When in Iceland

When in Iceland I recommend renting a vehicle. It’s a round island with a single ring road. When renting a vehicle I recommend a 4×4. There are no trees, so you can drive anywhere. When renting a 4×4 I recommend renting a Land Rover. The British were an adventurous lot. When renting a Land Rover, get a Defender. It protected the King of England well enough now didn’t it....

Appreciating Willard Brinton’s data visualization

Excerpt from 100 years of Brinton, a website devoted to appreciating data visualization author Willard Brinton. I passionately believe Brinton should be as well known as other pioneers of data visualisation (Playfair,Priestley, Minard) and modern authors (Few, Tufte, Cairo) I agree. Below is an image from Brinton’s book, which is more about data visualization than about ocean liners, but I ...

Requests for Startups

Excerpt from Y-Combinator article on ideas for new startups. [source: YCombinator Blog] —- Enterprise Software – Software used by large companies is still awful and still very lucrative. Category-defining enterprise software companies will emerge to solve problems for every vertical, every business size, and every job function. Here are 3 specific areas we think are particularly interesti...

Deaths and Fairness on Mount Everest

More people died on Everest this year than any other year. The cause of 16 of the 17 deaths on the mountain this year was an avalanche, that occurred between basecamp and camp 1 on 4/18/2014, in an area known as the Popcorn Field. This is around 18,000 or 19,000 feet at the top of the Khumbu Ice Fall, the most dangerous part of the Mount Everest climb. An overhanging wedge of ice the size of a ...

A Thawing Arctic

The year that Arctic Row rowed across the Arctic Ocean we witnessed the lowest ice cap in recent history. And the trend predicts more melt to come. The Arctic, the roughly 8 percent of the earth above latitude 66º 33′ north, is warming faster than many climate scientists expected—at nearly twice the rate of the rest of the planet. The extent of Arctic sea ice, which melts to its nadir eac...

Instant Gratification

Deliveries are moving from hours to minutes, at the cost of selection breadth. The latest incarnation of this trend is Spoonrocket, who delivers a constrained selection breadth of 1 of 2 meal options in just 10-minutes.   You could prepare a similar graph for the time it used to book a taxi (e.g. days for Boston Livery vs. minutes for Uber). Maybe I’ll graph that next. About Project G...