redditviz – An interactive visualization of reddit’s subcommunities, and a clue to the future of educational publishing

I came across this neat visualization of reddit. The method used to generate it is reported in the research article “Navigating the massive world of reddit: using backbone networks to map user interests in social media”.

I did search for science.
I did this search for science!!

In addition to being a fascinating analysis, the way in which I encountered this publication was interesting from an academic perspective. It warms my heart, really.

The creators, Prof. Zachary Neal and Dr. Randy Olson, did an AMA on it not too long ago as well, where they linked to all of the open-sourced tools they used to create it. That AMA was then archived by the The Winnower, which claims to be “a scholarly publishing platform that offers traditional scholarly publishing tools to traditional and non-traditional scholarly outputs—because scholarly communication doesn’t just happen in scholarly journals.” Truly amazing. The AMA thread was assigned a doi, which I have never seen before!

I’m so impressed.

Hatnote – Listen to Wikipedia (zen! fills heart with joy)

I’m a huge nerd with a terrible procrastination habit. I surf aimlessly for hours. Wikipedia is the best, most awesome thing ever (and it provided ~70% of my university education). Visit for a lovely sonic realization of Wikipedia’s recent changes (including new users, edits, & newly created articles). Gorgeous.

Hatnote: listen to Wikipedia
Hatnote: listen to Wikipedia

100,000 Stars – a cool Chrome experiment

100,000 Stars is a lovely visualization developed by “some space enthusiasts at Google”.

I personally recommend enjoying it with a rum and coke. It’s a fantastic toy – I zoomed in and out repeatedly, hurtling from the edge of the galaxy into the sun.

A screenshot from 100 000 Stars
A screenshot from 100 000 Stars

Try it for yourself by visiting


seaquence: a cool musical toy

Today’s 5 minutes of woolgathering yielded Seaquence.

It’s a neat composition experiment. You create small wave creatures controlled by a step-sequencer — these wander about in the “sea,” generating neat patterns as voices rise and fall in volume.

You can click & redirect the wave creatures — I enjoyed positioning them in clusters on opposite ends of the space and rapidly shifting the ‘window’ between them. Tonnes of fun. I imagined my little critters tumbling about cacophonously in a single drop of water. Here’s a sample.

According to their website,  Seaquence was created by Ryan Alexander, Gabriel Dunne, and Daniel Massey, with support from Gray Area Foundation for the Arts (San Francisco).




Mr. Doob’s a cool dude

Here’s an oldie-but-goodie. I’ve been scribbling things using Mr. Doob’s procedural drawing tool Harmony for a few years now, and it has brought me hours of joy. Can’t get enough of it.

It’s quite simple; you have a drawing area & can set your background and brush colours. Select a brush, change its size, and enjoy yourself. The tool lends itself well to rapid sketching, and interesting shading experiments.

Here’s a tree drawn only using the ‘Ribbon’ brush:

Ribbon tree

Check out other projects by Mr. Doob while you’re at it. Incredibly productive individual.