Thursday, March 05, 2009
Welcome to this week's selection of links. Enjoy.
Doodling is Good
Plymouth University researchers carried out memory tests on 40 volunteers, asking them to listen to a phone call and recall names and places. They discovered that the doodlers performed 29% better than non-doodlers. Apparently, doodling stops people from daydreaming — a more taxing diversion — and helps them focus on mundane tasks. Now there's no need to feel guilty if you're caught doodling during a particularly boring meeting!
The Pleasures of Guilty Reading
The writers and readers of The Morning News discuss their favourite guilty reading pleasures, ranging from bodice rippers to UFO novels to very amusingly (since this is from a severe minimalist) the ubiquitous mail order catalogues.
The new book by David Grann, The Lost Worlds of Z, sounds like a fascinating read. His book chronicles his journey retracing the route of British explorer Colonel Percy Harrison Fawcett, who in 1925 embarked on his final expedition into Amazonia, in search of El Dorado, the mythic “city of gold.” Fawcett disappeared, and in the past century nearly a hundred people have gone looking for him, many never to return. The link here takes you to an interview about his book that he recently gave to the New Yorker.
Celebrating 90 Years of Bauhaus
"The legendary Bauhaus movement turns 90 this year and the anniversary is being marked by exhibitions from Tokyo to New York. The school was founded by a young architect, Walter Gropius, who wanted to shape products for the future and create a more just society." Follow the link for the rest of Ulrike Knöfel's article in Spiegel. Via Polymeme.
Deep Font Challenge
A very silly game that tests your knowledge of fonts. Perfect for design nerds. Via How About Orange (who always finds the best stuff like this).
Women's History Month at the Smithsonian
Smithsonian Magazine has some great links to stories about fascinating women past and present, ranging from an exploration of the real Joan of Arc, separating the mythology from the history in the life of Cleopatra, to the riveting story of Virginia Hall, an Allied spy during WWII.
Charles Darwin and Buddhism
Research by Paul Ekman, a psychologist whose work has shown how the facial expressions that signal emotion are universal across all cultures, has identified striking similarities between Darwin’s attitude to compassion and morality and that of Tibetan Buddhism. Darwin believed that compassion for other sentient beings was the highest moral virtue, and this informed other aspects of his world view such as his passionate opposition to slavery. A fascinating example of cross-cultural fertilization.
A fab site with a great selection of the best gig posters around, plus art prints, too. A great gift idea for a music lover!
Beautiful photograph via Domino's My Deco File.