Reflecting On Yourself

Reflecting On Yourself Originally uploaded by Loose Wire. Why are people so easily absorbed by their own reflection? Is it narcissism, or do we tend to face the transport that we await? Is it easier to look at ourselves than at other people? Are people thinking about themselves when they look, or are they critically …

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Why The Pedestrian Crosses the Road

James Fallows casts a skeptic’s eye at traditional explanations for why the bigger elbows out the smaller in Chinese traffic. Of course, it’s not just China where this happens, and James is right to be skeptical about such explanations. It happens all across the developing world, from what I can see. Trucks elbow aside buses, …

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Reclining Seats And Passenger Negotiation Management

Forgive me for any typos and errors for this posting. I’m typing this on a screen that is almost vertical so I can barely see it. it’s coach class on Philippines Airlines and of course I’m wedged behind the only person on the plane who seems to have spent the entire flight with her seat …

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Bruce on Phishing: It’s the Banks, Stupid

Bruce Schneier again talks sense, this time about phishing: Schneier on Security: Phishing Financial companies have until now avoided taking on phishers in a serious way, because it’s cheaper and simpler to pay the costs of fraud. That’s unacceptable, however, because consumers who fall prey to these scams pay a price that goes beyond financial …

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How To Get a Good Idea, Part I

Reading at the moment Flow, by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, who mentions the trick German experimental physicist Heinz Maier-Leibnitz used to do in boring conferences to entertain himself and to measure the lengths of his trains of thought — microflows, in Csikszentmihalyi’s words. The passage is conveyed in full here: Professor Heinz Maier-Leibnitz, a German experimental physicist, …

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The Fast-moving Backpack

At the risk of becoming a PR machine for 37 Signals and Backpack, they’ve come out with another interesting feature, this time an API: Jason Fried tells me that the API will mean “developers…can now build on top of Backpack their own apps, pull Backpack data into their own systems, push data to Backpack from …

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Canada Gets The Hipster PDA

Nice piece by Tralee Pearce in The Globe and Mail on ‘The hipster PDA’ : On BlackBerry-addicted Parliament Hill, NDP press secretary Ian Capstick turns heads with his newest organizational gadget: a stack of 3 x 5 index cards held together by a black bull clip. The hipster PDA, of course, is Merlin Mann’s idea, and …

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A Directory Of Bookmark Managers

Here’s the beginnings of a directory of social bookmark manager/taglike storage facilities. That’s a mouthful, but the list isn’t: furl: The blurb: Save a personal copy of any page on the Web with a single click. Search the full text of your entire archive in an instant. Share what you find through email, RSS or …

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Valentine’s Day – A Humbug Approach

It’s that time of year, and the marketing folk are back with lame Valentine’s promotions. My first is from Audible.com, where I must have registered at some point, because I got an email with the subject field ‘Someone has sent you a Valentine!’ along with the following message: ‘Get a special Valentine’s day wish (and …

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The Art Of Stone Skimming

For those of you not sure what resolution to commit to this year, here’s a suggestion: Improve your stone skimming. To help you out, this month’s Nature (subscription required for full text) carries a scientific analysis by three French academics of the optimum angle at which the stone should hit the water: Following earlier attempts …

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