(Originally sent December 2008)
The ‘Things’ email has existed in one form or another for over a year now. The fact that this is number 36 and not 52 shows that I clearly take too many Fridays off. (Actually it was mainly due to a big hiatus). Anyway, I have this Friday off, but have decided that that is not a good enough excuse.
Owing to the popularity of the chicken video last week and the sort-of anniversary of Things and the approaching of Christmas and the addition of more people to the list over the year, I thought it might be an idea to have a ‘Best of Things’ roundup next week.
So please reply and nominate your favourite items that have ever appeared in Things, and I will use these to compile a top 5, or something. I guess the people that just joined in the most recent wave don’t really have enough to go on, sorry! [Note, not a live question, this was sent in December 2008! – T.M. 22/1/11]
We tend to overestimate the effect of a technology in the short run and underestimate the effect in the long run.”
Wondermark is a webcomic that is also a really great example of the value of copyright expiry. David Malki takes images from the 1800s (sourced from the public domain or his own collection of rare books), does a bit of photoshop and then adds speech bubbles.
He’s actually not bad at drawing either, but his writing is really very good, and this enables him to focus on that.
A good example of his skill as a writer can be found in the following strip, in which there is a well-argued, thoughtful and erudite argument against the advertising for Shrek the Third, in about 60 words:
Last week we wondered why a chicken holds it’s head so still. A bit of Googling didn’t prove it immediately, but I am pretty confident that the reason is this: their vision, or processing of vision, is either movement-based or strongly prioritises movement. A bit like the dinosaurs in Jurassic Park.
This week a bit of estimation for you. In the UK, are there more households with dogs, or more with cats?
A Video (or two)
This video was brought to my attention by Richard. Alan Watts was a dude who knew what he was talking about, and said some wise things. The South Park guys did some animations that went with those things. Here is my favourite:
For you cat/Roomba fans, here’s another video of a cat riding a Roomba – this time the Roomba is behaving normally rather than being remote controlled. It gets a bit repetitive but do skip to the end if you get bored, as Something Happens:
A shrewd linguistic analysis of laughter:
Not really a picture I suppose, but best expressed as one.