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Archive for the ‘Environment’ Category

Infographic: How Americans spend their day

American time use survey infographic

Mmm… infographics… There’s an interesting interactive one over at the New York Times which depicts how people over age 15 spent their time in 2008. I do wish they’d used livelier colours though. (via Kottke)

Alice and Kev: The Homeless Sims

The Sims: Homeless

What if The Sims were played as homeless people? Robin Burkinshaw, a games development student wanted to find out. He’s created Alice, a girl with no money, no home, no food… and the worst Dad in the world.

When you create a Sim in The Sims 3, you can give them personality traits that alter their behaviour. Kev is hot-headed, mean-spirited, and inappropriate. He also dislikes children, and he’s insane. He’s basically the worst Dad in the world. He is a horrible human being, but he’s also amusing to watch.

His daughter Alice is a kind-hearted clumsy loser. With those traits, that Dad, and no money, she’s going to have a hard life.

I have attempted to tell my experiences with the minimum of embellishment. Everything I describe in here is something that happened in the game. What’s more, a surprising amount of the interesting things in this story were generated by just letting go and watching the Sims’ free will and personality traits take over.

The story that unfolds is at times funny, often sad and incredibly moving. (via Simon)

National Geographic Native American Place Names Map


National Geographic Magazine: What’s in an American Name?

Native American words echo in the names of lakes, rivers, mountains, states, cities, and small towns across the United States. The first settlers, who put many European words on the map, also borrowed names from local tribes. They often mispronounced what they heard—that’s how the Washoe word dá’aw, or lake, became Tahoe.

(via Aegir)

The Usbourne Book of the Future (1979)

Usbourne Book of the Future

I always love looking at optimistic views of the future from the past… and here’s a good one. The Usborne Book of the Future: A Trip in Time to the Year 2000 and Beyond, which was originally published in 1979. Chapters include “Robots: Science and medicine”, “Future Cities: Homes and living” and “Star Travel: Transport and travel”. (via Boing Boing)

It reminds me of the old EPCOT attractions from Walt Disney World like Horizons and Spaceship Earth that were also built around that time.

If you like this it’s also worth checking out the Paleofuture blog for all kinds of fantastic retro visions of the future.

WWF Footprint Calculator

WWF Footprint Calculator

I thought I was quite good but apparently I need to do better! This WWF Ecological footprint calculator estimates that I’m living as if we had 1.68 planets to support us. They also estimate that my carbon footprint is 6.03 tonnes per annum.

Some of the statements are a bit vague though and it assumes you have a car, but it’s still an interesting little tool.