Scorcese uses X to mark the spot in The Departed
“As an homage to Howard Hawks’ classic 1932 Scarface, Scorsese scattered Xs throughout the movie (some more subtle than others), using them as a symbol of impending doom.” [via GF]
Eliot Noyes: “The Forgotten Pioneer of Corporate Design”
“It is harder still to explain why the designer and architect, who died in 1977 at age 67, isn’t better known today, when the principles he championed—the notion that good design is good business, for instance, and the belief in interdisciplinary design teams—are now accepted wisdom. Every designer working in or for Corporate America today owes Noyes a debt of gratitude.”
WSJ analyzes social bookmarking sites and says it’s a few power users that dominate links
“The Journal’s analysis found that a substantial number of submissions originated with a handful of users. At Digg, which has 900,000 registered users, 30 people were responsible for submitting one-third of postings on the home page. At, a single user named ‘STONERS’ — in real life, computer programmer Ed Southwood of Dayton, Ohio — was behind fully 217 stories over the two-week period, or 13% of all stories that reached the most popular list. (Netscape, which gained fame with its namesake browser, is now owned by Time Warner’s AOL unit and operates a news site.) On Reddit, one of the most influential users is 12-year-old Adam Fuhrer.”
Mingling with restaurant customers
“My dad never seemed to be working at all. I’d look on as he mingled with diners, mostly making idle chit chat. With strangers he’d walk up to their tables as they ate and ask them how their meals were. At the tables of regulars he might sit down and share a drink, maybe even roll some dice. It was a fantastic excuse for a job. Or so I thought. It turned out that my dad had the most important job in the place. His endless conversations with patrons clued him into changes he needed to make on the menu. He was quickly able to comp a round of drinks if customers received slow service, nipping their frustration in the bud. They would often tell him how they’d heard about the restaurant, and possibly mention an upcoming party they were planning and did the restaurant do banquets? (answer: of course!)”
Suggestions for improving the Complete New Yorker UI
“Nearly 33% of the vertical space is consumed by tool chrome, those thick gray bars segmenting the screen. Combined with the often bizzare and mostly useless ‘Abstract’ below, this leaves 11 rows for search results, the place where users make decisions on what to launch in the viewer. Unforgiveable.”
PowerPoint solutions that “move beyond bullet points”
“The single most important thing you can do to dramatically improve your presentations is to have a story to tell before you work on your PowerPoint file. You’ll take Hollywood’s cue and write a special type of script that focuses your ideas and helps you figure out what you want to say and how you want to say it.”
Information visualization and the debate over global warming
“The most memorable moment in ‘An Inconvenient Truth’ is when Gore goes off the edge of the graph, rising up in a cherrypicker high above the stage to show what will happen if the present trends continue unabated. It’s a nice bit of theater—the message is dramatized as well as shown through the graph and described verbally. It’s also a crucial moment in the story Gore is telling.”
“I did not know that yesterday!” provides answers to unusual questions
What country drinks the least beer? How did the rainbow become associated with gay pride? What was the first thing ever sold on eBay? How did the tradition of placing candles on a birthday cake originate? Etc.
“It’s just like a mini mall!” [via CM]