Links for February 16th, 2014

Alcohol related myths. Video

One of the best TED talks I've seen. What are the problems with TED talks? Video

This kinetic door is an interesting design. I'm not sure how practical it would be in the real world, but it certainly takes less space than a traditional swing door. Article

My friend Darrel Markewitz shows off a set of groomsmen knives he recently made. Beautiful pattern welded blades, and I agree with him that the handles are mediocre. My suggestion to anyone commissioning a piece of art, take the artist's advice on what looks good. Article

I don't get as much time to read non-work related books as I'd like. So when I pick up a novel, I'm looking for interesting as well as entertaining. I've been reading Barry Eisler's work for years now. He writes thriller novels with a bit of a twist. His primary character, John Rain, is a half Japanese, half American assassin. Unlike the usual thriller schlock, Eisler's novels are intelligently written, exceptionally well researched, and insightful. Eisler is a former lawyer, and worked in a covert position for the CIA's Directorate of Operations. His time stationed in Japan while with the CIA has given him better insight into Japanese culture and politics than most westerners gain. His latest novel, Graveyard of Memories, is a prequel to his earlier work, and covers some of the origin of the assassin John Rain. Reading the earlier novels isn't a pre-requisite to enjoying this one. Eisler is one of the few authors whose work I pre-order sight unseen. Even if thrillers are not your usual cup of tea, I highly recommend giving this a try. Article

Modern Formula1 pit stops are an incredible testament to what a well trained team of people can do when given nearly unlimited resources. The two videos in the link are not the fastest stops on record, but they do a wonderful job of illustrating how they work. Article

If you've ever wondered what's involved in becoming a watchmaker, the Micromechanics and Watchmaking blog is documenting one man's progress through school. Article

Yellow gold seems to be out of fashion these days, particularly for watches. This chronograph from Leroy is a nice exception to the rule. Article

19th century lithographs of the alphabet, rendered as beautiful scenery. Article

The next generation of cochlear implants are being tested, and they no longer require external hardware to work. With features like Bluetooth connectivity to phones, these implants may well become tempting for those us without hearing loss one day. Article

I've linked to Derek Muller's Veritasium channel over on YouTube before. He is probably the best educational presenter I've come across. His latest video has recieved a lot of attention as he tackles the issues with Facebook's advertising model. If you spend money advertising with Facebook, you need to watch it. Video

I love the raised work Kevin Grey is doing. I've done some raising, and would love to have the time to work on it more. Grey's skill is impressive, and his designs are incredible.

I'm always on the lookout for new and better headphones for listening to music. I'm often looking for in ear buds which provide good sound, and block out enough background noise to make them useful while riding a motorcycle. This new kickstarter project looks promising, and is getting a lot of support. Article

I can't wait until being gay is no longer a news story. Until then, there are few people better than Stewart for calling out bigots.

And another reaction to the Michael Sam situation Stewart was referencing above. Video

I linked to the first single off of Lakefield's new album a few weeks ago. They've now released the album, and sadly it will be their last. You can pick it up directly from their site. Article

Speaking of music I'm looking forward to, Matt Schofield is releasing a new album this week. He walks through the different tracks on the upcoming album. Video

I'm envious of the opportunity the people of Houston have for the next six months. The Magna Carta will be on display at the Houston Museum of Natural Science. Article

What to watch this week? If you aren't watching House of Cards, stop reading this and go. This show is a perfect example of why episodic shows are the best place for our great story tellers to work their craft.

Previous link posts can be found here