Interactive map of global shipping routes

Kiln and the UCL Energy Institute have created shipmap.org, a fascinating interactive map that tracks global shipping for a year (2012). Here’s how it works: The merchant fleet is divided into five categories, each of which has a filter and a CO2 and freight counter for the hour shown on the clock: Container (e.g. manufactured goods): …

The governance gaps that armed insurgents fill

A brief but interesting TED talk by policy analyst Benedetta Berti about when and why armed groups (insurgents, militias, terrorists) get involved in politics and start providing social services. She notes that war has changed: it less often involves a state fighting a state. “Of the 216 peace agreements signed between 1975 and 2011, 196 of them were between …

Impressive automated bicycle parking in Japan

Automated cycle parking in Japan: roll bike in, machine whips it underground and parks it. Come back later, tap your membership card, bike is retrieved and away you go. Genius.   Danny Choo did a TV piece about these clever EcoCycle bike parking facilities a while back. He also did a great photo post of …

How printing ink is made

Take 8 minutes out of your day to watch how a printing company makes and tests great big, blobby, beautiful barrels of ink. Or just listen: it’s accompanied by “Piano Concerto No. 5 in E-Flat Major, Op. 73, “The Emperor”: II. Adagio un poco mosso” by Apollo Symphony Orchestra (Google Play • iTunes). See also …

How to add macrons to Māori words

Macrons are the little lines on top of a vowel that indicate it should be pronounced long rather than short. If you’re not sure where to use macrons when typing Māori, try the Māori Dictionary (there’s also an app). Tom Robinson has advice for how to use macrons in html/xhtml. Below are a couple of ways to …

Say hello to Ugly River

Browsing the NZ Gazette, the government’s official newspaper, I came across a parcel of new official geographic names being approved and one or two discontinued. This happens fairly often and this Land Information New Zealand page is a good place to get a heads-up.  There’s also plenty of detail  on the naming process, including a …

What the sound of a dial-up modem looks like

This is a spectogram of a dial-up modem handshake sound.  Via FlowingData. When I plugged in my first modem for the first time I heard this sound sequence and thought something was broken. Took me a few goes to figure out it was supposed to sound like this. Finally got connected and discovered bulletin boards. …

Desktop vs mobile content visualised as cereal

I’m liking these simple (but clever) illustrations from visual and interaction designer Ed Lea. The first gives a visual explanation of how content differs on desktop, tablet and mobile.   The second illustrates the difference between UX (User Experience) and UI (User Interface). Ed Lea is on Medium and on Twitter @ed_lea.