‘Do the things that make you interesting’

Able Parris:

Our minds have a depth of field, much like the lens on a camera. When we think about one thing, everything else becomes unclear or temporarily “forgotten.” To pay attention to a thing means we must ignore everything else, if only briefly.

Living in New York City, constantly surrounded by so much of every imaginable type of stimulation, I have never felt less connected to reality or to myself. It’s especially obvious having just spent a weekend in my home state of Maine. New York is at most a temporary home for me, and this piece gets at exactly why. (Via @processtype.)

A ‘road to nowhere’ with Apple’s new maps

Will Hains, also known as @fake_iOS6maps:

But this time, that first step seems shockingly premature and arrogant, even for Apple. I find it hard to accept that they didn’t know how bad their map data is; developers around the world have had access to it for months, and have been filing bug reports. We don’t know why they rushed this out, but clearly they haven’t committed Google-level resources and time to this technology.

Couldn’t agree more. The whole piece is a great read about what might have brought Apple to this point and where they might go from here.

What if you threw a baseball at 90% the speed of light?

Randall Munroe, the creator of the excellent comic strip XKCD, has started answering fun gee-I-wonder questions using science and math in a new blog called What If?. Start from the beginning. It’s incredibly entertaining and surprisingly educational.

The answer to the question in the headline:

Everything within roughly a mile of the park is leveled, and a firestorm engulfs the surrounding city. The baseball diamond is now a sizable crater, centered a few hundred feet behind the former location of the backstop.

The Common Ground Country Fair

What I did this weekend:

If you’ve ever been to the Fair, you know – and if you haven’t been, anyone who has will tell you – it’s an event like no other, that brings so many people from so many walks of life, all in the spirit of celebrating the rural and agricultural traditions of Maine.

There should be a word for patriotism for one’s home state. I’m full of it tonight.

A great transit app for your iPhone

With iOS 6, the loss of Google Maps’ excellent transit directions, and Apple’s half-baked, car-centric replacement, the iPhone got a whole lot less useful to New Yorkers this past week. Embark NYC is a free app for subway directions that works brilliantly and looks great, echoing Vignelli’s signage throughout. It’s even smart enough that, if you ask for station-to-station directions, and you’d be better off walking to a different departure station, it will tell you.

As much of a pleasure as it is to use, Embark NYC is only for subways, though. If you want buses, commuter rail, or an app that works with several North American systems, The Transit App might also be work checking out. A handy feature: it can tell you which buses near you are going to arrive and when.