August 13th, 2013 by Michael Sauers

Just…. wow!

Doctor Who Tube Map (partial)

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June 10th, 2013 by Michael Sauers

If you have ever felt overwhelmed by the ubiquity of McDonald’s, this stat may make your day: There are more public libraries (about 17,000) in America than outposts of the burger mega-chain (about 14,000). The same is true of Starbucks (about 11,000 coffee shops nationally).

“There’s always that joke that there’s a Starbucks on every corner,” says Justin Grimes, a statistician with the Institute of Museum and Library Services in Washington. “But when you really think about it, there’s a public library wherever you go, whether it’s in New York City or some place in rural Montana. Very few communities are not touched by a public library.”

In fact, libraries serve 96.4 percent of the U.S. population, a reach any fast-food franchise can only dream of. On a map, that vast geography looks like this:

Library Map

Grimes built that map this past weekend during the National Day of Civic Hacking, using the agency’s database of public libraries. Each of those dots refers to an individual branch library (and a few bookmobiles), out of a total of 9,000 public library systems.

Read the full article and view the interactive maps @ (Thanks dad!)

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May 31st, 2013 by Michael Sauers

Google Search Trends VisualizationI’ve installed this as a screensaver on my laptop and it is interesting to watch but I’m not sure I’ll keep it for the long term. (If anything, I wish I could slow it down a notch or two.)

Google is all about searching. Well… not “all” about, but it’s what the company is known for. Any firm that logs information about how customers are using its services are usually berated, but Google Trends can provide a fascinating insight into how the rest of the world is using the internet. This tool has been available for a while but there’s now a sexy new full screen mode available — and you can turn it into a screensaver.

If you’ve ever been curious about what people in other parts of the world are searching for, head over to the full screen visualization tool and you can find out. At the bottom of the screen you can choose from one of several countries, or opt to see an overview of global searches.

By default you’ll be shown a single search at a time, displayed on a background in one of Google’s four colors. Want to see more? Whizz your mouse up to the upper left of the page and hover over the 3×3 grid icon that appears. In the popup you can then select a number of search tiles that should be displayed — each shows a different search term, and the display can become quite mesmerizing.
Read the full article @

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March 12th, 2013 by Michael Sauers

I’m from upstate New York and we called it pop. Soda is that bubbly water stuff. And you folks that call everything “coke”, you’re just weird.

So, where did you grow up and what did you call it? Head on over to and contribute your information to this amazing map.


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June 30th, 2011 by Michael Sauers

Just received the follow e-mail from Microsoft:

Microsoft Hohm

Dear Microsoft Hohm user:

We are writing to let you know Microsoft Hohm is being discontinued. The service will remain available through May 31, 2012, and you can continue to enjoy the full benefits of Microsoft Hohm until that time. 

Microsoft remains committed to leveraging the power of innovative technology to address environmental challenges, and we will continue to develop technologies that support long-standing growth and maturity within the market. This includes helping people and organizations around the world reduce their impact on the environment – please visit the Environmental Sustainability or Microsoft Power & Utilities sites to learn about ongoing sustainability initiatives and products.

Please visit the Microsoft Hohm blog and website for more information about the transition. 

Thank you for using Microsoft Hohm.

The Microsoft Hohm team

Microsoft respects your privacy. To learn more, please read our online Privacy Statement

Microsoft Corporation
One Microsoft Way
Redmond, WA 98052

Please do not reply to this e-mail. You may send feedback to Microsoft Hohm.

© 2011 Microsoft

Actually, I liked using Microsoft Hohm. I’ve been entering my power bill data for a while now and using their checklists to track things like how many of each type of light bulb I have in my house. (Answer: not a single filament bulb in my house for more than a year now.) I can see how it didn’t’ exactly catch on but I’m a little disappointed that they’re shutting it down.

Then again, I’m one of the few people disappointed that Google Health is also shutting down.

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June 30th, 2011 by Michael Sauers

Doctor Who Companions
Research and design by the Online Dating Site

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July 23rd, 2010 by Michael Sauers

Budgeting-How Small Cutbacks Lead to Great Savings 

Personal Finances from Quicken

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April 6th, 2010 by Michael Sauers


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December 16th, 2009 by Michael Sauers

ultimate-food-chain-26258-1259335850-2 via

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May 12th, 2009 by Michael Sauers

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