Month: January 2009

  • Blogging the Origin of Species

    2009 marks not only the¬†bicentenary of¬†Charles Darwin’s birth, but the 150th anniversary of the publication of On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, a work that needs no introduction. To honour this occasion, evolutionary biologist John Whitfield (who has surprisingly never read Origin) will be blogging Charles Darwin’s On the Origin of…

  • Better Communication

    Many people equate good communication skills with the ability to speak well and listen well. This assumption misses one essential component: two-way communication skills. Primarily written for mentors, this advice on good two-way communication is particularly useful for all. I especially like the Traffic Light Rule of communication: During the first 30 seconds of an…

  • Daily Routines

    Like many others I’ve recently been captivated by the Daily Routines blog‚ÄĒa look at the everyday customs of a variety of successful people. A common motif is that the majority of these people wake early and look after their bodies (typically through exercise); though I feel these recurring elements are common because of something else:…

  • Setting the Bar for Obama

    To ensure we fairly evalute Obama’s presidency, we must ask ourselves now what our expectations are for his term. It’s not as easy as you think, considering that many of America’s current woes should be improved by even a mediocre president. We’ve heard a lot of hyperbole about how Bush was the “Worst. President. Ever.”…

  • Inauguration Roundup

    The Internet is bustling with news of yesterday’s inauguration of President Obama (it feels strange writing that) and I feel somewhat guilty adding to the overabundance of news. As a compromise I’m going to limit myself to this single roundup post. One intrepid soul has compiled¬†a collection of videos of every inauguration speech from the…

  • 21 Digital Camera Settings, Techniques and Rules

    A compilation of photography tutorials aimed at beginners from Darren Rowse’s Digital Photography School. Some of these tutorials are fairly basic and may not be of great interest to anyone other than newcomers to digital photography. However, all of these tutorials are well-written and worth having a quick browse over, even if you are a…

  • The Anatomy of a Hit Song

    Two great articles on current research into how artists and songs become hits: Group Think looks at research predicting musical hits using “geo-aware query strings” from file-sharing networks such as Gnutella. The geographic location of an emerging artist is the key to predicting their success [‚Ķ]. “If an artist has the potential to be successful,…

  • Traffic Psychology

    After visiting Paris and being amazed at how drivers navigate the roads surrounding the Arc de Triomphe without accident, Cognitive Daily‘s Dave Munger reviews Tom Vanderbilt’s Traffic: Why We Drive the Way We Do and What it Says About Us and looks at the psychology of traffic and its many counter-intuitive rules-of-thumb. Traffic and highway…

  • Is ‘Number Sense’ (or Dyscalculia) Innate?

    Is our ability to count and estimate quantity an innate skill, or is it learned? To answer this question The Economist looks briefly at the history of counting; people who speak languages that have words only for ‘one’, ‘two’, ‘few’ and ‘many’; and dyscalculia‚ÄĒa condition similar to dyslexia where sufferers lack basic ‘number sense’ or…

  • Top 25 Most Dangerous Programming Errors and Why the List Doesn’t Work

    CWE/SANS have released a list of what they are calling¬†the 25 most dangerous programming errors¬†and Jeff Atwood of Coding Horror gives a great overview of each error. However security consultant and author Gary McGraw gives a number of reasons why such lists don’t work¬†(via Schneier), and I must admit that a lot of his concerns…