The Cool House: web
Showing posts with label web. Show all posts
Showing posts with label web. Show all posts

Saturday, August 22, 2009


Huge circular spider webs suspended high in the fir trees

and low down in the shady grove.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Thermal Imaging Maps

This is the last hot day of the mini heatwave and, I thought, an appropriate time to post this neat interactive imaging map of heat loss from buildings in Brussels.

Search by locality and street to see how much energy literally disappears into thin air. The map allows residents to see how efficient (or not) a building is and links within the site (French or Dutch only) suggest improvements such as insulating the attic or turning down the thermostat; a separate section directs home owners to grants that help offset the costs of making the building more economic to heat and more environmentally friendly.
This type of mapping was also undertaken a couple of years ago in the UK but I haven't seen a similar US thermal map. I'd be very interested to see how much we are heating the neighborhood on a cold December night. What do you think: An invasion of privacy or a useful tool to fight climate change?

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Happy Peepster!

Steve Jobs Presents iPeep Nano. My favourite diorama from The Washington Post's Peeps Contest 2009. Enjoy!

Monday, September 22, 2008

Spam and serendipity

I was checking my gmail and decided to look at what spam they had collected for me when I noticed the link in the corner. Look at what I got, a genuine spam recipe for Gingered Spam Salad. At once delightful and truly repulsive. And unsurprisingly, it serves just one person. After all would you share this with anyone else?

Monday, July 28, 2008

Cuil is cool(ish)

Cuil pronounced cool is a bright shiny new search engine developed by ex-google employee Anna Patterson that sets out to challenge the ubiquitous search giant. Being a narcissist I tried it out by typing in "modernemama" and instead of boring old text links I got shiny snippets of (mostly) my posts with images, although the pics didn't always match the posts. If I do the same with google I'm asked if I meant to type modern image!
A search for "Beach House" presented me with tabs of Beach House Plans, Beach House Rentals and weirdly, Bal Harbor, Miami. The search got even more quirky when I selected "all results" and had to choose between Towns in Queensland and American Male Singers. And it came to an abrupt halt when the sub-category I chose under American singer Stephin Merritt, The Gerbils, failed to elicit any results. Bummer. This seems to be a touch of teething troubles as I had to give the search a couple of extra mouse clicks to stop it issuing that error message on other searches, but even so I think I'm going to be trying this out more and more in the future.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Bastille Day

La Marseillaise.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008


Another way to slack off at work but with the added advantage that you LOOK AS IF YOU ARE GAINFULLY EMPLOYED!
Read at Work is a really clever website brought to you by the NZ Book Council. The genius is that at a glance it looks like MS Windows. The selection - at presented it's fairly limited - includes short stories by F. Scott Fitzgerald and Tolstoy and I Bring an Unaccustomed Wine by Emily Dickinson in the form of a medical-based power point presentation. It's extremely clever but I was more interested in the format than the literature. Then again, I don't think I was the demographic they were aiming for.

Monday, June 23, 2008


My new, new favourite obsession Wordle. Generate art in the form of "word clouds" and share them with the internets. Literary artistic geekiness. So moi!

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Just like dial-up

I think I got the answer to what would happen when Mozilla attempted to set a Guinness World Record for the most software downloaded in 24 hours: You can't get near their site. I've been trying for 33 minutes now, since the Official Start at 1 PM ET. It's just like the old days of dial-up and the internet, way back in the mid-90s.
While I'm waiting to get onto the download page for Firefox 3 I thought I'd post a photo. It must be all the orange in their logo that got me inspired. Enjoy!

Firefox 3 Download Day

If you're a Firefox user today, June 17 2008, is the day to upgrade to the shiny new Firefox 3. And if you are stuck with boring old IE you might want to make a change and try to set a record into the bargain. Haven't you always wanted to set a World Record?
The folks at Mozilla want to celebrate their 10th anniversary in style - by setting the Guinness World Record for the number of downloads in one day. Total pledges as I type? 1,383,867. Why don't YOU make it one more?
They want you to download to help spread Firefox. I want you to take part because I want to see what will happen. Will the internets grind to a halt? Will chunks of software be flung into cyberspace? Will my iMac explode? We'll know soon enough.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Re-visualize real estate three ways, the real estate search website, has come up with three really cool ways to view real estate.
The first Trulia Snapshot is straight porn. Search by town and state and refine by price point or listing time, then gawk to your heart's content. At the moment it only works really well in the big cities but that's what we all want to know isn't it: What do you get for $40,000,000, the most expensive listing in Manhattan? A 5 bedroom, 6 bath minimalist condo designed by Richard Meier overlooking the Hudson River baby, that's what.
The second tool, Trulia Hindsight, takes Visual Earth maps and digitally superimposes data on them, tracking the growth of towns and cities like Madison Wisconsin and Aspen, Colorado. Watch populations grow and decline, search by town or street. Waste a lot of time in a really fun way.
My favorite, though, is this fantastic awe-inspiring video that visualises where people are searching for real estate on Trulia. At the moment both its coverage and its usefulness are limited but plans are in the works for tools to help real estate agents more efficiently market homes. As it says on their blog: It’s sort of like Amazon Recommends for real estate.
The tools have been developed in partnership with the terrific design and technology firm stamen. Go over there to see more wondrous ways to display data, including Cabspotting which I marveled at in Design and the Elastic Mind at MoMA earlier this spring.

Sunday, June 08, 2008

Win a Light

If you like modern lighting stroll over to 2modern Design Talk where they are currently running a competition to win this Meridian Table Lamp from Lights Up!.
All you have to do is visit the 2Modern lighting shop and then leave comments about it on on the contest page. Not too complicated is it? Competition ends June 30th.

Sunday, June 01, 2008

Competition Sunday

And through to the end of the month Create My Event is having a Fourth of July Traditions Contest to win this Inhabit Grass Stretched Wall Art from
It's stunningly simple to enter, just click the link and post your favorite tradition in the comments box. Easy, no?
Obviously my tradition on the Fourth is to hide away until people stop mentioning how the English got their asses kicked but I'm sure you can do much better than that....

Monday, February 11, 2008

I'm A Star

At last official recognition of my Star Status.
I'm touched and humbled by this honour. I'd like to thank first the eBay sellers who put up for auction the mid-century furniture and art I cannot live without. And eBay itself for making it so easy for me to bid. But most of all I'd like to thank my husband, Steven for supporting me in my quest to shop so much on eBay that I received this award. The months of penury will now all be worthwhile, darling.
Thank you, thank you all.

Friday, October 05, 2007

blogger v2 + 3 columns=1 big headache

I spent all yesterday afternoon on a new template for this site using the blogger page upgrade and a three column css design. It looked horrible at first, then gradually better. But then I tried to put in my old add-ons that were mainly written in html and javascript and I could only get half of them to work. So I've shelved it for now and started back on xml, I code I gave up on four years ago as too much grief for a blog. Ha, shoulda kept on it.

If my headache goes away and I manage to solve my issues you might see an updated Cool House website. Or you may see a crappy half-assed version while I'm working on it. Either way, I apologise in advance.

Otherwise, you'll have to put up with the old-fashioned Blogger version 1 with its limiting two column layout until blogger gets round to doing the work for me.

Friday, April 13, 2007


The Met Roof  GardenModernemama Moo card
Thirty-three months is an odd date to celebrate but that's how long we've been in this house and roughly how long I've been scribbling my name, address and phone number on scraps of paper. We didn't bother with change of address cards when we moved, we just emailed everyone the details but new acquaintances have been forced to try to decipher my increasingly incomprehensible handwriting.
I was on the point of going to the local Minute Man to order something generic when Flickr started offering Moo cards. These are the cutest little cards with coordinates and digits on the back and your selection of your favourite Flickr photos on the front. I had a lovely time choosing 30 photos to make into 100 calling cards and they were shipped to me (all the way from the UK by Royal Mail) yesterday. They are even more gorgeous than I imagined, great quality, tiny and totally personal.
Now I just have to find those "attractive strangers" Moo suggests I give my contact info to and hand them out.

statueModernemama Moo card

Friday, February 16, 2007

So simple even a .......

The Martin Agency did such a great job for Geico with its Caveman commercials that the Caveman now has a life in cyberspace. I wandered happily through his apartment, envying the flat screen tv and his awesome kitchen and clicking on every possible clickable link (tip: click multiple times, this is a very innovative site) but it wasn't until I got to the bathroom that it hit me. The faucet, vessel sink and wooden vanity look pretty similar to what I've chosen for the girls' bath.
I have caveman taste.