I am a student of the arts, which for me include: Human Behavior, Emerging Technologies, and Traditional Art.
You can reach me at christopher dot chan at towerswatson dot com
Latte Art Like No Other
You’ve probably seen normal flat 2D latte art, but check out 3D versions from Japanese coffee artist Kazuki Yamamoto. The 3D redententions are made mostly of milk foam found in cappuccinos and lattes and include miniature sculptures of animals and cartoon characters.
Congratulations to Yahoo and their $1.1 billion acquisition of Tumblr.
It’s easy to see how Tumblr is an attractive target with:
- More than 300 million monthly unique visitors,
- 120,000 signups every day,
- More than 900 posts per second (!!!), and
- 24 billion minutes spent on the site every month.
But, let’s look at a couple other stats:
- Tumblr lost money last year on $13 million in revenue (it’s 7 years old this year).
- In 2006, Google spent $1.6 billion for YouTube (which is 8 years old today!) and is on track to generate $4 billion in revenue this year.
- WordPress claimed 72,000 blog posts imported from Tumblr in just one hour yesterday (compared to an average of 500 on a typical day) — but consider that Tumblr gets over 75 million blog posts in a day, that’s just a drop in the bucket).
It will be interesting to see what the future holds for Tumblr now that it’s under the Yahoo umbrella. Do you think it will be good or bad for the site?
Recently, I went to Bubba Gump for the first time and they have an excellent real-time customer feedback system.
The tables throughout the restaurant all featured a license plate on a little stand. On one side of the license plate, in blue it reads, “Run Forrest, Run.” On the other side, in red it says, “Stop Forrest, Stop.” This is how you let your server know you need something:
- Run Forrest, Run means you could use a refill on your drink
- Stop Forrest, Stop means you’re doing good and don’t need anything.
And you know what? It works — brilliantly. We flipped over the Stop Forrest Stop sign a couple of times and always got immediate service, even from other workers who just happened to be walking by.
Why don’t more restaurants do something like this?
This project called theGeography of Hateanalyzed 150,000 geo-located tweets from June last year to this April — researchers looked at which areas were using Twitter to express homophobic and racist slurs.
You can search for “dyke,” “fag,” “homo,” and “queer” in the homophobic category, “chink,” “gook,” “nigger,” “wetback,” and “spick” in the racist column, and “cripple” under disability. The maps show relative use: where people tweeted the offending terms most often. The worst are in red, the moderately bad are in blue, with the least bad are unshaded.
The maps were put together by Monica Stephens, an assistant professor at Humboldt State.
The data is normalized based on how much content there is on Twitter, and shows areas where the proportion of content is above average. And, to protect privacy, actual tweet locations are aggregated to the county level.
While racist and homophobic sentiment exists around the country and not just in red states, there is a significantly higher portion in the eastern half of the map.
According to a new study in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, fast food restaurants have not made much progress towards creating healthier menus, a
Even though there are more options for salads, fruits and vegetables, many fast food chains have also increased the number of unhealthy options available – reminds me of carbon offsets for fat!
Researchers analyzed the menus offered at the following restaurants between 1997 and 2010:
• McDonald’s • Burger King • Wendy’s • Taco Bell • Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC) • Arby’s • Jack in the Box • Dairy Queen
Results were measured using the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Healthy Eating Index, a 100-point scale that assesses nutritional quality.
Overall, researchers said that fast food restaurants had only been able to improve their scores by three points in the past 14 years!
While some restaurants – like Kentucky Fried Chicken and Jack in the Box – improved their scores by lowering the amount of sugar and saturated fats on their menus, other restaurants, like Burger King, increased levels of sodium, saturated fats and sugars in their foods.
It’s amazing to think that the original 1950s hamburger, French fries and soft drink you got as an adult back then, is now considered a children’s meal!
How does this jive with your perceptions? Have you felt that fast food options have been getting healthier?
Meet the T.Jacket — a tablet-controlled jacket that simulates hugs and aims to calm children without human contact.
The jacket is designed based on the idea of ‘deep pressure theory’, which proposes that pressure has a soothing effect on children with autism or attention deficit disorders. These individuals do not process sensory information in the same way as those without the condition. P
The waist and shoulders of the jacket contain pockets of air and inflate to produce the effect of a hug.
Initially, I wondered how emotionally defective a hug would be without a real physical human partner, but apparently for autistic children, human interaction can be distressing, so the jacket provides the sensations involved with a hug without the potentially distressing human interaction.
This video explains more about how the T.Jacket work. The jackets are available to pre-order for $399 and are currently compatible with the iPad, iPhone, Samsung Galaxy SIII and Samsung Note II.
Would you consider using this with your autistic child?
Meet the Liberator, a 3D printed gun that is almost entirely plastic: Fifteen of its 16 pieces have been created inside an $8,000 Stratasys Dimension SST 3D printer The only non-printed piece is a common hardware store nail used as its firing pin.
The gun is the brainchild of Cody Wilson, a 25 year-old law student at the University of Texas. He founded the Austin-based non-profit group called Defense Distributed and how holds the digital blueprints for that so-called Wiki Weapon.
In a future world where anyone could download blueprints and print their own weapon, what power does gun control laws have?
Anywhere there’s a computer and an Internet connection, there could be a gun.
The files were posted online and downloaded over 100,000 times before the U.S. State Department demanded their removal.
How do you feel about a future where plastic guns can be printed that can’t even be detected by metal detectors?
This mask from Remee aims to help you enter a lucid dream state.
Lucid dreaming is a state in which you become conscious within your dreams – being able to take control of your surroundings and achieve what would normally be impossible in the real world. Think Neo in Matrix or flying like Superman!
The mask will detect when you’re in Rapid Eye Movement (REM) portion of sleep (when dreams normally occur) and start flashing the built-in lights. These will then diffuse into your dreams and allow you to identify that you’re dreaming and take control of of things.
The company is funded through Kickstarter and raised more than 1600% of its target amount.
Masks will retail for $95 dollars.
Will you try one of these out? Might your lucid dreams be more enjoyable than reality?