Boldy going where no Vulcan has gone before

[via Tor.com]

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February 28 asides

Engadget: What’s coming in Mac OS X Lion

Inhabitat: Study finds LED light bulbs contain unsafe levels of carcinogenic toxins

NY Times: The dirty little secrets of search
A very good article about how JC Penney apparently successfully gamed the Google algorithm for several months.

Harvard Business Review:
The four phases of design thinking

“Having studied more than a hundred top designers in various fields over the past couple of years (while doing research for a book), I found that there were a few shared behaviors that seemed to be almost second nature to many designers. And these ingrained habits were intrinsically linked to the designer’s ability to bring original ideas into the world as successful innovations. All of which suggests that they merit a closer look…”

Pictures from Google offices

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NY Times goes inside Pixar

The New York Times gets a rare behind-the-scenes look at Pixar.

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Slippery slope

Best argument against gay marriage I’ve heard yet. I buy it.

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Waterfall

This is crazy awesome, whether it’s a computer graphic fake or not. A seemingly perpetual motion waterfall using forced perspective (and maybe pumps?) to recreate the famous Escher drawing. The shadows as he moves around are really hard to figure out. Even if this was faked with a computer, it is well done.

[via Nutron]

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February 9 asides

Kottke on the hilarious everything bagel.

AdZone 2011
Watch (and rate) all the Superbowl commercials on Hulu, without having to watch the stupid game.

GreenBiz.com: Gavin Newsom lays out green agenda for California

GreenBiz.com: Apple takes heat from Chinese NGOs of supply chain pollution
“Behind their stylish image, Apple products have a side many do not know about — pollution and poison. This side is hidden deep within the company’s secretive supply chain,” says a report from the Green Choice Initiative.

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Paris underground

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Cat vs. Internet

This is basically me and Orson. Click through for the whole shebang. [via Jenny]

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The year in photos

The Big Picture’s best news photos of 2010, in three parts.

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December 31 asides

Mission Workshop
I was walking in my old ’hood and noticed a sign pointing down a dead-end alley which previously looked like it only contained the back doors to businesses fronting on the next street. The sign was for Mission Workshop, and it had a cool logo, and I was curious…so I checked it out. Turned out to be a great little bike gear shop with a small line of very high quality gear. I was in the market for a waterproof jacket so I tried on and ended up buying the Orion waterproof outer jacket and the Bosun merino wool inner jacket. I am gonna be warm and cozy and dry the rest of the winter on my bike rides to and from work ; ) They guys at the shop were really cool; they gave me a deal for buying both at the same time, and even some free coffee beans from their pals at Bicycle Coffee Company.

“Smartphone” was used as early as the 1910s
While it’s arguably more of a tool for researchers or linguistics scholars, Google recently launched Ngram Viewer, which enables one to lets you trace the usage of a word or phrase anytime in the past five centuries (!) by seeing how often it’s appeared in books published over that time span (Google has been digitizing books for several years).

The mystery of the naked man in a trunk

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