Monthly Archives: May 2009

1000+ Twittering Explainers

If you’d like to inject more explaining into your Twitter stream, check out Jane Hart’s impressive list of “learning professionals and others” who tweet, complete with summaries.

Auto Exploded

In an article for AIGA (“the professional association for design”), auto design expert Phil Patton rounds up several examples of “real life” exploded automotive machinery. I especially like the Harley Davidson Museum’s dismantled motorcycle, which looks intact from the side but seems to disassemble as you walk around it.






(photos from Motorcycle-USA.com)

[via Subtraction]

Connect the Dots, La La La

MondayDots is a new blog with a promising focus: explanatory videos built around simple dots. Creator Jeff Monday’s inaugural video explains why General Petraeus was uniquely suited to effect change in the Iraq War.



Monday credits cartoonist explainer extraordinaire Scott McCloud with inspiring the people-as-dots approach. One of McCloud’s key notions in Understanding Comics is that making a character more “cartoony” can make the character more accessible. Essentially, the less specific a character image is, the easier it is to project yourself into that character.



Monday is sprinting with this idea, making his character images as open ended as possible. He explains the approach in this video:



I like this hook, and I’m looking forward to seeing more of the series. Also, bravo to Monday for explaining how he produces his videos using only Apple’s Keynote and iMovie:



[via Presentation Zen]

The Pop-Up Computer

Major Goodwill score: on a recent trip, Jon Ryan found a clever 1985 pop-up book explaining how a personal computer works. I’m hereby challenging the pop-up tycoons out there to publish an updated laptop version.



The binary decoders look especially cool.



If your local Goodwill is fresh out, you can order your own copy from Amazon.

[via Neatorama]

The Trouble with Fisheries, Explained

This tidy site promoting alternative approaches to fishing exemplifies how to get a political message across: explaining the issue clearly and fully trumps hot air rhetoric every time. Nearly all the text on the site is integrated into crisp infographics, which gets you over the hurdle of making sense of a complex set of problems.



[via Dave]

NYC, Horizon-Free

Designers Jack Schulze and Matt Webb have created a fantastic image of Manhattan: a surprisingly natural blend of a street-level view and an overhead view.

Jack Schulze explains:

The projection works by presenting an image of the place in which the observer is standing. As the city recedes into the (geographic) distance it shifts from a natural, third person representation of the viewer’s immediate surroundings into a near plan view. The city appears folded up, as though a large crease runs through it.




What a fantastic approach to a “you are here” explanation. Imagine having a dynamic version of this on your phone as you walk around in addition to a traditional map.

In this post, Mr. Schulze explains the many influences that informed the project.

[via information aesthetics]

How Amused Are You?

I’m a “haha” person via instant message (rather than an LOL or heh person), so this is a most welcome meter.



[via ffffound]

Vidja Game X-Rays

Here’s some Sunday explainist eye candy: x-ray images of gaming hardware and media from an x-ray technician/gamer.



[via PicoCool]