Month: July 2016

Weekend Reading

  • Why Trump voters are not “complete idiots” (in charts and photos)
    A common trope when trying to understand voters who vote differently from you is to simply call them idiots. This is particularly true this year, when discussing Trump voters. The most aggressive (and IMO offensive example of this) is by Jonathan Chait.
    Fits with the view that people who say they are going to vote for Trump are really just voting ‘against’ what they perceive as failures in the system (see also Brexit).
  • Fences: A Brexit Diary
    Nigel Farage canvassing for ‘Leave’ votes during the Brexit campaign, London, May 2016. He resigned as leader of the UK Independence Party on July 4, shortly after the referendum.
    I’m kinda done with this but it’s an interesting view of how Brexit played out in the final few weeks.
  • Clay Shirky, on avoiding complacency this election season (with tweets)
    I want to say something to my liberal white friends: Trump talked a lot of shit last night, but not one word of “I am your voice!” was a lie.
    Trump could win. That’s the scary part. Send this to all your American friends.
  • One of the fastest growing fields in science still makes a lot of people very uncomfortable
    Think of someone whose political ideology leads them to ignore and groundlessly reject science. Typically, this often describes those on the right of the political spectrum, where climate change, women’s reproductive health, and even evolution are routinely dismissed.
    Behavioural Genetics – aka – it’s not me, it’s my genes. Another in a list of increasingly valid excuses for my poor decisions.
  • History tells us what may happen next with Brexit & Trump
    It seems we’re entering another of those stupid seasons humans impose on themselves at fairly regular intervals. I am sketching out here opinions based on information, they may prove right, or may prove wrong, and they’re intended just to challenge and be part of a wider dialogue.
    One reason to chill out about the current political turmoil, it’s happened before, and it’ll happen again. We just gotta get through it.
  • Don’t think too positive
    Do you believe that positive thinking can help you achieve your goals? Many people today do. Pop psychology and the $12 billion self-help industry reinforce a widespread belief that positive thinking can improve our moods and lead to beneficial life changes.
    I’ve always been positive that thinking too much is bad for you, can’t you tell?
  • If War Is Hell, Then Coffee Has Offered U.S. Soldiers Some Salvation
    In April 1865, at the bloody, bitter end of the Civil War, Ebenezer Nelson Gilpin, a Union cavalryman, wrote in his diary, “Everything is chaos here. The suspense is almost unbearable.”
    Linked mostly because of that wonderful name (why is no-one called Ebenezer any more?) and further proof of how awesome coffee is.
  • Offices should follow the lead of the NBA and create “hustle stats”
    Have you ever heard of Rosalind Franklin? Probably not. But you certainly know of James Watson and Francis Crick. They won a Nobel Prize for describing the structure of DNA, a discovery they wouldn’t have made if they hadn’t seen Rosalind Franklin’s x-ray photograph of the DNA double helix.
    I’ve always thought the whole ‘lean in’ thinking was to mimicing the male view of business, where ego and loud voices that prevail. Telling that more women are currently in positions of global power than before?
  • The Longest Run: Olympics about more than winning for Refugee team
    For six weeks, from the Olympics opening ceremonies to the Paralympics closing, men and women represent their country with one common goal in mind: Gold.
    I know who I’ll be sporting, heartwrenching stories, and fresh hopes for those picked. Humanity CAN do good.
  • Why News Junkies Get Are So Glum About Politics, Economics, and Everything Else
    Man bites dog. It is one of the oldest cliches in journalism, an acknowledgement of the idea that ordinary events are not newsworthy, whereas oddities, like a puppy-nibbling adult, deserve disproportionate coverage. The rule is straightforward, but its implications are subtle.
    Media bias is real. The top of the news isn’t the majority of the news, it’s just all we hear.
  • Beyond anger
    There’s no emotion we ought to think harder and more clearly about than anger. Anger greets most of us every day – in our personal relationships, in the workplace, on the highway, on airline trips – and, often, in our political lives as well. Anger is both poisonous and popular.
    Interesting read in the current global situation. Love will prevail, but only if we confront our own angry reactions.
  • The Campaign to Make You Eat Kimchi
    Korean food is having a moment. Baum + Whiteman food consultancy recently chose Kimchi, Korea’s traditional fermented vegetable dish, as one of the top food trends for 2016. According to Google, Bibimbap was one of 2015’s top five ‘rising’ foods by search query volume.
    This is so ‘this year’, I wanna know what the next thing is! That said, anything that brings new deliciousness to my face is nothing but a good thing.
  • Set It and Forget It: How Default Settings Rule the World
    We’ve seen how design can keep us away from harm and save our lives. But there is a more subtle way that design influences our daily decisions and behavior – whether we know it or not. It’s not sexy or trendy or flashy in any way. I’m talking about defaults.
    As one of the people involved in such discussions, I forget how ‘moulding’ it can… but with great power, comes the chance to really really screw things up… or something…

Weekend Reading

  • Sharia Does Not Mean What Newt Gingrich Thinks It Means
    One country that officially endorses the Muslim legal system is one of the politician’s favorites—Israel.
    I’m no expert, but then I don’t need to be. Senior politicians need to be better than this.
  • Falling for sleep
    In Evelyn De Morgan’s numinous painting, Night and Sleep (1878), Nyx, the mighty Greek goddess of night, hovers across a dusky sky with her beloved son Hypnos, the sweet-natured god of sleep.
    I’m increasingly focusing on my sleep, and this article backs up my lay hypothesis that bad sleep = bad Gordon.
  • Researchers have finally discovered the key to naturally stripping sugar from all our foods
    The global sugar-industrial complex is about to face a serious challenge—from a mushroom. A young start-up based out of Aurora, Colorado is poised to disrupt how sugar is used in packaged goods.
    Yeah but who wants a mushroom flavoured Mars bar?!
  • The perfect breakfast for people with depression
    Antidepressants and therapy, while both effective, are not the only means available to combat depression. Exercise has been described as a “wonder drug” for reducing symptoms, walking in nature reduces negative thoughts, and meditation can have a powerful positive effect.
    Breakfasters of the world rejoice! In other news, I’m now depressed that I’m hungry again…
  • Inside The Playlist Factory
    When he’s choosing your music for you, Carl Chery, 37, is in Culver City, California, sitting at his desk in an office with no signage, trying to decide whether Drake and Future’s “Jumpman” (jumpman, jumpman, jumpman) has jumped the shark.
    Curated playlists intrigue me, are they adding value, or just adding volume?
  • How Mr. Robot’s creator took the reins of season two
    It’s a strange coincidence, hearing two different cast members of Mr. Robot describe Sam Esmail in these near-identically enigmatic terms.
    Not started season 2, yet, but if you haven’t, season 1 is well worth a watch! GEEK-TASTIC!
  • ‘Hope is a​n embrace of the unknown​’: Rebecca Solnit on living in dark times
    We may be living through times of unprecedented change, but in uncertainty lies the power to influence the future. Now is not the time to despair, but to act. Your opponents would love you to believe that it’s hopeless, that you have no power, that there’s no reason to act, that you can’t win.
    More and more this simple message compels me, it’s easy to hide away but that is how fear wins.
  • Looking Back at Marvel’s Wonderfully Weird Comic Adaptation of the First Star Wars Movie
    Marvel recently released the first issue of its The Force Awakens comic adaptation, and it is weird. It is weird in 2016 to see a straight adaptation of a movie in comic form, months after the movie came out.
    Star Wars wasn’t a thing when they did this, it’s weird to look at it through this telescope.
  • The science of serving draft beer at 35,000 feet
    Some airlines will stop at nothing to lure travelers on their planes. They’ve managed to fit sleeping pods, private apartments, and even an in-flight bar on board. But one nut they haven’t cracked? Serving draft beer high in the sky.
    File under: Good idea, bad idea.
  • Derided at the time as “slacktivism,” the social-media campaign has had surprisingly long-lasting benefits.
    Out of nowhere, a huge fad sweeps the country. It dominates social media and leads to a blizzard of think pieces, which are followed almost immediately by a backlash, as critics warn of the fad’s baleful consequences. Eventually, people get bored and move on to something new.
    Did you do the ice bucket challenge?
  • Repeat After Me: Cold Does Not Increase Odds of Catching Cold
    I’ve become somewhat known for medical myth-busting (having been a co-author of three books on the subject), so a fairly large number of emails sent to me are from people with articles or studies that they think prove me wrong.
    Yes, yes, yes, Yes, YES!! *achooooo* dammit!
  • Fred saga : ‘A small town with a big heart’
    Officers responded to a call on July 9 concerning a pitched tent near a Gordon State College parking area not knowing this call would once again be one to bring Barnesville’s community together and deem the city as one of compassion.
    More stories like this place. MOST people are nice.
  • Reign, Supreme
    Supreme is the most influential streetwear brand in the world. You might have seen its white-on-red rectangular logo on Drake, Kanye West, or Tyler the Creator. Or noticed the lines that form outside its stores on Thursdays.
    I include this article purely because I was so blissfully unaware of this in any way, shapre or form.
  • Beneath An Ugly Outside, Marred Fruit May Pack More Nutrition
    When orchardist Eliza Greenman walks through a field of apple trees and gazes upon a pocked array of blemished and buckled fruits — scarred from fighting fungus, heat and pests — she feels a little thrill of joy.
    Hooray for ugly ducklings! Tasty tasty ducklings…
  • The new science of cute
    On 14 April 2016, a 6.2-magnitude earthquake hit Japan’s southernmost island of Kyushu, toppling buildings and sending residents rushing into the streets. Hundreds of aftershocks – one an even stronger 7.
    I think we can all agree that Japan wins at ‘cute’, but who knew they put so much work into it.
  • Master Plan, Part Deux
    The first master plan that I wrote 10 years ago is now in the final stages of completion. It wasn’t all that complicated and basically consisted of: The reason we had to start off with step 1 was that it was all I could afford to do with what I made from PayPal.
    Elon Musk – history will either view him as a saviour or a madman. Either way, applaudable!
  • The Bicycle Problem That Nearly Broke Mathematics
    Seven bikes lean against the wall of Jim Papadopoulos’s basement in Boston, Massachusetts. Their paint is scratched, their tyres flat. The handmade frame that he got as a wedding present is coated in fine dust. “I got rid of most of my research bikes when I moved,” he says.
    Ahhh mathematics and physics, they boggle my brain! *falls over*
  • First Lady Michelle Obama Carpool Karaoke
    James Corden’s White House tour takes an unthinkable turn when First Lady Michelle Obama joins him for a drive around the grounds singing Stevie Wonder and Beyonce. Surprise guest Missy Elliott drops in to sing “This Is For My Girls.”
    Not quite as fun as some of the others (yes, this is a guilty pleasure, check out Adele’s!) but still, First Lady rapping?
  • I’m With The Banned
    This is a story about how trolls took the wheel of the clown car of modern politics. It’s a story about the insider traders of the attention economy. It’s a story about fear and loathing and Donald Trump and you and me.
    Horribly fascinating. But mostly horrible.
  • Why Do We Haggle For Cars?
    Even if you’ve never purchased a car, you know the script. You stroll onto the car lot feigning indifference. The salesman sizes you up and asks what you’re looking for. You point to a red sedan. And then the dance begins.
    Not sure I should post this one, when I start charging for these posts I just KNOW I’ll get haggled down…

Weekend Reading

It’s always odd posting things from a week ago when the real focus of the news is the awful events from Nice, the continuing political maelstrom that is engulfing UK politics, and the brutal Police killings in America (and, literally as I type, a coup in Turkey? Good god). Now is the time for calm and considered thought, no matter how hard it is to find. Love will win, fear will lose.

  • How discrimination feels
    A short video featuring Jane Elliott. She’s a noted anti-racism activist famous for her blue eyes/brown eyes exercise, featured in the video linked.
    This has been doing the rounds given recent events in America. Powerful, thought provoking stuff. Taught me a few things.
  • 2016 Will Be One Second Longer Than Expected
    No more complaining that there’s not enough time to get it all done: On the last day of this year, you’ll have a whole extra second to finalize your New Year’s resolutions.
    Why can’t I get to choose when I get my second?! Life is so unfair…
  • The bleak truth about how we spend our time
    What constitutes time well spent? One pitfall here is that we may think we’re in control when we’re not.
    Reading random articles doesn’t count, I checked.
  • Spin cycle: how stationary bikes went from curiosity to cult
    Spin class or 6 a.m. rave with sweaty, aroused strangers? You’re not meant to dissect the difference. For the past decade, indoor cycling has pumped throbbing beats between stationary bikes and their gasping riders.
    Have to admit, neither of these options massively appeal!
  • Headphones Everywhere
    Anyone who has recently spent time in a public space—traversing the aisle of an airplane, say, lurching toward your seat adjacent to the toilet, trying to shift your backpack without thwapping a fellow traveller on the forehead—has likely noticed the sudden and extraordinary ubiquity of headphones.
    Given how the world is, maybe fewer headphones would be better? Talk to a stranger, learn and understand.
  • Why Are There Seatbelt Demos On Airplanes?
    A seatbelt is a fairly intuitive safety device: insert the flat end into the other piece and you’re secure in your seat — it’s fairly simple. We’ve all snapped one together, whether flying, driving or riding.
    I do a lot of things without thinking about them, like trying to write silly comments about these links.
  • Why Women Are Winning at the Politics Game
    Now that two of the world’s five biggest economies — Germany and the U.K. — are headed by women, and the biggest one of all, the U.S., has a woman front-runner in its presidential election, the glass ceiling in politics can probably be declared broken, and it’s time to consider what kind of change this brings to the world.
    Generalising massively, but ‘powerful men’ are prone to wanting to prove that more than they are interested in doing good (corrupted by power?). And anyway, women are smarter than men, so it’s all good.
  • Hillary
    This is not a profile of Hillary Clinton. It is not a review of her career or an assessment of her campaign. You won’t find any shocking revelations on her emails, on Benghazi, on Whitewater, or even on her health care plan.
    Likely to be the next President (dear God I hope so), if you read the previous link, this one will be all the richer.
  • How technology disrupted the truth
    One Monday morning last September, Britain woke to a depraved news story. The prime minister, David Cameron, had committed an “obscene act with a dead pig’s head”, according to the Daily Mail.
    A common theme, stop trusting the media.
  • Chemists accidentally created this beautiful new color in a lab experiment, and now you can paint with it
    Seven years ago, chemistry researchers accidentally created a brilliant new blue pigment, while testing the electronic properties of chemical compounds.
    A new blue! What’s it called?… Ehh, what? AKA why scientists suck at marketing.
  • For The Record
    Let me start by saying that addressing gossip is something I have never done. I don’t like to give energy to the business of lies, but I wanted to participate in a larger conversation that has already begun and needs to continue.
    All hail Jennifer Aniston. There’s a sentence I didn’t think I’d ever write!
  • Sorry, Ghostbusters purists, but the original spirit exterminator was a woman who lived 100 years ago
    Given the controversy over Paul Feig’s decision to remake Ghostbusters with an all-woman cast, one might be fooled into thinking that female ghostbusters are a shocking, newfangled phenomenon. Au contraire.
    No comment to add. I’ve not seen the new movie, but I could care less that it’s got women in it. IS IT FUNNY?!
  • A Precious Hour
    I am told that the manner by which others understand that I am busy is when my writing coherence suffers. This primarily occurs in email when whole words are dropped, sentences become jumbled, and logic falls on the floor. Rands, I literally did not understand what you were asking in that email.
    Taking time for yourself is increasingly important, I know you want to catch more Pokemon but maybe, just maybe, you should focus elsewhere?
  • Nintendo doubles down on nostalgia with the $60 mini NES Classic Edition console
    Nintendo has been laughing all the way to the bank this past week with the runaway success of the Pokémon Go augmented reality mobile app, but the Japanese gaming giant isn’t done cashing in on nostalgia quite yet.
    Want. Want want want want want. WANT!!!
  • In Senate floor speech, Tim Scott recalls ‘sadness and humiliation’ of being targeted by police
    U.S. Sen. Tim Scott was stopped by police officers seven times in one year. He’s frequently told that he’s suspected of driving a stolen vehicle. While a local official back in Charleston, the hosts of a public event were reluctant to invite him inside.
    It’s hard to write comments for these things when they continue to have to be a ‘thing’. It’s 2016, why is racism still a thing?
  • 10 Predictions About the Future That Should Scare the Hell Out of You
    The future looks bright, except when it doesn’t. Here are 10 exceptionally regrettable developments we can expect in the coming decades. Listed in no particular order.
    Item 11 – gentle brainwashing by people posting collated links.

Weekend Reading

  • The Daredevil of the Auction World
    Christie’s, the auction house, celebrates its two-hundred-and-fiftieth anniversary this year, and over time the origins of certain company traditions have become obscure.
    Who knew art and auctions could be so damn exciting!
  • The father of trending: Abdur Chowdhury
    It’s one of those internet phrases that have seeped into everyday usage. Newsreaders tell us a story is trending, editors tell their staff they want interviews to trend and activists want their causes to trend.
    One thing I will never ever be; trending.
  • Remarks at the SASE Panel On The Moral Economy of Tech
    This is the text version of remarks I gave on June 26, 2016, at a panel on the Moral Economy of Tech at the SASE conference in Berkeley. The other panel participants were Kieran Healy, Stuart Russell and AnnaLee Saxenian.
    A long but fascinating look at the impact of technology on society. If you only read one of these links these week, make it this one.
  • This ‘ambiguous cylinders’ illusion is blowing my tiny mind
    I’m British, and if I didn’t already have enough reasons to drink heavily this weekend, I can go ahead and add this video to the list. Look: reality is broken. It’s been well and truly Done In and it wasn’t even some interdimensional superbomb that did it.
    I can’t. What? How the… no but surely… sorry, my brain has just gone and curled up to cry in the corner…
  • Anatomy of the Type
    To learn about typography better, we must be able to distinguish between different typefaces. Just like humans, each typeface has some physical attribute that distinguishes it from the other typeface.
    GEEK ALERT!!
  • Town in Italy use Silent Fireworks as a way of Respecting animals
    Any large celebration that involves fireworks is fun, but while we enjoy the sounds and sights of colourful explosions overhead, our animals feel very differently.
    More of this please!!
  • Hear Electronic Ladyland, a Mixtape Featuring 55 Tracks from 35 Pioneering Women in Electronic Music
    Given that we’ve previously featured two documentaries on electronic music pioneer Delia Derbyshire, an introduction to four other female composers who pioneered electronic music (Daphne Oram, Laurie Spiegel, Éliane Radigue & Pauline Oliveros), and seven hours of electronic music made by women.
    This is great. I mean the music. The fact I didn’t know much about these women until now, not so great.
  • Who is this man who seems to die in every terrorist attack?
    If you’ve clicked on any articles about the victims of recent terror attacks, you might have seen this man’s photo. Following the deadly terrorist attack at Atatürk airport in Istanbul, Turkey, social media users shared his photo, claiming this man was among the 42 people killed.
    Do not trust your media, challenge everything! VIVA LA REVOLUTION!! (seriously though, do not trust your media)
  • What Are the Most Popular Marijuana Products?
    This post is adapted from Headset Inc. Cannabis Intelligence, a Priceonomics Data Studio customer. Does your company have interesting data? Become a Priceonomics customer. There are a lot more ways to get high than there used to be.
    In no shock to anyone, legalising cannabis use means more innovation in how to consume it. Amazing.
  • The incredible things that had to go just right for Juno to reach Jupiter
    “We just did the hardest thing NASA has ever done,” said Scott Bolton, the lead investigator on the Juno mission. After a five-year journey, the spacecraft Juno managed to enter the perfect orbit around Jupiter.
    If you are a bit ‘meh’ about the whole ‘we sent a bunch of metal to another planet’ thing, a. what’s wrong with you?! b. read this, the odds and level of achievement is staggering.
  • Aloe Vera Is a Lie
    Hello! Welcome to the Fourth of July. It is sunny, and you’re at a barbecue, and you’re probably not wearing enough sunscreen. You are going to get a sunburn.
    I knew I shouldn’t have trusted Aunt Vera! (note: is this a US thing, doesn’t seem to prevalent over here)
  • To the supporters of Donald Trump
    A number of political thinkers have penned a non-partisan letter to supporters of Donald Trump. The letter is striking for its non-confrontational tone in nevertheless painting Trump as a dangerous authoritarian.
    I am not a fan of Trump, but it’s clear (as in the Brexit vote) that people aren’t really voting for him, they are just voicing their discontent through the channel available to them. However, cause and effect people, CAUSE AND EFFECT!
  • The Haunting Background Vocals on The Rolling Stones’ “Gimme Shelter:” Merry Clayton Recalls How They Came to Be
    The question of what an artist is willing to give up for her art is unanswerable until the moment of sacrifice arrives, and she must make a choice—safety, comfort, family, etc, or the leap into a creative endeavor whose outcome is uncertain?
    A fantastic track on a legendary album, who knew it cost so much?
  • Reality Hunger
    A.1. Steak Sauce, never artisanal and not once locally made, is currently the subject of a campaign that touts it as a secret ingredient to a compound butter with which to finish your steak.
    Dear Foodie friends, you aren’t really falling for all this, right? (No, they say, ‘real foodies’ know the difference…)
  • Neuroscientists say multitasking literally drains the energy reserves of your brain
    Does your morning routine consist of checking emails, browsing Facebook, downing coffee, heading to the train while Googling one last idea, checking notifications, more coffee, and going through your work email?
    Add in reading through random links of articles and collating a list to post every weekend. No wonder I’m exhausted!
  • No groom? Vancouver business plans weddings for solo brides
    Vancouver has been described as one of the most difficult places to meet a significant other. So, if you’re single, why not marry yourself?
    Awww this is lovel… no no, hang on, yup. This is bonkers.
  • The UX Secret That Will Ruin Apps For You
    A friendly robot greets me on Facebook. He’s dressed like a doctor, stethoscope and all, here to do a security checkup. So for the next 5 to 10 seconds, I wait as he pokes and prods my account.
    File under, things I kinda knew, or sorta suspected, which will now annoy me even more than they do already!!
  • Inside the Mind of Steven Spielberg, Hollywood’s Big, Friendly Giant
    The legendary director on The BFG, eye contact between actors, the trauma of his childhood, and the reason he gave Drew Barrymore a kitten. magine you are Little Steven Spielberg. It’s the early 1950s. You are 7, maybe 8. You are very small in an enormous world.
    A wonderful article about my 3rd favourite director. Everyone has seen at least one Spielberg movie, and this explains why they are so damn popular.
  • A shopper’s manifesto: These three simple questions are the key to quitting fast fashion
    Some years ago, the food advocate Michael Pollan, author of In Defense of Food: An Eater’s Manifesto, succinctly summed up the best advice he could offer on how a human should eat: “Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants…”
    As a fashion icon, this was an interesting read. OK, I’m clearly no icon (stop sniggering at the back), but you can apply the ‘chain’ way of thinking to many purchases.
  • This Could Be The Strangest Exoplanet Found Yet
    This exoplanet is part of a triple star system, sits further away from its parent star than Pluto, and is four times larger than Jupiter. Imagine a planet, like Jupiter, but four times heavier. And it’s got a huge orbit, maybe twice as wide as Pluto’s. Oh, and it has three suns.
    Space is FUCKIN MAHOOOSIVE people!
  • Waffle-maker dispute results in 30 people kicked out of Mason County hotel, police say
    MASON COUNTY, MI – Two women fighting over the waffle maker in a Mason County hotel apparently ignited a major disruption over the holiday weekend inside the hotel’s buffet-style breakfast area, police say.
    Sometimes you just need some nonsense to balance out the madness. GERROFF MY WAFFLE!
  • The ‘Holy Grail’ for earthquake scientists has been accidentally destroyed
    For nearly half a century, thousands trekked to Rose and Prospect streets to behold a slice of sidewalk that, by conventional standards, had no curb appeal. Pulled apart so that it no longer aligned, the humble curb wasn’t much to look at.
    That should curb their enthusiasm (sorry Larry!)

Weekend Reading

  • If you inject enough poison into the political bloodstream, somebody will get sick
    Contempt for politicians has been on the rise for years. But this EU referendum campaign has torn away at the veil that divides civility from mayhem For weeks, months and years “politician” has been a word more spat out than said.
    I don’t really want to dwell on ‘Brexit’, which has become an excuse for hatred in many forms.
  • Be Careful What You Code For
    Most people who don’t code don’t appreciate how hard it is to do right. Plenty of developers are perfectly functional, but to watch a master weave code into silken beauty is utterly inspiring.
    I work with coders and appreciate some of this, worth thinking on next time you use some software (like you are right now) there are many consequences for how software is delivered than you may realise.
  • Donald Trump and the Backlash Against Political Correctness
    He lives near San Francisco, makes more than $50,000 per year, and is voting for the billionaire to fight against political correctness. For several days, I’ve been corresponding with a 22-year-old Donald Trump supporter.
    When politics isn’t really about politics, it’s about lack of awareness and education.
  • Pornucopia
    I don’t remember how old I was when I had my first encounter with pornography, but I must have been around 10 – the experience is entwined with the sound of the AOL dial-up tone. It was something relatively benign – a close-up photo of some genitalia – and I wasn’t much shocked.
    Does pornography really drive the behaviours we think it does? (and don’t worry, I won’t tell anyone you read this article).
  • Some Things I Say To My Dog
    I ran into the neighbor gal coming in the back door the other day and she mentioned that she could sometimes hear me talking to my dog. I’m fully aware that I spend a good deal of time conversing with my dog, but I was nonetheless taken aback.
    At once wonderful and melancholy, but a wonderful wonderful example of the value of having a pet.
  • Did Jesus Have a Wife?
    A hotly contested, supposedly ancient manuscript suggests Christ was married. But believing its origin story—a real-life Da Vinci Code, involving a Harvard professor, a onetime Florida pornographer, and an escape from East Germany—requires a big leap of faith.
    I’m still amazed that a fictional work still evokes such debate. Just add a new chapter already!
  • Bozoma Saint John Was Badass Long Before Apple
    For the first hour or so, Apple’s annual WWDC conference was every bit as exciting as you’d expect. Which is to say, not very. A-list execs like Kevin Lynch, Craig Federighi and Eddy Cue droned on and on about updates to this, improvements to that. Then Bozoma Saint John took the stage.
    Good read and why putting ‘Boz’ on stage wasn’t a calculated move to tick some boxes.
  • New York City discards millions of pounds of dead electronics each year. We follow its path from shelf to shredder
    Gadget shopping? Chances are that as soon as you plunk down cash for a new smartphone or 9.7-inch tablet or 4K / 3D / LED flatscreen television, a tiny part of your brain is already plotting its disposal.
    File under: one of those articles I know I had to read but wish I hadn’t. Our poor Earth.
  • Striking Aerial Drone Photos Show how Apartheid Still Shapes South African Cities
    Johnny Miller was just starting out as a photographer in Seattle in 2011 when he won a Rotary Ambassadorial Scholarship that took him to Cape Town, South Africa—a country that, like his own, has a long history of institutional racism and segregation.
    Every photo tells… etc etc. Stark.
  • The ultimate 21st-Century word?
    The voice shouted from the crowd, in the manner of a rabble-rousing protestor on a march. But this was no banner-waving activist, and the crowd in this instance was made up of members of the 127-year-old American Dialect Society.
    Proof of how language is so powerful and continues to evolve. I struggle with this pronoun at times but knowing how to use it helps.
  • An MIT Algorithm Predicts the Future by Watching TV
    The next time you catch your robot watching sitcoms, don’t assume it’s slacking off. It may be hard at work.
    The machines are getting smarter.
  • Human Or Machine: Can You Tell Who Wrote These Poems?
    Can a computer write a sonnet that’s indistinguishable from what a human can produce? Computer scientists at Dartmouth College tried to answer that question with a competition that NPR’s Joe Palca reported on as part of his series, Joe’s Big Idea.
    The machines really are getting smarter.
  • Why bad ideas refuse to die
    In January 2016, the rapper BoB took to Twitter to tell his fans that the Earth is really flat. “A lot of people are turned off by the phrase ‘flat earth’,” he acknowledged, “but there’s no way u can see all the evidence and not know … grow up.”
    Why you shouldn’t believe everything you read, or should you?
  • Are We Smart Enough To Control AI?
    One of the most intriguing public discussions to emerge over the past year is humanity’s wrestling match with the threat and promise of artificial intelligence.
    The machines are now so smart we are now worried about how to ‘control’ them (spotted the theme here yet?!)
  • Invisible Immigrant
    I moved to Scotland from Malawi as a baby when my father was accepted into a university in Glasgow. While my childhood was predominantly Scottish, my parents provided me and my sisters with scattered Malawian cultural knowledge.
    How to survive being a stranger in a familiar land.
  • #SafetyPin: The simple way to show solidarity with the UK’s immigrant population
    One of the ugliest side effects of the UK’s decision to leave the EU last week has been a sharp increase in reported hate crimes.
    I know not everyone agrees with how these came to be (the idea came from a white privileged male) but as an idea I’m a fan.
  • Study finds boredom can lead to political extremism
    New research published in the European Journal of Social Psychology has found a link between boredom and political extremism. “Boredom puts people on edge: It makes them seek engagements that are challenging, exciting, and that offer a sense of purpose.”
    Interesting if frustrating read. I get bored but I don’t turn to extremism.
  • ‘Tesla Solar’ Wants to Be the Apple Store for Electricity
    Tesla Motors Inc.’s bid to buy the biggest U.S. rooftop solar installer has little to do with selling cars. Rather, it’s about solving two of the biggest problems standing in the way of the next solar boom. And perhaps a good deal more.
    Tesla continues to intrigue, if they get these things right, it will be a substantial change.
  • The Elements of Stickers
    Besides invisible messages, bigger and predictive emoji, full-screen effects, and movie/TV GIFs, Apple recently announced that stickers, too, are finally coming to its most popular app, iMessage.
    I was pretty dismissive of the new changes coming to iMessage but I already know I’ll overuse them and annoy the crap outta everyone 🙂
  • The Fugitive, His Dead Wife, and the 9/11 Conspiracy Theory That Explains Everything
    It was late on New Year’s Eve, the early hours of 2002. The emergency call came in at 1:40 A.M., and Denver police arrived at the Victorian house on Clayton Street within minutes.
    Just your run of the mile murder, conspiracy and extradition case then. I do love me a good government conspiracy theory!
  • Here’s Horror: Why ‘The Shining’ Still Terrifies Us
    “The Shining” may have been released thirty-six years ago, but it still occupies as much real estate in our cultural imagination as it did when it first lurched into theaters on a wave of gushing blood and geometric wallpaper.
    Yup, this about nails it for me. My favourite Kubrick, still sets me on edge whenever I watch it. Red Rum!!!
  • The truth about life in an open relationship
    An Irish professional has credited the LGBT network set up within her company for giving her the courage to open up about her sexuality with her colleagues.
    Nice to see some good reporting about polyamory.
  • Tony Hawk Lands 900 At 48!
    17 years to the day after making the first 900, Tony Hawk pushes himself to the breaking point and battles through this personal goal. Tony says this might be his last 900 ever. His determination and drive are just as admirable as making the trick.
    And to think some days I struggle to get up off the sofa!
  • A.I. Downs Expert Human Fighter Pilot In Dogfight Simulation
    Retired United States Air Force Colonel Gene Lee in simulated air combat versus an A.I. In the military world, fighter pilots have long been described as the best of the best. As Tom Wolfe famously wrote, only those with the “right stuff” can handle the job.
    The machines are getting very very dangerously smart!! (seriously, we all know where this is heading, right?! SKYNET, people!!)
  • Conviction vacated, new trial granted for Adnan Syed of ‘Serial’
    Syed, now 35, has been serving a life sentence since 2000, when he was convicted of killing ex-girlfriend Hae Min Lee the year before. The body of Lee, a classmate of his at Woodlawn High School, was found buried in Baltimore’s Leakin Park.
    If you haven’t listened to the first series of the Serial podcast. You should. If you have then … WOW! This is big news!