The most fascinating thing from this week was Arup's annual report. For those of you who don't know, Arup is basically the coolest engineering company (cf. this 2007 New Yorker article). But they have a really interesting ownership structure, too: Arup is a privately held trust, held for the benefit of the employees. Being private, Arup isn't (AFAIK) required to release financial data, but their financial report is fairly thorough and also includes information on the firm's diversity and involvement in sustainability and pro bono work.
Also - Zach is working on a visualization of where the Kickstarter backers of The Public Radio live. It's pretty interesting, and will be really useful as we get closer to fulfilling orders.
- America Makes' list of current projects is a great place to find the known unknowns in 3D printing today.
- The (positive) personal and (negative) professional effects of taking paternity leave.
- For forty years, IBM published The IBM Technical Bulletin as a form of defensive publication to protect inventions that weren't ready to file for patent. It was retired in 1998, when IBM transitioned to ip.com.
- The On-Line Encyclopedia of Integer Sequences is *so* cool and weird. It's a database of, well, sequences of numbers, which "should be well-defined, of general interest and ideally should be infinite." Currently OEIS has about 200,000 entries and is covered by a Creative Commons license. Its "Welcome" wiki is good. Related: The Lazy Caterer's Sequence, which describes the maximum number of pieces of a circle (a pancake or pizza is usually used to describe the situation) that can be made with a given number of straight cuts.
- Notes for working with a Chinese contract manufacturer, and the timeline for building a hardware product.
- Qualcomm is *massively* important in the mobile supply chain.
- "China develops anti-drone laser."
- Some detailed data on titanium heat treatment processes.
- Toshiba's agricultural cleanroom. Related: during the Empire of Japan, zaibatsu (e.g. Mitsubishi, Kawasaki, Nissan) were large family-controlled vertical monopolies consisting of a holding company on top, with a wholly owned banking subsidiary providing finance, and several industrial subsidiaries dominating specific sectors of a market.
- A fun time-lapse of the Fulton Street Center's oculus being built.
- Netflix for Legos. <- Actually.
- How Singles Day, 11.11, became the world's biggest online commercial event, and how Alibaba continues to perform massively impressive feats on Singles Day, especially in the face of underdeveloped infrastructure in central China.
- A great set of graphics showing public transit usage in US cities. <- Strong.
- 2nd Ave. Sagas' well balanced assessment of the new Fulton Street Center.
- A touching essay about RIP murals in Bed Stuy, and the history of a historic and troubled neighborhood.
- In 1946, Louis Slotin, a researcher at Los Alamos, was manipulating a subcritical mass of plutonium, surrounded by two hemispheres of beryllium, with a flat head screwdriver. He slipped, and the two halves struck each other, creating an instantaneous supercritical mass and releasing a massive burst of neutron radiation. He was dead nine days later.
- Stanford Wayback revived a few versions of the first website in the US - that of the Stanford Linear Accelerator Center.
- OkCupid's data on straight vs. gay sex is great.