[DESIGN] - Designs that make you go "Hmmmmmm?" - Anyone remember The Design Of Everyday Things. I was very interested in Donald Norman's book back when I first saw it not only because designing for use is somehting we deal with all the time in software. It's also just plain fun to think about and criticise designs. And nothing is nicer than a good design that is gives you everything you need.

Patti sent along this site: Bad Designs which gives examples of poor designs in everyday life. We shouldn't settle for bad designs, we ought to call them out and talk about them. Otherwise we just get used to bad designs. We may learn to live with them, but they still expose us to greater possibility of costly errors and even injury.

For more talk about useability there is Jakob Nielsen's "useit.com" website. The focus there is on web design, but he sometimes wanders into other areas. Worth a look.


[WEIRD WIDE WEB] - Britney on Semiconductors - Bizarre attempt to increse interest in semiconductors or some weird Britney Spears fetishist hobby? You decide. Britney Spears guide to Semiconductor Physics: semiconductor physics, Edge Emitting Lasers and VCSELs


[WORD FUN] - Words that make you go - UGH! - Everyone has their word pet peeves. Here are a hundret mispronounced words and phrases from everyday English. Surely, your favorite is in here somewheres. No, those aren't from the list - I came up with them myself! What's your favorite? There are so many to choose from here in Southeastern Massachusetts. Someday I will start writing down the ones I hear most often.

Have I watched Pygmalion and My Fair Lady one too many times? Henry Higgins I ain't.

For now, we'll have to enjoy the "yourDictionary.com • 100 Most Often Mispronounced Words" Try saying them with a handful of marbles in your mouth.


[PERSONAL] - More on Maggie's Race - Here's Maggie's Race Diary Entry for the New Bedford Half Marathon, complete with some video capture stills courtesy of my Father In Law.

[UPDATE] - City's race makes 2,255 winners: 3/18/02 - This is the New Bedford Standard Times story about the half marathon.


[PERSONAL] - Maggie's Race Day !!!!!! - It went extremely well. Margaret's results are:

1308 Margaret Burke F 36 1:52:44 8:36 64/128 1112 Somerset MA

See the full listing here at Cool Running. Details and pix later...
[SKEPTIC] - Hoax History - Hoaxes are fascinating to me, along with cons and scams. Here is a collection of hoaxes throughout history - A Museum of Hoaxes. These include academic hoaxes, like archaeology'sThe Piltdown Man to modern hoaxes like the "glitterati" hoax at the Toronto Film Festival 2000.

Why are these things so fascinating to me personally? I'm not entirely sure. I suppose that it is at least in part a marvel to me how people largely hoax themselves. Hoaxers rely on the "mark" or "sucker" to be an active participant. Usually scams involve greedy people. It's tough to cheat an honest man, as the saying goes, because many swindles involve a flavor of impropriety. This is also why many swindles don't get reported.

There is also an element of control involved, of will domination. Like stage hypnosis, the subject is a willing participant to the extent to which they are involved. Swindlers take advantage of the social patterns we all fall into, so analyzing scams involves a bit of introspection and separating yourself from these patterns, questioning them.