I simply love this version of Moonlight Serenade. Kurt Elling’s crisp and pitch-perfect voice is just intriguing. It almost makes it feel like it’s engineered somehow.
I admire those people that take some of their personal time to come up with a redesign of popular services such as Facebook, Twitter or YouTube. And what amazes me the most is that some of these proposals look better than the original, which kind of makes you think: “Why aren’t these people getting hired by these companies?”
Here’s a Twitter redesign proposal (by Estie Carrillo):
Programming is not only about knowing how to use specific words and abstract constructs to build a program. It is also about being able to design and develop complex structures of data and algorithmic workflows. And most of the time, these complex elements are interconnected, which means that when you decide to mess with one of them, you’re actually messing with several others.
The by-products (or side-effects) of some functions can affect the rest of your system. Thus, programmers generally need to keep a mental picture of the entire system to avoid creating bugs. That is why it is so important for a programmer to maintain complete focus while building such elements.
Derek Johnson sums it up:
Interruptions are to developers what kryptonite is to Superman—they kill productivity and there’s a significant recovery period.
I’m not a web designer, I’m a programmer. I do suffer from the typical programmer syndrome of trying to solve everything with a piece of code. But I also understand the importance of UI design and experience. I always take the opinions of the design people very seriously since I’ve seen the wondrous effect of taking their advises translated into web site visits and engagement.
This example from Reddit is just a sample of what that means.
I’ve always found Carl Sagan’s voice very hypnotic (if you haven’t yet, go listen to one of his audiobooks – one narrated by him, of course), allowing me to carry my imagination into faraway worlds.
This short film depicts some of those worlds with the ambition that only Carl Sagan’s words fuel:
Every time I see a video where Apollo Robbins, a well-known master pickpocket artist, shows his skills I’m fascinated by the way he manages to fool the mind of his unsuspected victims.
In this TED talk he gives us a glimpse on how this is as much a work of physical misdirection as it is of cognitive misdirection. And please watch it ’till the very end. Your jaw will drop as you yourself become a “victim” of his misdirection techniques.
If you want to know more about Apollo and how he came to be this magnificent artist, read this great article in The New Yorker.
In 1959, Isaac Asimov wrote this essay on creativity, postulating on the elements that fostered creativity in humans. As usual, he was right and I have a story from my PhD that somehow proves his statements.
The story proves the baseline argument from the essay: isolation is definitely necessary but it’s the informal discussions within small groups that allows the teams to nurture novel concepts and apply abstract ideas to other environments.