5 things that raised my eyebrow this week

  1. The claim that “25 countries are now involved in the vast search of the Malaysian airliner MH370″ is largely understated. About 3 million volunteers from around the world pore over satellite imagery in an effort to find any trace of the plane. Together they went through 24,000 square kilometers (9,300 square miles) of high-resolution imagery.mh370 search
  2. A London-based artist used Open Street Map data to generate images of cities at night because those taken from space were too blurry. These are stunning.cities at night
  3. What is the ROI on learning a foreign language? The Economist calculated that over a lifetime it can be even $128,000, but only if you study German.economist language calculator
  4. Now, did you know the Twitter bird’s name is Larry? Mashable compiled a list of famous tech mascots and stories behind their creation.tech mascots
  5. Have you played some origami recently? Good, you are now ready to fold a working (!) paper microscope. This hands-on science experiment could revolutionise healthcare in developing countries.

5 things that surprised me this week

  1. Associated Press reported that pilots often land at the wrong airport when several are close together. There has been 150 such flights since the early 1990s.plane
  2. You’ll be surprised to know that in Afghanistan there exists a “jihad museum”. It tells the story of a very particular chapter in the history of Afghanistan, namely the Soviet invasion in the 1980s. Watch out, it’s rather grisly.jihad museum
  3. London’s Euston is getting a redesign. Following the shiny example of King’s Cross, the neighbourhood is to become a lively quarter with shops, offices and new homes up for grabs. Oh, and a Euston Arch.euston redesign
  4. Norway has unveiled the designs for a memorial to remember the victims of a worst mass shooting in modern history that killed 77 people in Oslo and Utoya in 2011. It’s nothing short of powerful.norway shooting memorial
  5. Following the announcement of his campaign in Rome, Martin Schulz’s twitter bio sneakily changed from “the President of the European Parliament” to the “PES candidate for President of the EU Commission”, thus making all his followers – willingly or not  – endorse his candidature (In case you wondered, the EP Presidency got a brand new account). Where’s fair play?martin schulz

5 things that made me stop and wonder this week

  1. Here’s a list of companies in which interns earn more than the US median household income. As expected, the list is tech-heavy. An excellent prompt to make you re-think your future career.interns high salary
  2. Orange juice to disappear from your breakfast table. As sales have been dropping almost every year for the last decade, the start-the-day-with treat is on the best way to become a luxury product.orange-juice
  3. Google joined forces with Lego for virtual brick-building, which means you can now play with all sorts of colourful plastic pieces. And it’s limitless. Welcome Build with Chrome – the new form of procrastination at work.

4. Starlings in the skies. These little birds don’t like to fly on their own – instead they flock together in what we call “murmurations”. The Atlantic compiled a beautiful gallery of these formations.starlings

5. And finally, to celebrate 2014 as the year with no leap day in February, meet the “leap second”. Watch Demetrios Matsakis, chief scientist for time services at the US Naval Observatory, explain the concept.


5 things in tech, language and human nature that caught my eye this week

  1. A restaurant, a swimming pool or a concert hall theater? 16 dormant subway stations in Paris are waiting for re-design. Here‘s how one majoral candidate has imagined them to be.dormant subway station in Paris
  2. Now your smartphone can help cure cancer, and for free. Thanks to its incredible processing power, your phone can help researchers compute similarities between different protein sequences. All this when you’re asleep.app that cures cancer
  3. Deborah Fallows has recently asked what you think people actually mean when they ask “Where do you live?” or “Where are you from?”Here‘s what she found out and it’s really interesting.
    where are you from
    Picture: Paul Thurlby
  4. The annoying typing indicator in online chats is there for a reason. Here’s the man behind the bubble, justifying his paranoia-inducing invention. The logic behind it is quite smart.typing indicator
  5. Facebook knows when you’re starting a new relationship just by looking at the frequency of your posts. When you think of it, it is rather creepy.Facebook knows you are in a relationship

6 things that particularly struck me in tech, design and human nature this week

  1. The Swiss are now gem-ifying cremated ashes of their loved ones into diamonds. Co.Design writes: “instead of wearing your late grandmother’s old jewellery, you can actually wear your late grandmother.”Blue diamond
  2. 2014 ArchDaily Building of the Year Awards are out. Over 60,000 architects “got together” to pick projects of unique spatial qualities and materials. And they are beautiful. See the winners here.

    Alcácer do Sal Residences   by Aires Mateus

    Alcácer do Sal Residences by Aires Mateus

  3. Book worms, brace yourselves. Sensory fiction is coming. Your “wearable” book will cage you in a vest, control your heartbeat and flash colours to convey the protagonist’s mood. As if you didn’t know what they feel.

    "The Sensory Fiction author is provided with new means of conveying plot, mood and emotion while still allowing space for the reader's imagination," said the MIT press release.

    “The Sensory Fiction author is provided with new means of conveying plot, mood and emotion while still allowing space for the reader’s imagination,” said the MIT press release.

  4. Hockey rink, airport shuttle, rooftop gardens and go-carts – what do they have in common? You will find them in the parking lot. ParkingPLUS design challenge wants to revamp acres and acres of asphalt parking space in Long Island, as infrastructure begins to acquire an increasingly multifunctional (and recyclable) character.

    Parking lots of the future look super fun

    Parking lots of the future look super fun

  5. Maths and butterflies – scientific honesty in the illustrations by Venezuelan Rafael Araujo gives art the “comfort” of right and wrong answers.

    Araujo's insane mathematical illustrations

    Araujo’s insane mathematical illustrations

  6. And yet another apocalypse. Through “premediation” we practice for many possible scenarios, e.g. the one from The Walking Dead – as explained by the Atlantic. Snowpocalypse in Atlanta and The Walking Dead