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Published February 26th 2018

More Tabs, Please #12: Sound Waves, Amazon Roads, and Lager

This time More Tabs, Please looks at deforestation in the rainforest, search engines influencing elections, and the booze history of the UK.

The old number 12. A dozen. The months of a year. Half a day. A clock face. And, now, a More Tabs, Please edition. We recommend a pint of cooking wine for this one.

Our album to listen to this week is Nil Frahm’s Solo:

From a lunchtime stout to all-night lager

A row of whiskey bottles behind a bar

Why do different cultures have varying relationships with alcohol? Some drink more, some drink less. Some drink beer, some drink spirits. How do these variations come about when, essentially, the outcome of drunkenness is the same?

How we became the heaviest drinkers in a century‘ tries to answer some of these questions for the UK. A country that definitely leans into the ‘drinks more’ category has seen a significant shift in drinking habits over the last 100 years.

See how industry, culture, and advertising can change the entire drinking psyche of a country in a relatively short time. Worked on me. Two pints of Stella and pack of nuts, please, mate.

The sound of music

A visualisation of a three sound waves creating a chord

Carrying on with the twelve theme, in Western music all of our notes fit within an octave made up of twelve notes (‘octave’ is clearly a dumb name for it). But how does sound, and therefore music, even work?

Let’s Learn About Waveforms‘ is essentially an interactive lesson in how sound is created through waves, the physics behind it, and how we hear the things we do.

I remember at music school a teacher trying to explain this over an hour and failing. This piece explains it perfectly in about 20 minutes.

Hire This Person: Max Roberts

If you read last week’s More Tabs, Please you’ll know I love ramen, so the above picture instantly grabbed my attention when I was looking for an artist.

Drawn by the illustrator Max Roberts, you can see a lot more of this humour surrealist-realism in his work, from squids holding wands to melting pugs.

You can check out all this work at his Instagram here.

Taken From The Timeline

One of the greatest things about Twitter is enabling writers to show off their specific style of writing in short, weird, and bizarre ways a publisher would never be interested in.

Here’s a Twitter thread from writer Sarah Gailey explaining how to trick your dumb body into acting like a whale:

A highway through the rainforest

It’s no news that deforestation of the Amazon is a major environmental issue. People the world over the world worry that deforestation may destroy the rainforest and, therefore, that the process should end.

From miles away this might seem like a simple and attractive solution. In the thick of the trees, it’s far more complicated.

The Road‘ explores the range of activity going on in the Amazon, from farming to illegal mining, and how successive government policies have shaped it all. They center everything around the BR-163 highway which links all these activities together.

With satellite imagery and incredible photography, this piece is hugely illuminating.

Subliminal search marketing

“Faaaaaaake neeeeeeeeews,” he screams until he’s red in the face. “That’s the problem!”

What if I told you that even when we’re presented with the truth, how its presented can influence us to act in a certain way? ‘The 21st Century Skinner Box‘ looks at this question and how it’s already happening.

From Google to Facebook to Reddit, the piece examines how vast amounts of data, UX experiments, and a lack of direction could be influencing entire societies, intentionally or not.

Watch and Listen

The best podcasts are often ones that tell us something we never knew we wanted to know. Or even considered had an interesting story behind them. 99% Invisible, ostensibly a design podcast, tells us a lot of these stories, and a lot more.

As noted in their About page, discover why inflatable men are used to sell cars and why Freud chose a couch. To start you off, here’s an episode looking at how weights and measures have caused disasters:

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