Although what else are you going to find here, honestly?

  • For the movie lover & designer, a hangman-esque game identifying objects from famous movies based on a simplified illustration: Famous Objects from Classic Movies. Oh yeah, the url is hard to remember, too. (Hint: it’s not.) (via Coudal Blended Feed).
  • Wolverine-as-Velociraptor/Deinonychus, Thor as Anklyosaurus, etc. Because why the hell not? (Also, kind of surprised I got the spelling of Deinonychus right on the first go.) Seemingly part of a superhero dinosaur series. Prints are available, if you’re in for that sort of thing. (via spaceghetto & random Chinese blog — thank you Google Reader recommended items generator)
  • Corrections…

    The story, by reporter Daniel Burdon, said ‘more than 30,000 pigs were floating down the Dawson River’.What Baralaba piggery owner Sid Everingham actually said was ’30 sows and pigs’, not ‘30,000 pigs’. (via Language Log; follow though for more on the story and correction.)

  • Inspirational Font Video. I don’t know if you can actually call it inspirational, exactly, but it’s active and cheery, and certainly not discouraging, so give it a go. (via Daring Fireball)

You say “Google Doc”, I say “Awesome”

An animation using only Google Docs.

Happy Holidays

…click through to Twenty Sided for a larger image and (ever-so-brief) background story.

(As a side-note to this quick post: this is one of the many surprising, humorous, interesting things that Google Reader is kicking my way via the whole “Recommended items” feature, which is starting to churn up more and more things [and things farther afield from what I usually see on my own]. It’s limited in its own ways — I’m more likely to see something entertaining than something that’s intense or hugely informative — but that could be an artifact of my Google Reading habits, and something that could change with practice. We’ll see…)

Weirdest Post Ever (not really)

Things like National Geographic’s “Ten Weirdest New Animals of 2010” always seem like a mixed bag, to me. It’s definitely great to promote public awareness of new species, but any list is going to be at least somewhat biased (admittedly, this particular list doesn’t limit itself to the cute and the furry — between the tyrant leech king and a dart-shooting slug, it establishes that pretty firmly). Fair enough; it’s still getting awareness out there, reminding people that new species are being discovered all the time, reminding people that there are rich and not-wholly-explored ecosystems still out there, still in danger.

The tendency I noticed in this particular list, however, is one I’m ambivalent towards: relating these animals to the public through a pop culture filter. I suppose you have to present these things in a way that people can relate to, but describing the one bat as a “Yoda” bat? Or the “Simpsons” toad? People are going to call ’em like they see ’em, but it’s particularly irksome when the pop culture reference edges out any actual information. I don’t even know where you’d go to find more information about the Simpsons toad, given that there’s not any other identifying information in the article. (Again, the criticism is a little unfair when we’re talking about a list with limited space marketed toward a casual audience [in this case] in a periodical that’s promoting research in other ways, too, but…) </rant>

(originally via BB)

On design

I would totally read this (even faster than I would Pride & Prejudice & Zombies):Franken Penguin

(via Caustic Cover Critic)

750 words

I tend to try out lots of webapps, only to abandon them in the space of 30 seconds after it becomes evident they’re trying to do too many things I don’t actually care about (and not doing them particularly well, either).  750 words does not fall into that category.

Billed as a sort of writer’s exercise (the 750 words # is taken from The Artist’s Way) meant to get you to write every day, 750 words manages to do that. It’s an extraordinarily simple interface — it’s a mostly blank screen; you write on it — but the site manages to be encouraging in its own ways. There are plenty of gimmicks — you get semi-arbitrary amounts of points for some things, plus badges for others, and you get fun (and somewhat tongue-in-cheek) statistics on the “meaning” of your writing. As it turns out, the gimmicks help keep you writing, day after day. The writing’s private (unless you don’t want it to be), and you can search your past writing, and see individual day statistics or overall statistics. It’s a free site, but you’re welcome (and encouraged) to donate, and about 10% of the users do, which seems admirably high.

For all of these reasons, or maybe others, the site has kept me coming back. And kept me writing. It’s not as annoying or unhelpful as most writer’s exercises I’ve come across, and it’s just easy enough to do on a regular basis. Writing longhand is still going to work better for some people, but if this sounds like it might be up your alley, give it a shot.

Ways of consuming music

Of course you know that artists don’t get money when you find their music through less-than-aboveboard avenues; but do you know the difference between buying in-store and, say, through iTunes?  Or what the cut is when you stream something over Rhapsody, or download from cdBaby?  Dig into this delicious infographic and find out (and read through the comments to stumble through some of the conceptual differences that are harder to portray graphically). (via Information Is Beautiful)

Return of the Rundown

  • Timewaster: Typewar.  Think you know fonts? Try this game, which you’ll either find completely boring or riveting.
  • Best aggregated reference word site: Wordnik. My favorite reference site right now. All about words.
  • Maps of Disaster: Informative, curious, unnerving. View map (or maps) of the world, with icons of disaster superimposed. For added effect, project image onto your office wall. You’ve got things under control. (This is: a service of the Hungarian Emergency and Disaster Information Service)
  • Best specialty science-writing blog: Tetrapod Zoology. Fascinating, curious, informative, and detailed without alienating those not totally familiar with the science at hand. Aside: I want this book.
  • Best easily digestible good news story: “Feeling grumpy is ‘good for you'” (via BoingBoing). Bonus: “File photo” used for BBC article appears to have been taken from One Foot in the Grave.

Now returning with more frequent posting, longer entries, better images, AND THIS

mustachioed dog
You’re welcome.

More tk.

(via 2modern)

An understandable mistake

A reply to a question in Notes & Queries yesterday recommended purchasing lion and tiger urine from Chester Zoo to stop neighbourhood cats from urinating in a vegetable patch (G2, page 17). Chester Zoo would like to forestall requests for its big cats’ urine: it asks us to make clear that it does not in fact sell either tiger or lion urine. Many years ago the zoo sold elephant dung, but it no longer does.

(via Regret the Error)