Weekend Reading

Fluid Dynamics: How a Wall of Lava Lamps Helps Encrypt 10% of the Internet Computers have a real problem when it comes generating truly random numbers, which has led one web-critical cybersecurity firm to reference an array of lava lamps to create unique and unpredictable code. Clever and pretty. Nothing like me then! Attitude of Optimism “In 2018, how about cultivating an attitude of optimism? Not as a judgement, or a reaction to the world around you, but as a choice, by which you navigate and affect the world around you.” Much needed in the wake of 2017. Inside One of America’s Last Pencil Factories A pencil is a little wonder-wand: a stick of wood that traces the tiniest motions …

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Weekend Reading

STOP! If you haven’t seen Oprah Winfrey’s acceptance speech at the Golden Globes, go and watch it right now, don’t worry. I’ll wait. Watch Prince Play Jazz Piano & Coach His Band Through George Gershwin’s “Summertime” A rock enigma wrapped around an R&B quandary, wearing platform shoes and purple velour. The cheekbones of an angel, dances moves and lyrics from an infernally sexy place, and more musical talent than it seems possible for a single person to possess in one lifetime…. Two things from this: 1. Good GOD the man was talented. 2. I really wanna buy a piano. David Letterman’s Netflix Talk Show Sets Obama as First Guest David Letterman has amassed an all-star roster of guests for his …

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Weekend Reading

Thanks to the people who threw a couple of these my way, if you do spot anything and think ‘that weirdo will probably find this interesting’ then send it on (Twitter usually best way). And yes, it takes a weirdo to know a weirdo… Commencement 1999 Rocker David Bowie and jazz innovator Wayne Shorter accepted honorary doctorates while 580 graduates received their diplomas at the 1999 Berklee Commencement last Saturday. No idea why this bubbled into my timeline but it did, and it’s Bowie, and it’s wonderful. What better way to start 2018! Every Last Jedi This is a spoiler-filled first set of reactions to Star Wars: The Last Jedi. Yes I’ve seen it. Yes I’m in the ‘well that …

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Weekend Reading

Last one of the year (I’m taking next week off to focus on family and friends), I hope you’ve enjoyed these random selections as much as I have. It’s been quite a year, but here is to a wonderful 2018 for everyone. The house that Edek built – and the secret suitcase kept inside When Edward “Edek” Hartry and his wife Teresa designed and built their family home near Woking, they created a daringly modern building full of light. Their glass and timber home stood out among the red-brick Tudorbethan of stockbroker Surrey – simple, open-plan and translucent. Quite a story, and quite a life they lead. Pinegrove on How Being a Good Artist and a Good Person Are the …

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Weekend Reading

The Problem with Muzak Imagine you are in an airport, and you have forgotten to eat lunch. It’s a mistake you will pay for with a dull, expensive dinner. I like Spotify but also aware it is limiting my musical view. Something for 2018 I think… Former Facebook executive has sworn off social media because he doesn’t want to be “programmed” While Facebook’s business is booming and the company continues to expand its tentacles to every corner of the internet, its early employees and investors are growing more and more vocal about the damage it has wrought among its users. Maybe something else for 2018, cut back on FB. Time to delete from my phone? For the Good of Society …

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Weekend Reading

Remove the legend to become one When I started my first job at Amazon.com, as the first analyst in the strategic planning department, I inherited the work of producing the Analytics Package. From little acorns, mighty rainforests are borne. Have you tried making yourself a more interesting person? Another passed-down tale: a student getting her story back from Barry, with the honest criticism on it: This just isn’t interesting. As I understand it, the student, a whiner, complained, What can I do to make it be interesting? Chimes with some ideas from the book The Charisma Myth (worth a look as well). THIS → Social media is keeping us stuck in the moment The next time you look at social media, I …

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Weekend Reading

These Are The 8 Friends You Need To Be Happy In Life Do your friends sometimes disappoint you? Ever feel like there is something missing in your relationships? You’re not alone. The real question is, which friend are YOU? This could be a fun Xmas party game… (not really) Over 400 of the world’s most popular websites record your every keystroke, Princeton researchers find The idea of websites tracking users isn’t new, but research from Princeton University released last week indicates that online tracking is far more invasive than most users understand. If this sort of thing worries you, and it should, take action. No-one else cares about your privacy. Inspiring Britain: Glasgow’s cheerful litter-picker on a mission to make …

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Weekend Reading

Good News Thanksgiving Extravaganza Welcome to the first ever NextDraft Good News Only Thanksgiving Extravaganza. (OK, the name needs work, but candidly, good news is not something I have a ton of experience with.) These stories were submitted by NextDraft readers. If you only want tales full of love, hope, and inspiration. Stop here. What to expect from NHS cervical screening If you live in the UK and have a cervix, chances are you’ll either have already been invited to visit your GP for cervical screening (also known as a ‘smear test’), or you will be aware that you’ll be getting a letter once you reach the age of 25. These are important. Please, if you need to get one …

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Weekend Reading

Science Is Far Too Often Communicated as a One-Sided Conversation A 17-year-old named Gwen remained in my head after I read a recent story centered around the challenges of teaching climate science — i.e. our human contribution to climate change — to students already skeptical of its existence in rural, post-coal, post-manufacturing America. As with most things, communication is the make or break it seems. In Defense of Coldplay The other day, a friend and I were chatting away and when Coldplay came up — she immediately bashed the band that I secretly and publicly adore. They do get a hard time, I too have been a Coldplay basher but more and more find myself NOT skipping tracks when they come on… …

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Weekend Reading

The Unforgiving Minute Men, get ready to be uncomfortable for a while. While forgiveness may come one day, it won’t be soon. If you are a man, and you only read one thing from this list. READ THIS. LEGO Lawnmower Man Kinetic Sculpture A kinetic LEGO sculpture of a man pushing a lawnmower. Inspired by Josh David’s lawnmower model (https://youtu.be/_1T15UydfEs), I decided it needed a figure, so combined it with the figure from my Sisyphus model. If you are a man and you haven’t read the previous article, sod off Why we pretend to know things, explained by a cognitive scientist Why do people pretend to know things? Why does confidence so often scale with ignorance? Steven Sloman, a professor …

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