Culture

Previously on the Internet … with Haley Hoffman

Every week at TED’s New York office, one media team staffer shares 5 things on the web that intrigued, shocked or amused them. We call it: Previously on the Internet. Here are this week’s finds, from Haley Hoffman, TED’s product team consultant.

Let’s agree to call them InstaGrahams
The online sweet shop Baking for Good has pioneered a way to turn your favorite cameraphone snapshots into delicious sugar cookies (photo above). Buying a dozen for $36 — you can use one to six photos per batch — does good for others too: Baking for Good donates 15% of its proceeds to a cause of your choice.

Are some languages spoken faster?
Haley was fascinated by this week’s Lexicon Valley podcast on Slate.com, which delved into the question: Are some languages spoken more quickly than others, or does it just seem that way when you are not a native speaker? The podcast surfaced a study published in 2011 that looked at the relationship between speech rate and the density of information encoded in it.

Kickstarting a desktop 3D printer
Imagine a printer that can print objects — trinkets, jewelry, whatever you like. That is what FormLabs, a spinoff of the MIT Media Lab, has been working on for the past year. Posted on Kickstarter a week ago, the Form 1 printer has already raised $1,442,802.

Reverse-engineering your burger
The Burger Lab on SeriousEats.com has been bringing you hamburger how-tos and recipes for eons. Haley’s favorite moment from this blog? When they attempted to reverse-engineer the Shake Shack’s secret sauce, but ended up finding out the real recipe by … asking them.

Deep-sea Googling
Last week, Google took its Google Maps Street View to the next level, adding in footage of select underwater locations. Just as you can find your house using Street View, you can also see snorklers caught mid-swim with this new feature.