Photo: Flickr user lifeontheedge

Saturday, March 04, 2006

An alternate reality game deliberately blurs the line between the in-game and out-of-game experiences, often being used as a marketing tool for a product or service.

Friday, March 03, 2006

Gadsby is a novel by Ernest Vincent Wright, written around 1939. It is famous for not containing the letter 'e'.

List of problems solved by MacGyver

Mono no aware (物の哀れ) makes me wonder whether Closing Time was a hit in Japan.

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Religious absolutism vs. wiki pragmatism. (Or: Al-Jazeerah writer vs. wikipedia admin. Skim to the bottom for the reply, unless you're interested in theology.)

Don't be evil?
"Evil" according to hackers, perhaps?

(More on the Wikipedia-is-a-novel-political-system tack: "Voting is evil")

One million articles. It's a bit of a silly metric, and there was some talk in the mailing list about noting that in the press release, but PR won out.

The 1000000th article itself. People got excited and took pictures. =)

(Hola to everyone from Microservios. Thanks for the link!)

Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Wikipedia on your iPod. (Wow; text is really small, bytewise.) Mine's broken, so I can't report on the user interface; it seems like searching for articles might be cumbersome.

Compentant but unspectacular USA Today article about Wikipedia. (The focus is on the wiki-addicted editors at the top of the distribution curve. Wikipedia must be climbing a distribution curve of its own to have gotten noticed by the paper.)
Decent but unspectacular Wikipedia article about USA Today.

Speaking of newspapers. Remember the Muhammad cartoons? The article on the newspaper that first published them is now a brilliant and incredibly detailed history stretching back 120 years. (I wonder what the Danish spelling reform of 1948 was. Ah.) Sunlight is the best disinfectant; controversy creates great wikipedia articles (usually. And if you give it some time.).

Monday, February 27, 2006

As Dr. Westen said, "None of the circuits involved in conscious reasoning were particularly engaged... Essentially, it appears as if partisans twirl the cognitive kaleidoscope until they get the conclusions they want... Everyone... may reason to emotionally biased judgments when they have a vested interest in how to interpret 'the facts.'"

Americans use pauses such as "um" or "uh," the British say "er," Mandarin speakers use something like "er," the French use something like "euh," the German say "äh" (pronounced eh or er), Japanese use "ahh", and Hebrew, Spanish speakers use something like "ehhh", and "este" in Mexico. Other languages have their own syllables for these pauses.

Unsolved Problems.

Japanese toilet

Anti-patterns are classes of commonly-reinvented bad solutions to problems.

The comedian who created the "In Soviet Russia" joke structure. (Surprisingly interesting article.)

Sunday, February 26, 2006

Fan Death (S. Korea). The legend states that an electric fan, if left running overnight in a closed room, can result in the death of those inside. This belief also extends to air conditioners and the fans in cars...Fans manufactured and sold in Korea are equipped with a timer switch that turns them off after a set number of minutes, which users are frequently urged to set when going to sleep with a fan on...The legend is remarkably resilient, and is accepted even by many Korean medical professionals.

The Clock of the Long Now is a mechanical clock designed to keep time for 10,000 years.