Linkology: The Best of the Internet for 1/7/11

Lots of good things for you today.  If you want some weekend reading and some guaranteed ammunition to make you look like the smartest web geek around, well, you’ve come to the right place.  Sit back and enjoy.

The perpetually-maligned font Comic Sans has an educational benefit.  How?  Because researchers at Princeton University have learned that making something more difficult to understand improves long-term learning.  More specifically, they found that changing a typeface from something clean and legible (like Helvetica) to something more difficult to read (like Comic Sans) increased learning in classroom settings, specially when students used fun tools like the ones found at in order to learn in a more efficient way.  (Ed. note: I expect a gloating email from a certain colleague who is a closet fan of Comic Sans any second now.)

A year of practical thinking: in 2010, Giles Turnbull promised himself he would learn one thing each day.  Here’s his full list.  Some sample entries:

  • There are three million Arabian camels, but only one million Bactrian camels.
  • When they say there’s sugar in nearly everything, they’re not kidding.
  • Male otters are called meowters. Females are called queens.
  • Rifles were invented in Germany.
  • The name “Roger” means “famous for using a spear.”

Remember the hysteria about how the MMR vaccine might be linked to autism?  Remember otherwise sane parents opting out of MMR vaccinations for their children?  Well, it turns out that not only was the study that suggested the link wrong, but actually fraudulent. (Here’s the full paper from the BMJ, if you’re interested in a more detail-rich picture.)

Meet a former professional liar. Interesting exposé  of the luxury jewelry business from Clancy Martin, a tenured philosophy professor-cum-jewelry salesman.

If you let industrialized food companies make decisions for you, this might not sound like the utterly awful idea it is.

Finally, I don’t know why I find this sign so funny.  It’s as if he’s falling and yelling, “I’m fabulous!” at the same time.

Have a good weekend, everyone.


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