Things 91: Dresden Codak, i.e., Paths of Flight

In Things 48 (not yet blogged) I linked to an Aaron Diaz’s Dresden Codak update featuring 42 sharply observed 3rd-act plot twists, but recently realised that this may have misrepresented his work, which instead usually consists of astonishingly deft single-page stories revolving around simple but brilliant ideas.

Here’s 3 of my favourites to give you a much better idea of Diaz’s oeuvre:

Lantern Season:

Fabulous Prizes:

Girl vs Bear:

His blog on comic art theory is also well worth checking out if you are remotely interested in the art form.

During a characteristically interesting and varied conversation with Adam a few days ago, he suddenly revealed the following:

That reminds me of a really interesting thing I read in the Metro today – something like: 30,000 people… something. I can’t remember what it was, but it was really amazing.

Sometimes I want to ask things in Things that are even more obviously not what people might call Puzzles than usual, so in these cases I’m going to be more direct and call a question a Question. So here is a Question.

When it comes to arguments about the English Language I tend to side with the people saying “most people say it this way so that’s now correct” against those saying “this is the way some Victorian guy wrote in a book that it should be said so everyone doing otherwise is wrong”, but I do admit that some distinctions are worth holding against a tide of misuse, one example being that I would correct instances of “i.e.” and “e.g.” being used in one another’s stead where polite and possible.

Fortunately, this didn’t come up very often.

Then in 2010 something terrible happened. About 95% of all instances of “i.e.” that I read were incorrect and should have been “e.g.”, which is particularly silly as it reads as if the author believes a set of many elements (e.g. social networks) consists of only one (e.g. “i.e. Facebook”).

So my question is this: have you also noticed such a sudden rise in “i.e.” misuse, or have I just been unlucky and/or suffered from confirmation bias?

A while ago I realised you could collage time lapse photography of a flight path to obtain an image of a string of planes; I then realised you could do the same thing with video, but recognised that this was beyond my means to produce. Conveniently, GE have now done this:


Things 14: Speed Racer, Things Are Just Starting, No News

(Originally sent May 2008)

This week’s film – one line review extended to more lines because I am so excited
Speed Racer was exactly what I expected it to be – an absolutely insane over-the-top visual experience, which I highly recommend to anyone that enjoys using their eyes. I went and saw it again at the IMAX a few days later, and that was certainly my movie highlight of the year so far. You can also see my reaction upon first coming out of the cinema in my review here:

Next week’s film
Indiana Jones. Probably on Thursday. Enough said.

A Puzzle
I love the mirror puzzle, but if you’re still pondering it here’s the somewhat mysterious answer: it’s because we have bilateral symmetry.

This week’s puzzle is a test of visualisation skills.

Imagine a cubic box that measures 3 by 3 by 3 feet. Imagine having six identical suitcases, each of which measures 2 by 2 by 1 feet. The challenge is to visualise exactly how you could fit all six suitcases into the box.

A Quote
This line from the movie Waking Life has been going round and round my head recently.

Man on the train: “Whatever you do, don’t be bored, this is absolutely the most exciting time we could have possibly hoped to be alive. And things are just starting.”

A Link
Passive Aggressive Notes collects pictures of confrontational notes. There’s something mysteriously fascinating about it.

A video
There’s also something mysteriously fascinating about newsreaders that have nothing to say:

A picture
A classic example of a picture that tells a story.