TwESP, Little People, Data Visualization and a years worth of home ownership

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I realised that a small milestone had passed about a month ago that I completely overlooked – I’ve now been a home owner for one full year. Within that time interest rates have increased at record-breaking speeds and then dropped just as quickly, house and land prices have followed suit.

Completely unrelated to the local and global economies, over the last 12 months we’ve also had some of the heaviest storms and rainfall that has happened in nearly 20 years and to top it all off we’ve even had a couple of burglaries that unfortunately targeted ours, and the surrounding, suburbs. But what was even more troublesome than the break-ins was the painful process of sorting-out the insurance claims that followed.

Fortunately we used this as a learning experience and improved the security on our home and purchased a fearless guard dog – George. Ok, perhaps he’s not entirely fearless… or more accurately he gets scared by most things that move (including his own reflection). And given the fact that he’s not much bigger than a Rugby ball with legs, he wouldn’t intimidate someone suffering from acute paranoia. But all that aside, bringing him into our family was one of the best things we’ve ever done.

So in our first year of home ownership a lot of crazy stuff has happened, but to be honest, I wouldn’t change a thing. With each financial, environmental and personal challenge (and everything in between) we’ve learnt some really valuable things and everything has always worked-out well in the end.

Now that I’ve gotten that heartfelt story off my chest, let’s move onto a bunch of meaningless links and other random internet finds…

The New Scientist has launched the first ever Scientific Twitter Experiment to determine if random users from around the world can accurately guess a location using nothing but mind power. The concept sounds a little crazy, but also quite fascinating, so it’ll be interesting seeing the results once the study is complete.

Last year a street-art project was launched where miniature hand-painted people were placed in various locations around London and then left to fend for themselves. The project, titled Little People is very cute and cool and the collection of photographs collected from the experiment have been collated into a book, you can purchase prints or go and view the photographs (and possibly even some installations) at the Andipa Gallery in London.

If you work in an office environment it’s difficult to make it through a day without being inundated with countless facts and figures, reports, spreadsheets, graphs or other (seemingly) important data. Now I don’t know about you, but I always find data a lot more appealing when it’s presented in an aesthetically pleasing way, like these 50 Great Examples of Data Visualization.

And on that note, I’m going to check my email, web-stats and have a quick skim through the latest updates on Twitter and Facebook, then I’m off to bed.

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