They’re here. They look lovely. Just working up a website to explain more….
Category Archives: Brainmail
Further to my last post about brainmail issue 100, I’m in Sydney May 16-22 for the Writers’ Festival and I’m sure a drinks can’t be too difficult. Maybe the Lord Nelson in the Rocks? Watch this blog (and brainmail).
If you’re in the northern hemisphere 21 April in London is looking like a go. Notting Hill. Details to come (again right here on the blog and in brainmail 100).
Oh and Berlin next Friday. Bit too soon, but just on the off chance.
Brainmail issue #100
Just about to make issue 98 of brainmail live. To celebrate issue number 100 I’m thinking about having a few small drinks parties. Maybe London, Sydney and New York. Register your interest (but more importantly your location)below via comments.
Brainmail # 100
I’m planning a series of drinks parties to celebrate the 100th issue of brainmail in a few months time. Likely locations are London, Sydney and New York. Register your interest below using the comments section below – I don’t especially need your name, although this would be nice, just put which city you are based in to help me with the planning.
What’s Next – issue 36
The new issue of my What’s Next trends magazine has just gone live. Find it right here.
Also, below, is a sneak peek of the new brainmail.
Have you heard of auxetic substances? Thought not. These are really new and really interesting materials that get thicker, rather than thinner, when stretched. Not only does physical form change when subject to external force, the material stores energy very quickly too. What could you possibly do with such materials? How about blast resistant curtains or dental floss that gets into the tricky bits?
Ref: Economist Technology Quarterly (UK)
Ever fancied a computer the size of a snowflake? Scientists around the world are working on tiny computers with skeleton operating systems that can report on conditions nearby. Powered by sunlight, vibrations or temperature change such dot-sized devices could monitor buildings or be injected into a tumour to monitor growth. Most useful of all, perhaps, people could embed motes into everything they owned in the physical world and then be able to conduct searches from them in virtual worlds. “Where are my keys?”
Ref: New Scientist (UK)
Is your boyfriend or girlfriend becoming more trouble than they’re worth? Or perhaps you’re not in a relationship, but the social (media) pressure to be coupled is just too much. Well a solution (some say) is at hand. For $24.99 a month, a Minnesota-based app allows you to have a relationship with a virtual boyfriend/girlfriend who not only texts you back, but will engage with you in conversation.
Ref: Daily Mail (UK)
A study by Ilsedore Cleeves at the University of Michigan says that half the water on earth is older than the sun, having been carried here as interstellar ice. The study also claims that water is far more common than we previously thought out in deep space.
Ref: New Scientist (UK)
You’ve no doubt heard of Tom’s shoes and perhaps One Water. How about Who Gives a Crap (sorry, but that’s what it’s called). 2.5 billion people (roughly 40% of the world’s people) don’t have regular access to a clean toilet, which means that diarrhea related diseases kill 2,000 children under 5 every day. Three enterprising Aussies have come up with a way to help. Order their toilet paper online, it gets delivered to your door and 50% of profits go to Wateraid to build clean toilets in the developing world.
Ref: Grapevine (Aus)
It seems that some people feel better inside if they spend time outside. Ecominds is a scheme run by the mental health charity Mind in the UK. Projects use nature, especially woodland activities, to help people with mental health problems improve their confidence and self-esteem. http://www.mind.org.uk/ecominds
If you’re a scientist drowning in digital data then Sciencescape might be for you. The site is essentially a “twitter-like experience” that allows academics to filter science stories using chosen categories. One aim is to allow people to ‘follow’ specific geographical places or even individual buildings.
Ref: The Scientist (US)
Following news that Google has withdrawn the Google Glass prototype from the market comes news that the Google X shunk works is developing smart contact lenses that can analyse a user’s tears to detect medical problems.
Ref: International Business Times (UK)
It’s not been widely reported but Google has been buying roughly one company per week since 2010. Not surprisingly, many of the companies and technologies are involved in search, or autonomous devices that one way or another finds out more about people, although a great many are in robotics and artificial intelligence.
Ref: Business Insider/CBC News
Danes that drink regular Sprite are 10% less likely to support the welfare system than Danes that drink Sprite Zero.
Ref: Harper’s (US)
In 1975, the cost of the fastest supercomputer was $5,000,000.
You can currently buy a used iPhone 4, which is roughly equal in performance (mflops), for $80 on eBay.
The cost of factory automation relative to human labour has fallen by half since 1990.
Der Spiegel (Germany)
In the UK two-thirds of 11-year-olds in the UK have a television in their bedroom.
Ref: The Times (UK)
The average automobile now contains 60 microprocessors.
MIT Tech Review (US)
6% of people living in New York that own a smartphone admit to having used it to make an online purchase during a funeral.
Ref: Harper’s (US)
There are now more Christians in China than members of the Communist Party.
Ref: Financial Times magazine (UK)
Worldwide, three times as many people die of obesity than die of starvation
Ref: Daily Telegraph (UK)
Since 2007, the number of prisoners in solitary confinement in the New York area has risen by 63%.
Ref: Harper’s (US)
It took 76 years for 50% of US homes to acquire a landline telephone. With cell-phones it took just 7.
Ref: PWC (UK)
QUOTE OF THE MONTH
“True love is a lack of desire to check one’s smartphone in another’s presence.” – Alain de Botton
BOOK OF THE MONTH
From Counterculture to Cyberculture by Fred Turner (2006)
Nomcore (noun) describes people that wear unfashionable clothing as a fashion statement.
Ref: Daily Telegraph (UK)
WEB SIGHT OF THE MONTH: The Way back machine
What the web used to look like back in the day
To receive regular bites of brainmail, sign up free here….
Brainmail stat pack
Had a lovely lunch yesterday and dreamt up a new idea with a business called Artefact. Using the content from the last ten years worth of brainmail (!) I’m going to create a stat pack that can be used in workshops for strategic provocations and idea generation. Hopefully have some available in a month or so.
Currently working with Ross Dawson in Sydney on a thought leadership report, about to put What’s Next issue number 36 up and working on the new book.
Brainmail issue 92 has just gone live (not issue 94 as I just said to brainmail subscribers). Here’s the link
Happy holidays and see you all next year.
PS – thought for the season. Does Santa still believe in children?
Brainmail is up and I’m down (must be the weather).
Here’s the issue link.
Also just back from Hong Kong. More on this in a few days, but I just can’t see those protests going anywhere. There just doesn’t seem to be a groundswell of support, but I could be wrong.
Some great statistics
Brainmail issue 89 is alive
Just to let you know that that brainmail just went up. If you don’t know about it brainmail is a digital cabinet of curious facts and wonderful ideas that’s been feeding hungry minds since 2004. It’s still free so why not sign up here.
Here are some bits from the current use.
According to OK Cupid, an online dating site, men
exaggerate their height by an average of two inches and
expand their income by an average of 20% when posting
profiles of themselves.The older the person is the older their
photograph tends to be too. Ladies (and Gentlemen)
you have been warned.
On almost every measure that matters (longevity, literacy,
infant mortality, wars, extreme poverty etc.) life is getting
better, not worse, for the vast majority of the world’s
people. For example, in 1990, slightly over 40% of the
population in developing countries (1.9 billion people)
were living in conditions of extreme poverty (then defined
as living on less than $1 per day). By 2000, this number
had shrunk to 21% (1.2 billion).
People that text more than 100 times per day are 30% less
likely to think that being ethical is important, according
to a study by the University of Winnipeg. (I don’t really
understand this either).
1/3 of the National Health Service’s 39,409
consultants were born outside the UK.
Of 16 female US senators in 2010 aged 56-74, not one had visible grey hair and neither did 90% of women in the House of Representatives.
And for smartphone users: