Your Friday Afternoon Procrastination Guide

Tweeting flies, branding the U.S. Presidents, and a two-ton mantis robot

Rob Walker, Yahoo News
Yahoo News
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ted ks

by Rob Walker

Stop watching the clock; that’s not going to make the work day end any sooner. Instead, look busy while enjoying these links, and it’ll be quitting time before you know it.

Best Thing Ever Of The Week: Artist David Bowen’s Fly Tweet is a device that “sends Twitter messages based on the activities of a collection of houseflies.” The flies are trapped in an acrylic sphere with a keyboard, triggering strings of characters tweeted out to @flycolony, which has 3,650 followers (including me). What’s more fun that retweeting “-1026506150````00-0p-0[p-'[p-'”? Nothing. Via Juxtapoz.

If You Like To Watch: Adrian Hayter collects the feeds of unsecured Webcams. In what has turned out to be a week when surveillance technology was a very relevant topic, this is particularly fascinating. Via Metafilter.

The Point Is The Point: Adding to the promotions-more-interesting-than-music-they-promote genre pioneered by OK Go, a band called Light Light has an extremely fun and diverting interactive video at DoNotTouch.org. “The site tracks your mouse pointer throughout the video,” AdWeek explains, prompting you to move through a series of game-like maneuvers, and simultaneously showing where others have “pointed.” Note: The video includes a (very short) NSFW moment.

The Ultimate TED Talk: In connection with a “make your own TED Talk” project at Eyebeam, F.A.T. Lab offers this oddly hilarious brief video of TED audience applause, laughter, rapt attention, and smug nodding. I’m sure you’ll have no trouble supplying your own insights. If you are anything like me, you’ll giggle at this. Note: You are probably nothing like me.

Shut Up Already: Really cool infographic map of Manhattan noise, based on noise complaints to the city’s 311 line. See where “loud people” and “barking dogs” congregate. Via Atlantic Cities.

Pleasing Imagery Of The Week: Pictures of “tint dispensed into a [paint] can before mixing.” Surprisingly beautiful. Via Oblog.

Somewhat Depressing Imagery of the Week: Massive billboard-style advertising dwarfing we puny humans who live in its shadow, by Natan Dvir. Via Coudal.

Not enough logos in your life?: Here is a Tumblr all about “branding” U.S. presidents.

Still not enough?: Check the Numbers Project where a designer is making “a new logo for every day of the year.” I’m thinking about designing a logo for every logo. Because I heard you like logos. So I’m gonna make a logo for all your logos, so you can think about branding while you think about branding. Via PSFK

Two-Ton Hexapod Video: Need I say more? Really? Okay then: “The Mantis available for private hire.” Via PopSci.

Product of the Week: I’ve never really understood the appeal of temporary tattoos, but this one is different: Book of Joe points out the “To-Do Tattoo,” for writing a washable checklist on your hand. (Sadly, it’s out of stock.)

Mixtape V. Muzak: Okay, this isn’t for everybody — and it’s definitely not for playing out loud in any remotely dignified workplace. But I really love Hennessy Youngman’s “CVS Bangers” mix, which blends the tropes of DJ mixtapes with the bland soundscapes of every drugstore ever.

Your Weekend Project: Learn to spin a toothbrush on your finger. BoingBoing has the instructions.

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You can follow Rob Walker and @YahooTech on Twitter.


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