When you focus on all the small events and decisions that happen throughout a single day, those 24 hours can seem like an eternity.

Graphic designer Luke Twyman turned that around in Here is Today.

It’s a straightforward interactive that places one day in the context of all days ever.

You start at today, and as you move forward, the days before this one appear, until today is reduced to a one-pixel sliver on the screen and doesn’t seem like much at all.

Puts things into perspective huh!?

 

Read on Flowing Data

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This time of year is all about tradition, isn’t it? (Allright, I am not the one to talk, celebrating Christmas early this week end and not planning to attend a mass)

Still, the season for giving and all that. A time of year where you can reflect on the year that’s drawing to a close and think about all the things you might want to change as the new year dawns. (That’s right, I’m referring to the New Year Resolution we all know we are going to hold seriously….)

Many of us will spend time with our families, and maybe eat a bit too much. Drink too much. Perhaps a few too many refreshing beverages will be consumed at times of the day when, at any other time of year, people might raise an eyebrow…

It’s also the time when you might think about extending a little seasonal goodwill to others less fortunate, and this week is a time when you can combine that tradition with another.

Yes guys, I’m talking about THE Christmas Jumper Day!

Long derided, it’s become the epitome of seasonal cool (True story, we were in a club in London last Saturday, the number of old-fashioned-hand-knitted-Christmas-Jumpers was unbelievable, and unbelievably successful, like a girl magnet).

This year, the 14th December is Christmas Jumper Day and at Save The Children you can show the world you care, in all your Fair Isle finery.

So this morning, I woke up (waking up on a Friday morning keeps getting harder as the holidays are drawing closer… and the wine flowing quicker!) and properly dressed for the occasion.

Arrived wearing my nice little Christmas jumper in the midst of our Equity Trading Floor, expecting everyone to be in a cheerful Christmas spirit, with carols playing aloud and sents of musc and cinnamon falling upon us.

What a disappointment! Can’t believe I’m probably the only one out of about 800 other bankers on the floor to think that was a great idea (but then, i was deprived of the opportunity to participate in Movember so the guys probably feel like they’ve already done their good deed!)

So, if you want to help the Save the Children Foundation, you can do a donation here (alternatively, if you just want to do something nice, buy me a drink or even better, like Column Capital D’s Facebook page!).

Cherry Mistmas!

Ambre

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Le site Oddee, spécialisé dans le listing des étrangetés de notre monde, répertorie les 11 interdictions les plus surprenantes –qui ne sont pas uniquement l’apanage des régimes autoritaires. Sélection.

En Australie, les femmes ayant une petite poitrine (rentrant dans un bonnet A) ne sont pas autorisées à jouer dans un film porno, l’Australian Classification Board ayant considéré que les hommes appréciant les films dans lesquels jouent des femmes à petits seins pourraient être de potentiels pédophiles. Les films classés X n’ont également pas le droit de montrer une éjaculation féminine.

 

Les autorités chinoises font attention à l’impact des images diffusées, notamment quand elles sont en provenance des US. Le huitième et dernier film de la série Harry Potter n’a été diffusé sur les écrans que trois semaines après sa sortie nord-américaine, les autorités préférant miser sur le succès du film Le début de la grande renaissance, qui célébrait le 90e anniversaire de la fondation du Parti communiste chinois.

Lorsque le film Avatar, qui traite de la rébellion d’aliens contre une force militaire expansionniste, est sorti à l’hiver 2009, les autorités chinoises ont décidé de ne le diffuser que dans les salles 3D. Une façon d’interdire quasiment le film, puisqu’il y a très peu de salles 3D dans le pays.

Les interdits se fondant sur des croyances religieuses sont également prédominants. C’est la raison principale pour laquelle le gouvernement saoudien a interdit la vente de tout élément rouge chez les fleuristes et boutiques de cadeaux à l’occasion de la Saint-Valentin, considérée comme allant à l’encontre des croyances musulmanes.

Ceci a néanmoins entraîné la floraison d’un marché noir à l’approche du 14 février.

Pour se prévenir de la tendance des «coupes de cheveux décadentes occidentales», les autorités iraniennes ont répertorié l’ensemble des styles de coiffures autorisés, excluant ainsi les coupes mulet des années 1980 ou les queues de cheval pour hommes.

 

Plus incongrue encore est l’autorisation que la Chine exige que vous obteniez si vous voulez vous réincarner après votre mort. Les autorités chinoises n’ont évidemment aucun contrôle là-dessus, mais c’est une façon de faire pression sur les boudhistes tibétains…

 

Eh bah… On en a de la chance!

Lu sur Slate

 

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I stumbled upon some « random acts of kindness » online:

I thought, there should be a website/organization promoting that. And if not, I should start it. So I Googled it (what else?!) and found the official RAK (Random Acts of Kindness) website. I love the idea, and thought it was worth sharing!

THE RANDOM ACTS OF KINDNESS FOUNDATION

The Random Acts of Kindness Foundation is an internationally recognized non-profit organization founded upon the powerful belief in kindness and dedicated to providing resources and tools that encourage acts of kindness.

Randomactsofkindness.org is a platform where media, education, community, social networking and entertainment connect people with inspiration, tools, resources, organizations and a larger support network to help them take action, get involved, harvest and share the benefits of kind actions in their daily lives and society.

All who join Randomactsofkindness.org can participate in and contribute to a thriving movement where members engaged in thinking, doing and sharing kindness are changing the world.


About The Foundation

Established in 1995 as a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization, the Foundation is privately held and funded. They accept no donations, grants or membership dues. They do not provide financial assistance to individuals or organizations. The Foundation has no religious or organizational affiliations and encourage the practice of kindness in all sectors of society.

As people from different cultures and from all walks of life join to spread kindness, they are creating a powerful, synergistic action throughout the world. Please join us in bringing kindness and compassion to our local and global communities!

Everyday, there is a kindness idea featured and today’s Kindness Idea is:
Be Kind To Someone You Dislike

Make an effort to be polite to someone you don’t get along with. Go out of your way to say hello or have a conversation with them. Getting to know and understand him or her better might help you appreciate your differences.

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A color-coded map of the world’s most and least emotional countries

Click on image to enlarge!

Since 2009, the Gallup polling firm has surveyed people in 150 countries and territories on, among other things, their daily emotional experience. Their survey asks five questions, meant to gauge whether the respondent felt significant positive or negative emotions the day prior to the survey. The more times that people answer “yes” to questions such as “Did you smile or laugh a lot yesterday?”, the more emotional they’re deemed to be.

Gallup has tallied up the average “yes” responses from respondents in almost every country on Earth. The results, which I’ve mapped out above, are as fascinating as they are indecipherable. The color-coded key in the map indicates the average percentage of people who answered “yes.” Dark purple countries are the most emotional, yellow the least. Here are a few takeaways.

Singapore is the least emotional country in the world. ”Singaporeans recognize they have a problem,” Bloomberg Businessweek writes of the country’s “emotional deficit,” citing a culture in which schools “discourage students from thinking of themselves as individuals.” They also point to low work satisfaction, competitiveness, and the urban experience: “Staying emotionally neutral could be a way of coping with the stress of urban life in a place where 82 percent of the population lives in government-built housing.”

The Philippines is the world’s most emotional country. It’s not even close; the heavily Catholic, Southeast Asian nation, a former colony of Spain and the U.S., scores well above second-ranked El Salvador.

Post-Soviet countries are consistently among the most stoic. Other than Singapore (and, for some reason, Madagascar and Nepal), the least emotional countries in the world are all former members of the Soviet Union. They are also the greatest consumers of cigarettes and alcohol. This could be what you call and chicken-or-egg problem: if the two trends are related, which one came first? Europe appears almost like a gradient here, with emotions increasing as you move West.

People in the Americas are just exuberant. Every nation on the North and South American continents ranked highly on the survey. Americans and Canadians are both among the 15 most emotional countries in the world, as well as ten Latin countries. The only non-American countries in the top 15, other than the Philippines, are the Arab nations of Oman and Bahrain, both of which rank very highly.

English- and Spanish-speaking societies tend to be highly emotional and happy. Though the Anglophone nations of the world retain deep cultural links, it’s not clear if Spain’s emotional depth has anything to do with Latin America’s. According to Gallup, “Latin America leads the world when it comes to positive emotions, with Panama, Paraguay, and Venezuela at the top of that list.” Yes, even Hugo Chavez’s Venezuela is apparently filled with happy people.

Africans are generally stoic, with some significant exceptions. The continent is among the world’s least emotional, though there is wide variation, which serves as a non-definitive but interesting reminder of Africa’s cultural diversity. Each could be its own captivating case study. It’s possible that South Africa’s high rating has to do with its cultural ties to Western Europe, for example, and Nigeria’s may have to do with the recent protest movement in the south and sectarian violence in the north.

The Middle East is not happy. Gallup notes, “Negative emotions are highest in the Middle East and North Africa, with Iraq, Bahrain, and the Palestinian Territories leading the world in negative daily experiences.” Still, that doesn’t quite fully explain the high emotions in the Levant and on the Arabian peninsula, compared to the lower emotions in Libya, Algeria, and Morocco. Perhaps this hints at how people in these countries are being affected by the still-ongoing political turmoil of the Arab Spring.

Read on the Washington Post

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So this new company, Remee say they can help you dream lucidly. Why? What? How? Well first, watch the video below. It’ll get you in the right mindset. All set?

Ok, to proceed: Have you ever had a dream where you knew you were dreaming? What did you do? Did you wake up and think nothing more of it? What would you say if we told you you were on the verge of something entertaining or even sublime? Lucid Dreaming is the ability to understand and control your dreams as they happen, and it’s something people have been doing for thousands of years!

What is Remee?

Remee is a specialized sleep mask designed to help increase the frequency of your Lucid Dreams. The key to Lucid Dreaming is recognizing when you’re dreaming. That’s where Remee comes in.

Inside what looks like a normal sleep mask is a microcontroller.

During your sleep, Remee flashes a series of customizable, recognizable light patterns via six rear facing LEDs.

The lights aren’t bright enough to wake you up, but, if you are dreaming, they can appear as visual anomalies in your dreams, helping the dreamer recognize the fact that they are dreaming, and become lucid.

Once lucid, you can begin controlling the world around you.

And for $95 (£60) you can order these here!

Thanks Polux for sharing :-)

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La NASA dévoile des images exceptionnelles de la Terre illuminée la nuit.

Grâce à un nouveau satellite, Suomi NPP, les scientifiques de la NASA ont pu réaliser des images impressionnantes de la Terre vue de l’espace, la nuit. Tout se révèle alors à l’objectif, depuis la lueur vacillante des bateaux jusqu’aux aux étendues lumineuses des mégapoles.

Sublime. Prenez 5 min pour la regarder:


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NB: NO, it’s not my legs. And YES, someone did ask…

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Bon, après avoir envoyé a plusieurs personnes ma petite recette secrète de cookies (and as today, the web 2.0 is all about open source) I’ve decided to simply post it here.

Et puis quand on me demandera la recette je n’aurais plus qu’à dire « Oh va voir mon blog »! Et hop d’une pierre deux coup, pub pour Column Capital D en même temps. Or how to kill two birds with one stone!

Bref, voilà la recette, à respecter a la lettre, sinon je ne suis pas responsable d’un potentiel plantage! (Et je vous ai mis des photos de chaque ingrédient pour limiter les risques d’achat d’un mauvais beurre doux ou de levure à pain, un peu de sérieux!)

Ingrédients:

- 130g de farine
- 120g de poudre d’amande
- deux grosses cuillères à café de miel « dur »
- 1/2 sachet de levure
- 1 sachet de sucre vanillé
- 150 g de sucre roux / cassonade
- 125 g de beurre demi-sel
- 1 œuf
- 200 grammes de chocolat noir Nestlé dessert
- 60g de noisettes entières

Préparation

Dans un saladier, mélanger la farine, la poudre d’amande, la levure, le sucre, le sucre vanillé

Ramollir le beurre très légèrement au micro-onde (attention, il ne faut surtout pas qu’il fonde, juste qu’il se ramollisse suffisamment pour pouvoir l’écraser avec les doigts) et ensuite y mélanger l’œuf, et le miel.

Mélanger la préparation beurre + oeuf + miel dans la première préparation avec la farine, le sucre et tout.

Prendre la tablette Nestlé dessert et casser chaque petit carré en deux afin de faire des grosses pépites de chocolat.

Casser les noisettes en morceaux et éventuellement les faire griller à la poêle (c’est relou mais c’est bon!)

Ajouter les pépites de chocolat et les noisettes a la pate.

Mélanger.

Mettre au réfrigérateur 1 h si possible mais pas obligé. Préchauffer le four à 190°C.

Fais des boules un peu aplaties (il faut que ce soit épais pour que les cookies soient bien moelleux au milieux et croustillant sur les bords!) et les déposer sur un plaque recouverte de papier sulfurisé. Enfourner.

Faire cuire 8-10 minutes a peu près, surtout pas plus!

C’est normal s’ils sont encore mous, sortir du four et laisser refroidir au moins 30 min, ça va garder le moelleux!

Ensuite, décoller les cookies avec une spatule (attendre que ça ai un peu refroidi sinon tout va se casser) et c’est bon!

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Vous vous souvenez peut-être du son d’ouverture de Windows 95, ou même le bruit d’une cassette VHS que l’on insère dans un magnétoscope, voire même celui du modem se connectant un internet.

Sachez qu’un musée virtuel des sons en voie de disparitions, ou même disparus a ouvert ses portes sur internet: The Museum of Endangered Sounds.

Créé par Brendan Chilcutt (je mets sa photo en bas de l’article parceque sa tete me fait beaucoup trop rire, et je crois bien qu’on a les meme lunettes!), ce site regroupe une petite panoplie de sons que presque personne n’a entendu depuis des années, mais que les plus âgés connaissent très bien.

Une collection commencée en janvier, disposée avec de petits gifs très simples. Un musée qui ravira tous ceux qui ont grandi dans les années 1990!

Donc a tous ceux qui partagent la nostalgie de bruits qui ont bercé notre enfance, il est temps d’envoyer a Brendan des enregistrements avant qu’il ne soit trop tard (je m’accroche encore désespérément a mes vieilles cassettes VHS du Roi Lion et d’Aladin, meme si on n’a plus de lecteur cassette!).

Allez, pour ceux qui sont so-bilingual, un petit mot de Brendan Chilcutt qui ne pourra que vous convaincre!

« I launched the site in January of 2012 as a way to preserve the sounds made famous by my favorite old technologies and electronics equipment. For instance, the textured rattle and hum of a VHS tape being sucked into the womb of a 1983 JVC HR-7100 VCR. As you probably know, it’s a wonderfully complex sound, subtle yet unfiltered. But, as streaming playback becomes more common in the US, and as people in developing nations like Canada and the UK get brought up to DVD players, it’s likely that the world will have seen and heard the last of older machines like the HR-7100. And as new products come to market, we stand to lose much more than VCRs.

Imagine a world where we never again hear the symphonic startup of a Windows 95 machine. Imagine generations of children unacquainted with the chattering of angels lodged deep within the recesses of an old cathode ray tube TV. And when the entire world has adopted devices with sleek, silent touch interfaces, where will we turn for the sound of fingers striking QWERTY keypads? Tell me that. And tell me: Who will play my GameBoy when I’m gone?

These questions and more led me to the undertaking that is The Museum Of Endangered Sounds.

My ten-year plan is to complete the data collection phase by the year 2015, and spend the next seven years developing the proper markup language to reinterpret the sounds as a binary composition.

If you don’t understand my passion and the significance of my work, you probably never will. But if you do, then you’ve come to the right place.

And please, please email me if you enjoy the museum or have any questions! I love to hear from people and need to know what gadget sounds I am missing.

Thank you! »

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Sometimes, you come across some stuff on the internet, in this case- a company, and think, « WTF, that’s exactly what I should be doing! ». This happened to me recently when i came across Supersec, a company that sells dehydrated products (mushrooms mostly) online.

Seems very simple, but I love the idea. And yes, I love mushrooms.

Before the dictatorship of fresh, seasonal products such as mushrooms were subject to specific treatments for their conservation. These treatments used traditional techniques made available by the environment: ash, salt, smoke, sun, wind, cold…

Drying is a very effective technique: while it prevents the decomposition process in a lasting way; it also allows an optimal restoration of the taste and nutrients of the treated product.

Therefore we can keep some species that are particularly fragile and/or virtually impossible to find fresh on market stalls. This is the case for the « coprin chevelu », the « amanite des césars » or the « coulemelle ». (French names for these mushrooms, I did try to translate, but it just sounds absurd!)

Their special texture, concentration of flavors and aromas, and the ease and diversity of their use makes it a unique culinary experience.

The uncertain level of quality and constant increase in prices of wild mushroom, their probable cost to the environment, and traceability problems therefore urged the Supersec guys to seek new resources: remove the water. (Keep It Simple, Stupid!)

It takes between 12 and 20 kgs of fresh mushrooms to make 1 kilo of dried mushrooms, reducing thus substantially the energy cost associated with their transportation.

When dried under good conditions and directly in the hours after picking, they retain their aromatic and nutritious potential, and do not deteriorate during transportation.

Mushrooms contain between 80 and 95% water that dilutes both their flavor and nutritional potential. By eliminating this water, taste and nutritional values become incredibly (and wonderfully) concentrated.

SUPERSEC!
Their mushrooms are picked and dried in northern Greece, 200 kms from Thessaloniki, in the natural parks of the prefectures of West Macedonia, between 500 and 1500 m altitude.

So they’ll dry that up for you, and even give you recipes so you know what to do with these dried treasure!

Voila, go for it, and if you can’t be bothered to order and cook by yourself, then run to their Cafe des Spores in Brussels!

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