Belarussian journalist Evgeny Morozov was getting sick of encountering the same stories about US politics on many of the blogs and news sites he frequents. So he decided to engineer some serendipity, building a new type of news aggregation site: Polymeme.
Polymeme relies on the wisdom of crowds in a very different way that sites like Reddit and Digg. For each of twenty core topics, the algorithms behind Polymeme monitor a small set of blogs, chosen because they focus on a specific topic, like evolution, education or economics. The algorithms look to see what stories - in mainstream press, alternative or citizen media - are being linked to and discussed in these "expert" blogs. Polymeme offers a link to the story being talked about, as well as to a selection of blogposts that address the story in question.
The site lets you encounter new ideas as a conversation between an original author and a set of bloggers engaging with the ideas. And the stories featured tend be both fascinating and not to be the ones getting lots of love on Digg and Reddit.
Of course, some things don't change no matter how wide a net you cast: according to the site's own statistics, the two people most often mentioned in the blogs tracked: Barack Obama and John McCain.
Studio North was commissioned to refit an old elevator shaft in a converted warehouse loft in Calgary; they built a tall, narrow library with climbable shelves whose hand- and foot-holds retract into the shelving.
Libretaxi is an open source project that lets anyone become a rideshare driver in less than a minute; it has more than 20,000 users worldwide, and is maintained by Roman Pushkin, who started the project in December 2016 and is now planning to quit his job and work on it full time.
Mister Alphabet is an action-figure designed to cleverly bend and contort into every letter of the Latin alphabet; the website is long on trademark warnings and arty Instagram photos, but short on details, like, “Is this an object of commerce?” and “If so, where does one buy it?” (via Kottke)
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What could be more fun than a slingshot that shoots tiny airplanes? A slingshot that shoots tiny glowing airplanes of course! These toy planes are outfitted with ultra-bright LEDs, so you can fly all night without losing them in the trees.Whether you are a regular-sized child, or an overgrown adult one, these light-up flyers offer […]
You know the drill. You go to the dentist and they ask you how often you floss. You lie through your teeth and say, “every day!” (Bonus points if you have some cilantro or chives stuck in your gums from lunch). You don’t want to keep up the charade any longer, but rubbing that tiny strand […]