Things 77, Time Slices, Innovative Pricing, Trigger’s Broom

Imagine frames of a video printed on the side of a sequence of decks of cards. Then imagine all of those decks combined with a perfect n-riffle shuffle. What would the result look like if played back as a video? Something like this:

Surfing the 4th Dimension from Don Whitaker on Vimeo.

A bunch more, by phyrworks, can be viewed here.

I love the idea that seemingly obvious things that work pretty well are actually only local maxima, and if you move far away enough from the norm you can actually find something far more effective.

The nicest example of this I’ve come across so far can be found here; some great data to show that under some circumstances combining the two pricing strategies of pay-what-you want with half-goes-to-charity produces a significantly better outcome than either option alone, or standard pricing. (This was anecdotally demonstrated by the Humble Indie Bundle back in May, but that clearly lacked a fair “control” for comparison).

As suggested by Angela last week, the problem of Trigger’s Broom, more conventionally known as the Ship of Theseus Paradox:

Trigger: And that’s what I’ve done. Maintained it for 20 years. This old broom’s had 17 new heads and 14 new handles in its time.
Sid: How the hell can it be the same bloody broom then?

Is Trigger’s broom still the same broom? If so why, if not why not?

Jeremey’s Place fake food emporium finds a clever way of shifting their otherwise fleetingly-entertaining spilled-food novelty items:


Things 9: Statistics Art, Dramatic Prairie Dog, Flag Diagrams

(Originally sent April 2008)

It’s the return of Things!

This week’s film – one line review:
Last night I saw Son of Rambow, which was kind of Beano-like, over the top, strange, and put together with more heart than writing competence much like the film-within-a-film it portrays, and fortunately heart is the most important aspect of a film, so that was rather good.

Next week’s films:
Next week I plan to catch the preview of Happy-Go-Lucky. It’s a film about the power of optimism by Mike Leigh, and Mark Kermode was enthusing about it, so it sounds well worth seeing.

Imdb rating: 8.6 /10 (from 87 votes)
Rotten Tomatoes rating:  N/A (insufficient data)
[Now gets 92% on RT – metatim, 16/5/10]
Clip :
[Link is dead, I think this is the same one though – metatim, 16/5/10]

The clip doesn’t seem terribly demonstrative given what Kermode was going on about, but it’s the best I could find.

A Puzzle:
In the last Things I left you with the rainbow paradox. I don’t have an answer but I saw a diagram once of the colours the human eye perceives separated by how distinct we perceive them to be, that looked like a clue. If I find it then I’ll use it as the image attachment of a Things one day. [That diagram can be found here, from this Wikipedia article on colour vision – metatim, 16/5/10]

This week: If there are 3 people in a room, what is the probability that at least 2 of them are of the same sex?

A Quote:
Federico García Lorca: The iguana will bite he who does not dream.

A Link:
Chris Jordan has a series called ‘running the numbers’, in which he takes amazing statistics and makes art out of them:

A video:
This 5-second video was big in June 2007 but I somehow missed it. It’s an internet classic and it is vital that you see it with sound:


A picture:
Below is an image which, like Chris Jordan’s art, also presents statistics in an interesting way.


Things 71: Stadium Destruction, Book Length, Time for Money

I first posted one of Immersive Media look-around-as-you-play-it videos in Things 62 (not yet on the blog). I like this one even more, because it achieves something artistically that a static video can’t.

I’m interested in the way form influences content. As part of a longer series explaining what actually goes on between someone writing a book and someone else buying it, Charlie Stross explains why books are the length they are.

You can’t buy time (and I note that the world would actually be pretty scary if you could), but you can spend money on things that save you time. In terms of maximising hours saved per pound spent, what would be the best thing I could buy?

Monsters are distilled fears. New fears demand new monsters. So here’s some Google Monsters, courtesy of Super Punch: