JEH's blog

Wayfinding - it's not just for humans anymore

An article in New Scientist reports that new research shows mice "make signposts out of leaves and twigs so that they do not get lost in fields".

"The wood mice might need to use signposts because the fields where they live are very bland - one patch of ploughed field looks much like another (..) And while some other mice use scent markers, wood mice are wholly visual". Much like humans.

The dangers of infographics

The current media spectacle that is the "war on Iraq" produces a lot of good and bad infographics. I was surfing the web looking for them and a few thoughts struck me:

Infographics are somewhat expensive and time-consuming to produce, and are therefore in their nature providing context to whatever is going on on the ground. It is, however, _not_ in their nature to provide afterthought and analysis.

The policy concerning infographics of NRK (Norwegian equivalent of the BBC) is that it is important to not overuse infographics because they can create the impression that this is a computer game and not real war with real people really being blown into little pieces.

The Guardian has attempted to create interactive infographics with Flash, but I expect something more than a pressing a "next" button through a slide show to call something interactive. There is a lot of unfulfilled potential here.

CNN.com battle scenarios
CNN.com Iraqi military sites | Surrender 101
Guardian Unlimited | Special reports | More interactive guides to the Iraq crisis
VG Nett - Baghdad City

"Blueprints for the web" - A review

I just finished reading "Blueprints for the web" and wrote down my thoughts about it.

Quantifying beauty

Golden section, golden ratio, golden mean, and the golden rectangle pops up a lot. At least four books in my shelf mentions it, but I didn't know that ''The appeal of the divine proportion to the human eye and brain has been scientifically tested. (...) when subjects are presented with a range of rectangles, they invariably pick out as most pleasing ones whose sides are in the golden ratio.''

Sex in politics

The visual design of the navigation in Salon implies that sex is a sub-category of politics. Perhaps it was designed in the good old days when American presidents proved their manhood in other ways than bombing infidels -- which seems to be all the rage these days.

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