Month: August 2015

Weekend Reading

Quick poll: anyone still reading these? Lemme know in the comments please.

Anyway, enough about me, on with the good stuff.

  • Missing Scientist Found Hiding in Drug Lab
    Officers say that they could hear the man yelling in the basement the moment they entered the Morgan’s home.  But when they moved cautiously into the basement they saw nothing.
    Read: http://ift.tt/1U85fXI
  • World’s fastest-melting glacier loses massive chunk in 2 days
    One of the world’s most rapidly flowing glaciers may have just set another record, and it’s not one not that bodes well for low-lying coastal cities and nations around the world, which are vulnerable to sea level rise.
    Read: http://ift.tt/1hBxq5w
  • Where Are The Women In Tech? Coding Bootcamps
    Only 29% of all employees across the most influential U.S. technology companies—Google, Facebook, Twitter, Microsoft, Apple, Amazon, and Intel—are women. But that includes salespeople, service workers, and communications professionals.
    Read: http://ift.tt/1U1ZvUK
  • 42 easily confused English terms that make global travelers look ridiculous
    Geography is hard. Even for those of us who grew up eating every meal over a Rand McNally world map placemat, there are a lot of terms to remember. And confuse.
    Read: http://ift.tt/1NATSYt
  • Inside Banksy’s Dismaland, for Those of You Who Can’t Make It
    Earlier this week we reported on the rumors that Banksy was getting ready to crush our warm and fuzzy memories of Disneyland with his pop-up exhibit Dismaland. And now it’s open! Demand was so high for tickets that the website broke.
    Read: http://ift.tt/1I0xVuF
  • World’s ‘Oldest’ Message in a Bottle Found in Germany
    London: A message in a bottle that washed up on a beach in Germany more than 108 years after it was thrown into the sea is believed to be the world’s oldest. The bottle was released in the North Sea between 1904 and 1906 and found by a woman on a beach in Amrum, Germany.
    Read: http://ift.tt/1V44QI6
  • A Manager’s Manifesto
    9) It’s incredibly easy to ‘flip the switch’ and start writing people off after a few bad experiences. Resist at all costs. You were bumbling once too. You made poor decisions. You learn and grow, and so does everybody else. 8) Sweep up the crumbs. Wipe the tables. Turn off the lights.
    Read: http://ift.tt/1wvmK8q
  • Software Estimation Is A Crock
    After 34 years of being a programmer I still get a kick out of people thinking there is a magical way to make software estimation work. All during my career I’ve heard person after person declare estimation is broken but that they have some way to make it work better. They don’t.
    Read: http://ift.tt/1ED3zOK
  • The Meaning of Serena Williams
    There is no more exuberant winner than Serena Williams. She leaps into the air, she laughs, she grins, she pumps her fist, she points her index finger to the sky, signaling she’s No. 1. Her joy is palpable. It brings me to my feet, and I grin right back at her, as if I’ve won something, too.
    Read: http://ift.tt/1hb08cx
  • ‘A Pep Talk for People in the Grip of Decay’: An Interview with Dan Bejar
    In rock music, destruction comes in many forms. There’s Iggy Pop’s scorched-earth “Search and Destroy;” the ribald excess of Kiss’s Destroyer; the Soft Boys’ melodious “I Wanna Destroy You.
    Read: http://ift.tt/1LvG3bn
  • Heavy Metal Feminism
    Last fall, Kayla Phillips, vocalist and songwriter for Tennessee’s hardcore/grindcore band Bleed the Pigs, published a piece with Noisey about her experiences as a black feminist with a natural inclination towards extreme music (“I’m more of a womanist,” she told me recently, “just to dif
    Read: http://ift.tt/1gZvlzi
  • The Downstairs Gays
    One afternoon about a year ago, I found a CB2 catalog in my mailbox addressed to one of my downstairs neighbors, a well-heeled gay couple in their early 30s.
    Read: http://ift.tt/1UBzNDg
  • What life is like in the most remote corner of the world
    In the name of science, there are currently three women and 10 men living on the edge of the world. Outside Concordia Station in Antarctica, the average temperature is about -70°C (-94°F).
    Read: http://ift.tt/1KHdV2a
  • When the truth hurts
    In 2006 in California, Anne Wojcicki co-founded the personal genetics company 23andMe, with the mission of ‘helping people access, understand and benefit from the human genome’. For around $100 and a saliva sample, anyone can receive detailed information about their ancestry.
    Read: http://ift.tt/1Eh1jSL
  • Quentin Tarantıno on White Supremacy, Obama, and Why He Doesn’t Worry About a Transformers Future
    We’re five months from the release of The Hateful Eight. How close to finishing are you? We’ve got a little bit more than an hour finished right now. I just got back from seeing an hour of the movie cut together.
    Read: http://ift.tt/1Ju9ueE
  • Sunbather catches some rays on top of a wind turbine – video
    Drone footage shows a man taking a nap in the the bright sunshine on top of a wind turbine in Rhode Island. The drone travels up the side of the 200ft turbine to reveal the man, thought to be an engineer, lying flat on his back catching some rays.
    Read: http://ift.tt/1JlDZQm
  • ‘Redditor’, ‘butthurt’ and ‘cakeage’ added to Oxford Dictionaries slang lexicon
    The latest batch of words include such useful terms as “cakeage” (a charge by a restaurant for serving a cake provided by a customer), “fatberg” (a deposit of fat that builds up typically in a public sewer system) and “Redditor” (a person using the discussion forum Reddit).
    Read: http://ift.tt/1PA2KMz
  • A Kenyan won the gold medal in javelin after learning how to throw on YouTube
    Kenyan Julius Yego yesterday (Aug. 26) secured a gold medal at the World Athletics Championships in Beijing in javelin. His throw of 92.72m won the competition by four meters, and was not far away from the current world record of 98.48m, held by Jan Zelezny of the Czech Republic.
    Read: http://ift.tt/1MPU4Cs

Weekend Reading

Every week I have to think about something to write as an introduction. Sometimes I just can’t be bothered though and wanna post the links. That ok? Yeah? Cool. Here ya go!

Ohhh and whilst there is an article on Trigger Warnings, I should probably also point out the same for the article on Depression.

  • Polyamory book reviews: Useful ideas for all relationships
    I was excited to be asked by the excellent people at Thorntree Press to review two new books about polyamory: Franklin Veaux’s memoir – The Game Changer – and Elisabeth Sheff’s edited collection of poly lives – Stories from the Polycule.
    Read: http://ift.tt/1WxHso9
  • Is There Any Right Way to Reject a Guy? [Updated]
    Telling someone you don’t want to date them is anxiety-inducing for everyone, but for straight women it’s especially difficult.
    Read: http://ift.tt/1Pw3AdR
  • The Unbreakable Rebecca Black
    Rebecca Black just turned 18 and she’s forgotten how to flirt. It’s a problem.
    Read: http://ift.tt/1WaXCDA
  • The Trigger Warning Myth
    In The Atlantic’s latest cover story, “The Coddling of the American Mind,” Greg Lukianoff and Jonathan Haidt insinuate that trigger warnings and “vindictive protectiveness” are behind the college mental health crisis.
    Read: http://ift.tt/1HKWviY
  • Everything You’ve Heard About Chastity Belts Is a Lie
    What was the chastity belt? You can picture it; you’ve seen it in many movies and heard references to it across countless cultural forms. There’s even a Seattle band called Chastity Belt. In his 1969 book Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Sex (But Were Afraid to Ask), David R.
    Read: http://ift.tt/1MtAA6m
  • 100 Wonders: The Tunguska Event
    Given a long enough time period, there is a nearly 100 percent chance an asteroid large enough to destroy most life on Earth will impact our planet.  The Tunguska event, a meteorite or comet explosion over Siberia in 1908, was unique in that it happened within modern cultural memory.
    Read: http://ift.tt/1NCS6nl
  • A Surprisingly Uncomplicated Look At Rube Goldberg Machines in Movies
    Why simply turn on a light switch when you could light a candle which burns a string, which releases a bowling ball, which lands on a bag of air, which blows over some dominoes, which knock an action figure into a pot, which onto a piece of metal, which startles a chicken, which lays an egg, which
    Read: http://ift.tt/1LiTPAM
  • Time to hide: Google’s humanoid robot can now walk outside on its own
    As you hide behind a tree, your heart races. You breathe shallow so they don’t hear you. But you know you’re running in vain. The robots are coming and this forest won’t hide you for long.
    Read: http://ift.tt/1hJDQze
  • Who Gets to Wear Hervé Léger? The Bandage Dress and the ‘Voluptuous’ Woman
    If you have not, yourself, worn a bandage dress, you have probably seen a bandage dress—on a celebrity, on a reality TV character, on a model, in a magazine, in the wild.
    Read: http://ift.tt/1LfFzGj
  • World’s top 500 sights revealed in Lonely Planet’s Ultimate Travelist 2015
    The Temples of Angkor, Cambodia top the Ultimate Travelist compiled by Lonely Planet, followed by the Great Barrier Reef and Machu Picchu in Peru.
    Read: http://ift.tt/1IXNkjm
  • Jealous of what? Solving polyamory’s jealousy problem
    The first question people ask my polyamorous family is “How do you handle the jealousy?” Befuddled, we answer, “What jealousy?” I am lucky; I live with the two loves of my life.  I am smitten with my husband of 16 years, and adore my partner of four.
    Read: http://ift.tt/1zzNNDZ
  • I’ve Got You Dumb Motherfuckers Eating Right Out Of My Hand
    When we released the first Toy Story movie back in 1995, my colleagues and I were nervous about the response from critics and audiences.
    Read: http://ift.tt/1JcxAGd
  • Dear Jeff Bezos: My husband needed therapy after working for Amazon
    In a memo on Monday, you asked employees to write to you if they had any stories that were similar to those published in The New York Times’s now-controversial takedown of your company’s work management practices published Aug. 15.
    Read: http://ift.tt/1J0CCsp
  • If 43% of young people aren’t straight or gay, why do only 2% identify as bi?
    Content warning: this post discusses biphobia and lesbophobia A YouGov poll was published the other day which revealed that 43% of 18-24 year olds don’t identify as completely straight, or completely gay, with pretty substantial chunks of other generations also being somewhere in the middle on th
    Read: http://ift.tt/1NtHkC2
  • Depression Isn’t Contagious, But a Healthy Mood Is
    That’s if mentally healthy people are there for their depressed friends, which could be easier said than done. Even if you can’t actually catch depression, that’s not to say spending time with a depressed friend doesn’t take its toll.
    Read: http://ift.tt/1Ljvh8f
  • Food Lovers, Take Heed: Rovinj, Croatia, Should Be Next on Your Bucket List
    The small Istrian city sits at the heart of a region known for producing the world’s best olive oil, wines, and truffles. Rovinj, Croatia, is a small seaside city on the Istrian Peninsula that boasts Old World charm, dazzling culinary experiences, and plenty of outdoor appeal.
    Read: http://ift.tt/1EHdRNM
  • The 14 Weirdest Moments In The Bible
    Read: http://ift.tt/1UR7np2
  • Go, and Be
    Last month, my wife and I had the joy and privilege of exploring a portion of the Scottish Highlands. Little did we know what we would find, or how much we would fall in love with her. This video, as a result, is our simple thank you to the memories she gave us and this lesson she taught me”
    Read: http://ift.tt/1EHPway
  • 3 Rings to rule them all

    19 days of full circles

    19 days through the month and so far so good! I’ve managed to complete all three rings every day, which has included a wedding in Coventry last weekend. I’m enjoying the walks, some longer than others, and my clothes feel a little bit looser (the scales will confirm at the end of the month).

    However there are downsides, most notably my ITB which has flared up. Ibuprofen gel keeps it at bay thankfully, and I’m using the PURE EVIL that is my foam roller to stretch it out. I’m also noticing that some days it’s a real struggle, and no matter where I walk my legs complain, whereas some other days I can walk about all day. I’ve not yet figured out why that is.

    Overall I’m happy that I’ve managed to stick to this, I’m aware that around this point is where I start to make excuses and give up, with the ever present promise of ‘tomorrow’ easily offered as justification to myself.

    Weekend Reading

    A quieter week, but hopefully a few things that might pique your interest!

    • The Almost Perfect World War II Plot To Bomb Japan With Bats
      Mexican Free-tailed bats spill out of Bracken Cave in Texas. (Photo: US Fish and Wildlife Service) Imagine: a quiet, tense night in the middle of wartime. A plane rips through the air above your city, rupturing the stillness. The bay doors open, and out whistles a bomb. It drops and drops.
      Read: http://ift.tt/1IXaAB9
    • Places You Can No Longer Go: The Love Shack
      Join one of our regional event announcement lists for first crack at upcoming explorations near you. 100% spam free, we promise.
      Read: http://ift.tt/1hn3YzK
    • Book Club of California
      For over a hundred years the Book Club of California has been heralding the artistry of Western writers and printers, and their public clubhouse has become a bastion where print will never die. The Book Club of California has been in San Francisco for over 100 years.
      Read: http://ift.tt/1PatJ1o
    • Clive Thompson, “The Pencil and the Keyboard : How…
      My friend Clive talks about his research into when you should write by hand and when you should type on a keyboard. Handwriting is great for note taking and big picture thinking. So, when you’re at lectures, in meetings, or you’re brainstorming ideas, scribble or doodle in your notebook.
      Read: http://ift.tt/1FuYM3g
    • Could the Oculus Rift help give Second Life a second life?
      Second Life—the online world once considered the hottest destination on the internet—never got much past a million users. But its creators think virtual-reality headsets could help give it a new lease of life.
      Read: http://ift.tt/1gcL2mr
    • Out of the Woods
      Several years ago, David Withers, a zoologist with the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation, was digging for crayfish in some creek beds on the edge of DeKalb County, in an area that can plausibly be described as nowhere at all, when he spotted an unmarked road.
      Read: http://ift.tt/1EfE6up
    • Life
      Someone tried to make Meryl Streep stand in a place she did not want to stand in for a photograph recently. She smiled her Meryl smile and simply said that this would not be happening. This is why Meryl Streep is Meryl Streep and the rest of us, to put it bluntly, can kiss her glorious hem.
      Read: http://ift.tt/1KYXJi8
    • How should we talk about mental health?
      Mental health suffers from a major image problem. One in every four people experiences mental health issues — yet more than 40 percent of countries worldwide have no mental health policy. Across the board it seems like we have no idea how to talk about it respectfully and responsibly.
      Read: http://ift.tt/1A6rveD
    • My life without gender: ‘Strangers are desperate to know what genitalia I have’
      This morning, I got out of bed, put on a yellow vinyl miniskirt with a tight black-and-white striped crop top and posted a picture of myself on Instagram.
      Read: http://ift.tt/1JQTjZo
    • A Little Kelp From My Friends
      This story starts on the seashore off the rocky Sonoma Coast of California, a mile or so north of a town called Jenner.
      Read: http://ift.tt/1gUJ2QH
    • The Science of Sleep: Dreaming, Depression, and How REM Sleep Regulates Negative Emotions
      “Memory is never a precise duplicate of the original… it is a continuing act of creation. Dream images are the product of that creation.” For the past half-century, sleep researcher Rosalind D.
      Read: http://ift.tt/1BeJgEY
    • A Ghost in the Family
      Early on the morning I went to see the San Francisco artists Barry McGee and Clare Rojas at their weekend place, in Marin County, a robin redbreast began hurling itself at a window in their living room. “It won’t stop,” Rojas said.
      Read: http://ift.tt/1hftZRq
    • Study Examines What Marathon Runners Think About
      For the study, researchers outfitted 10 people who were training for either marathons or half-marathons with microphones and small recorders that attach to their belts. They then asked them to say their thoughts out loud to themselves while on runs of seven miles or longer.
      Read: http://ift.tt/1MkQwcL
    • How to stop to-do lists ruining your life
      It’s funny how to-do lists take on the characteristics of their owners. Illegible handwriting and multiple crossings-out? Looks as though life is spilling over at the edges. Neatly written on a pristine piece of paper? A vision of self-control and restraint.
      Read: http://ift.tt/1IF7igl
    • 10 Things You Need to Stop Saying Right Now
      As new verbal memes bubble up on the Internet, one has to decide what to make of them and whether to embrace the language of the moment. You’ve no doubt been barraged with BEST sign-offs in e-mails for years now, and maybe you’re even an offender. Etiquette experts have decided it’s in poor form.
      Read: http://ift.tt/1MiffwA
    • Faster Than a Speeding Bullet, You Will Learn The Actual Speed Of Cliched Idioms
      We use a lot of stock phrases to imply quickness: From “before the ink is dry” to “at the drop of a hat” to “at full throttle.
      Read: http://ift.tt/1Mmqu8Z
    • The Irish love stilettos: The most popular shoe styles around the world
      Mexican women love wedges, Germans are fans of brogue stitching, and Americans and Canadians are pretty much the only people who like newspaper print fabric. Australian startup Shoes of Prey is used by people all over the world to design women’s shoes to their exact taste.
      Read: http://ift.tt/1L4xJiw
    • What Will Happen If I Don’t Take My Phone Out Right Now
      19 things that will definitely happen.
      “5. Someone will send me an e-mail marked “URGENT” and it will, for once, actually be quite urgent (probably about free food), and I won’t see it until it’s too late (all the free food is gone).”
      Read: http://ift.tt/1IHyopu

    Taking stock

    You know that thing where your brain grabs hold of something, an event, a thought, a desire or loathing, and then twists it and wrings it out and leaves it floating around in your brain as either the best thing ever or the worst thing in the world? Yeah?

    OK, so it’s usually the latter and as soon as it happens our little friend anxiety rocks up and is all ‘hey, you having a worry party? here, let me help!’. Because, as we all know, anxiety is a dick.

    Being made redundant is one of those life moments that I’ve experienced three times now, and I know that this time I’ve got a better handle on things, yet that doesn’t stop anxiety kicking in every now and then to remind me that I DON’T HAVE A JOB OR ANY SECURITY AND SOON I WILL BE HOMELESS AND LIVING ROUGH ON THE STREETS AND MY FRIENDS AND FAMILY WILL ABANDON ME!!!

    Which is, of course, complete and utter tosh.

    I know I will find another job, and I know I have support from my all my loved ones, friends and family alike. The very worst case is probably that I have to move to find cheaper accommodation but I will still have the luxury of a roof over my head, and I know that is a very privileged position to be in.

    Beyond that, I know that the support of my loved ones is there when I need it, which is something that our little friend anxiety keeps trying to trick me into disbelieving.

    This past weekend has helped remind me that, yes, anxiety is both a dick and a liar, that regardless of the things they are dealing with themselves, both my partners will be understanding and supportive when I ask for help and, more than they realise, have helped drive away some of those anxious thoughts that were floating around in my head.

    So as well as taking stock of my possession and my lifestyle, I am also taking stock of all of the good things that I have, for they are many, and how rich I really am. It’s a good place to be.

    Weekend Reading

    There are upsides to not being employed, I’m reading a lot more which means you get even more random articles and stuff this weekend.

    Whilst I have your attention, I’ve been pondering doing this as a weekly email if there is enough interest, let me know in the comments if you are!

    • The guys behind MegaBots say their giant fighting robot will pioneer an entirely new, worldwide sport
      There is a massive square-city-block building in West Oakland called American Steel. It used to be a repair shop for huge cargo ships.
      Read: http://ift.tt/1VHtgs0
    • Learn these “non-words” to communicate everywhere in the world
      There are some words that are, well, not words. Linguists have a lot of names for them, none especially clear-cut: interjections, exclamations, non-lexical conversational sounds. (For native speakers of American English, think “hmm,” “uh-huh,” et al.)
      Read: http://ift.tt/1MBgcS3
    • Goodbye, Android
      Last week, I was hanging out with some hackers and security experts at a conference in Brooklyn when I took out my Sony phone. “Oh! The journalist uses Android. That’s secure!” said one guy next to me, in a highly sarcastic tone.
      Read: http://ift.tt/1IJvBiv
    • Fitted
      The anthropologist Marcel Mauss once said that the difference between magic and religion is that people actually believe in magic. But wearing a FitBit, it is easy to imagine what it feels like to believe in God. Clipped on my bra strap or tucked into a pocket, my FitBit watches over me.
      Read: http://ift.tt/1gYYwml
    • A Way to Get Fit and Also Have Fun
      Can exercise that is intense also be fun? Researchers in Denmark recently began delving into that issue and in the process developed a new approach to intense interval training that could appeal even to those of us who, until now, have been disinclined to push ourselves during exercise.
      Read: http://ift.tt/1M5ugTW
    • Lunch with the FT
      It is the hottest day of the year and my guest has been delivered to the restaurant by a perspiring middle-aged man whom I recognise as the leader of the Scottish National party’s band of MPs in the House of Commons.
      Read: http://ift.tt/1IcyKSs
    • Two Nine-Year-Olds’ Magnificent Open Letter to Disney About Racial and Gender Stereotypes
      “Like most people we love your attractions, but we found some problems with some of them and those problems are stereotypes.
      Read: http://ift.tt/1IFJXi7
    • The strange phenomenon of musical ‘skin orgasms’
      Sometimes music strikes the body like a bolt of lightning. “I was in a friend’s dorm room in my third year as an undergraduate,” Psyche Loui remembers. “Rachmaninov’s Piano Concerto No. 2 came up on the radio and I was instantly captivated.
      Read: http://ift.tt/1HID4Lj
    • Who Runs the Streets of New Orleans?
      On the morning of Sunday, March 29, Sidney Torres was sipping an espresso in the kitchen of his mansion on the edge of the French Quarter when a jarring notification lit up his iPad and two iPhones. Pimps fighting with drug dealers and johns. Man has gun. Hurry.
      Read: http://ift.tt/1H5HEPU
    • A Perfect Storm of Outrage Oneupmanship
      Even when a dentist kills an adored lion, and everyone is furious, there’s loftier righteousness to be had. Now is the point in the story of Cecil the lion—amid non-stop news coverage and passionate social-media advocacy—when people get tired of hearing about Cecil the lion.
      Read: http://ift.tt/1Iyxkp7
    • Why UFC ‘antihero’ Ronda Rousey is such a big deal
      With the swift knockout, the 28-year-old defending champion maintained her dominance as the only female bantamweight champion in the UFC with a 12-0 record. Her fight against Cat Zingano in February also ended swiftly, thanks to her signature move, the armbar.
      Read: http://ift.tt/1N5uEyS
    • Great Leaps Forward In Ice Cream History
      ​It’s one of the most complex food products you’ll ever consume: a thermodynamic miracle that contains all three states of matter — solid, liquid, and gas — at the same time. And yet no birthday party, beach trip, or Fourth of July celebration is complete without a scoop or two.
      Read: http://ift.tt/1IGwXsF
    • The Cop
      Darren Wilson, the former police officer who shot and killed Michael Brown, an eighteen-year-old African-American, in Ferguson, Missouri, has been living for several months on a nondescript dead-end street on the outskirts of St. Louis.
      Read: http://ift.tt/1SyTDBq
    • The U.K.’s Tallest Sculpture Will Let You Ride A Slide All The Way Down
      Because let’s face it: every tower and skyscraper should have a slide. The anticipation of what you’ll see at the top of a tower can be exciting. Going down, though? Comparatively, that’s a drag. Why go down the stairs or the elevator like a sucker when you can slide on down?
      Read: http://ift.tt/1HlD9Rs
    • In Which We’re Up All Night
      It is impossible to describe insomnia to people who are sound sleepers. These are the people who trust that getting in bed will be followed by falling asleep, as surely as night follows day; these are the fearless people. Sleepless people are a very different breed.
      Read: http://ift.tt/PcGJrU
    • Winners of the 2015 National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest
      So many amazing photos!
      Read: http://ift.tt/1MazU7e
    • How To Get Rid Of Clutter And Live Abundantly
      It’s important to be very rich but have almost no items in your home. This will confuse vengeful spirits that come looking to destroy your possessions. Also, if you have too many items in your home, helpful ghosts may be unable to find you, as clutter interferes with their echolocation.
      Read: http://ift.tt/1FoK5Ou
    • How the Sausage Is Made: A Look Inside the World of Bespoke Hot Dogs
      When Tamar Adler decided to hand-make hot dogs for a summer wedding party, she had no idea what she was getting herself into. Jesse had dark pink cheeks and on cold days wore a brown skullcap. He wasn’t a crush or an idol—I now realize I don’t even know how to spell his name.
      Read: http://ift.tt/1hftZB5
    • “These Five People Are About to Have a Baby Together”
      Vice An interesting thing about this story is that it treats nonmonogamy as a minor component. The five people are a couple and a triad. They’re treated as friends who decided to commit to live as a family.
      Read: http://ift.tt/1NbE7Vr
    • After a year of high-profile killings by police, Americans’ views on race have shifted
      After a year of high-profile police shootings of black Americans, many captured on video, racial attitudes among Americans — particularly whites — have undergone a significant shift.
      Read: http://ift.tt/1T3xkPs
    • Hiroshima
      At exactly fifteen minutes past eight in the morning, on August 6, 1945, Japanese time, at the moment when the atomic bomb flashed above Hiroshima, Miss Toshiko Sasaki, a clerk in the personnel department of the East Asia Tin Works, had just sat down at her place in the plant office and was turning
      Read: http://ift.tt/1ntXpME
    • Essential Reading On The 70th Anniversary Of Hiroshima
      Seventy years ago today, the United States dropped the world’s first atomic weapon on Hiroshima, Japan, in an attempt to force the Japanese into surrender in the late stages of World War II. The bomb flattened the city and killed tens of thousands instantly.
      Read: http://ift.tt/1eVTAND
    • The buzz(kill) about caffeine
      There’s a slow but growing movement in the United States to ban the sale of caffeine – or certain kinds of it, at least. In June, the Ohio Legislature passed a bill banning the retail sales of pure powdered caffeine. This comes on the heels of six U.S.
      Read: http://ift.tt/1Ht2icX
    • Debunking the biggest genetic myth of the human tongue
      Roll it, flip it, fold it and even mold it into a squiggle. Your tongue can be an acrobat, regardless of whether your parents are capable of the same tricks.
      Read: http://ift.tt/1SRoBVu
    • Trial by Twitter
      Dave Neese spoke, haltingly, telling Rachel she could “take her apologies and everything else and sit on them because that’s about what they’re worth.” Then Skylar’s uncle, Michael Neese, came forward. “First day this all started…I made 200 flyers and drove…to the new Kroger.
      Read: http://ift.tt/1Di6UHE

    Embracing change

    Given recent events, I’ve had a few weeks of free time/garden leave and if I’m being honest with myself, I’ve probably not done everything I could with them.

    Of course I’ve had some things to think about, finding a new job being a not inconsiderable part of that, but on a personal level I’m trying to use my recent redundancy as a reason to do something positive. Change is good, so it’s time to embrace it!

    Less is more

    I’ve read their blog and cherry picked some bits and bobs from it in the past but today I’m starting their 21 days into Minimalism plan.

    I’m interested to see how far through this I’ll get but, as I’ve mentioned in the past, I’m still on a minimising, decluttering kick. I am determined to have fewer things so this is a good chance to fast forward this train of thought.

    I’ve been thinking a lot about this stuff recently, one recent thought was to ask why I have books on bookshelves that I’ve not read. I like reading, but I now do most of mine on a Kindle (or iPad for articles). Is having unread books actually adding a tiny bit of stress to my life? Is the answer to plan to read them, or admit that I’ve passed over many of them when I had the choice so they’re better off being given to a charity shop?

    Anyway, I’m interested to see where this 21 day plan will take me, or even if I’ll make it past day 5!

    Starting this one today.

    Apple Watch Activity Ring Challenge

    Simple enough. For this month I will complete all three circles every day.

    I’ll admit that I’m a sucker for gamification and the Apple Watch activity rings play right into my sweet spot.

    The main challenge will be to hit 30 mins of exercise every day (Activity and Standing I already manage most days) as I’ve realised, having spent a few days doing literally nothing, that I feel better for it. Oddly if I spend too much time sitting down I feel sore, but if I manage to get out for a walk or a cycle I feel much better. Who knew! (I know, I know, EVERYBODY knows… whatever…).

    The Activity Rings track the following:

    • Red = Activity – basically tracks estimated calories burned through your day. At the moment I’m hitting it easily so will up this one a bit by the end of the month.
    • Green = Exercise – 30 mins where your heart rate is elevated, doesn’t have to be continuously.
    • Blue = Standing – for 1 min of every hour, get up and move about. The target is 12, so easily achievable as long as I don’t lie-in every day!

    Here are my circles from July. Not great (spot the days I barely moved from the sofa).

    July Activity circles from Apple Watch

    I tend to thrive when I have goals, so this plays right into that sweet spot for me. And I’m telling you all to try and keep myself accountable.

    At least, 30 mins exercise everyday, shouldn’t be that hard. Right?

    The Magic Number

    Three
    That’s the magic number
    Yes it is
    It’s the magic number

    Todays earworm is brought to you by De La Soul – The Magic Number.

    News comes in threes, or so we are told, and they are usually all grouped together. Two not so good things have happened? Ohh look out because ‘bad news comes in threes!’, two good things have happened, ‘ohhhh I wonder what the third thing will be, this is a great week!’.

    Well I’d like to buck that trend and give you three recent events that have happened. You can decide which is good and which is bad.

    1. I got made redundant

    It all started a few weeks ago.

    I had been on holiday for two weeks, attended Glastonbury one week, a stag do in Newcastle the next, and went in to the office on the Monday to formally sit down with my new boss (over from the USA) to plan out my work. There was an HR meeting scheduled at 12.30 that day, which I presumed was to finalise my job description and title.

    It was, of course, the meeting to inform me that I was a candidate for redundancy.

    Ugh.

    I’ve been made redundant twice before, but this time felt worse (even though, mental health wise, I handled it a lot better!). It was more of a shock considering that I was in the midst of moving to a new role but c’est la vie. I know why it happened, the company have been very supportive and helpful throughout the consultation process so I’m happy to move forward and see what the future holds.

    2. I’m gonna be an Uncle

    In the midst of all the above upheaval my sister gave me the amazingly wonderful news that she was pregnant (due in January).

    Tears of happiness filled my eyes immediately and I choked back the lump in my throat to congratulate her and her partner.

    I cannot imagine just how much that kid is gonna be loved and spoiled, and I’m already trying to figure out how to get ultimate ‘cool Uncle G’ points!

    3. OK, I don’t have three things

    But I guess when I get a new job that’ll be number three…

    Onwards and upwards!

    Weekend Reading

    Another week, and I’m still reading loads of random crap… who knew there was so much stuff on the internet?!

    • How to design an enduring logo: Lessons from IBM and Paul Rand
      Many tech companies these days obsess over constantly redesigning and tweaking their logos. In that context, IBM’s 43-year-old logo is veritably the branding equivalent of ancient sacred scripture. Its iconic eight-bar logo is the marquee for IBM’s awakening to the power of design in the 1950s.
      Read: http://ift.tt/1Oo5hsr
    • Meet a man who has been dating a crowdsourced Internet girlfriend for the last three months
      This year, a start-up launched that lets lonely souls buy a text message-based significant other. Called Invisible Boyfriend or Girlfriend—depending on your gender of choice—the start-up relies on thousands of crowd-sourced workers to write messages to its customers.
      Read: http://ift.tt/1OAZMHE
    • How Dare You Say That! The Evolution of Profanity
      At street level and in popular culture, Americans are freer with profanity now than ever before—or so it might seem to judge by how often people throw around the “F-bomb” or use a certain S-word of scatological meaning as a synonym for “stuff.
      Read: http://ift.tt/1HEFCrC
    • Everyone Likes Red and Pink Candies Best
      There’s an Internet meme floating around—Miley Cyrus posted it to Instagram a few months ago—that implores, “Don’t ever let someone treat you like a yellow Starburst. You are a pink Starburst.”
      Read: http://ift.tt/1MhDYBz
    • There’s an Escape Release in Car Trunks Due to One Woman Kidnapped and Locked in Hers
      Above the mantlepiece in the living room of Janette Fennell’s home, there’s a painting in whites and pinks and sweeping blues and yellows. At the center, an angel is holding a baby. Behind her, two others hover. And then, there, in the bottom right corner, are two small, human figures.
      Read: http://ift.tt/1fje57p
    • Muji’s minimalist white toaster  JUL 24 2015
      Fukasawa also designed Muji’s wall-mounted CD player. The toaster is only available at select stores in the US for now, but can be found in the UK and Europe in a few months. Or buy it now on eBay. (via @daveg)
      Read: http://ift.tt/1g9C7mg
    • Labour is now so passive, it might as well be led by an out-of-office email
      So Labour passed the welfare bill with the passive silence of a married orgasm. It has lost touch so badly that it is now getting lectures on empathy from someone from Paisley. Harriet Harman might as well stand down and leave the party to be managed by an out-of-office email.
      Read: http://ift.tt/1ggVGcv
    • John Horton Conway: the world’s most charismatic mathematician
      On a late September day in 1956, John Horton Conway left home with a trunk on his back. He was a skinny 18-year-old, with long, unkempt hair – a sort of proto-hippie – and although he generally preferred to go barefoot, on this occasion he wore strappy Jesus sandals.
      Read: http://ift.tt/1KlzSZP
    • What’s In A Namaste? Depends If You Live In India Or The U.S.
      If you take a yoga class in the U.S., the teacher will most likely say namaste at the end of the practice. It’s a Sanskrit phrase that means “I bow to you.” You place hands together at the heart, close your eyes and bow. That’s not the namaste I know.
      Read: http://ift.tt/1ggecSc
    • Musk, Wozniak and Hawking urge ban on warfare AI and autonomous weapons
      Over 1,000 high-profile artificial intelligence experts and leading researchers have signed an open letter warning of a “military artificial intelligence arms race” and calling for a ban on “offensive autonomous weapons”.
      Read: http://ift.tt/1JK6jvg
    • The Evidence Supports Artificial Sweeteners Over Sugar
      In the last few years, I’ve watched a continuing battle among my friends about which is worse for you: artificial sweeteners or sugar. Unless you want to forgo all beverages that are sweet, you’re going to run into one of these.
      Read: http://ift.tt/1JKjPz2
    • Jon Stewart’s secret White House visits
      Jon Stewart slipped unnoticed into the White House in the midst of the October 2011 budget fight, summoned to an Oval Office coffee with President Barack Obama that he jokingly told his escort felt like being called into the principal’s office.
      Read: http://ift.tt/1HXP9Mx
    • Welcome to the Quietest Square Inch in the U.S.
      Reaching the quietest square inch of land in the U.S. is literally a walk in the park. Well, a rainforest, to be precise.
      Read: http://ift.tt/1I7BwZb
    • The Man Who Walked Out of Prison a Few Times
      In early 1998, an emaciated Texas inmate named Steven Jay Russell was granted a special parole — one which put him in the custody of a hospice. Russell’s medical records spelled out the reason: he had HIV/AIDS, and wasn’t likely to survive much longer.
      Read: http://ift.tt/1glMcwC
    • Vine star Logan Paul profile
      Logan Paul knows how to blow up the internet: That’s the easy part.
      Read: http://ift.tt/1IrIETN
    • This Teenage Duo Could Be the Future of Music—for Better and Worse
      Jack & Jack’s new EP, Calibraska, is no one’s idea of groundbreaking music.
      Read: http://ift.tt/1ScnGi6
    • The ‘Happy Birthday’ song could soon be free for you to use
      “Happy Birthday to You,” the song that has graced billions of birthday celebrations in the last 120 years, is not free for the public to use.Movies and TV shows, for example, must pay royalties if they include the ubiquitous ditty.
      Read: http://ift.tt/1DbGac7
    • How A Small-Time Drug Dealer Rescued Dozens During Katrina
      NEW ORLEANS — As Hurricane Katrina barreled toward the coast, small-time drug dealer Jabbar Gibson and a friend decided to hunker down in a motel down the street from his home in the dilapidated Fischer public housing complex.
      Read: http://ift.tt/1gqIpOz
    • Lead Finger: Incredible Miniatures Carved Out of Pencil Tips
      Eagle feathers, the folds on Yoda’s robe and individual bricks on iconic buildings are among the impossibly tiny details captured in pencil lead by miniaturist Salivat Fidai.
      Read: http://ift.tt/1DQhYqx
    • A month later, Apple Music hasn’t killed Spotify
      Apple Music, the company’s long-awaited streaming music service, launched one month ago. So far, two things are clear: Apple Music was a bit rushed, and Spotify, the leading independent streaming service, is doing just fine—for now, at least.
      Read: http://ift.tt/1U9t3MG
    • How the way you type can shatter anonymity—even on Tor
      Security researchers have refined a long-theoretical profiling technique into a highly practical attack that poses a threat to Tor users and anyone else who wants to shield their identity online.
      Read: http://ift.tt/1OzQKtM
    • The Invisible Man: The End of A Black Life That Mattered
      Editor’s note: Since the original version of this story went to print, our reporter was able to review unreleased body cam videos of the incident and recordings of police interviews with those involved. The story that follows incorporates this new information. Open your eyes. Sunday.
      Read: http://ift.tt/1dJvDs9