Self-Motivation
David Goggins
Former Navy Seal
Career Development
Bryan Cranston
Actor
Critical Thinking
Liv Boeree
International Poker Champion
Emotional Intelligence
Amaryllis Fox
Former CIA Clandestine Operative
Management
Chris Hadfield
Retired Canadian Astronaut & Author
Learn
from the world's big
thinkers
Start Learning

The Geeky Thrill of “Layer Tennis”

Question: What is “layer tennis,” and what has been your favorite match?

Khoi Vinh: Well, I've only been to the one Layer tennis match, which was a few weeks ago.  Layer Tennis is, I think really a kind of genius game cooked up by a friend of mine who runs a design agency in Chicago named Jim Kudall.  In the game, two players -- two opponents, usually designers, sometimes illustrators, sometimes topographers, essentially volley back and forth a photo shot file and with each volley, they take what their opponent had done just prior and try to build on it and sort of add some more **** and elaborate on it and then turn it around and send it back over to the other player so that there's this back and forth where each volley is really a challenge to the other player to do something better; to one up the other player.  It's a little bit esoteric and it's probably more fun to play than to watch because unless the players are really in sync, it can sometimes sort of seem like two people coming up with random images and throwing it back and forth at each other.  But what makes it interesting to watch and to play really is this sort of 15 minute stop watch on each volley, and that sort of takes design into a new dimension that it's not typically associated with this idea of designing live, or designing in real time and people observing that. 

And so, I had never really played it before and I had only seen the matches after they had been completed before.  But I have to admit, it was really fun to play when I played it a few weeks ago.  And I think what's really good about it is it takes your design skills and makes you think in a different part of your brain in a brain that has to respond in real time and to think very free-associatively and to play and not to think about business constraints and technology constraints entirely.

Recorded on March 3, 2010
Interviewed by Austin \r\nAllen

\r\n

When designers volley designs back and forth in a battle of one-upmanship, the result is an esoteric, but fun, digital-age sport.

Live on Tuesday | Personal finance in the COVID-19 era

Sallie Krawcheck and Bob Kulhan will be talking money, jobs, and how the pandemic will disproportionally affect women's finances.

How often do vaccine trials hit paydirt?

Vaccines find more success in development than any other kind of drug, but have been relatively neglected in recent decades.

Pedro Vilela/Getty Images
Surprising Science

Vaccines are more likely to get through clinical trials than any other type of drug — but have been given relatively little pharmaceutical industry support during the last two decades, according to a new study by MIT scholars.

Keep reading Show less

Women who go to church have more kids—and more help

Want help raising your kids? Spend more time at church, says new study.

Pixabay
Culture & Religion
  • Religious people tend to have more children than secular people, but why remains unknown.
  • A new study suggests that the social circles provided by regular church going make raising kids easier.
  • Conversely, having a large secular social group made women less likely to have children.
Keep reading Show less

Leonardo da Vinci could visually flip between dimensions, neuroscientist claims

A neuroscientist argues that da Vinci shared a disorder with Picasso and Rembrandt.

Christopher Tyler
Mind & Brain
  • A neuroscientist at the City University of London proposes that Leonardo da Vinci may have had exotropia, allowing him to see the world with impaired depth perception.
  • If true, it means that Da Vinci would have been able to see the images he wanted to paint as they would have appeared on a flat surface.
  • The finding reminds us that sometimes looking at the world in a different way can have fantastic results.
Keep reading Show less

Bubonic plague case reported in China

Health officials in China reported that a man was infected with bubonic plague, the infectious disease that caused the Black Death.

(Photo by Centers for Disease Control and Prevention/Getty Images)
Coronavirus
  • The case was reported in the city of Bayannur, which has issued a level-three plague prevention warning.
  • Modern antibiotics can effectively treat bubonic plague, which spreads mainly by fleas.
  • Chinese health officials are also monitoring a newly discovered type of swine flu that has the potential to develop into a pandemic virus.
Keep reading Show less
Quantcast