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.

Tuesday, 22 March 2011

#102; things

First, today on the Guardian website a great interactive visualisation of the Middle East protests popped up. It's easy (well, I find it easy) to get lost with the sequence of events that lead to the explosion of activity, and this is so clear, and so easy to use. I like it. Click on the image to go check it out.

Next, the increasingly furious debate over the ethics of the various "Help Japan" posters is fascinating. Look at these:

Are they helping to raise awareness, and designers using their skills to do what they can for a good cause? Or are they indulgent, self-promotional and innapropriate? These posters (and many others like them) have raised thousands of pounds to help the relief, but some people feel uncomfortable, and suggest that they imply that people should need a reward (a poster) to encourage them to donate. Different opinions are all over the place (1 and 2, for example. The comments in the articles are equally, if not more, interesting than the articles themselves). One major, and reasonable, complaint is that these posters (/t-shirts etc) are raising awareness for something that isn't lacking attention (at the moment - perhaps the best role of these pieces is in overcoming the drop in attention that is inevitable of the news cycle), and are as self-promotional as charitable. I think the important thing here is that every single designer selling work for this cause is raising vital money, and I have no hesitation in assuming that their motives are entirely admirable. The best argument I've seen on this is here (via @brainpicker) - the point is, everyone wants to help, everyone feels helpless, and people really are just doing what comes naturally. Completely good intentions should be appreciated as such, I think. That said, it might best best, perhaps, if the designers refrain from putting their logos/websites at the bottom, no matter how small, and instead have a call to action (eg donation phone lines etc). Anyway, interesting ethical stuff.

On a lighter note, this video makes me feel that my doodles in my biology lectures were inadequate. Skip to about 2 minutes in for the great stuff:
(notes on) biology


absolutely awesome.

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