Month: March 2012

  • Contextual Writing (Telescopic and Responsive Text)

    How can a writer cater to an audience with diverse preferences and needs (particularly, how much detail they want and how much time they have)? One way is to use telescopic or responsive text. Telescopic text is a method of iteratively displaying more and more textual detail on request¬†(I suppose the reader becomes the¬†user). Joe…

  • Size and Complexity: Why Animals Are the Way They Are

    From bone strength and oxygen absorption in larger animals, to the perils of surface tension and poor eye design in smaller ones: just some ideas to consider when studying comparative anatomy¬†and¬†why animals are the way they are. A perfect take on the topic is¬†J. B. S. Haldane‘s 1928 On Being the Right Size. In this…

  • A “Felt Need” Is What Makes Us Buy

    A “felt need” is what differentiates a vitamin from an aspirin: when we crave something (relief from pain), a product that satisfies that desire becomes a must-have rather than a nice-to-have. Realising this and re-framing a product in terms of this craving is an important step in ensuring a product’s success, say Dan and Chip…

  • Words to Be Aware Of

    Wish. Try. Should. Deserve. These are four words that¬†“lend themselves to a certain self-deception”, says David Cain of Raptitude, and when you catch yourself using them you should take note, figure out how the word is being used, and maybe try to change your perspective. Why? Because, Cain says, these are ‘red flag’ words that…

  • Bribing and Restaurant Seating

    Does bribing your way into a busy restaurant work as well as it seems to in movies? Is it even possible?¬†Bruce Feiler¬†decided to find out by visiting some of New York’s most overbooked restaurants with nothing more than a pocketful of money (i.e. no reservations). His results were not quite as expected, finding that¬†bribing hosts…