October 2008

Writing as sense-making: “I received 500,000 discrete bits of information today, of which maybe 25 are important. My job is to make some sense of it.” – David Foster Wallace

Dean Kamen on the interesting way they score the FIRST robotics competition – “We work really hard to ‘ambivalence-scale’ our competition, as we call it. We create a competition where there’s a lot of luck added to it. The rounds are only 2 minutes long; the scoring system isn’t particularly fair. It favors, throughout each…more

High-speed photography of a parrot in flight – if I could design something 1/100th as elegant, I’d be ecstatic. Nature does it for free…

Discount Dead On Annihilator – crazy tool with a great name. Axe, nail puller, demolition hammer, chisel, wrench…and bottle opener.

“I scarcely spoke at all for two years. I couldn’t be completely free of words, but my wife had to talk to people for me. I didn’t want to say anything, make any sounds, until I was pretty sure what those sounds meant and why I wanted to use them.” – R. Buckminster Fuller, explaining…more

A fascinating biography of Buckminster Fuller. I didn’t know about his self-imposed isolation, a la Thoreau: “Fuller moved his wife, Anne, and infant daughter, Allegra, to a one-room apartment in a Chicago slum, withdrew completely from all friends and social contact, and vowed not to speak again until he really knew what he thought. And…more

How to make a globe – I love this video.

Fun gallery of wild Dutch bike designs at the Designhuis exhibition. My favorites: the Giant Downtown, with integrated handlebar lock; a bike you