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Importance of Seeing Data (12-09-14)

Kirk reports that it is important to present data collected visually.  He concludes that “If statistics can be said to describe and quantify the characteristics of data, visualization is what enables us to actually see the data.  In harmony, they give us the most thorough understanding of data.”  Many techniques for visually presenting data are illustrated at the web address noted below.

More Benefits of Walkability (12-08-14)

Researchers at the University of Kansas have linked living in a walkable community with better cognitive functioning among the elderly.  Their study, presented at the 2014 meeting of the Gerontological Society of America determined that “neighborhoods that motivate walking can stave off cognitive decline in older adults.”  Watts, one of the study authors reports that “’Features of a neighborhood that encourage walking for transportation require having someplace worth walking to, like neighbors’ houses, stores and parks.’ Watts said neighborhoods that inspire walking for leisure al

“Sophisticated” Colors (12-05-14)

Anderson studied domestic interiors through history.  She learned that “By the 1880s those proffering guidance on domestic decor were in agreement on one point: interiors had to be “harmonious.” This meant understanding the importance of color, form, and texture in fashioning the “model” interior popularly known as a House Beautiful; like a work of art, interiors were now compositions that required careful orchestration. Domestic advice pundits constantly drew analogies with both painting and music. . . .

Suburbanites are Happiest and Most Productive (12-04-14)

Goetz, Davlasheridze, and Han investigated where the happiest people in the country live and links between home locations and productivity.  They determined that “People in the country’s unhappiest communities spend about a quarter of the month so far down in the dumps that it can harm their productivity. . . .

More Information on Pink (12-03-14)

Genschow and his team investigated the effects of Baker-Miller pink (similar to Pepto-Bismal pink) on mood.  Their information seems to contradict previous findings that being near this color is calming.  Genschow and his fellow researchers found that “Many prisons across western countries recently began to paint detention cells in Baker-Miller pink to calm down aggressive inmates. This recent development is based on early findings . . . suggesting that Baker-Miller pink reduces physical strength and thus aggressive behavior. In the present study. . . .

Not So Far Outside the Box (12-02-14)

Chan, Dow, and Schunn investigated how sources of inspiration influence design solution creativity.  They report that “Design ideas often come from sources of inspiration (e.g., analogous designs, prior experiences). . . . we test the popular but unevenly supported hypothesis that conceptually distant sources of inspiration provide the best insights for creative production. Through text analysis of hundreds of design concepts across a dozen different design challenges on a Web-based innovation platform that tracks connections to sources of inspiration, we find that . . .

Perils of Approaching (12-01-14)

Yanping Tu, and colleagues Christopher Hsee, Zoe Lu, and Bowen Ruan, recently completed research indicating that people may not be positive toward individuals and things that seem to be approaching them.  As reported, “people feel more negative toward individuals, images, and sounds if those ‘stimuli’ are perceived to be approaching them.  This aversion has cautionary implications for public speakers who like to get close to their audience as well as for marketers who zoom in on products.”  It seems likely that some of the effects seen are related to perceived invasions of pe