Sunday, November 15, 2009

Brands leave their mark on children's brains

Truncated excerpts:
The idea may be "unpalatable", but companies seeking an edge over their rivals should ensure that children are exposed to their brands as early in life as possible.

This was demonstrated by presenting students with a range of real and fictional brand names and asking them to indicate as quickly as possible whether a brand was real. If a brand had been experienced from birth, the students were quicker to recognise it as real than if it had been encountered from age five and up. A second experiment showed that students were also quicker at accessing information about early encountered brands compared with late-encountered brands, as indicated by the speed with which they said a product was or was not made by a given brand.

These findings resemble classic "age-of-acquisition" effects, in which people are more proficient at processing words they encountered earlier in life.

Combined with prior research showing that people generally feel more favourable towards words and pictures that they find easier to process - a phenomenon called the "fluency effect".

BPS Research Digest: Brands leave their mark on children's brains

Soviet Deep Sea Garbage Dump

A spectacular image. I would love to see big high-res stills, the video's is a bit obnoxious and the quality is iffy. Still, it's an amazing sit. My next dive trip?

Via Colors Magazine

Saturday, November 14, 2009

The Visual Miscellaneum

Picked up a copy of The Visual Miscellaneum (website for the book) this evening, one of the best books of data visualization I've seen in some time. , Very well designed, amusing topics explored, a very fun and interesting book.

From the author's site: Reduce Your Odds of Dying in a Plane Crash

Amazon Link

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Between the Folds (a Documentary on the art and science or origami)

Another fascinating look at how engaged minds can take something simple and beautiful. In this case the folding of paper. Below, a video from the Filmmakers@Google series.

About: Between the Folds chronicles the stories of ten fine artists and intrepid theoretical scientists who have abandoned careers and scoffed at hard-earned graduate degrees - all to forge unconventional lives as modern-day paperfolders.

Official site for the film: Between the Folds.

A full list of featured artists can be found on this site.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Quote Pull: Endless Summers

A great paragraph from a piece called Endless Summers (on Larry Summers) for the December issue of Vanity Fair

"People plant a little wheat. People demand to eat a little more bread, and the thing self-stabilizes. But it was [economist John Maynard] Keynes’s central insight that it’s not always that way. And it’s not always that way in particular because leverage [i.e., borrowing] can create situations where, when prices fall, then people have to sell, and so they fall faster. When asset prices fall, capital values fall, and, therefore, people are in less of a position to lend, and, therefore, other people are forced to sell. And there’s a whole set of these vicious cycles. You can also have a change in gestalt where people who had perceived things as safe all of a sudden move things from the concept of being safe to the concept of being risky, and if they’re risky, they don’t want to hold them. And so you see a large scale of abandonment. And I think in one way or another the leverage, the vicious cycle, the change in gestalt, the unwinding—that’s the financial crisis.”

Sunday, November 08, 2009

Deep Water (Documentary Film)

In 1968, 9 men set out to be the first to sail, non-stop and single handedly, around the world. The film, Deep Water documents the attempts of these men to complete their voyages.

The chronicle contains none of the themes and story lines one would expect to find in documentary about a great race. There is no classic rivalry played out between two men until the bitter end, no come from behind victory by an unlikely contestant no harrowing survival and no man against nature overcoming. Instead, the narratives turn inward as these men are absorbed by their isolation over the 10 months at sea. The end is an unexpected and heartbreaking anticlimactic tragedy and the best documentary I've seen in a long time. Tt is "a movie which will reduce the hardest of hearts to a shipwreck" (The Daily Telegraph).

I was tempted to write a summary of the story but I think I've said too much already. Just watch it.

Wikipedia entry: Deep Water

IMDB: Deep Water

On a related note there is a good piece in this month's Vanity Fair by James Wolcott, "I'm a Culture Critic Get Me Out of Here: Amid the smoldering wreckage of popular culture, the author blames Reality TV, which has not only ruined network values, destroyed the classic documentary, and debased the art of bad acting, but also fomented class warfare, antisocial behavior and murder." (December, p.146)

Inforgraphics: Resurrected, Feared and Seeking Converts

Via Rufus Via Nixta