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Ben Smith
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Ben Smith

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Dammit! I should have seen that coming.
Sylvia Driskell, 66, will represent herself in Driskell v. Homosexuals
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Ben Smith

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Ah, the easy part of the job. Looking at pictures of delicious ice cream. Ignore the over-editedness...
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Ehem nice
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Ben Smith

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Oh cool. So they act like little half-written fugue-puzzles. Bach knows these feels.
 
IN WHICH, we subordinate a clause...

I’m a fan of all the betentacled linguistic lifeforms that have emerged from our cambrian explosion online. These days, people write insanely more text than they did before the Internet and mobile phones came along. So the volume of experimentation is correspondingly massive and, for me, delightful. One joy of our age is watching wordplay evolve at the pace of E.coli.

[...]

Subordinate-clause tweets and Yik-Yak postings seduce us into filling out that missing info, McCulloch says. “Our brain has to work a little bit harder to figure out what it’s referring to, and so making that connection is very satisfying. It’s like getting a joke. You have to draw that connection for yourself a little bit — but because you can do it, it works really well.”

A historic parallel? The crazy, long chapter headings in 19th-century novels, which often were also dependent clauses, inviting the reader to imagine the rest of the baroque narrative. “In Which Our Protagonist Meets A Dashing Stranger,” McCulloch jokes. “The ‘in which’ is doing a very similar thing.”

h/t +Daniel Estrada 

https://medium.com/message/that-way-we-re-all-talking-now-49e255037f15
First we LOLed. Now we’re changing the way a sentence works
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Ben Smith

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Uh oh. Watch out, Rosetta Stone.
Learn languages completely free, without ads or hidden charges. It's fun, easy, and scientifically proven.
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Haha. Yeah, I don't know if immersion is an option for schools. I don't think it is, because of that possibility.

I've been messing around with all the languages a little bit, but I'm still waiting for Mandarin or Arabic. Maybe. Or a fictional language like Quenya or Na'vi. Or maybe Doth'raki! Those would be pretty cool.

Ben Smith

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What in the hell. What. In. The. Hell.

This is so gross. I can't even believe. I can't. What the hell. 
"Ttongsul" is a Korean rice wine mixed with the fermented turd of a human child. It has an alcoholic content of around 9 percent. A quick "Ttongsul" Google search will provide you with little more than internet-land hearsay and a flimsy Wikipedia page. Intrigued, we set out to discover if the rumors were true.
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Biotic for sure, dunno about any pros. Further proof something isn't good or valid just because it's traditional.

Ben Smith

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Dammit! I missed Orion's flight test launch thing! I always miss the cool ones.
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Yeah, me too. I watched for two hours yesterday. It was under 4 minutes and they kept aborting due to wind. Missed out today.

Ben Smith

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I just got a Chromebook. Thanks, Mom!

Does anyone have any suggestions for web development on a Chromebook? I'd love to make this my primary computer.
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Great bit of kit.

Ben Smith

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She does dishes now.
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Ben Smith

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This is what I was trying to tell people years ago. Facebook is far and away the worst offender in privacy violations. This article is about the craziness involved with people using Facebook for their own personal use.

But Facebook is also becoming less useful for the businesses I work with. The reach of posts I make as a business page has dropped from about 20% of the followers of the page to around 1-2% in the last three years. The reason is pretty transparent.

They're trying to nudge (read "shove") all businesses into paying to promote their posts. Not only is that unfair to small businesses and non profits, but there's no guarantee you'll actually get any performance out of your promoted posts. There's no way to know if the users your posts are reaching are even real people. The promoted posts look like spam to users, who will be less likely to take that post seriously. And all it takes is a small chunk of users - real or not - reporting your post as spam to do damage to your brand on Facebook.

I'm still waiting for everyone to get off of Facebook because of this. Yeah, my job relies on Facebook right now. But I would much rather rely on Google+, Twitter and all the other social networks.
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Young people seem to like other platforms better...older people just dont like change.

Ben Smith

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This American Life strikes again!

I figured out +WakeUpNow was a pyramid scheme pretty quickly after visiting their website. But they seem to be doing it in an even more crazy roundabout way than the other ones!
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Check out this embarrassing photo from the era where I'm posing in front of my parents' idiotic poster that they customized with the slogan from their pyramid scheme du jour:  http://i.imgur.com/irfNMOO.png

Ben Smith

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Oh my god. This is awesome. I can't wait for the update so I can spend way too much the exact right amount of time in space!
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Ben Smith

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Ooo. Neat.
 
The Style of Elements
Posted by +Daniel Smilkov, Software Engineer

Data doesn't have to be big to be complex. In 1869, Mendeleev created the first "periodic table"--an arrangement of elements based on fewer than 70 data points. In fact, the most interesting thing about the original periodic table might have been the data it didn't include: the "holes" in the original chart turned out to be a kind of treasure map, pointing the way to undiscovered elements.

Although the periodic table is one of the classic visualizations, it still provides a chance for designers to play with new ideas. The Big Picture visualization group (http://goo.gl/vxsUdU) was fascinated with this version (http://goo.gl/8ozrj8), which allocates elements bigger or smaller areas to give a qualitative picture of how common they are in the Earth's crust.

Because the numbers behind that chart were only approximate, we decided to design a precise, quantitative view. (We're going to get into the weeds on this--visualizers gonna visualize--but you can skip to the last paragraph if you don't want to read the details of the design.) We quickly discovered that using area to represent abundances didn't give a good sense of the differences between elements: they covered so many orders of magnitude that all but the most common elements disappeared entirely. (The earth's crust has 170,000 times as much oxygen as uranium.) Using a logarithmic scale had the opposite effect: it flattened out the scale so that differences didn't seem as significant.

But we found that using volume to represent size produced a readable and interesting result. It also felt natural and direct when we looked at other data related to the elements. After all, how better to show the volume of 1 gram of an element than by volume itself?

Those experiments led to the visualization you see at http://goo.gl/5RCSmj. For fun, we let you choose between representing data with length or with volume, so you can see for yourself the difference the encoding makes. And as a bonus, we've added a view of electron shells, so you can see how Mendeleev’s visualization beautifully reflects atomic structure.
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