Open Thinkering


Things I Learned This Week – #30

Offline this week I learned that 3 year-old boys’ nostrils can accommodate quite large chickpeas, what amniocentisis means, and that objects in your wing mirrors may appear more distant that they actually are… :-p


  • How did they do those amazing alternate reality/dream sequences in the film Inception? Here’s how.
  • You don’t mess with 4Chan. Seriously. 😮
  • Want to create an augmented reality layer using Layar? Stedelijk Museum has a useful tutorial!
  • This is the internet that corporations want. Allegedly. #conspiracytheory
  • Google Apps now has user policy management. Which, in layman’s terms means that you can test new features with a subset of users. Handy.

Productivity & Inspiration

  • Clayton Christensen asks ‘how will you measure your life?’ in the Harvard Business Review. Turns out the answer is not a cheeky ‘in pixels…’ 😉
  • 25 iPhone apps for productive geeks? Some good suggestions, but Star Wars: Trench Run. Que?
  • The 20-20-20 rule is a good one to follow if, like me in my new job, you spend a good deal of time looking at a computer screen!

  • I’m becoming increasingly tired of people saying they “didn’t have time” to do something. You are not Jack Bauer diffusing a nuclear bomb. I’ve removed the phrase from my lexicon and would urge you to do likewise, replacing it with something like “it wasn’t as high a priority as other things I had on”. If you still feel ‘time poor’, read this. Especially number 3!
  • Scott Berkun asks whether you can be a ‘great’ man or woman without being ‘an asshole’. An interesting point given something I came across a few months ago pointing out most Nobel Prize winners are also good self-publicists…

Education & Academic

  • Never mind the $100 OLPC laptop, how about a touchscreen device for $35? Now that *would* revolutionize education!
  • I don’t get the Kno. It’s like the inventors have never seen the Amazon Kindle or the iPad. Who on earth would want one? ‘Revolutionary’? Erm, yeah. In 1999.
  • Authors publishing directly via Amazon? It’s the end of the (publishing) world as we know it (and I feel fine).
  • Out of the mouths of babes… How one valedictorian spoke out against schooling (ouch!):

I am now accomplishing that goal. I am graduating. I should look at this as a positive experience, especially being at the top of my class. However, in retrospect, I cannot say that I am any more intelligent than my peers. I can attest that I am only the best at doing what I am told and working the system. Yet, here I stand, and I am supposed to be proud that I have completed this period of indoctrination. I will leave in the fall to go on to the next phase expected of me, in order to receive a paper document that certifies that I am capable of work. But I contest that I am a human being, a thinker, an adventurer – not a worker. A worker is someone who is trapped within repetition – a slave of the system set up before him. But now, I have successfully shown that I was the best slave.

  • A trading card game based not on cartoon characters, but dynamically generated information/images from open resources? #awesome

Data, Design & Infographics

  • Don’t use Comic Sans. Please.
  • David McCandless at Information is Beautiful has visualized Clay Shirky’s ‘cognitive surplus’:

  • Going for a job interview? Why not take your iPad as your portfolio? Here’s some tips.
  • Ushahidi, apart from being mildly unpronouncable, is a way to visualize distrbuted data – like, for example, the recent oil spill. Also free and open source from the same organization is SwiftRiver, a platform that uses algorithm and crowdsourcing to validate and filter news.

  • Now this is how to design a headphone case. Form and function. #awesome


  • Have you got 18 monkeys up your jumper, or are you just pleased to see me?
  • I didn’t realise Daft Punk were doing the musical score to the new Tron film! Here’s some clips. A must-see when it comes out!
  • Need to keep your hungry baby still? Put it inside a watermelon!


Discontent is the source of all trouble, but also of all progress, in individuals and nations. (Bertolt Brecht)

One who is too insistent on his own views, finds few to agree with him. (Lao Tzu)

Success is how high you bounce when you hit bottom. (George S. Patton)

A fine cage won’t feed the bird. (Proverb)

Self confidence is the first requisite to great undertakings. (Samuel Johnson)

Main image CC BY-NC-SA Stuck in Customs

2 thoughts on “Things I Learned This Week – #30

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *