- Why Spider-man: Into the Spiderverse has the most inventive visuals you’ll see this year.
- Europe’s first underwater restaurant.
- How to actually, truly focus on what you’re doing.
- The Kentucky Derby as Told by the Horses.
- Grocer Designed Embarrassing Plastic Bags to Shame Customers into Bringing Their Own.
- The Queens of Sicily: 1061 to 1266. 18 biographies about 18 powerful women.
- Stun Gun Myths Rewatching VERONICA MARS got me wondering how likely (initial hypothesis: not very) it was that you could render someone unconscious by zapping them. Of course, my hypothesis was [spoiler].
5) Forgery Experts Explain 5 Ways To Spot A Fake. Video.
7) How to take awesome food photos by Helen Rosner. (This is a terrific primer on visual composition)
2) A Songwriting Mystery Solved: Math Proves John Lennon Wrote ‘In My Life’. Mathematical analysis applied to musical authorship, which I find damned interesting.
3) Political Moderates Are Lying: How group social dynamics push moderate voters to extremes. (Not a perfect article, but interesting.
With Hurricane Florence hitting the coast of the USA, take a minute to familiarize yourself a few of the most common fake viral photos that people share on social media, so you can recognize them this time around and give them the obscurity they deserve.
7) A ‘beer sommelier’ explains how pouring a beer the wrong way can give you a stomach ache. Video
4. What Makes People the Most Happy: An analysis of the way people answer the question “What made you happy in the last 24 hours?”
7) Vaccines Work: Here are the Facts. (a comic)
making horror movie sound effects is a true art in itself. pic.twitter.com/RU7c1zKl2t
— Physics Fun (@PhysicsVideo) January 22, 2018
1. Interesting etymology of holiday terms. Video.
4a. Holiday beers.
6. I judge adaptations of A Christmas Carol by the way they depict the ghosts, and this right here is the perennial winner:
7. Last (and you knew this was coming), if you need a last-minute gift, ebooks like my new Twenty Palaces novella, The Twisted Path, are cheap and easy to deliver.
This short (>8min) Vox video on machine learning is terrific. It’s a fascinating look at the way work is being automated.
It also reminds me of last month’s post about the academics who created an algorithm to analyze books to see if they’ll become bestsellers or not. Brief summary: they subjected thousands of books to several kinds of analysis in order to identify traits that the bestsellers had that the non-bestsellers did not. They found nearly 2800 distinct differences.
The algorithm couldn’t create a bestseller, and in their book the academics were clear the technology was a long way off, if it was possible at all.
The video above explains why that is, and why the software’s ability to teach itself is so interesting. Recommended.
Since that last post, the academics who developed the algorithm and wrote the book have opened a consulting service. Of course, right? It’s the natural next step. As an author, I guess I’m supposed to find this threatening/a sham/the end of literature, but I don’t. It’s just information. The only real question is whether it’s good information.
I won’t be worried until the day editors stop reading manuscripts my agent sends them unless they’re accompanied by an Archer-Jockers Score(tm). And I don’t see that happening in my lifetime.
But no, seriously, that’s an interesting video up there.
As I write this, The Twisted Path has eighteen reviews on Amazon. My short fiction collection, which includes a 20P novelette, has eleven. It would be extremely useful if those numbers could be boosted to twenty-five. Fifty would be even better. Amazon has algorithms of its own, and works with a number of reviews that pass a certain threshold get more prominent placing in search results.
It’s all pretty opaque, but what it boils down to is more reviews=more visibility. If you read and enjoyed either of those works, please consider dropping a review for it.