Category: Interesting

Strong storms over Oklahoma

Strong storms over Oklahoma by NASA Goddard Photo and Video on Flickr.

Incredible as I watch the reports of the devastation and think of how much energy was concentrated on such a relatively small area.

International iPhone charging can be a hassle.


A few of our coworkers from London, England were here in Austin this past week. Here’s the stack of power adapters  one of them had to lug around to merely charge his iPhone.

Looking back as we move forward.

As we begin a new decade, many people seem to be looking back at the decade past. I came across the following two images that I think are interesting and thought provoking.

Picturing the Past 10 Years

In this Op-Chart for The New York Times created by Phillip Niemeyer called “Picturing the Past 10 Years”, each row is a theme, and each column represents a year.  Shown in each cell are the trends and events that dominated the past decade in icons and buzzwords.

Op-Chart | Phillip Niemeyer | Picturing the Past 10 Years

via Picturing the Past 10 Years, December 27, 2009.

What’s Changed This Decade (1999-2009)

In “What’s Changed This Decade (1999-2009)” another perspective is given on how far we’ve come and gone, both good and bad…

Are stone cold numbers your thing?

If so, check out “A plethora of numbers traces a decade of change” – From McClatchy Newspapers and Yahoo! News. This article lists other statistics that trace the changes that took place in the last 10 years. Here’s a sample taken from that article:

Unemployment rate: 4.2 percent (1999); 10 percent ( November 2009 )

Jobless workers: 5.7 million (1999); 15.4 million ( November 2009 )

Unemployed workers not included in jobless number because they haven’t looked for work in the past month: 1.1 million (1999); 2.3 million ( November 2009 )

Median household income: $44,900 (1999); $50,303 (2008)

In 1999 constant dollars: $44,900 (1999); $38,924 (2008)

Median sales price for existing homes: $138,000 (1999); $172,700 (2009)

In constant 1999 dollars:$138,000 (1999); $133,000 (2009)

Median sales price for new homes: $161,000 (1999); $212,000 (2009)

In constant 1999 dollars: $161,000 (1999); $163,265 (2009)

Number of foreclosure proceedings: 450,000 (1999); 2 million (2009, estimate)

Banks seized by Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.: 8 (1999); 133 (through Dec. 11, 2009 )

People living below the poverty line: 32.8 million in 1999; 39.8 million in 2008

Poverty line for a family of four: $17,029 (1999); $22,025 (2008)

In constant 1999 dollars: $17,029 (1999); $17,043 (2008)

via A plethora of numbers traces a decade of change – Yahoo! News.

Food for thought.


Phillip Niemeyer | Picturing the Past 10 Years

Incandescent vs CFL bulbs

Sunday morning I stopped by the local Ikea store to pick up a table for my laptop computer. What was supposed to be a short 20-30 minute trip ended up taking me two hours. If you’ve ever been to an Ikea store, one thing you quickly recognize is they are masters at merchandising. Arrows on the floor direct you through the maze of each department and almost every product is displayed to “help you” see just how affordable and easy it is to furnish any living space with put-it-together-yourself furniture. I know I’m being marketed to and I’m ok with that. I still enjoy browsing and window shopping at Ikea. Plus, if I’m hungry, they have a pretty good deal on breakfast and Swedish meatballs.

As I walked through the store this particular day, I took a good look at their lighting display. What I appreciated about the display is how effective it was at showing the benefits of converting standard incandescent light bulbs to energy efficient CFL bulbs.

Incandescent vs CFL Bulbs

Ikea display: Incandescent vs. CFL bulbs
Ikea display: Energy consumption, Incandescent vs CFL bulbs

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World Sunlight Map

I came across the World Sunlight Map created by that I thought was interesting. The World Sunlight Map provides a real-time, computer-generated illustration of the earth’s patterns of sunlight and darkness. The clouds are updated every 3 hours with current weather satellite imagery. Now you can watch the sun rise and set over planet Earth from the comfort of your computer screen. I also discovered their Moon Phases gadget that allows you to see and track the current phase of the moon.

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What's in Locker 13?

Locker 13.

What’s in Locker 13?

YOU tell us…

Open Locker 13 at your own risk.