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Weekend Links: The Spookiest Places On Earth

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What were your favorite literary characters intended to look like? Casting directors will have their own ideas that sometimes do (and many times don't) add up with what we imagined in our minds. But what did the authors intend? "The Composites" takes literary descriptions and plugs them into law enforcement software to get an idea of the faces as described. Very weird and definitely in the uncanny valley!
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It may not be near Halloween, but it is dark and wintry, and a good time to snuggle up reading about the 10 Most Terrifying Places on Earth (eeeek!)
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For my fellow weather nerds (or anybody looking to get the most accurate forecasts), Slate did a thoughtful piece on one of my favorite sites, Weather Underground, and how they have built the most comprehensive "micro" weather site in America. (Side note: I used the Readability link because I LOVE Readability - it's free and amazing for browsing news!)
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Nostalgia time: here are 48 pictures from the 90s that perfectly capture the decade. Big thanks to my friend Ryan for these, who said "My favorite is probably Madonna, Sting and 2pac at dinner together." For me it's probably the Lisa Frank shout out. Maybe JTT.
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Or, going back even further, how about a look at skateboarding in New York in the 1960s? I give people grief for having selective amnesia about the "good times" in the past, but this really does look like a pretty good time all around.
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This video of a historic bridge being demolished in mere seconds is cool … and then a little sad. For all of the planning and work and struggle that goes into building a bridge, it's astonishing how quickly it can be turned to dust!
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So … what exactly happens to the Coke in Coca-Cola? (And as a side-note, the beverage was invented by Dr. Pemberton in my hometown of Columbus, Georgia, not Atlanta! Though Dr. Pemberton did move there and that's when it really took off. It's a point of pride for Columbus, I can't just let it slip!)
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From the Department of Procrastination: strange physics-based interactive objects to play around with - you can click "random" at the top bar for more!
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For those of you who have watched multiple HBO shows (or in my case … all of them …) you'll probably notice quite a few familiar faces. You can thank the "HBO Recycling Program" (in the form of a handy interactive chart) for that - or some very smart casting directors who know how to hang on to talent! And completely unintentionally, I seem to have brought things full circle.
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Stay tuned - more links tomorrow! In the meantime, send your submissions to FlossyLinks@gmail.com

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A Simple Way to Charge Your iPhone in 5 Minutes
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Spotting the “low battery” notification on your phone is usually followed by a frantic search for an outlet and further stress over the fact that you may not have time for a full charge. On iPhones, plugging your device into the wall for five minutes might result in only a modest increase of about three percent or so. But this tip from Business Insider Tech may allow you to squeeze out a little more juice.

The trick? Before charging, put your phone in Airplane Mode so that you reduce the number of energy-sucking tasks (signal searching, fielding incoming communications) your device will try and perform.

Next, take the cover off if you have one (the phone might be generating extra heat as a result). Finally, try to use an iPad adapter, which has demonstrated a faster rate of charging than the adapter that comes with your iPhone.

Do that and you’ll likely double your battery boost, from about three to six percent. It may not sound like much, but that little bit of extra juice might keep you connected until you’re able to plug it in for a full charge.

[h/t Business Insider Tech]

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Trying to Save Money? Avoid Shopping on a Smartphone
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Today, Americans do most of their shopping online—but as anyone who’s indulged in late-night retail therapy likely knows, this convenience often can come with an added cost. Trying to curb expenses, but don't want to swear off the convenience of ordering groceries in your PJs? New research shows that shopping on a desktop computer instead of a mobile phone may help you avoid making foolish purchases, according to Co. Design. Ying Zhu, a marketing professor at the University of British Columbia-Okanagan, recently led a study to measure how touchscreen technology affects consumer behavior. Published in the Journal of Retailing and Consumer Services, her research found that people are more likely to make more frivolous, impulsive purchases if they’re shopping on their phones than if they’re facing a computer monitor. Zhu, along with study co-author Jeffrey Meyer of Bowling Green State University, ran a series of lab experiments on student participants to observe how different electronic devices affected shoppers’ thinking styles and intentions. Their aim was to see if subjects' purchasing goals changed when it came to buying frivolous things, like chocolate or massages, or more practical things, like food or office supplies. In one experiment, participants were randomly assigned to use a desktop or a touchscreen. Then, they were presented with an offer to purchase either a frivolous item (a $50 restaurant certificate for $30) or a useful one (a $50 grocery certificate for $30). These subjects used a three-point scale to gauge how likely they were to purchase the offer, and they also evaluated how practical or frivolous each item was. (Participants rated the restaurant certificate to be more indulgent than the grocery certificate.) Sure enough, the researchers found that participants had "significantly higher" purchase intentions for hedonic (i.e. pleasurable) products when buying on touchscreens than on desktops, according to the study. On the flip side, participants had significantly higher purchase intentions for utilitarian (i.e. practical) products while using desktops instead of touchscreens. "The playful and fun nature of the touchscreen enhances consumers' favor of hedonic products; while the logical and functional nature of a desktop endorses the consumers' preference for utilitarian products," Zhu explains in a press release. The study also found that participants using touchscreen technology scored significantly higher on "experiential thinking" than subjects using desktop computers, whereas those with desktop computers demonstrated higher scores for rational thinking. “When you’re in an experiential thinking mode, [you crave] excitement, a different experience,” Zhu explained to Co. Design. “When you’re on the desktop, with all the work emails, that interface puts you into a rational thinking style. While you’re in a rational thinking style, when you assess a product, you’ll look for something with functionality and specific uses.” Zhu’s advice for consumers looking to conserve cash? Stow away the smartphone when you’re itching to splurge on a guilty pleasure. [h/t Fast Company]

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