Once there was a cartoon experiment. This experiment used the most common 1,000 words in English to describe a Saturn V rocket. Have you wondered about getting started on describing something huge or complex in friendly language? For me, this cartoonist-inspired gizmo Up Goer Text Editor is a way to flex some muscles and warm up by challenging myself to describe using only common words. As you use the device, it strips away jargon and demands extremely lean but frequently comical descriptions... Continue Reading
Jessica Hagy at Indexed, says it perfectly:
Via Explainst: This Scientific American article describes their elegant experiment to see how people react when something “feels??? difficult. They presented two different groups of college students with printed instructions for a regular exercise routine. While the wording was the same in both sets of instructions, one group received instructions printed in a hard-to-read Brush font (a font that looks like brush strokes) while the other group received instructions printed in good ol’... Continue Reading
Nancy White pointed us to this awesome video. From what I gather, it's a music video for the band Field Music. Impressive. Maybe one day I'll have such mad skillz with the sharpie.
Super Simple: This is called the Q-drum and it's built for transporting 20 gallons of water - something that millions do everyday. Super simple indeed. You can read more in the New York Times article Design that Solves Problems for the Worlds Poor. I first heard about the Q-drum from Darren Barefoot. Needlessly Complex: This is a Japanese toilet that has 17 buttons. The one I use at home only has a single lever and it's never left me wanting more. Needlessly complex? I say yes. Maybe... Continue Reading
My friend Johnny Klein pointed me to an fun and funny explanation of how traffic works, (or not) in Beijing, China. It's by Henry B and presented in multiple photos of drawings on paper, which work really well to get the point across. Here's one of the simple-but-effective diagrams, followed by the caption. To make a left turn, it is VITAL that [A] cut off all eastbound traffic as soon as possible. The first few brave or foolish legitimate pedestrians step off the curb; this is of no... Continue Reading
For a while now I've been fascinated by the idea of creating a single place (other than Facebook) that brings together all the things I do on the Web. That is why I created the zeitgeist page here on Common Craft - to have that single place to bring it together. At the same time, I've had a blog at leelefever.com that has become a pain to keep updated - I needed a replacement. Recently I discovered Tumblr, which is a super-simple and lightweight way to have a blog with a minimum of... Continue Reading
It was one year ago that I won my first contest as a writer. The challenge was to create the "perfect corporate weblog elevator pitch". It was put on by the folks at Weblogs Inc. via the Social Software Weblog and Judith Meskill. At the very least, I hope the little contest preserves a look at what people thought was an accurate summary of how blogs could be used inside a corporation. One day, people may say "that was sooo 2004". For now though, I still stand beind the pitch 100%. Here it... Continue Reading