Ten Stories We Have Enjoyed This Week

25th April 2015

1) From The New Yorker – A World Where Nothing Is Lost. I think this rings very true, especially with a broader perspective on our lives today – ‘It may be that the generations after us are, like sheltered children, less used to loss and therefore suffer even more from it than we do now. It is something of the paradox of technological progress that, in our efforts to become invulnerable, we usually gain new, unexpected vulnerabilities….’
2) Monument Valley is one of the best games of recent years and maybe ever ( I think ) ,if you haven’t played it you should. Here are 7 highly effective habits from the team at ustwo who created it.
3) If you want to, you can see everything you’ve ever googled in one (terrifying) place. And then delete it.
4) This is great. FOLD is a reading, authoring and publishing platform allowing storytellers to structure and contextualise stories. Made in association with MIT. ‘FOLD essentially allows context to be displayed in a branch-like format, without the reader losing their original story stream. That context can include maps, videos, GIFs, and even other stories.’
5) The Economist’s Digital Strategy. From the title’s digital editor Tom Standage – ‘The “you’ve got to the end and now you’ve got permission to go do something else” is something you never get. You can never finish the Internet, you can never finish Twitter, and you can never really finish The New York Times, to be honest’ .
6) The (not so) puzzling rise in near sighted children . In the US the rate of nearsightedness in people 12-54 years old, has increased by nearly 66% in the forty years to 2004. The solution may be fairly simple – Go outside more.
7) Surprise surprise, the pandemonium that accompanied Google’s mobile friendly update , looks to have been exaggerated. It looks like we’ve survived Google’s ‘Mobilegeddon’. The big issue however, is the disappointing results.
8) Here it is again. It is 10 years since the first video was uploaded to a site called You Tube. Me at the Zoo – 21,138,932 views and counting….
9) Lots of stuff about emoticons and emojis this week –

Apparently many of us are increasingly thinking in emojis.This could all be about a need for simpler and clearer communication around emotions in the digital age – ‘The apparent difference between emojis and words is that the meaning of a word is not caused by some inherent link between the word and the thing or concept that it names or means. Linguists call this “the arbitrariness of linguistic signs.” ‘

America loves the eggplant emoji. Apparently ‘smiley face’ makes up 45% of all emojis used, whilst ‘sad face’ is next with 14%.

On the other side of the ‘smiling coin’ – the father of the emoticon (Scott Fahlman) has said that he thinks emojis are ugly.

10) Two ‘you couldn’t make them up’ pieces to finish with –

– A BBC newsreader stands next to a burning pile of hash and can’t finish a sentence.

– In China, the Ministry of Culture is working closely with police to stop the hiring of strippers at funerals. Apparently they are increasingly being used to attract more mourners (seriously?).