20 Great Winter Photographs

If it’s not very white outside where you are this holiday season, check out these 20 great winter photographs at 500px. It certainly got me in the winter mood (which is good because it’s raining where I am).

Fed Goldbeg

If you’ve wondered precisely how tighter monetary policy by the Fed will slow the economy and ease inflation, this should make it all perfectly clear.

Direction From The Chairman Of The Board

A very cool 1990 letter to George Michael from Frank Sinatra on dealing with the challenges of stardom. Via Michael Beschloss.

Talent must not be wasted … those who have talent must hug it, embrace it, nurture it and share it lest it be taken away from you as fast as it was loaned to you. 

Trust me. I’ve been there.


NFL Playoff Simulator

The New York Times Upshot sports blog has a N.F.L. playoff simulator up. With 109 games left in the season, the Times reports that there remain roughly 9 quintillion ways the season could end. Pour a large cup of coffee and begin exploring them all.


As for my home team, the simulator predicts a 41 percent chance of making the playoffs based on 189,000 simulations. After they lose today (as I predict they will) those odds will drop to 28 percent. But the simulator also tells me that the next two games of the season are essentially meaningless – if they win the last two games of the season, they’re nearly certainly in.

So I can relax today, which is nice.


For the past several days I’ve been reading NextDraft, the news blog written by Dave Pell. Each weekday morning he visits some 75 news sites, and from them curates 10 stories for the day. The content is good, the blurbs smart, and the design beautiful. See the most recent edition here, and there are RSS feeds and an iOS app, too.


White Elephant Strategy

FiveThirtyEight gives a game theory strategy for winning your white elephant gift swap. There’s a clear advantage in going late in the order, or best, last. But order aside, strategy matters. (If you want to see the nitty gritty, check out the analysis and notes at Github.)

Gun Death Visualization

Add San Bernardino to the list of mass killings with firearms in our country. It’s been several years since Slate published this project to record all US gun deaths in the year following the killings at Sandy Hook. See the final visualization here. It’s one of the few ways to understand how many people 12,000+ people really adds up to be.

It’s been nearly three years to the day since Sandy Hook. There’s no reliable and authoritative figure, but presume it’s at least 36,000. By one count there have 161 school shootings alone.


African Safari Webcams

Here are three live streaming WebCams from the south African bush, one from a Safari lodge and two from watering holes. The sound alone is cool.

Repair Via Patagonia

Patagonia has a full set of clothing repair guides online. They reference Patagonia gear, but the repairs aren’t Patagonia-specific. I need to perform a loop zipper repair myself, making good a pair of technical rock climbing pants that otherwise aren’t much use.