Are You a Racist?

To find out, check out the Implicit Association Test (IAT), made by Harvard. While you obviously shouldn’t let the results guide how you behave, they are found in a very interesting way. The objective is to discover how easy it is for you to subconsciously associate different people, races, and other categorizations with certain positive and negative qualities. Instead of asking you questions that could lead to a sort of Bradley effect, it shows you two pictures, one of one a face belonging to a person of race and one belonging to another. In other versions, it will test your preference of one famous person over another, one time period over another, etc. For example, I guess I view Bill Clinton as moderately more honest than George Bush and have no automatic preference for 1950 over 2050 or vice-versa. There is also a test for Obama vs. McCain preference.

To try the test out for yourself, go to implicit.harvard.edu. To take another test of your choice, either click “Demonstration,” then “Go to the Demonstration Tasks,” or click the link I’ve made above.

BONUS: If answer-the-questions-in-plain-English questionnaires are more your thing, check out Blogthings.com. They have a plethora of quizzes, all of which can be shared with friends via Facebook or copy-pasting of HTML.

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Hunch.com

I’ll start with a condensed description of the website I’ll be talking about in this post. Hunch is a sort of high-tech 8-ball, except it should be more accurate than “Yes,” No,” Maybe,” and so on. Instead, it’ll give specific answers to your specific questions, assuming somebody has already made an answer.

If that explanation wasn’t enough, the rest of the post should help. The basic premise of Hunch.com is a user-built automatic version of Yahoo! Answers. You ask it a question, it asks you a few questions, you answer them ┬áto help it determine the answer, and you’re done.

The best way to illustrate that short of having you try it yourself is to share my experience with it. I recently bought a pair of earbud headphones after the ones I had started malfunctioning. I was looking for something durable with reasonable sound quality and wanted a middle-of-the-road price. I found a question like that, answered accordingly, and ended up buying a pair of V-Moda Vibe earbuds. No word yet on whether they’re definitely great or terrible, but I haven’t had any problems with them in the week I’ve had them for.

Another example is more relevant to you. As I wrote this post, I was looking at the front page of Hunch.com to make sure I had all the information I needed. I saw a question along the lines of “What URL Shortener Should I Use?” and clicked it, as I’d been looking at Su.Pr (Stumbleupon’s new data gatherer). I “told” Hunch I wanted to be able to find statistics, didn’t care much about this, cared about that, and less than a minute later, I had my answer. Tr.im is my current URL shortening service. Hopefully it’ll work as well as I’ve been informed.

In some ways, this is a lot like Wolfram|Alpha. You ask a question, then it finds you the answer without all of the extra information. The difference here is that while Wolfram|Alpha mostly deals with pure data, the human input Hunch.com has allows you to ask much more abstract questions and get all sorts of (good) answers. You can think of it as Wolfram|Alpha meets Wikipedia or eHow in some ways.

Again, the URL is Hunch.com. I’ve linked it to the Tr.im version, but you’ll end up going to the same place.

Namechk.com

Check out Namechk.com. It allows you to input a username and see whether it’s available on over 60 different websites, including Youtube, WordPress, Facebook, Digg, and so on. I can see this as being useful for people (and businesses) who are just starting out with major website memberships.

The URL is namechk.com. Check it out.

Questions? Comments? Feel free to ask or share below.

RIP Scamp

Simon Veksner, the writer of the blog Scamp, has officially written his last post. (He’s not dead.) It’s too bad, as Scamp has been a one of my favorite sources of entertainment and advertising news for many months, but the silver lining is that he’ll be publishing a book in the near future. More news on that as it develops.

Though I don’t know how useful it’ll be to new readers now, Scamp’s URL is scampblog.blogspot.com. Feel free to check out the blog’s archive for some amazing ads and top-notch commentary.

Just a note: After reading Scamp’s last post and starting to write this one, I proceeded to opened up my email. Interestingly enough, Creativity‘s (a division of Advertising Age) headline for this story was “Scamp RIP.” I just want to clear the air preemptively and say that I didn’t intend for the similarity. I guess that great minds just think alike when writing titles for web-based stories ­čÖé .

Heads in Freezers

I remember seeing this when using StumbleUpon a couple of weeks ago. I saw some FAIL picture, a site I’ve already been to, and then this. It is a new, pretty bizarre meme involving web users taking and uploading pictures of somebody sticking his or her head in a freezer. The pictures are uploaded to any site that supports tagging. It’s important that the image be tagged because to be part of the “movement”, the picture must be tagged with 241543903. I’m pretty sure that the number means nothing and has probably never been used before, but those familiar with the idea get it. ┬áThe main site, and ground zero for the concept, is 241543903.com. Check it out by clicking the URL.

This is an image from another site dedicated to this meme.

This is an image from another site dedicated to this meme.

The Effing Card Company

First, here’s a bit of background on TECC (The Effing Card Company). Presumably based in the UK, this website is run by a section of Regal Clothing Company, who are sort of like Snorg Tees or Busted Tees, except with some fouler language. ┬áRegal is run through bigcartel.com, which lets you set up your own store online. The store itself has a few interesting shirts, but in my opinion, the really cool thing is this card section.

Introduction aside, TECC is a sort of online Hallmark, with the word “effing” used about as often as the Hallmark logo is. Every greeting, graduation, congratulations, and other card contains the word in some form, in a huge, marker-like font. While probably not appropriate for all types of recipients, I’d say that this is an interesting new way to send a message to a good friend. The sheer novelty itself calls for a good laugh in most cases, so give it a try. The seller even offers free shipping (UK only) and will handwrite the card if you’re a bit sloppy.

The cards are available for £2.20 each, with 50p international shipping.  TECC also sells mugs and business cards.

Currently sold out, this is just one of the 50+ items available at the store.

Currently sold out, this is just one of the 50+ items available at the store.

Map The Fallen

In relation to Memorial Day, this is about the blog of the creator of Map The Fallen, a Google Earth Map that visually conveys the casualties of war that the US has incurred in Iraq and Afghanistan. There are over 5,700 deaths recorded, and most of them have information on their locations and dates as well. You can also see the casualties’ life stories condensed into a few paragraphs. The project is interesting and obviously took a long time, so check it out by visiting mapthefallen.org and reading more about it. To see the project in action, click the download button (it’s on the right side of the page when you follow the link) and open the file in Google Earth.