frank's blog

The Optimism Bias – Great Time Article by Tali Sharot

Posted in ideas, inspiration, quality by aldorf on June 2, 2011

The Optimism Bias, one of the best articles I have read in a while!

When we hear a success story like Mark Zuckerberg’s our brains take note of the possibility that we too may become immensely rich one day. But hearing that the odds of divorce are almost 1 in 2 tends not to make us think that our own marriages may be destined to fail.

(Illustration by Noma Bar)

Amazing Paperhouse by Shigeru Ban

Posted in architecture by aldorf on August 29, 2010

Shigeru Ban (坂茂, Ban Shigeru; born 1957 in Tokyo, Japan) is an accomplished Japanese and international architect, most famous for his innovative work with paper, particularly recycled cardboard paper tubes used to quickly and efficiently house disaster victims. Shigeru Ban was the winner in 2005 at age 48 of the 40th annual Thomas Jefferson Medal in Architecture from the University of Virginia in Charlottesville. He was profiled by Time Magazine in their projection of 21st century innovators in the field of architecture and design.

Berlin – 70 Workers Are Building A Wooden 4 x 12 m “Digital” Time Display in Real Time

Posted in architecture, art, ideas by aldorf on August 25, 2010

standard-time.com

70 workers are building a wooden 4 x 12 m “digital” time display in real time: a work that involves 1611 changes within 24 hour period. Seamlessly documented and shot on video, a 24 hours movie or clock is now available. Standard Time is an artwork by Mark Formanek, realized by Datenstrudel in coproduction with Bigfish GmbH. Supportet by Stiftung Kunstfonds & Filmstiftung NRW, Skulpturenpark Berlin.

11 Ideas – How To Give A Great Speech

Posted in ideas, your take on... by aldorf on August 19, 2010
Audience during my Wikimania talk

Image via Wikipedia

(via Bolt|Peters)

1) Start on time and finish early. It shows respect for peoples time.

2) Skip long introductions. If you like to give contextual background information, do it at the relevant part of your talk.

3) No intro slides at all. It feels wrong but it works great.

4) Before you even say hello, give your audience something of value. A nugget of information.

5) Don’t sacrifice content for jokes or funny slides. It’s the real meat of your presentation.

6) Don’t dumb down information. Your audience is not stupid.

7) Reference specific work examples.

8) Do not make any editorial notes during your talk (“sorry, this slide is hard to read”). Avoid editorializing. It just takes focus away from the content and will interrupt peoples experience.

9) Avoid phrases like “…more in detail later”. It pulls the audience right out of the talk. And the current becomes less interesting and important. Another form of editorializing.

10) Stories make great talks. If something is boring content, build a story around it.

11) Stop anticipating questions your audience might have. Leave it to the Q&A. Don’t include answers in your presentation already.

“Straddling” Bus – How Commute Changes In Near Future

Posted in architecture by aldorf on August 3, 2010

A big concern on top of urban transportation planner’s mind is how to speed up the traffic: putting more buses on the road will jam the roads even worse and deteriorate the air; building more subway is costly and time consuming. Well, here is an cheaper, greener and fast alternative to lighten their mind up a bit: the straddling bus, first exhibited on the 13th Beijing International High-tech Expo in May this year. In the near future, the model is to be put into pilot use in Beijing’s Mentougou District (bjnews).

Vodpod videos no longer available.

Translation:

What you can see from the video is traffic jams, what you can hear is noise, and there is also invisible air pollution. At present, there are mainly 4 types of public transits in China: subway, light-rail train, BRT, and normal bus. They have advantages and disadvantages, for example, subway costs a lot and takes long time to build; BRT takes up road spaces and produces noises as well as pollution to the air. How to develop environmental-friendly public transportation? Straddling bus provides a solution. Let’s watch a demonstration.

The straddling bus combines the advantages of BRT, it is also a substitution for BRT and subway in the future. As you all know, the majority vehicle on the road is car, the shortest vehicle is also car. Normally our overpass is 4.5-5.5 m high. The highlight innovation of straddling bus is that it runs above car and under overpass. Its biggest strength is saving road spaces, efficient and high in capacity. It can reduce up to 25-30% traffic jams on main routes. Running at an average 40 km/h, it can take 1200 people at a time, which means 300 passengers per cart.

Another strength of straddling bus is its short construction life cycle: only 1 year to build 40 km. Whereas building 40-km subway will take 3 years at best. Also the straddling bus will not need the large parking lot that normal buses demand. It can park at its own stop without affecting the passage of cars. This is what the interior looks like: it has huge skylight that will eliminate passengers’ sense of depression when enter.

There are two parts in building the straddling bus. One is remodeling the road, the other is building station platforms. Two ways to remodel the road: we can go with laying rails on both sides of car lane, which save 30% energy; or we can paint two white lines on both sides and use auto-pilot technology in the bus, which will follow the lines and run stable.

There are also two ways in dealing with station platform. One is to load/unload through the sides; the other is using the built-in ladder so that passengers can go up and to the overpass through the ceiling door.

Straddling bus is completely powered by municipal electricity and solar energy system. In terms of electricity, the setting is called relay direct current electrification. The bus itself is electrical conductor, two rails built on top to allow the charging post to run along with the bus, the next charging post will be on the rails before the earlier one leaves, that is why we call it relay charging. It is new invention, not available yet in other places.

The set here is super capacitor, a device that can charge, discharge and store electricity quickly. The power it stores during the stop can support the bus till the next stop where another round of charging takes place, achieving zero toxic gas throughout the process.

About the ultrasonic waves put forth from the end of the bus, that is to keep those high cars or trucks away from entering the tunnel. Using laser ray to scan, cars get too close to the passage will activate the alarm on the bus end. Inside the bus, there are turning lights that indicate a the bus is intending to make a turn to warn the cars inside. Also radar scanning system is embedded on the walls to warn cars from getting too close to the bus wheels.

Nowadays many big cities have remodeled their traffic signaling system, to prioritize public buses, that is to say when a bus reaches a crossing, red light on the other side of the fork will turn on automatically to give buses the right of way. Our straddling bus can learn from this BRT method. The car can make the turn with the bus if that is the direction it wants to go too; if not, the red light will be on to stop the cars beneath while the bus take the turn.

The bus is 6 m in width and 4-4.5 m high. How will people get off the bus if an accident happens to such a huge bus? Here I introduce the most advanced escaping system in the world. In the case of fire or other emergencies, the escaping door will open automatically. I believe many of you have been on a plane. Planes are equipped with inflated ladder so people can slide down on it in emergency. I put the escaping concept into the straddling bus. It is the fastest way to escape.

The bus can save up to 860 ton of fuel per year, reducing 2,640 ton of carbon emission. Presently we have passed the first stage demonstration and will get through all of the technical invalidation by the end of August. Beijing’s Mentougou District is carrying out a eco-community project, it has already planned out 186 km for our straddling bus. Construction will begin at year end. (via chinahush)

How To Make The Perfect Mix Tape

Posted in music by aldorf on June 19, 2010

This cut-and-paste hobby is “the most widely practiced American art form” (Geoffrey O’Brien). The time implicit in a mix or playlist is the real gift. It’s one of the purer gifts one can give.

1) Don’t put an average tune up first. It’s like the first sentence of a book. It has to be a striking one.

2) Know your audience’s music proclivities. Proof that you know the genre really well and surprise with some undiscovered and original choices.

3) Employ variety. Singer-songwriter is your theme but 15 to 20 songs of a man and a guitar is lame and boring.

4) Always use a classic tune. or a remix of a classic song.

5) Mix soft and loud tracks. It works. Just find the right balance and flow.

6) Include songs by female vocalists. Especially if the mix is being made for one.

7) There is no limit to the genre range.

8) Give it a title. But it needs to fit your concept. “Happy Birthday Angela.” – bad choice. “Tales of a Tired Decade” or “Music to Cut Veins” – better.

9) Be aware of the lyrical content. Especially if the mix is made for a friend. Modern pop music is largely focused upon love – either wanting it, getting it, or being disgruntled for having had it – it has little place in a platonic mix.

10) Mixes can be pathways to overthinking, and are probably even easier to misinterpret. Spiking mixes with hidden messages is not a good idea. It never works.

11) You need cover art.

More music here.

Google Zeitgeist Tools

Posted in Media, web by aldorf on January 7, 2010

Zeitgeist” means “the spirit of the times”. Google has several tools that give insight into global, regional, past and present search trends. Use them for everything from business research to trivia answers.

Google Trends – For a broad look at search query data, enter up to five search terms to see relative popularity over time.

Trends for Websites – Google Trends for website traffic data. Type in a website address to see visitors by region and related sites visited.

Insights for Search – A deeper dive into search query data for marketers and power users. Create your own lists of “most popular” and “fastest rising” queries for different geographic regions over time and by topic.

Hot Trends – The top 100 fastest-rising search queries right now (U.S. only). Updates throughout the day

What time is it?

Posted in art by aldorf on December 11, 2009

This clock does not actually have a man inside but a flatscreen that plays a 24 hour loop of this video by the artist watching his own clock somewhere and painstakingly erasing and re-writing each minute. This video was taken at Design Miami during Art Basel Miami Beach 2009. Designer Maarten Baas.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

What do you do with 7.43 seconds?

Posted in your take on... by aldorf on October 13, 2009
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Quote Of The Day

Posted in Quotes Of The Day by aldorf on October 13, 2009

Albert Einstein

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