Links for 1st February 2010

Fresh from the clogged tubes of teh intarwubs…

  1. Ride the Slime Mold Express!

    "Because they couldn't mathematically determine a "perfect" solution, the researchers decided to task the slime mold with a problem human designers had already tackled. They placed oat flakes (a slime mold favorite) on agar plates in a pattern that mimicked the locations of cities around Tokyo and impregnated the plates with P. polycephalum at the point representing Tokyo itself. They then watched the slime mold grow for 26 hours, creating tendrils that interconnected the food supplies.

    Different plates exhibited a range of solutions, but the visual similarity to the Tokyo rail system was striking in many of them, the researchers report in tomorrow's issue of Science. Where the slime mold had chosen a different solution, its alternative was just as efficient." Nature – not really so dumb after all, kids.

    Tagged with: sciencedesigntransportnetworkinfrastructureslime-mouldbiologytopography

  2. WIth friends like these…

    ""You are more likely to be friends with someone who has more friends than with someone who has fewer friends," as the ­psychologist Satoshi Kanazawa puts it. You're more likely to know more popular people, and less likely to know less popular ones. Some people may be completely friendless, but you're not friends with any of them."

    Tagged with: psychologysocialnetworkingstatisticspopularityfriends

  3. Syndicate Out « WordPress Plugin

    "Syndicate Out syndicates all posts made in a specified category to any other WordPress blog. This enables you to create an automatic aggregating blog from a number of different blog sources without relying on blog XML feeds." Sweet.

    Tagged with: webdevwordpresspluginRSSaggregationpushrepublishing

  4. Our Exurban Future and the Ecological Footprint

    "The New Urbanism was always rather more than an architectural style, but also a vision of the good life. It hoped to address the social divide, and the solipsistic withdrawal from city life. Curiously, it seems if anything to have played a part in accelerating the social divide, in particular the gentrification of inner city enclaves. Far from making the city more diverse, the new urbanism seems to be making it more uniform. In London the trend towards in-fill by building on brownfield land has had the unintended effect of the loss of green spaces in the City."

    Tagged with: architecturegeographyenvironmentcarbonsuburbscitiesurbanismsprawl

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