Laundry Semantics

The disparity between the number of people who know what these signs mean and the number of people who don’t know the signs, but have seen them all their life, that disparity is as wide as a door is open:


Treasures from My Bookmarks: Colors

Let’s take a break from literary devicing.  Here’s something fascinating:

harry potter frame by framePerhaps you’ve seen it before.  It is every frame of each of the Harry Potter movies condensed (I think) into a pixel wide bar.  Notice how you can see the rise and fall of conflict based on the lightness and darkness of the colors.  The books and movies are described as “darker” the further into the series: looking at this image, they literally are darker.  The change from reddish hues to green ones is also interesting.  I’m not sure what the colorful blue purple orange is just to the right of the center.

This being the internet, there’s more:

Rather than getting every frame, this graphic shows the colors of their clothes.  Nonetheless, a similar story is told, with a different color palette.  What is that white area in the right of center for Hank?

Penultimately, there’s this.  Wired analyzed ten famous books for the colors they mention and then made it into individual graphics.  Notice how Clockwork Orange and 1984 have almost the opposite order of colors as The Road.

Lastly, there’s this RadioLab podcast.  Unbelievably interesting.  From the mantis shrimp’s absurd color perception, to the fact that the color blue never is mentioned in the Bible or the Illiad, or the possibility that the sky is actually not blue.  Too interesting.

I’ll add more color stuff like this as I find more.


What else in nature is there like this?

I found it in my bookmarks to write this post.  Mesmerizing in its complexity, but so simple we hardly notice.

I looked through my bookmarks, searched for other herds/packs of animals, then thought, hey, this is kind of similar.  It’s mesmerizing in its complexity.  But the Northern Lights are not something we hardly notice.

That timelapse, though, did get me on the tangential trail of slow motion videos.  And I eventually came across this:

Whether they are people on the streets as we drive past, people on the ground when we fly past, or people on the train when we ride past, the scene is mesmerizing in its complexity, but so simple we hardly notice.  I remember the first road trip my family took where instead of playing on my Gameboy or other device, I just stared out the window at all of the people and things.  For hours.

The creator of the video wrote about the process of making it here.

More bird murmuration.

OK Cupid: Field Sociology

I love when websites use their data as field research and publish it on their sites.  I know PornHub does it and so does OK Cupid.

This OK Cupid article analyzes three attributes (facial attitude, photo context, skin) and busts four myths of profile pictures.  The researcher used data from relatively medium attractive people (the majority of people on the site) and disregarded the least and most attractive people.  He also apparently wrote an entire book, which I have just added to my Kindle Wish List.

Myth 1: “It’s better to smile”

Turns out, it’s only better to smile if you are female and smiling directly into the camera.  “Men’s photos are most effective when they look away from the camera and don’t smile.”

Myth 2: “The MySpace Angle is Busted”

Turns out the “‘Myspace’ Shot” is “the single most effective photo type for women.”

Myth 3: “Guys should keep their shirts on”

If you have abs, take that shirt off, especially if you are young.  If you are 31, though, your ab pic is only attracting 0.2 more “women per attempt” (of contacting a woman through OK Cupid).  The downtrend apparently “continues with age.”

Also, normal clothes get more women per attempts than dressed up.

Cleavage shots for women increase contacts, and cleavage shots help the downtrend in contacts for older women.

“Body + cleavage pics” and “pics taken outdoors” graphed against each other converge at age twenty-five.  So, at 25 you are as likely to have an outdoor pic as you are to a body + cleavage pic.  After 25, you become more and more likely to have a pic taken outdoors.  Before 25, the opposite.

The type of picture that garners the highest “chance a message leads to an actual conversation”: a picture of you “doping something interesting.”

Myth 4: “Make sure your face is showing”

Turns out, a face is not as important as something interesting.

Skyfall Paintings in M’s Office

I just rewatched Skyfall.  Q and Bond’s first conversation includes an analysis of a naval painting, an analysis analogizing Bond himself.



The painting is a wooden warship being hauled to the scrapyard by a steam powered ship; Bond is shown throughout the first half of the movie as past his prime, ready to be retired.

At the end of the movie, when the new M is revealed, I noticed another naval painting.  There is no discussion on screen of it, but the symbolism is inescapable: the painting is of a glorious line of wooden warships, ready for battle.

(c) National Maritime Museum; Supplied by The Public Catalogue Foundation

One of my college English professors, Dr. Preussner, was big on an interesting aspect of symbolism: “what symbols are significant to the characters within the story?”  The symbol of the first naval painting is significant to Bond and Q, as it is to us.  The symbol of the painting at the end is lost upon the characters within the story; that symbol is solely ours.

Nevertheless, I assumed it was a relatively simple symbol: Bond is nearly past his prime, but then he shows that he still has what it takes, and is clearly ready for more.  But there’s even more.

Judith I Bridgland investigated this Skyfall symbolism scrupulously in her article on 14 November 2012



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