Using technology to bring essential truths out of mountains of boring data

In this TED talk, Hans Rosling presents stale United Nations data about our world in an engaging and dynamic way—and one that brings into stark relief the underlying truths about how our world is changing. His marriage of data and design shows how important it is how data are presented.
This is a splendid use of technology. I understand that Rosling now works for Google, and that his tools will be available to all online. It is gratifying to see Google using Rosling’s expertise for the public good as well as for private gain.


Ski tour up Glatten

IMG_1815.jpg, originally uploaded by Michael A. Lowry.

I went for a ski tour with Simon this afternoon. We skied up a mountain called Glatten. It took about 5 hours to make our way up to the top, and another hour to come down again. Really fun, but incredibly exhausting. After returning to Zürich, Simon treated me to some excellent fondue at his place. I’ll post photos when I have them. Now I shall sleep. Over and out.

Update 2009-03-19: Photos are online!

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Sledding in Elm

_MAL9207.jpg, originally uploaded by Michael A. Lowry.

A couple of weeks ago I went sledding for the first time in my life. It was a blast! I drove down to Elm, where I met up with a bunch of colleagues at the gondola. We each grabbed a sled and rode the gondola up to the top of the mountain, whence we hopped on our respective sleds and started back down again. The sled path followed a road down the mountain, cutting across the mountain to the right, turning, cutting across to the left, and so on. The turn at each switchback was a challenge, but not nearly as taxing as the bumps! Oh my, I was bruised for several days after that evening. It was a cold and snowy night, and I didn’t have enough in the way of cold weather clothing. I could have benefitted from another scarf or a mask to cover my face. So when I finished my four rides down the mountain, I was quite cold and ready for dinner. We retired to a nearby restaurant where most had fondue or raclette; I ate the fleischkäse. Here’s a photo German took of me in the restaurant.