Incríveis fotografias tiradas na hora e local certos

by Paula Muniz

Às vezes para tirar uma fotografia perfeita não é preciso ser um profissional, basta estar no momento certo e no lugar certo. As melhores fotos acabam sendo aquelas que você nunca pensou em tirar.

Esta galeria vai mostrar para vocês algumas imagens que foram tiradas exatamente no lugar e na hora certa!

O post Incríveis fotografias tiradas na hora e local certos apareceu primeiro em O Verso do Inverso.

01 Aug 15:01

godless-david:Use these terms. If for no other reason than...


Use these terms. If for no other reason than because they don’t want you to.

01 Aug 14:57

Emoji Movie Reviews

There's this idea that emoji are bad for communication because they replace ambiguity and nuance with a limited set of preselected emotions, but it doesn't really survive a collision with real-world usage of the thinking face or upside-down smiley.
01 Aug 14:53

hipsterenglishteacher: I bet this was found in the bottom of a...


I bet this was found in the bottom of a Mesopotamian teacher’s desk. “Hammurabi, bring me that right now. You will leave a mark on this world if you keep playing with foolish trinkets. Now get back to your studies.” 

18 Jul 15:49


18 Jul 15:47

gif87a-com: Framerate synced with a bird’s wings


Framerate synced with a bird’s wings

18 Jul 15:47

Iceland Landscapes by Faune

by Costanza

L’Islande vue par les photographes du magazine en ligne FAUNE, est une immense étendue couverte de brume et de nuages envoûtants. Le mystère plane sur cette terre isolée et lointaine rappelant une planète pré-historique où l’homme n’était qu’accessoire.

Photographies: Aniruddha Satam & Ana Gomes

18 Jul 15:47

A Mega”Bite” of Storage!

by Sarang Sheth

Don’t worry, these animals won’t bite! Well, actually, they will… but that’s why they’re so incredibly useful. AniBite turns nature’s fiercest predators into adorably innovative multi-purpose clips that grip and hold everything from stationery, to EDC, to toiletries.

Designed to replace hooks, hangers, and stands with something more quirky and characteristic, AniBite’s series of one-touch clips can be placed anywhere and can hold pretty much anything. Made in three variants, a bear, a leopard, and a wolf (or as I call it, direwolf), the AniBite can hold up to 300 grams (almost 9 times its weight). Just lift the head back and place your item between the jaws before pushing the head down again. AniBites can hold your toothbrush (in both vertical and horizontal ways), razor, or even stationery on your desk. Use it as an innovative spectacle-holder beside your bed, or even for your keys right near the door… or push your creative limits and have these animals manage your cables for you!

The AniBite is made from sanitary and non-toxic plastics like PETG and PCTG, and comes with a PU Gel adhesion surface on the back that can attach to pretty much any flat (or even mildly textured) surface without leaving any marks. When the adhesion goes weak, all you have to do is clean the back with water and it’s good as new! The design is practical and child-friendly with blunted teeth that won’t pierce or poke.

Ideal for the nature lover as well as the design lover, these little multi-purpose hang-clips are utilitarian, eye-catching, and go right into our hall of quirky fame! Why hang real animal heads on your wall when you could have these functional, adorable miniatures instead?

Designer: Xivestory