10 Jan

Google Gives Preference to HTTPS and Egypt’s Next Museum is Under Water

This Next Web story about Google’s latest move to improve its search results and prioritize safe websites.

“The company started giving HTTPS pages a bump in its rankings last year, but will now seek to ensure these become more standard in search results.”

This Smithsonian Magazine article about a proposed underwater museum showcasing sunken relics in Egypt.

“At the moment, relics are under threat by pollution in the bay, poaching by divers and damage by fishing boat anchors. A museum would help safeguard the remaining relics not only as a physical structure, but also as a protected area that could be monitored.”

photo credit: Egypt – Alexandria – 19-33 via photopin (license)

10 Dec

Leveraging Your Thinking Style and Lost Historic Document Saved the Day

This Harvard Business Review article on what type of thinkers excel in different professional roles.

“When you know your thinking style, you know what naturally energizes you, why certain types of problems are challenging or boring, and what you can do to improve in areas that are important to reaching your goals.”

This Smithsonian Magazine story about an intern who saved a museum from financial ruin when she discovered a long lost unique document from the Revolutionary War era.

“That line, from an urgent plea sent to the people of Great Britain by the Second Continental Congress one year before American independence was declared, was now in front of her in manuscript form.”

photo credit: Morris-Jumel Mansion, Jumel Terrace, Washington Heights, New York City via photopin (license)

15 Nov

Affective Computing Senses your Emotions and Hamilton Almost Dueled Monroe

This Smithsonian Magazine article on affective computing and how it can be used to automatically interpret the emotions on your face.

“[It] analyzes them for expressions of seven basic emotions: happiness, sadness, surprise, fear, anger, disgust and contempt, plus interest and confusion. Smile, and you can see the measure of happiness shoot up; curl your lip in a sneer and the program notes your disgust.”

This Smithsonian Magazine story about when James Monroe and Alexander Hamilton almost dueled, but was convinced otherwise by Aaron Burr.

“It was Burr, not Hamilton or Monroe, who was convinced the pair should avoid a duel. The men were being ‘childish,’ he felt. ‘The Thing will taken an amicable Course,’ he told Monroe. He worked as an intermediary between the pair as they continued to write asking whether the other was actually issuing a challenge to a duel.”

photo credit: Macro Ten Dollar Bill via photopin (license)

02 Nov

Internet of Things in our Homes and 3D Modeling Lee Harvey Oswald

This Harvard Business Review piece on how the Internet of Things is becoming incorporated into our daily lives.

“[A]s the Internet of Things scales up and becomes more ubiquitous, many experiences will become available in everyday homes, at less exorbitant prices. These could be IoT platforms that connect smart devices and sensors to augment everyday moments by tapping into sensory aspects of our environment like visuals, temperatures, and sounds.”

This Smithsonian Magazine story that uses 3D modeling to investigate the authenticity of a famous photo showing John F. Kennedy’s assassin Lee Harvey Oswald.

“The Warren Commission, which investigated the circumstances surrounding the assassination, concluded that the photo shows Oswald with the same rifle used to shoot Kennedy. But doubts about everything from the shadows to Oswald’s pose have persisted ever since.”

photo credit: Moments Before Disaster via photopin (license)

12 Oct

LBJ’s Terrifying Prank and How to Not Win a Nobel Prize

This CNN Edition story about President Lyndon Johnson’s little trick to scare his ranch visitors half to death.

“As the President and Agent Howard ran through their usual routine, they could see a passenger bailing out of the backseat and then collapsing in the water. Howard and the President’s physician jumped out and ran to her.”

This Smithsonian Magazine article about what NOT to do if you want to be awarded a Nobel Prize.

“Since there are fewer medals than prize-worthy nominees, the committee must look beyond credentials and toward things like uniqueness and the magnitude of a discovery, says Hansson. That can bite even the most worthy nominees, he notes.”

photo credit: Nobelpriset via photopin (license)
photo credit: Photograph of President Lyndon Johnson Visiting with U.S. Troops in Cam Ranh Bay, Vietnam, 10/26/1966 via photopin (license)

09 Oct

Devastating Startup Failure and the Truth Behind the Columbus Myth

This Medium article about the people behind educational app Wisdomly and their journey through the typical tech startup phase, which deviated from the original core idea and ended in failure.

“You always hear about the college grad who slept in his car while building a product, worked out of a basement to save money, or secretly resided in the AOL office as testament to his determination. But you never hear about those who hustle just as hard, make similar outrageous sacrifices…and still fail.”

This Smithsonian Magazine article about how the myth of Columbus was born from the aftermath of the American Revolution.

“If the object of such ardor seems inappropriate in the modern world there’s also ample evidence that the whole affair began rather badly – not with affection for Columbus himself but with a disdain for England and the desire for a uniquely American hero.”

photo credit: Nokia Lumia 930 via photopin (license)