Nerd Alert 39: That New Car Smell


Take some time off this weekend to go out and visit nature.


What we're reading this week

  Adam: An excellent discussion of the ethics of algorithms: “Should the Facebooks and Googles of the world put users on a healthy diet, by filtering search results to reflect the truest truths and News Feeds to promote nuanced, substantial discourse?”

  Ben: How evil can newsletter signup popups get?

  David: How many trees are there on Earth?

  Kaeti: Just in time for the long weekend, the sensible case for totally ignoring all the emails you miss on vacation.

  Ryan: Jason Cohen's company, Analytical Flavor Systems, is helping craft breweries improve their beer by using graphics processing units (GPUs) to analyze beer tasting data to identify common issues with ingredients and brewing methodologies.

  Bert: Let's build a Lego bus that drives itself.

This Week's Guest ContributorDaniel Bachhuber, Director of Engineering at Fusion

As a newly minted manager, I have a lot to learn — and I’m trying not to learn it all the hard way. One book I’ve found to be incredibly helpful is Crucial Conversations, because it provides an approachable framework for being effective in emotionally-fraught conversations.

Thinking about asking for a raise? This book will help you frame the talk with your boss. Frustrated with how other people on your team are working? This book enables gives you tools to be real with them, and help get them to be real with you.

Fixing people problems isn’t as easy as fixing code. Make your news nerdery more successful by reading this book.

Each week we ask someone from outside our team to contribute a link, tool or idea. Are you our next guest star? We think you might be. Send us a note at



Our projects, manifest

Want to help us build tools for nonprofit newsrooms? We're hiring apprentices for the fall and spring.

News Nerd Book Club is next Wednesday! We're reading Designing for Performance by Lara Callender Hogan.


Work we admire by our journalism peers

Screen Shot 2015-09-04 at 11.17.26 AM

The Lens' project Missing Home maps the thousands of houses demolished in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, and exhibits some of the demolished houses.

The source code is up on GitHub!



Gather ye rosebuds

LISTEN: This video has tons of excellent drum solos, and not a drumkit in sight.

COOK: Got a blender? Make some Green Power.

WATCH: Why journalists carry guns in the Philippines, via The Guardian.

GIF: Adam is test-driving cars today.