Ribbonfarm is a fascinating blog to follow about thinking about how we look at the world and how we can change that view. This guest article thinks about user interfaces as a set of manners, a way of civilising the relationship between the computer and the user. His points on the difference in manners between backwoods and frontiers are very widely applicable and a good way of thinking about where you should aim your user interface.
MSG is a really interesting topic. There has been lots of research done and the double-blind studies show no link between headaches and MSG ingestion (see this article if you’re going to review the literature) but all the discussions on this article are taken over by people shouting: “It gives me a headache” and “you can’t prove it through experiments”.
It’s worth taking the time to think about why people, all people, prefer to rely on their own experiences than scientific consensus.
Link: It’s the Umami, Stupid
How much you should eat of any meal has a lot of cultural and regional variation. I was always taught to eat everything on my plate which doesn’t work very well when you go to North America and are served enough food for a small family on one plate.
Metafilter is a great site for discussions like this. The small fee to join requires you to think about what you say and prevents floods of spam or abusive comments without going down the unthinking and brutual real names policy of things like Google+’s and Facebook.
A great series of articles on how to get better at scrabble by caring about the little words and letting the big words take care of themselves.
Link: Hacking Scrabble
This is not about why you should start commuting to London from Barcelona – it is just pointing out how ridiculous London property prices have got. After the Great Recession first world property prices started falling back but London’s have reached their previous peak and are on the way higher thanks to reinflationary government policy and record low interest rates. Unless there is about to be a massive wage surge they must fall, in one way or another, but when is much harder to predict.
Great in-depth piece on why and how Everpix shut down. Everpix was a photo storage site for combining all your photos from every device you own in one place. It was a great idea, a great product and had a great team but still didn’t manage to survive in Silicon Valley’s extreme growth driven model.
Black MIDI is a type of music simulating pieces of piano music where hundreds of notes are played together at once. This kind of impossible music has quite a long history. It isn’t that pretty but there is something quite memorising about it.
The Know Your Meme site is great for finding about the origins of almost any odd thing you come across on the internet.