Archive for the 'Science' Category

Chic Engine Helps You Find That Dress You Saw on Pinterest

It is not new but the story behind impresses me in terms of idea creation and also it represents new ways how information can be found closer to the real-life search approach: “I saw this white dress the other night, and want to get results for a this type of white dress and not just a dress which has the same shape.” Jonathan Allen wrote about Chic Engine on searchenginwatch.com:

What does breast cancer screening have to do with fashion? More than rubber bracelets or ribbon broaches.

Adrian Rosebrock, from Catonsville, Maryland, has put into action insights from his day job as a developer at the National Cancer Institute unit to make a visual search engine.

Working in the breast cancer screening unit, Rosebrock has been developing metrics to detect cancer in images and taking those learnings about computer ‘vision’, namely histology, and applied it to the problem of shape and color in visual search in the fashion vertical.

His project, Chic Engine, matches the shape and color of any image led query you input, either via a image file upload or a hosted image URL – provided you are looking for clothing matches. Currently the index of returned products comes mainly from ShopStyle but what is available so far is an impressive demonstration of how visual search could be something to look out for.

Full article

Life is too short to be busy

“A ‘Busy’ Trap” is a great article for the NYT by Tim Kreider which everyone should read.

Brecht Vandenbroucke

[…] It’s become the default response when you ask anyone how they’re doing: “Busy!” “So busy.” “Crazy busy.” It is, pretty obviously, a boast disguised as a complaint. And the stock response is a kind of congratulation: “That’s a good problem to have,” or “Better than the opposite.”

[…] Busyness serves as a kind of existential reassurance, a hedge against emptiness; obviously your life cannot possibly be silly or trivial or meaningless if you are so busy, completely booked, in demand every hour of the day.

[…] Idleness is not just a vacation, an indulgence or a vice; it is as indispensable to the brain as vitamin D is to the body, and deprived of it we suffer a mental affliction as disfiguring as rickets. The space and quiet that idleness provides is a necessary condition for standing back from life and seeing it whole, for making unexpected connections and waiting for the wild summer lightning strikes of inspiration — it is, paradoxically, necessary to getting any work done.

(via nytimes.com)

5 Things Every Presenter Should Know About People, Animated

This video already shows how one should present. It might be more work to think of visuals to be put on slides but worth the effort as people consume better what you say / the message is clearer. Just watch this video by Dr. Susan Weinshenk. I wish I could draw as awesome though..

  1. People learn best in 20-minute chunks. There must be a reason for the successful TED-sized talk format.
  2. Multiple sensory channels compete. During a talk, you engage both the auditory and visual channels — because we’re visual creatures and the visual channel trumps the auditory, make sure your slides don’t require people to read much or otherwise distract from the talk.
  3. What you say is only one part of your presentation. Paralinguistics explores how information is communicated beyond words — be aware the audience is responding to your body language and tone. Record yourself presenting to get a feel for those and adjust accordingly.
  4. If you want people to act, you have to call them to action. At the end of your presentation, be very specific about exactly what you would like your audience to do.
  5. People imitate your emotions and feel your feelings. If you’re passionate about your topic, this excitement will be contagious for the audience. Don’t hold back.

(via brainpickings.org)

Do more of what makes you happy

Sounds easy, but often we let ourselves get distracted by other things which we think is better or more prestigious, by what we should do or by what we think brings in more money. This applies to companies or business cases too. However, I am personally convinced that if you do what you love and where your passion lies in, without listen to other people around you, then everything else follows: prestige if you want, money, success, happiness, self-fullfillment.. As for companies, I believe if the basic customer need is fullfilled and how the customer wants it, then everything else follows too (success, money, brand value, sustainable relationships..) – just look at the iPhone and the time before the iPhone in terms of accessing the internet.

Maria Popova from Brain Pickings put together a great list of seven thinkers on these ideas – here a snapshot of the full article:

  1. PAUL GRAHAM ON HOW TO DO WHAT YOU LOVE
    “Prestige is like a powerful magnet that warps even your beliefs about what you enjoy. It causes you to work not on what you like, but what you’d like to like. If you do anything well enough, you’ll make it prestigious.”
  2. AlAIN DE BUTTON ON SUCCESS
    “One of the interesting things about success is that we think we know what it means. A lot of the time our ideas about what it would mean to live successfully are not our own. We should focus in on our ideas and make sure that we own them, that we’re truly the authors of our own ambitions. Because it’s bad enough not getting what you want, but it’s even worse to have an idea of what it is you want and find out at the end of the journey that it isn’t, in fact, what you wanted all along.”
  3. HUGH MACLEAOD ON SETTING BOUNDARIES
    “28. The best way to get approval is not to need it.
    This is equally true in art and business. And love. And sex. And just about everything else worth having.”
  4. LEWIS HYDE ON WORK VS LABOR
    “Work is an intended activity that is accomplished through the will. Writing a poem, raising a child, developing a new calculus, resolving a neurosis, invention in all forms — these are labors. There is no technology, no time-saving device that can alter the rhythms of creative labor. When the worth of labor is expressed in terms of exchange value, therefore, creativity is automatically devalued every time there is an advance in the technology of work.”
  5. STEVE JOBS ON NOT SETTLING
    “Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle.”
     
  6. ROBERT KRULWHICH ON FRIENDS
    “If you can… fall in love, with the work, with people you work with, with your dreams and their dreams. Whatever it was that got you to this school, don’t let it go. Whatever kept you here, don’t let that go. Believe in your friends. Believe that what you and your friends have to say… that the way you’re saying it — is something new in the world.”
  7. THE HOLSTEE MANIFESTO

Blood brother trailer

“Blood Brother” is a documentary movie about the young American Rocky Braat travelling through India to make an impact by helping HIV infected children. The trailer is moving and promise a wonderful documentary.

Blood Brother is the story of group of children infected with HIV and Rocky Braat, a disenchanted young American drifting through India. He wanted to save them all, but in reality he couldn’t cure even one of them. He had to stay. It’s a hard life. He faces opposition in many forms. He lives in a concrete hut. Sometimes, he is close to despair. But working with the kids gives him a sense of purpose. The truth is, he needs them as much as they need him. They teach him, daily, that love is the only thing that makes life worth living.

The happy secret to better work

While browsing through the TED talks I stumbled upon this video. First I thought I do not want to see another “how-to-be-happy” instructions but finally gave it a try after reading the intro. And it was totally worth it and thus the reason I want to share it. Not only because Shawn Achor’s speech is hilarious and he could easily work as stand-up comedian, but most importantly because he uses a different viewing angle to look at happiness. Watch and think about it!

of forest and men

Yann Arthus-Bertrand was appointed by the United Nations to produce the official film for the International Year of Forests. Impressive pictures and a true message.


Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 13 other followers

a