Tweet For The Environment

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Very cool. The U.S. Embassy in Beijing tweeted air-quality measurements to force local officials to publish more accurate smog data.

Climate Coverage Down Again In 2011

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Douglas Fischer:

Last year at least 7,140 journalists and opinion writers published some 19,000 stories on climate change, compared to more than 11,100 reporters who filed 32,400 stories in 2009, according to

The decline was seen across almost all benchmarks measured by the news service: 20 percent fewer reporters covered the issue in 2011 than in 2010, 20 percent fewer outlets published stories, and the most prolific reporters on the climate change beat published 20 percent fewer stories.

Particularly noticeable was the silence from the nation’s editorial boards: In 2009, newspapers published 1,229 editorials on the topic. Last year, they published less than 580 – half as many, according to’s archives.

(via: Christopher Hayes)

The Restart Page

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“A tribute to the most significant operating systems that has been part of our geek lives.”

A very cool website that lets you re-live the boot up sequences from many historic operating systems.

Himanshu Khanna:

To sum up all the versions of this typical query and deliver it into a simple sentence, it would be, “why can’t we use a standard font for our logo?”

This is where I decided to do a simple exercise to recreate famous brands using regular fonts, to “RegulaBrands”.

A fascinating look at what the logos of distinctive brands would look like without distinctive fonts.

Fanboy Theory

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Marco Arment:

If you publicly express an opinion that any particular platform is best for a significant portion of buyers, you’re effectively saying that the people who chose differently were wrong. Most people don’t like to be wrong.

And because it’s such a massive and divided market, any stated opinion will cause this reaction from a lot of people. If, for example, you say Android is best for any common set of goals, a lot of people might get upset.

An insightful piece that examines why people use the term “fanboy” to discredit others online. If you are somehow unaware of its meaning, Marco aptly defines fanboy:

fanboy: a derogatory term that means someone who is blindly and irrationally devoted to a product that I believe is inferior to what I bought when faced with a similar choice, and whose opinions and arguments can therefore be completely disregarded.

The root cause is pretty simple. When people read opinions that are negative toward products they choose, that negativity is perceived as being aimed at their sensibilities. People don’t like feeling that they might have made the wrong decision (whether or not they actually did). The easiest way to defend against someone with a differing viewpoint is to discredit them.

It used to bother me to be called an Apple “fanboy”, but as Marco goes on to say, I simple don’t care anymore. Choosing between the fanboy monicker and actually giving an opinion is pretty easy.

26.2 Miles, 46 Sketches

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Christoph Niemann live-illustrates the New York City Marathon. Pretty neat. It almost makes me want to run a marathon. Almost.

Trending Upward

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Alan B. Krueger, Chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers:

Today’s employment report provides further evidence that the economy is continuing to heal from the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression.

That downturn was the recession that began in December 2007 and lasted until June 2009. President Obama was inaugurated in January 2009. Prior to the report, some said the policies invoked by President Obama to improve the downturn were failed.

The report continues:

Private sector payrolls increased by 212,000 jobs and overall payroll employment rose by 200,000 jobs in December. The unemployment rate fell 0.2 percentage point to 8.5 percent, the lowest level since February 2009. The drop in unemployment over the month was mostly due to employment growth, not lower labor force participation. The unemployment rate has fallen by 0.9 percentage point in the last 12 months. Despite adverse shocks that have created headwinds for economic growth, the economy has added private sector jobs for 22 straight months, for a total of 3.2 million payroll jobs over that period. In the last 12 months, 1.9 million private sector jobs were added on net, more than in any year since 2005. Nonetheless, we need faster growth to put even more Americans back to work.

After the report was released today, the goalposts unsurprisingly shifted.

No matter your political affiliation, check out the chart in the report and notice the trend since President Obama assumed office in January 2009. Keep in mind that the recession started over one year prior to, and lasted 6 months into his Presidency. Are things perfect now? Certainly not. However, an intellectually honest person would acknowledge that recessions and their long- term repercussions don’t begin or end overnight. This trend should leave many cautiously optimistic about the country’s economic health.

Jason Gay's 27 Rules To Conquer The Gym

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As we roll into 2012, many have a goal to lose weight and get in shape. This will involve a gym for most, as Jason Gay of the Wall Street Journal notes:

This is the time of year when even people who hate the gym think about going to the gym. Many of us are still digesting whole floors of gingerbread houses, and jeans that fit comfortably in October are now a denim humiliation.

My favorites are:

1 A gym is not designed to make you feel instantly better about yourself. If a gym wanted to make you feel instantly better about yourself, it would be a bar.

11 Gyms have two types of members: Members who wipe down the machines after using them, and the worst people in the universe.

25 Fact: Thinking about going to the gym burns between 0 and 0 calories.


27 There is no secret. Exercise and lay off the fries. The end.

We Aren't The 99%

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Annalyn Censky, reporting for CNN Money:

In the grand scheme of things, even the poorest 5% of Americans are better off financially than two thirds of the entire world.

How far your money takes you is dependent on the local economy in which you reside. Globally speaking, however, this should put into perspective how “bad” we really have it.

The Obliteration Room

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This is the result when a white room encounters kids with stickers. Awesome.