Sunday, May 25, 2008

Terrible Lizard

Beware, if you find yourself in Indonesia (or Chicago) one day. The Shedd Aquarium has this notorious monitor lizard.

Continue reading "Terrible Lizard"!

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Windy City Excursion

I'm traveling to Chicago this weekend to attend a conference with some grad-student friends. Chicago is one of my favorite cities, so it should be a good time. I'll post about it while I'm there, hopefully with some decent pictures.

In preparing for the trip, I searched Google Maps for my hotel's location. Has anyone noticed they have added Wikipedia to the maps of most areas of the country? If you toggle the option on, dozens of tiny W's pop up, each representing a Wikipedia page corresponding to that location.

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Most of the articles relate to architecture and geography, but one can assume Google is adding more every day. This is such a useful idea. Along with street view and the photos option, you can get a pretty realistic account of a place, beyond simple geography. It's one thing to read about local attractions in a book or on a website, but integrating that information into a map allows you to see at a glance where in space it's located. When I visit a new place, I try to form a map of it in my head, based on the real map, and refer to it as I go. This just makes that easier. Information association and merging of this sort is really powerful, and it seems like a lot of new web applications are going in that direction.

Aside from conference talks, I plan to spend some time at one of the main museum campuses.

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I've been to the Field Museum multiple times, but wouldn't mind going back, it's so good. The Shedd Aquarium, however, I haven't been to, so that's on the list of things to do. Continue reading "Windy City Excursion"!

Friday, May 16, 2008

Something to watch/TiVo/download from the internet

Airing on public television his fall.

Mario Batali and Gwyneth Paltrow travel and cook Spanish food. They are friends? It appears so, because, at one point, she calls him "Batals." They are totally BFFs. Willie Nelson music and Michael Stipe from R.E.M makes an appearance. Bizarre, sure, but this looks sort of interesting. It also features Mark Bittman, a food guy for the New York Times. Coincidentally, Bittman has a NYT blog called Bitten. Continue reading "Something to watch/TiVo/download from the internet"!

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Media wallz

Sensory tables are often used in elementary schools to provide children, especially those with developmental disabilities like autism, something to play with and focus on. The're filled with things like small blocks, stones, sand, popcorn, buttons - great for providing tactile stimulation. That's nice, and I'd sure like to have one, but it's sort of a stone-age solution. The sensory table of the future will look a lot different. Echoing something out of Minority Report, this interactive media wall is now on sale at Neiman Marcus. Only 100,000 dollars! Check out the demonstration video, it's so cool. Here's another one from Youtube.

Oh, I want one. I'm used to the touch screen on my iPhone, but this thing recognizes some really complicated hand gestures. Imagine having one on every flat surface in your house.

If things pan out as they do in Minority Report, we'll be doing our computing like this, by 2052.

Continue reading "Media wallz"!