How to get Rich, Marine Footballs, Seeing Sound and Building in Public.

#5 of 10+1 Things

© Mandy Barker


Welcome to Issue #5 of 10+1 Things.

Here are 10+1 Things that I thought were worth sharing this week:

Carbon Emissions of Virtual Meetings

Contrary to the common notion, the carbon footprint of a virtual meeting is not zero. A recent study by the University of Michigan analysed the carbon footprint of a 6-hour video conference. The study analysed emissions associated with computers, lights, web search queries and video streaming. The results showed that the conference generated the equivalent of 1,324 kg of carbon dioxide emissions. If the conference was held in person, the emission associated with only the flight travel would have accounted for 66 times the emissions from the virtual conference.

Building a Community

I'm currently reading the book titled 'Get Together: How to build a community with your people' by Bailey (I just found that Bailey works at Substack!), Kei and Kevin. It is a practical guide for building communities and is an excellent read for anyone who wants to build communities of all kinds, both digital and non-digital.

Ames Window Illusion

A video showing Ames Window Illusion is viral on Twitter now. It is a bizarre illusion designed by Adelbert Ames Jr. in which a strangely shaped window is rotated slowly. Since the window is a trapezoid and not a rectangle, our brains perceive it wrong and the windows appear to oscillate. If you're interested, check out the giant Ames window created by Veritassium.

Building in Public

Building in Public is a new concept in which entrepreneurs build products publicly by brainstorming, sharing regular updates and user feedback online. The idea was popularized by Peter Levels (the guy who built 12 startups in 12 months!) when he publicly streamed the process of building his startup HoodMaps via twitch. Building in public helps entrepreneurs to build teams, drive support, attract investors and build a community easily in a short span of time. Some examples of successful products built-in public are Roam Research ($1.2M in revenue within 60 days of launching), Lambda School( Processed 50% more applicants than Harvard in 2019) and Superhuman (Generated a waiting list of 300,000 before launch).


Marine Footballs

Penalty is a photography project by Mandy Barker that aims to create awareness of marine pollution by focusing on a single plastic element, Football. With the help of social media volunteers, Mandy collected 992 marine debris footballs from 41 different countries in 4 months. Recovered footballs were photographed in a mass collection portraying the scale of this issue on a global scale.

Chladni Plate

I'm currently exploring different ways to interpret sound visually and found the Chladni Plate during my research. Invented by the physicist, musician and musical instrument maker Ernst Chladni in the late 18th century, this instrument enables us to 'see' sound. Modern-day DIY Chladni Plate can be easily made using a sheet of metal mounted onto a speaker. At various frequencies, the sprinkled sand forms different formations enabling us to visualise sound. Music producer Nigel John Stanford has used Chladni Plate in his project Cymatics to visualise various audio frequencies.

Whole Earth Catalog

Whole Earth Catalog often called the "magnum opus of counterculture", was an American counterculture magazine and product catalogue published by Stewart Brand. The catalogue brought together the products and ideas of a mix of intellectuals, hackers, hippies, alternative designers, architects, builders and environmentalists.

In his 2006 commencement address at Stanford, Steve Jobs called the catalogue “sort of like Google in paperback form, 35 years before Google came along.”

In fact, the famous quote "Stay Hungry, Stay Foolish" by Jobs was taken from the farewell message on the last edition of the magazine. The catalogue is discontinued but some archives can be read on the Internet Archive.

Combination of Sugar and Fat

In nature, foods high in both carbohydrates and fat are very rare. Processed food items such as doughnuts contain around 11 grams of fat and 17 grams of carbohydrate in a single serving. Since these food items are relatively new compared to the evolutionary timeline, our brains are not evolved to respond to them. A study in 2018 showed that the reward centre of the brain values foods high in both fat and sugar more than foods containing only fat or only carbs. This is why junk foods such as pizzas, burgers and pasta with creamy sauces trigger our brains in crazy ways that makes it harder to resist them.

How to Get Rich?

Principles of Wealth summarises Naval Ravikant's tweetstorm and podcast on the topic 'How to get Rich'. Since reading is faster than listening to a podcast, the website summarises all the ideas chapter wise. Naval Ravikant is regarded globally as one of the greatest thinkers and entrepreneurs of this generation. His ideas and thoughts have reached massive audiences around the world and has a huge cult following. If you're interested in reading more, I would recommend the book; The Almanack of Naval Ravikant: A Guide to Wealth and Happiness by Eric Jorgenson.

AI-Generated Ideas

Ideas AI is a platform that generates suggestions from pre-defined ideas from existing startups. Powered by GPT-3, the generator uses an autoregressive language model with deep learning to generate new product and business ideas. Since AI is not perfect, users can like or dislike the generated idea. If you want to pursue a particular idea, by paying $99 you can remove the idea from the site. This product is also the brainchild of the serial entrepreneur Peter Levels.

Rolls-Royce of Chalks

Called the Rolls-Royce of Chalks, Hagoromo's chalk has developed a cult following among the academic crowd, especially mathematicians. When Hogoromo announced that they are ending the production, many mathematicians began stockpiling boxes of chalks for the future. Manufactured only in a single factory in Japan, the formula of the chalk is still a mystery. According to Jeremy Kun, a Google engineer with a PhD in mathematics, "Hagoromo chalk writes as smoothly as butter. It shines. It’s bold, sturdy, clean, and erases well. A single stick of Hagoromo lasts for at least four lectures."

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That’s 10+1 Things for the week.

See you next week!

With Love,

Quote of the week: “The factory of the future will have only two employees, a man and a dog. The man will be there to feed the dog. The dog will be there to keep the man from touching the equipment." ~ Warren Bennis

P.S: I'm experimenting with what time to post the newsletter every week since the subscribers are scattered over 5 contintents at various timezones. It would be great if you could fill this 2 min survey so that I get a better understanding of the audience.