Saturday, September 19, 2009

Shared: Another Way to Tell Your Neighbors You're Better than Them

If we have learned nothing else from the green revolution, it's that the eco-conscious are also concerned with how it looks. Not sure where this idea originates, but some drive hybrids for the social benefits. People know you drive a hybrid because it looks different than the other cars on the road. These tiles will make your neighbors think that you've either started building with Legos or are working to make the world a better place.

I wonder if you can get them to match the color of your hybrid...

Solar panels shaped like clay roof tiles: "

Converting to solar energy means covering a roof in unsightly solar panels. Not necessarily: Philadelphia company SRS Energy has developed the Solé Power Tile, a roof tile designed to sustainably convert sunlight into electricity without compromising aesthetics. The dark blue tiles, manufactured by SRS Energy, are jointly branded and distributed by US Tile and specifically designed to be compatible with the clay roof tiles manufactured by US Tile. Customers who purchase clay tiles will be given the option to upgrade a section of their roof to Solé Power Tiles. When installed, the system can offset a large proportion of a homeowner's energy costs—not to mention cleaning their carbon conscience. The tiles are available in select West Coast markets this autumn, with a nationwide rollout planned for spring 2010.

SRS Energy says that the Solé tiles, made from a high-performance polymer often used in car bumpers, are lightweight, unbreakable and recyclable. Flexible solar technology by United Solar Ovonic is embedded inside each tile, allowing them to function independently of each other. Meanwhile, the performance of the system as a whole is monitored remotely by SRS Energy and US Tile. The director of engineering at SRS Energy is J.D. Albert, who also developed the electronic ink technology used in Amazon Kindle and the Sony Reader.

What's so attractive about the Solé Power Tile system he and his team have produced is that it makes it easy for consumers to make a green choice, without having to settle for a product they find unappealing. With more tile styles and colours in the pipeline, SRS Energy could soon be enjoying a big chunk of eco-bounty, as will any other company that can remove the disincentives from sustainable technology.



Spotted by: Anne-Marie Fischer

Shared: Dan Brown Makes Top 20 List (for worst sentences)

Having read none of his work, I can't defend him from these allegations. However, I hear from my literate friends, who coincidentally are able to write, that some of his work is atrocious, yet they read either out of intrigue/slumming purposes or are somehow sucked into his vortex of 1st grade syntax.

Dan Brown's 20 Worst Sentences: "

If Dan Brown’s new novel The Lost Symbol is anything like his previous works, it will not go down well with the critics. Famously, comedian Stewart Lee mocked him for using the sentence “The famous man looked at the red cup” in his bestselling The Da Vinci Code.

In fact, Lee was making that up – the sentence never appears in the book. So are the critics unfair on Brown?

They’re certainly harsh. Edinburgh professor of linguistics Geoffrey Pullum says “Brown's writing is not just bad; it is staggeringly, clumsily, thoughtlessly, almost ingeniously bad.”

Below we have selected 20 phrases that may grate on the ear. It’s not a definitive list. It couldn’t be: he has published five novels, each around 500 pages long, and the arguments over which are the worst bits will go on for a while.

20. Angels and Demons, chapter 1: Although not overly handsome in a classical sense, the forty-year-old Langdon had what his female colleagues referred to as an ‘erudite’ appeal — wisp of gray in his thick brown hair, probing blue eyes, an arrestingly deep voice, and the strong, carefree smile of a collegiate athlete.

They say the first rule of fiction is “show, don’t tell”. This fails that rule.

19. The Da Vinci Code, chapter 83: 'The Knights Templar were warriors,' Teabing reminded, the sound of his aluminum crutches echoing in this reverberant space.

“Remind” is a transitive verb – you need to remind someone of something. You can’t just remind. And if the crutches echo, we know the space is reverberant.

18. The Da Vinci Code, chapter 4: He could taste the familiar tang of museum air - an arid, deionized essence that carried a faint hint of carbon - the product of industrial, coal-filter dehumidifiers that ran around the clock to counteract the corrosive carbon dioxide exhaled by visitors.

Ah, that familiar tang of deionised essence.

17. Deception Point, chapter 8: Overhanging her precarious body was a jaundiced face whose skin resembled a sheet of parchment paper punctured by two emotionless eyes.

It’s not clear what Brown thinks ‘precarious’ means here.

16. The Da Vinci Code, chapter 4: A voice spoke, chillingly close. 'Do not move.' On his hands and knees, the curator froze, turning his head slowly. Only fifteen feet away, outside the sealed gate, the mountainous silhouette of his attacker stared through the iron bars. He was broad and tall, with ghost-pale skin and thinning white hair. His irises were pink with dark red pupils.

A silhouette with white hair and pink irises stood chillingly close but 15 feet away. What’s wrong with this picture?

15. The Da Vinci Code, chapter 4: As a boy, Langdon had fallen down an abandoned well shaft and almost died treading water in the narrow space for hours before being rescued. Since then, he'd suffered a haunting phobia of enclosed spaces - elevators, subways, squash courts.

Other enclosed spaces include toilet cubicles, phone boxes and dog kennels.

14. Angels and Demons, chapter 100: Bernini's Fountain of the Four Rivers glorified the four major rivers of the Old World - The Nile, Ganges, Danube, and Rio Plata.

The Rio de la Plata. Between Argentina and Uruguay. One of the major rivers of the Old World. Apparently.

The Da Vinci Code, chapter 5: Only those with a keen eye would notice his 14-karat gold bishop's ring with purple amethyst, large diamonds, and hand-tooled mitre-crozier appliqué.

A keen eye indeed.

13 and 12. The Lost Symbol, chapter 1: He was sitting all alone in the enormous cabin of a Falcon 2000EX corporate jet as it bounced its way through turbulence. In the background, the dual Pratt & Whitney engines hummed evenly.

The Da Vinci Code, chapter 17: Yanking his Manurhin MR-93 revolver from his shoulder holster, the captain dashed out of the office.

Oh – the Falcon 2000EX with the Pratt & Whitneys? And the Manurhin MR-93? Not the MR-92? You’re sure? Thanks.

11. The Da Vinci Code, chapter 4: Captain Bezu Fache carried himself like an angry ox, with his wide shoulders thrown back and his chin tucked hard into his chest. His dark hair was slicked back with oil, accentuating an arrow-like widow's peak that divided his jutting brow and preceded him like the prow of a battleship. As he advanced, his dark eyes seemed to scorch the earth before him, radiating a fiery clarity that forecast his reputation for unblinking severity in all matters.

Do angry oxen throw their shoulders back and tuck their chins into their chest? What precisely is a fiery clarity and how does it forecast anything? Once again, it is not clear whether Brown knows what ‘forecast’ means.

10. The Da Vinci Code, chapter 4: Five months ago, the kaleidoscope of power had been shaken, and Aringarosa was still reeling from the blow.

Did they hit him with the kaleidoscope?

9. The Da Vinci Code, chapter 32: The vehicle was easily the smallest car Langdon had ever seen. 'SmartCar,' she said. 'A hundred kilometers to the liter.'

Pro tip: when fleeing from the police, take a moment to boast about your getaway vehicle’s fuel efficiency. And get it wrong by a factor of five. SmartCars do about 20km (12 miles) to the litre.

8. The Da Vinci Code, chapter 3: My French stinks, Langdon thought, but my zodiac iconography is pretty good.

And they say the schools are dumbing down.

7 and 6. The Da Vinci Code, chapter 33: Pulling back the sleeve of his jacket, he checked his watch - a vintage, collector's-edition Mickey Mouse wristwatch that had been a gift from his parents on his tenth birthday.

The Da Vinci Code, chapter 6: His last correspondence from Vittoria had been in December - a postcard saying she was headed to the Java Sea to continue her research in entanglement physics... something about using satellites to track manta ray migrations.

In the words of Professor Pullum: “It has the ring of utter ineptitude. The details have no relevance to what is being narrated.”

5. Angels and Demons, chapter 4: learning the ropes in the trenches

Learning the ropes (of a naval ship) while in the trenches (with the army in the First World War). It’s a military education, certainly.

4, 3, and 2. The Da Vinci Code, opening sentence: Renowned curator Jacques Saunière staggered through the vaulted archway of the museum's Grand Gallery.

Angels and Demons, opening sentence: Physicist Leonardo Vetra smelled burning flesh, and he knew it was his own.

Deception Point, opening sentences: Death, in this forsaken place, could come in countless forms. Geologist Charles Brophy had endured the savage splendor of this terrain for years, and yet nothing could prepare him for a fate as barbarous and unnatural as the one about to befall him.

Professor Pullum: 'Renowned author Dan Brown staggered through his formulaic opening sentence'.

1. The Da Vinci Code: Title. The Da Vinci Code.

Leonardo’s surname was not Da Vinci. He was from Vinci, or of Vinci. As many critics have pointed out, calling it The Da Vinci Code is like saying Mr Of Arabia or asking What Would Of Nazareth Do?

This list is invalid without that 'I know from seeing many forgeries in my time' thing. Somebody post that shit. You're trapped on a desert island for the rest of your life and can only have the works of Dan Brown OR Stephenie Meyer--what do you choose, ONTD?! [Sorry about the cut, mods, I hit 'post' and then yelled 'FUCK' when I realized I'm awesome.]

Shared: Sydney International Food Festival

Italy's flag looks delicious.

sydney international food festival: food flag ads: "

to help promote the sydney international food festival, WHYBIN/TBWA came up with these ads

that show different national flags created using foods associated with a specific country.
example of the poster:

some of the flags from the campaign:

you can find more posters from the series over at ads of the world

project credits

advertising agency: WHYBIN/TBWA, sydney

executive creative director: garry horner

creative director: matt kemsley

art director: miles jeffreys

copywriter: tammy keegan

photographer: natalie boog

retoucher: nick mueller

food stylist: trish heagerty

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Next Wave from Google: Fast Flip

Not sure how I feel about this after my first glance. Some of the formatting for the sites is off posing an issue for reading all the content on the page, but I do like the sorting options/tags for Headlines and keywords in the news.

Google Fast Flip

Shared: The Science Behind a 4-Day Work Week

Where's the study on four-day weekends?

Better world: Take Friday off… forever - 15 September 2009 - New Scientist: "The four-day week could boost employment, save energy and make us happier.

FANCY a three-day weekend - not just once in a while but week in week out? You may think your bosses would never agree to it, but the evidence suggests that employers, employees and the environment all benefit."

Shared: birds on a wire

Sweet idea.

birds on a wire: "

Birds on the Wires from Jarbas Agnelli on Vimeo.

Birds on the Wires from Jarbas Agnelli on Vimeo.

This video blew me away... This is his story:

'Reading a newspaper, I saw a picture of birds on the electric wires. I cut out the photo and decided to make a song, using the exact location of the birds as notes (no Photoshop edit). I knew it wasn't the most original idea in the universe. I was just curious to hear what melody the birds were creating.'


Shared: Drinking Just as Good as Yoga

Fantastic. I'm thirsty...

Now That's Nifty: Drinking Just as Good as Yoga: "I don't drink ma' self, but maybe I should start. These guys look fit!

Position of total relaxation."

Shared: Arianna Huffington Tries Hand at Sitcom Producing for ABC

Politics and TV: Will they ever find an audience?

Arianna Huffington Tries Hand at Sitcom Producing for ABC : TVBizwire : TVWeek - Television Industry news, TV ratings, analysis, celebrity event photos:

"Huffington Post founder and political pundit Arianna Huffington is going to give TV producing a try: ABC gave a script commitment to a multicamera comedy she is working on with Greg Malins, executive producer of “How I Met Your Mother,” The Hollywood Reporter says."

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Shared: ready!

ready!: "


photo ©2009 francesco scipioni


Shared: Exhibit A for Brainiacs Getting Some

This is simultaneously irksome and inspirational.

The Love Guru - Page 1 - The Daily Beast:

"Eight years ago, on a balmy night in New York's West Village, a darkly beautiful history grad was having a date with a 38-year-old writer. He was a little goofy looking and gesticulated a lot, but he was sweet and had theories about a million things, especially her. He was particularly interested in what made her special. When she revealed a passion for acting, he had a theory about that, too, and how to make it more special."

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Shared: Homicide Suspect Fell Asleep While Holding Couple Hostage in Kansas Home

Let's cut this guy some credit. He's apparently good at capturing people and stealing cars. Not so good at the details like staying awake or not getting caught. Baby steps Mr. Dimmick. Baby steps.

Police: Homicide Suspect Fell Asleep While Holding Couple Hostage in Kansas Home:

"DOVER, Kan. — Authorities say the man who held a couple hostage in their Kansas home fell asleep and they escaped unharmed.

Topeka Police Capt. Jerry Stanley said Saturday that authorities then stormed the house, where they confronted the man.

The suspect was shot, but his injuries were not life-threatening."

Shared: Keeping Young

Cute story. I would have preferred it if the woman got to ride in a sidecar, mainly because there are far too few sidecars on the road. Great visual at the end of the article.

Woman, 97, gets ride on Harley | | Sheboygan Press: "At age 97, Catherine Westover has been around nearly as long as her favorite motorcycle, the Harley-Davidson."

Shared: The Least He Could Have Done was Called

Why didn't the sheep testify? Why didn't the man apologize to the sheep? Furthermore, what was the sheep's name? It seems this was more than a one-time "drank-30-cans-had-sex-with-a-sheep" thing. Also, I'm pretty sure if I had sex with a sheep, I'd remember it, possibly call the day after. I also hope this will be added to the many alternative uses of a baby monitor.

The Herald, Sharon, Pa. - UPDATE: Man gets jail in sheep case: "A Sandy Lake Township man will spend 1 to 3 years in prison for trespassing into a woman’s barn and having sex with her sheep.

James Alan Stiver, 46, formerly of 11 Booher Road, accepted a plea deal July 20 for felony trespassing and sex with an animal, and was sentenced Friday by Mercer County Common Pleas Judge Christopher J. St. John. Charges of animal cruelty were dropped."