Monday, January 28, 2008

As if You Care: Catch-Up Edition!

Get it? Ketch-up? Photo by user Automania on flickr.
Being out of town for 5 days means coming home to about 400 items sitting in Google Reader. Here are the highlights:

1) O'Reilly Radar: Books that Make You Dumb (or smart?) What's interesting here? You mean besides three of my favorite things (data mining, books, and information visualization)? How about the Book of Mormon ranking 30th on the list of smarter books? Just sayin'. Although the obvious counterpoint is to say that if we wanted to be REALLY smart we'd be reading Lolita instead.

2) While we're on the subject of information visualization (and religion), let's hit Strange Maps: Regionalism and Religiosity (not a Jane Austen novel, actually). So here's a map of what the largest congregations are in all the counties of the U.S. It's just the kind of thing Rob and I might spend an hour discussing at work, if only I still worked with Rob. So, instead, we all get to discuss it here.

3) Who's job is it to make me a Homebrew Snow Machine? Somebody get on that. Better yet, build it at my sister's house in Massachusetts, where there's a good hill and colder temperatures (and 3 boys to help with the building).

4) I don't have HBO, and don't watch The Wire, but I know its about criminals in Baltimore. That doesn't stop me from being inexplicably interested in the guest post series "What Do Real Thugs Think of The Wire?" on the Freakonomics blog: Part One Part Two Part Three. WOW. For the faint of heart, I should say there is censored strong language, but if you went to junior high you'll know what the curse words are. I'm probably going to have to get this guy's book. I don't know if I'll ever watch The Wire, but it's just interesting to see this particular demographic react to their own portrayal on TV.

9 comments:

tona said...

Snow machine. No. Way. I love it. Let's do it. I'll put my kids on this pronto.

tona said...

And welcome back, I missed your posts.

Rob said...

Ah, if only the Regionalism and Religiosity map were all-inclusive and interactive... You need to be able to turn on and off various religions. And while we're at it, throw in an animated timeline feature. THEN we'd have something.

Jeff Wills said...

For the picture and title alone, this entry deserves great praise.

Maren said...

I liked the map as well- had a good time studying it. I hadn't realized that the Mennonites were so spread out!
Welcome back. We relish your posts and mayo not be able to stand such a long hiatus again.

Michelle said...

Love the posts and the map especially. It also reminded me that I have been meaning to read the book Freakonomics... And by the way, I am definitely the MOST glad that you are back!

dave said...

Thanks, Maren. I'll just have to mustard up the courage to write more often...

hemisphire said...

I love Tom Petty’s Map of LA.

Disco Mom said...

I did really like Enders Game and East of Eden but I wanted to puke on Catch 22 and Life of Pi so turns out I'm about as smart as my SAT score after all, scientifically speaking. This may be my new reading list - never heard of many of those books.