This blog is now rarely updated, but remains as an archive of bits and pieces I've collected from around the internet. To see what's caught my eye more recently, find me on twitter.

Friday 30 December 2011


The London Transport Museum may not be somewhere I'm particularly well acquainted with, but I'll definitely be heading to the Painting By Numbers exhibition from January 6. Classic data visualisation posters:


Wired runs out the top scientific discoveries from 2011. Particularly interesting is the "Intelligent Animals and Emotional Bees" bit, but all good stuff. Click here.


Finally for now, lovely stop-motion animation music video detailing the history of the planet.


Friday 16 December 2011

#150; Phwoar, Feynman

There is nothing better you can do with the next 90 minutes of your life than watch this. It's a BBC Horizon documentary about the Nobel prize winning physicist Richard Feynman. If you're not sure who he is, or if he's worth finding out about, click here and warm up with the videos from the Feynman series. Then settle down and watch this. It seems to be two documentaries plonked in one video, but it's great from start to finish. Watch it.


While you're in science video mode, go check out the new video site from the Royal Institution - RI Channel. As well as a host of videos they've made themselves, including the archive of Christmas Lectures, they are developing a tasty selection of videos from around the internet. Well worth your time.


The always brilliant Big Picture has a great selection of nature photography. Phenomenal stuff.


A great little short film/animation.


Hypnotic visualisation of the planets orbits. Click here.

Thursday 8 December 2011

#149; Phwoar, Attenborough

Frozen Planet ended last night, and immediately after the last episode, this advert was played. I think it's fantabulous. Attenborough's Wonderful World. Be sure to watch this in full, 1080 HD glory:


Remember those little riots in London in the summer? One feature of them was the way information, and misinformation, spread rapidly across the internet. The Guardian has visualised the spread of some of these rumours in a beautiful interactive graphic. How long did people believe that a tiger had been released, and was running rampage across Primrose Hill? Go check it out.


Flying robots zooming in, taking all our jobs...


The Journey of Mankind. Ever wanted to see the path early man took to spread across the world? Well take a look at this. It's not the prettiest program in the world, but fascinating nonetheless.


The 10 weirdest new species from 2011. Well played, National Geographic. Check out Cyclops Shark:

I'm not sure where I found all of the links this time around, but if you're looking for the sources, the "Links I Love" on the right is a good place to start.

Monday 28 November 2011

#148; David Mitchell and Snails

David Mitchell narrates 6 lovely animated "Adventures in Thought". Entertaining and informative. Tasty:


Take a picture of the sky every 10 seconds for a year. What do you get? This awesome time-lapse grid thing.


For some visual bio-porn check out the BioScapes gallery.

And finally some shelly fun. As Marcel The Shell With Shoes On returns to our lives, I stumbled across this sweet snail advert. Heh.
Sequoia Snail - Les Andy's - WIZZprod from WIZZprod° on Vimeo.

Tuesday 15 November 2011

#147; lots of videos, & some other stuff


The Atlantic has an incredible selection of photos from the National Geographic Photo Contest 2011. Click here to take a look at all the images in their full size - it's a brilliant collection.

A tree enveloped in spiders webs, as spiders fled the floods in Pakistan.
and I love this portrait:

This is a stunning video of an epic operation by the WWF to relocate Black Rhinos in South Africa. 
Flying Rhinos from Green Renaissance on Vimeo.


Another amazing video. This super-slow-mo film shows how hummingbirds stay dry in the rain - a deceptively crucial skill when you weigh just a few grams, and the careful balance of hovering is essential to your continued survival. This video shows a hummingbird shaking water off itself like a dog, while hovering. For more detail, click here (Wired).


Take 5 minutes, click on the HD option, and go fullscreen for this incredible time-lapse view of the earth from space.
Earth | Time Lapse View from Space, Fly Over | NASA, ISS from Michael König on Vimeo.


Got even more time to waste? Watch this video, showing how the Dutch National Ballet created the awesome TedX Amsterdam poster image:

Beautifully filmed clips of skyliners. Also, if it's your kind of thing, for one of the most impressive base jumping videos I've seen in a while, click here.
I Believe I can Fly ( flight of the frenchies). Trailer from sebastien montaz-rosset on Vimeo.


And to end on some fantastic frivolity, a great collection of dweeby-sexy illustrations. "Nerdy Dirty". Fantastic:


Saturday 5 November 2011

#146; Silver lining

I'm ill. Truth be told, I don't respond well to being sick. I pretty much crumble at the first hint of a sniffle, and I'm now suffering from a full-on case of the snuffles. Bad times, I assure you, but if there's any positive news to take from my near-death condition, it's that I've finally got round to absorbing a few things on my "to-watch" list. Here are some gems that have risen out of my snot-filled misery:

First, the latest fantastic nature programme, Frozen Planet. The whole thing is brilliant, and this clip here is  the perfect example. Frozen Planet has more comedy than most sitcoms and far more drama than Eastenders - brilliant.


Next, if you have an hour to spare, watch this talk from the co-creator of GOOD, Casey Caplowe. GOOD is my absolute favourite website, and a great magazine, that fuses engaging and educational information with actionable endeavours to improve the world. This talk outlines the thinking behind the organisation. Particularly interesting is the part where he talks about profit; GOOD isn't a charity, and it is trying to make a profit. I love the philosophy that making money and doing good don't have to be enemies. Anyway, although Caplowe has that unforgivable problem of lifting his voice at the end of every sentence, making each statement a half-question, it's all interesting stuff, and the opening mantra of "love it or fix it" is brilliant.

VIA here


This video is just awesome. Watch a dam being breached, and a reservoir drained. Amazing footage:

Explosive Breach of Condit Dam from Andy Maser on Vimeo.

VIA here


A short documentary about Dreamworks animators. This fills me with admiration, inspiration, and furious jealousy.

Moonshine : Artists after dark from alexis wanneroy on Vimeo.


Finally, check out these brilliant images from the new book, Science Ink. If I was ever to get a tattoo, it might well be one of these:

Thursday 3 November 2011

The Periscope Post

Here are a few samples of writing done for online news and opinion site, The Periscope Post. I've written over 70 articles for the site, so if the selection here isn't enough for you, let me know and I'll point you at more, covering everything from football to the Occupy movement, and internet hackers to viral videos.

--UPDATE: The Periscope Post seems to have changed hands and evolved, and these links no longer work. Such is the ever-changing nature of the internet. These articles were great, though. Honest.-- 

World News
Science & Health

Wednesday 2 November 2011

#145; words, flying balls, dinosaurs

A dearth of recent posts is a sign of how busy I've been lately, but with a bit more free time comes a new post, and some morsels of interestingness and fascination for you.

First up, a clever little table reminding scientists what some of their terms mean to the public. Original paper here.

Microsoft have unveiled a little prophetic view into the future, showing the form they believe technology of the coming decades will take. I love this sort of video, although it makes me feel somewhat insecure about my feeble blackberry and iPad...


There's been a huge amount of excitement and pomp surrounding the news that there are now (or there will soon be) 7 billion people cluttering up the planet. One of the most interesting interpretations is from the Guardian's data blog. Click HERE for their nice interactive visualisation showing how the population is expected to grow in the coming years.


Next up a mesmerising visualisation of a bit of Bach. This gets even better when you check out the full website, which lets you play with the visualisation yourself. J.S. Bach - Cello Suite No. 1 - Prelude from Alexander Chen on Vimeo.


Now for a flying ball from Japan. This is incredibly alien-seeming (I assume it also represents a substantial achievement). ooohhh:


And finally a brilliant new Aardman short. Pythagasaurus. Watch it. 

Sunday 16 October 2011

#144; videos

No science, just frivolous visual treats today. Perfect for a lazy sunday morning.

I love this - little monsters of the forest:

HAERSKOGEN from David Luepschen on Vimeo.

Really nice fan-made intro titles for tintin:

The Adventures of Tintin from James Curran on Vimeo.

And this is a fascinating video about photojournalism. A photographer puts those dramatic, shocking conflict images into perspective:

Photojournalism Behind the Scenes [ITA-ENG subs] from Ruben Salvadori on Vimeo.

Sunday 9 October 2011

#143; Visualisation

Some links for your Sunday viewing pleasure:

First up, for the dweeby design-lovers of you, "A roundup of the nicest figures recently published in scientific journals." Simple concept, but really highlights just how good some of the visualisation in science are:
On visualising the predictive accurace of a breast cancer screening test:

and recurrent mutations in leukemia. Nice website.
VIA @m_wall, VIA


Next up: a bizarrely interesting collection of letterheads. Sounds boring, but it's strangely absorbing. 


You are not so smart. This is a very well made promo. I love the animation, the ideas are interesting, and the phrasing is all very nice. Future Me and Now Me never get along. This is why:


Finally, the definitive guide to getting a seat on the train. Vital life skills:
The Overground train arrives and dazed commuters spill on to the platform. Everyone stands aside to let them pass. But this act of kindness is the exception, not the rule. Once you all step into the carriage the competition for seats begins. You are now in a theatre of war.

And don't forget to keep checking out the goings on at The Periscope Post - my latest nuggets of news have been on the "world-changing" Siri & iPhone 4S, cancerous blowjobs, Denmark's "fat tax", and the delightful Human Centipede 2, as well as some James Bond rumours, a Johnny English review, a heap of Steve Jobs stuff and a bunch of other things. Go have a nibble on on the best "viewspaper" around.

Tuesday 4 October 2011

#142; Get your headphones out.

Set aside the next 10-15 minutes, plug your headphones in, hit full screen, and watch these three videos. Great images, beautifully arranged, and one of those voices you just can't help but trust and be inspired by. I love this shit:





Then go and watch the Sagan videos, too, because they're even better.


On a more personal and less interesting note, I'm interning at The Periscope Post at the moment, which means lots and lots of rapid writing and subbing. Some of the work so far has been on the new ozone hole, the Ig Nobels (which I think are a fantastic thing) and the real Nobels. Eventually I'll put up a full list of all the articles, but for now I'm posting them on my twitter as I go. Go check it out if you're interested.

Thursday 29 September 2011

#141: Trolls - a species profile.

This piece has also been published over on the new science communication site, Scientific Kitty

Troll Hunter is the documentary that exposes the existence of trolls in the Norwegian mountains. I cast a biologist's eye over these elusive giants. (May contain spoilers)

With their 1000-year lifespan, rock eating tendencies, and slight aversion to light, Øvredal’s trolls are the most unlikely of creatures. But it turns out that they do exist, and have just been hiding in the mountains of Norway. So let’s suspend our disbelief and take at look at the biology of these beasts.

Fundamentally, there are two types of troll, which constitute at least two unique species – the mountain and forest dwellers. Where the troll species line is drawn, however, is unclear, with a variety of sub-types of troll within each general group. Trolls are fiercely territorial mammals, living either as lone individuals or in close social groups. They “eat, shit, mate with and devour everything around them.” Mostly rocks.

A major question that arises as we consider the trolls’ existence is their evolution. With an incredibly slow lifecycle and very low reproductive output (lifespan: 1000-1200 years, average offspring produced: 1), adaptation will have been an incredibly slow process. Their life history falls at the extreme “k-selected” end of the spectrum, and their adaptation to environmental and situational changes will have been very slow.  Furthermore, small population sizes (and associated low genetic diversity) caused by very large territories, and a constant vulnerability to basic elements (light), mean that their evolution is almost miraculous. It is likely that they expanded into their current lifestyle and size around the early Cenozoic period, following the demise of the dinosaurs.

The trolls’ greatest asset, that has undoubtedly been a primary reason for their survival despite the evolutionary constraints of their slow life cycles, is their nutritional versatility. That is, “when you eat rocks, it isn’t hard to survive”. Of course above all, the major barrier this fascinating species has had to overcome is their susceptibility to explosion when exposed to light. They therefore have an obligate nocturnal behavioural pattern, and this may in fact have allowed them to exploit night-time resources and avoid conflict with other megafauna during their early evolution.

Being confined to darkness has lead to a strong reliance on a powerful sense of smell, as can be seen by their capacity for sniffing out the scent of people of certain beliefs (although it is as yet unclear whether this penchant for religious folk extends beyond just Christianity – further research is needed). Trolls are not, however, totally blind, and the extra heads grown by certain troll variants reveal the importance of visual communication in social situations. These “protrusions” (for they are not fully functioning heads) primarily play a role in mating rituals and intra-specific conflict, and are likely to have evolved along a similar evolutionary pathway as that of the peacock train and battle cries of red deer stags.

Living underground and deep inside mountains means that trolls are likely to share certain characteristics with burrow dwelling rodents. Living in enclosed environments brings problems of temperature control and oxygen access, and as such they will have specialised respiratory physiology.

One defining feature of the troll life history is likely to be a huge amount of parental investment, both before and after birth. With a gestation period of 10-15 years, the parental investment is huge, and given that most trolls reproduce only once in their lifetime, the expenditure afforded on offspring is large. Parents will defend their offspring with violent determinism, and likely prioritise the life of their child above their own, with young trolls likely only becoming fully self sufficient after a few hundred years. The role that social interactions in communal dens may play in parental care is unclear, although given the species characteristics, cohabiting groups are likely to have a high degree of relatedness and hence altruistic care of offspring is not unlikely.

These trolls present a truly unique case of evolution, and require a great deal of study to see how they managed to overcome the problems of their lifestyle. It is unclear where their closest extant relations are, and whether they are more closely related to the bears or primates, or a monophyletic taxa unto themselves. The benefits of being huge and able to eat almost anything seem to have outweighed the issues they face. It is hard to see how their fragile lifestyle ruled by an inability to deal with vitamin D has allowed them to flourish, but seemingly it has.

On a worrisome note, however, I fear that the trolls face a troubled future. As mentioned above, they will adapt very slowly to large changes in the environment, and as global warming rapidly alters their habitat, it is hard to know if they will be able to amend their behaviour to fit with the new landscape. They’re unlikely to take up sunbathing and bask in the joy of a warmer world. If ever there was a good reason to curb emissions and think about the planet, this is it. Save the trolls, before it’s too late. 

Troll hunter is in cinemas now, and provides a witty, original and entertaining break from the norm. Go check it out. 

Sunday 25 September 2011

#140; New website and some links

First things first - new colour scheme, and layout. This is to match the update to my website. It's now got a couple of pieces of writing (hopefully a few more pieces will be going up in the next couple of weeks), a bit more about me, and a link to a gallery of my graphic design work all in a shiny new layout. Go check it out, amigos.


Want some brain food from around the internets? First up, let your mind be totally confuzzled by this "audiovisual illusion". Amazing how the brain tries to reconcile conflicting info from the eyes and ears:


Next up, a nice complement to my ramblings about mind control, understanding the brain, and harnessing it's power. Researchers have been able to reconstruct an image you're seeing by reading your mind with a working "brain probe". More here.


If you've got a few minutes to spare, there's a fascinating piece focused on an autistic man, Justin Canha, in the New York Times. Particularly good are the links within to the art and images of Justin, and the video content. Great, personal journalism. Read it here.


Finally, go look at this gallery of early internet images. Amazing how it's changed, and how the sites we know today started:

Monday 19 September 2011

#130; Lyre Lyre...

This is incredible. Gets crazy around 1:50


Saturday 17 September 2011

#129; Back off, I'm a scientist

Ever wondered why your fingers wrinkle when wet? It's because your skin absorbs all the water, or something, right? Well, now some science folk say that it's actually to give you better grip in wet conditions. Interesting stuff.


You may have already seen these, but they are beautiful. Dinosaur feathers found in amber. See the slideshow here.


A pretty engaging video about doubt & climate change from the climate reality project. Obviously, it is itself propaganda, just in a different direction, but it's very good:



I'm sure you've heard about the scientists in Italy who are being charged with manslaughter having failed to adequately predict & inform the public about an earthquake in 2009. A bizarre and genuinely concerning series of events, and Nature has summarised the situation very well here




Saturday 10 September 2011

#128; Camouflage

Amazing video about octopuses playing hide & seek. Incredible stuff

VIA the kid should see this

Wednesday 7 September 2011

#126; In search of a super suit

"First you use machines, then you wear machines, and then…?" - John Brunner, Stand on Zanzibar (1968)
"Where can I get my hands on some sort of bionic strength-enhancing robot suit?” It’s a question we’ve all asked ourselves at one point or another. For me, at the tender age of 8, I lost an arm wrestle to a girl in the playground. As the back of my trembling hand was forced down to the ground and tears of shame started to blur my vision, my panic-stricken mind turned to the obvious solution to my problem of pre-pubescent scrawniness – bionic enhancement.

It's been 13 tough years since that day, and a super-suit of some sort remains near the top of my list of fantasy acquisitions, alongside a time machine and iHouse. Films like Iron Man have done nothing to dampen my expectations of what a wearable robot suit might do, and I think it's time to sit down and think a bit more seriously about this Super Suit. It seems it's not quite as far off as I feared.

The majority of developing work is driven by military and medical endeavours, and useable, wearable machines designed to enhance human physical capabilities are finally being made: In 2008, Yves “Jetman” Rossy flew across the English Channel wearing a "homemade" jetpack; "exoskeleton" suits claim to increase people's strength by up to 17 times; and some prosthetic legs have now become so advanced that they are considered to give amputees better mobility than human legs themselves could achieve. So where to begin?

To the casual user like myself, flight is undeniably one of the most appealing qualities of a super suit, and there are a few options. The most basic and visceral is the Wingsuit - a jumpsuit with extra material between the legs and under the arms that allows the wearer to glide seamlessly through the air (Video 1 below). One of these will set you back a relatively reasonable £1000, but, if we're being picky, only really offers slightly more control over your long-distance falling – not ideal. Jetman's suit is a step up, consisting of a fixed Buzz Lightyear-style wing and powerful jet pack which fires him through the air, but again requires a parachute landing, a very high take-off point, and lots of fuel (V2). Finally, the "Martin Jetpack" is yet another option, which uses two fans to provide lift and can fly for about half an hour up to a height of 8000 feet. Not too shabby, and a snip at $100,000 a pop (V3).

So, that's flight sorted (ish). Next, it would be nice to be super strong. This seems to be where military funded projects are leading the way. The XOS 2, an exoskeleton suit being developed by Raytheon in the USA, claims to increase a wearer's carrying strength by 17 times, so a soldier carrying a 170kg pack would only have to exert the effort normally required to carry 17kg (V4). And this isn't the only strength enhancer - competition is driving the development of suits across the world, particularly in Japan. For example, the "Agricultural Exoskeleton" is being developed in Tokyo to help ageing farmers work their land, while the "Powerloader" has been designed with factory workers in mind, helping labourers lift heavier objects higher.

Perhaps the brightest prospect is the HAL robot suit, produced by Cyberdine and currently in use in Japan and available for rent for roughly $2000 a month. This is designed as a rehabilitation and mobility aid but has clear applications in a wide range of fields (let your imagine run wild), and with 500 being churned out each year, this is a relatively accessible mass-market product, despite the concerning appellation. So are these suits what I've been waiting for? Will they transform the wearer into a lightning-fast, superstrong being capable of amazing feats? Well, sort of. A quick trip to YouTube (or the bottom of this post) will reveal that we're not quite there yet, while many problems (such as a lightweight, reliable power source) are yet to be fully overcome. The suits are cumbersome, experimental, outrageously expensive, and not really designed for the recreational joy-rider.

Artificial exoskeletons are starting to show great potential for enhancing the quality of life of people with restricted mobility, and this rightly remains the focus of most of the development, but how long will it be before every kid is asking for a flying, weaponized robot suit for Christmas? A little while yet, as these suits will remain out of reach of all but the lottery winners among us for now. In a sense, these advancements are merely the natural development of currently mainstream technologies such as wheelchairs, planes and SCUBA suits. Are they even such a far stretch from a knight’s armour? Technology is outpacing evolution, and impatient humans will use anything we can get our hands on to push the limits of our capacities. We won’t be flying to work and vanquishing our foes with in-built grenade launchers any time soon, but the human urge to reach for the skies means that it might not be too long before you see a man fly like a bird, run like a cheetah, and arm-wrestle like a god.

Don’t believe me? These videos show some of the suits mentioned:
Video 1 - Wingsuits:

Video 2 - Jetman

Video 3 - Martin Jetpack

Video 4 - Raytheon XOS2 Exoskeleton

Video 5 - Cyberdine HAL robot suit

Tuesday 6 September 2011

#125; Google Correlate

Clever new tool from Google. Instead of finding data for a topic, find a topic for data.

You draw a line on a graph, and google tells you what was being searched for at the times you specify.

Also, nice light video from New Scientist about healing yourself with your mind. Reminds me of the placebo video from a while back.

Sunday 28 August 2011


Back from holiday and now on with the business of real life. Over the next two months, while searching for a job, I'll be producing a number of pieces of writing and design which will ultimately go up on a new site. Until then, keep yourselves busy with this lot:

Just before I went away, in the midsts of the riots, the Guardian made these great before-and-after interactives. Check it out:


In a lecture on flight dynamics I remember being shown a similar clip to this. Awesome slow-mo clip of an eagleowl landing. Footage like this forms a huge part of the development of the science regarding flight dynamics, which is then used in plane design etc etc. Terrifying:


One of the pieces of writing I've got planned is about dinosaurs; this little video is the perfect warm-up for that. Really great - "Jurassic Park Infographics"

Raptor from Tal Moskovich on Vimeo.


I've watched this promo from the BBC 3 times - beautiful animation:

BBC KNOWLEDGE 60 from iamrader on Vimeo.

Also, check out that users other videos on vimeo for some nice little animations.


Lastly, some sexy stats for you, presented fantastically. Click below to go to the interactive results of the "Sexperience" survey.

Monday 8 August 2011

#123; holiday and a website

I'm off on holiday to Switzerland for three weeks, so things will be quiet here. But do not fear - September will (hopefully) bring a revamped website and blog, so stay tuned, amigos.

Until then, check out my latest project - the design of Cambridge writer Matthew Pink's website.

Friday 29 July 2011

#122; photographs

Take a look at this new technology that allows you to take photos and then focus them later. Amazing stuff. Read this post from the great Symbiartic Blog for more detail, but first have a play with these two images (click to focus on different areas). Amazing stuff:

Wednesday 27 July 2011

#121; type, self-monitoring, WWF & BBC

First up, a great, seemingly endless, collection of typographic beauty. Really nice.


Next up a feltron-esque bout of self-recording and lovely design from Ben Willers. Monitoring all your activities and creating huge data sets about your actions is a surprising thing to be catching on, but very interesting. I'm not sure I'd have the discipline and patience to record meticulously enough, though. This is very nice though:
What would our lives look like if every tiny, seemingly insignificant detail were to be visualised?
Every calorie, every step? Every minute and every penny?


For those that way inclined, a review of the BBC's science coverage has been published. Quite interesting, though perhaps the more digestible approach would be to read the Guardian's comment piece on it. As ever, the comments at the bottom are as interesting as the article itself.


And lastly, a very nice short advert from the WWF:

The world is where we live from WWF on Vimeo.

via curiosity counts

Saturday 23 July 2011

#120; The Botskers

The New Scientist has a great report from the first "Robot Film Festival".

A strange idea, and it aimed to...
...inject a sense of playfulness into traditional science and engineering and explore new frontiers for robotics before the technology is even possible.
 Sounds mostly like it is trying to raise the profile and get people talking about robots, and sounds like fun to me. Here are two of the films - the first is the "best film" winner, and the second shows the winner of the "Best Human Playing A Robot" character. Good stuff:

THE MACHINE from Bent Image Lab on Vimeo.

Friday 22 July 2011

#117; Superhero Dinosaurs

Fairly unrelated, but totally wicked-awesome:

Thursday 21 July 2011

#116; Poo Chat


Not quite as much actual info about how the toilets will actually do what they promise as I might like, but very interesting, and promising, stuff nonetheless.

Wednesday 13 July 2011

#115; Fonts for dyslexics, Alcohol is healthy...

 Typography x medical research = awesome.


Why Alcohol Is Good For You
"It’s one of those medical anomalies that nobody can really explain: Longitudinal studies have consistently shown that people who don’t consume any alcohol at all tend to die before people who do. At first glance, this makes little sense. Why would ingesting a psychoactive toxin that increases our risk of cancer, dementia and liver disease lengthen our life span?"
Improved social lives and reduced loneliness seem to be the main explanation proposed. Really interesting stuff. Drink up


One for the reading list - the gallery on makes this book look incredible - Field Notes on Science & Nature.


Data Viz

Over at Visualising Data a fantastic set of resources, from tools to visualisation communities. 

After a big build up has launched, and looks like being fantastic. "Explore, Share, Create". Exciting times.

Sunday 10 July 2011

#114; Migration

Great visualisation project showing how people move between countries. Kinda hard to identify the countries you're interested in, but still really interesting. Click here to check it out.

Sunday 3 July 2011

113; Viruses and Censorship

Two great videos. Firstly, beautiful and informative video about Stuxnet, and the "anatomy of a computer virus"

Stuxnet: Anatomy of a Computer Virus from Patrick Clair on Vimeo.

And an amazing video about internet access and censorship across the world. Fascinating - the "Soft War"

Both are concise, interesting and informative. Great.

Friday 24 June 2011

112; Uncontacted tribes and scientific illustrations

Uncontacted tribes are an incredible rarity in the world today, and apparently a new group has been identified in Brazil.
The group lives in the Javari valley, a South Carolina-sized region set aside by the Brazilian government for its indigenous people. About 2,000 uncontacted people are believed to live there, making it the last great stronghold of groups who've utterly eschewed industrial civilization.
"There are about seven groups who have been contacted, and what the Brazilian government says is that they've found references to about 14 uncontacted indigenous groups," said Watson. "Some of those groups may be the same people. It's hard to say exactly how many there are."
The most recent contact was made in 1996 with a group of Korubo tribespeople. Though government policy is to avoid contact altogether, they were moving toward an area occupied by loggers, making it necessary to warn them away.
Check this video from 1996:


On a very different note, I thought I'd point you to a lovely Tumblr:

#111; Football and stuff

Let's kick things of with this: Data in Football:
Giles Revell tried to visualise the Champions League final for the FT Weekend Magazine. Here are some of the results:

The visualisations are done from the point of view of an artist rather than an interested fan or follower of football. The article itself is fascinating and well worth a read, but I'm disappointed that it is accompanied by superficial visualisations which are interesting aesthetically but of no use practically. The story being told in the article focusses on the use of statistics and data in football, so it seems odd that instead of visualising this data in an informative and revealing way, they have opted to create static artwork that fails to say very much at all. Either way, great article and interesting (despite being of little practical use) illustrations.


Next up, a really interesting infovid about the environmental impacts of internet use. Pretty, too:
How Green Is Your Internet? from Patrick Clair on Vimeo.



Geeky design greatness - minimalist typography film posters:


Finally a quick nod to what looks like it might be a crazy interesting event in Brighton in November, which is taking submissions at the moment. Visualising Science & Environment:
From the DNA double helix, to climate model simulations, to media footage of environmental protest, images play a central role in the construction and communication of scientific and environmental matters. However, the visual dimensions of science and environment communication are often overlooked in research. What forms of knowledge and understanding do images produce, facilitate and/or constrain when it comes to issues of science and the environment? How are the visual dimensions of science and environmental communication approached differently across diverse fields such as the physical sciences, the social sciences and the humanities? This symposium will explore the visual dimensions of science and environmental communication by addressing questions of knowledge, understanding, practice and power, through the visual.
Get involved.