Category: Weekend Reading

Links to articles I’ve found interesting or have yet to read

Weekend Reading

  • From Xena to Wonder Woman: The Physics of Female Fighters
    General Antiope (Robin Wright) moves seamlessly among the training Amazons, checking each move, giving directions for correction where necessary. The women’s moves are accurate and dynamic, often closely resembling contemporary dance or professional gymnastics.
    Yet another reason why WW is kicking ass (it’s also just passed Deadpool for highest grossing accolades)

  • Critic’s Notebook: The Post-Review, Post-Premiere, Post-Finale World of Peak TV
    I tried to take a vacation — well, more accurately, a “staycation” — last week. Pretty much any TV critic can tell you how that went. Badly. Unless you’re in the woods, on some distant island or in a foreign country, the remote is too close.
    Couldn’t agree with this more, and I think it’s odd when some shows are still ‘weekly episodes’ (hi American Gods, lookin’ at you!)

  • The Algorithms Behind Moana’s Gorgeously Animated Ocean
    Disney’s engineers used special software to make a magical, authentic body of water. In the early days, when motion pictures were still new, filming the ocean was a radical idea.
    Not seen this yet (not sure why not) but whoa how beautiful does it look!

  • Inside the extreme Facebook fandom for old rental VHS tapes
    Featuring a £360 Jaws tape, four rooms full of 10,000 videos, and a man known only as “The Mayor”. On a sunny September day in 2016, Scott Bates stood in a Doncaster parking lot, waiting for a delivery of 1,250 VHS tapes.
    I remember taking a couple of boxes of VHS tapes to the dump about 10 years ago…

  • Green Day Crowd Singing Bohemian Rhapsody
    Between the Foos covering Under Pressure at Glasto and stuff like this, a Queen renaissance happening? Miss you Freddie!

  • Whodunnits : Five Books
    Looking down your list, most of these books are more than half a century old. That’s true actually, now you come to mention it.
    Who doesn’t love a well curated list. This site has LOADS of them (but this is the link that took me to it in the first place)

  • Hollywood Has a Bad-Movie Problem
    Domestic audiences are rejecting this summer’s procession of tired sequels, and international grosses won’t be enough to keep studios afloat forever. Take a quick glance at the box-office returns for June, and you could draw an easy conclusion: Hollywood has a franchise problem.
    One word: Transformers.

  • Nest Founder: “I Wake Up In Cold Sweats Thinking, What Did We Bring To The World?”
    Tony Fadell’s wife likes to remind him when their three children’s eyes are glued to their screens that it’s at least partly his fault. Hard to argue.
    Realising I rarely link to articles on the flip side of this, the internet can be good!

  • If information overload is stressing you out, go on a silence diet
    In the beginning, there was the word. Now, there’s a deluge of language. On average, Americans consume 34 gigabytes of content and encounter 100,000 written words from various sources in a single day.
    Remember when this blog was called Informationally Overloaded? Was a drop in the ocean!

    Creators of content on the internet are very commonly creators of community. Often times, this community is the most interesting and the most valuable part of making stuff, and many creators require that relationship to inspire them to make stuff.
    Dealing with hatred online is never easy because cattle prods can’t reach through the screen… yet…

  • The Hacker Who Cared Too Much
    One afternoon in a modest, hilltop home in West Hartford, Connecticut, Linda Pelletier, a sandy-blond mother of four, opened a greeting card from her 15-year-old daughter, Justina. To her surprise, a small, intricately folded piece of paper slipped out from inside. It was an origami fortune teller.
    This is not the story you think it’s going to be. Heartwrenching.

  • Mindfulness: It ain’t what you do it’s the way that you do it
    Here’s an old post on mindfulness, revamped now that I’m returning to the topic for the 2nd edition of my book Rewriting the Rules. What makes something mindful or mindless? I’ve been interested in mindfulness for many years now.
    Yes to this, many times over! Your mindfulness is not my mindfulness.

  • I reverse-engineered Buzzfeed’s most viral posts and the truth is shocking!
    Anyone who has ever produced content for the web knows how torturously tough it is to even get people to click on your post and read it; forget going viral, especially when you don’t have any furs in your content. (Read: Cats and dogs, who seem to have a god-given right to internet virality).
    Probably a ‘must read’ if you’ve used the internet at all in the last few years!

  • This app is trying to replicate you
    Hi Mike, how’s it going? Pretty good.
    The geek in me loves this. The paranoid sceptic in me is running away.

  • Toy Story lessons for the Internet of Things
    Have you ever thought of the Toy Story films as sci fi? I think they have many interesting themes that could apply to the Internet of Things.
    Bit of a stretch but hey, who doesn’t love Toy Story, right?

  • The case for taking forever to finish reading books
    For a long time I’ve been reading one book. It’s been five years since I started In Search of Lost Time, and I’m only two-thirds the way through. That’s fine with me.
    See also: the case for just stop reading that book if you aren’t enjoying it (hi there, The Sellout, looking at you!)

  • Why do we still insist on calling women “Miss” or “Mrs”? 
    “And is it ‘Miss’ Wilkinson or ‘Mrs’?” the woman serving me at my local bank asks. “It’s ‘Ms’,” I reply. She gives me a strange look, then responds coolly: “I’ll put ‘Miss’. ‘Ms’ is only for divorced women and you look way young to be divorced.”
    I did a learn (it’s what us privileged types should do).

  • The 100 Greatest Props in Movie History, and the Stories Behind Them
    They’re found on dusty warehouse shelves; buried under flea market knick-knacks; Googled, Ebayed, begged for; commissioned from blacksmiths, painters, and model makers for one-time use; and constructed out of whatever $5 can buy at the local craft store.
    Geek alert, geek alert! I FUCKIN LOVE THIS ARTICLE!!

  • Scientists teleport particle into space in major breakthrough for quantum physics
    Scientists have successfully teleported something into space for the first time ever. The experiment saw Chinese scientists send a photon up away from Earth, further than ever before.
    Whoa. Sci-fi is now just Sci.

  • Successful solo polyamory and control
    There are a few things to address here that have to do with what you’ve chosen and how you go about what you’re hoping to achieve. I’m assuming that by choosing to do solo polyamory that you have thought about why polyamory is the right approach for you and what it means for you.
    Breadcrumb for myself mostly…

  • This is the worst 20 seconds of soccer ever
    It’s “the beautiful game”—apart from those times when it’s not.
    Can’t stop watching! HILARIOUS BADLY!!

Weekend Reading

  • Why Do So Many Incompetent Men Become Leaders?
    There are three popular explanations for the clear under-representation of women in management, namely: (1) they are not capable; (2) they are not interested; (3) they are both interested and capable but unable to break the glass-ceiling: an invisible career barrier, based on prejudiced stereotypes.
    Where is the big switch that flips all this? PLEASE!

  • The Strange History of ‘O Canada’
    By the time my family moved to Quebec in 1968, the province had long since stopped singing Canada’s national anthem. At age seven, I attended an English public school on the south shore of Montreal.
    I get the feeling most national anthems go through similar ebbs and flows. Now, about Flower of Scotland.

  • Roxane Gay’s Complicated “Hunger”
    Roxane Gay has several personae, but she first garnered Internet fame as a diarist.
    Brutal honest writing. May not be an easy read for some, but you should try.

  • Nina Simone in Liberia
    Someone who knew Nina Simone well—a Liberian friend of hers, I suppose a mutual friend now—told me a story. Liberia’s past is in pieces, he said, and here’s one of them. Maybe it’s the one you’re looking for.
    I love these types of articles, that build a fuller picture of someone so iconic (about whom my knowledge is scant)

  • This Is Why The Minions Are So Popular
    I played a clip of the Minions covering the Beach Boys hit “Barbara Ann” and instructed my classroom of 4- and 5-year-olds to sing along.
    Banana? BAAANNAAANNNAAAAA (my first introduction to these mental yellow dudes)

  • From Ptolemy to GPS, the Brief History of Maps
    We now have the whole world in our hands, but how did we get here? Last spring, a 23-year-old woman was driving her car through the Ontario town of Tobermory. It was unfamiliar territory for her, so she was dutifully following her GPS.
    Who doesn’t love a map? Who doesn’t struggle with GPS directions? Ohhh just me…??

  • Lectureporn: The Vulgar Art of Liberal Narcissism
    Joan Didion began covering political campaigns in 1988. By then, she had switched to being a Democrat, which did little to change her views of the world or change her life in any tangible way. This made her incredibly skeptical about America’s two-party system.
    Is THIS the problem with liberals? Perhaps. I know the flags go up for me when the words start to ‘flourish’.

  • The chills we get from listening to music are a biological reaction to surprise
    Think of your favorite song of all time. Play it, even. Take a moment to get lost in the rhythm, the melody, the lyrics, and whatever they make you feel. Good to go? Great.
    Radiohead, Just. Metallica, Nothing Else Matters. Every time. Goosebumps.

  • Eight Bites
    As they put me to sleep, my mouth fills with the dust of the moon. I expect to choke on the silt but instead it slides in and out, and in and out, and I am, impossibly, breathing. Back on Earth, Dr. U is inside me. Her hands are in my torso, her fingers searching for something.
    An insider view of bariatric surgery (not LITERALLY inside… sheesh, and ewwww).

  • Knife-wielding stabbing machine could help solve violent crimes
    When a person gets stabbed, rips in the victim’s clothing may contain clues to help catch the attacker.
    Ohhh a robot… an ARMED robot! Yes, of course this is a wonderful idea…

  • From the Quiet of Wimbledon, the Loud Groan of the Crowd
    Tradition is as much a part of the Wimbledon experience as the grass itself, from the predominantly white clothing rule to the strawberries and cream sold around the grounds of the All England Club.
    Ahhh yes, the politely mannered British at their… best?

  • This Insane Greek Fireworks Battle Puts Your July 4th to Shame
    Every Easter on the Greek island of Chios, two churches host an ancient ritual in which residents on either side of town fire some 100,000 handmade rockets at the bell tower of the opposing church — while worship takes place inside.

  • Faster Than the Speed of Sound: An Interview with Holly Maniatty
    Holly Maniatty is moving faster than anyone in the Wu-Tang Clan. She bounces up and down, her whole body undulates, her hands fly as she signs, her eyes flare precisely, her mouth articulates the lyrics.
    ASL at a rap concert. A whole level of skill and hard work (video)

  • Exile in Guyville
    For Interview magazine, singer-songwriter Liz Phair talks with author Elizabeth Wurtzel, whose first book, Prozac Nation: Young and Depressed in America, originally published in 1997, has just been re-released with a new afterword by the author.
    Never read Prozac Nation, but big fan of Liz Phair.

  • Itamar Simonson: What Makes People Collect Things?
    Everyone knows someone who collects things — whether it’s refrigerator magnets or political bumper stickers.
    Hello Kitty, football shirts, a lot of collections in the news this week, but why?

  • New map records massacres of Aboriginal people in Frontier Wars
    Rottnest Island: Black prison to white playground Related Story: Claims Tasmania’s Aboriginal naming policy not inclusive Related Story: What are kids today learning about Tasmania’s Aboriginal history?
    Righting historical wrongs. White men have a lot to answer for.

  • Why We Lie: The Science Behind Our Deceptive Ways
    In the fall of 1989 Princeton University welcomed into its freshman class a young man named Alexi Santana, whose life story the admissions committee had found extraordinarily compelling. He had barely received any formal schooling.
    Turns out it’s not just because your pants are on fire (which never made any sense anyway)

  • How Ford’s New CEO Plans To Beat Tesla, Uber, And Google
    In April 2017, the Ford Motor Company–114 years old, the second largest carmaker in the country behind General Motors, a stalwart of American manufacturing–was suddenly worth less than 14-year-old Tesla.
    Smart. New CEO. One to watch?

  • People are now snorting chocolate to get high
    It really is nose candy. Coco Loko — a “snortable” blend of cacao powder, plants and organic compounds like ginkgo biloba, taurine and guarana — is getting buzz as a drug-free high.
    What the… I mean… what?

  • Why You Will One Day Have a Brain Computer Interface
    Implanting a microchip inside the brain to augment its mental powers has long been a science fiction trope. Now, the brain computer interface is suddenly the hot new thing in tech. This spring, Elon Musk started a new company, Neuralink, to do it.
    Science fiction is faster and faster becoming science fact. This is fascinating, scary, and exciting.

  • Why Are So Many Bottles “Sqround”?
    They’ve all embraced the same type of bottle for their products. It’s not exactly a square. And it’s not exactly round. “The official term is ‘sqround,’” says John Zelek, Senior Creative at Soylent. The company’s new bottles are shipping now.
    No no no. NO. Sqround is NOT A WORD!!

Weekend Reading

  • “Thing” now has a new definition in the Oxford English Dictionary, thanks to “The West Wing”
    Every quarter, the OED updates its expansive catalog with new words that reflect the changing times. This month, more than 1,200 new words and phrases were added to the list. For example, “woke” and “post-truth” made the cut—the latter was dubbed “word of the year” by the OED in 2016.
    Without even realising it I co-opted this usage as well, for, you know, that thing…

  • Mumbai has the world’s second-largest collection of Art Deco buildings but no one notices them
    Always look up, writ large in Mumbai.

  • A Lecture About the History of the Scots Language … in Scots: How Much Can You Comprehend?
    Dauvit Horsbroch has served as the Language and Information Officer of the Scots Language Centre since 2007, and has spent considerable time living in North East Scotland. Above, watch him give a 19-minute lecture on the history of the Scots language … in Scots.
    Please note: this is a distinct language, it’s not gaelic, nor just English with some Scots slang.

  • Hayley Webster on Twitter
    1. I want to tweet an experience I had last week that summed up some stuff for me re women saying ‘No’, that I’ve been trying to articulate.
    A twitter thread for ALL MEN (Yes, ALL MEN) to read.

  • I Don’t Know How To Explain To You That You Should Care About Other People
    Like many Americans, I’m having politics fatigue. Or, to be more specific, arguing-about-politics fatigue. Personally, I’m happy to pay an extra 4.3 percent for my fast food burger if it means the person making it for me can afford to feed their own family.
    I’d dearly love the word compassion to start, and stay, trending. We are all lumps on flesh on the same planet, can’t we get along?

  • How ‘Wellness’ Became an Epidemic
    When Gwyneth Paltrow first launched Goop in 2008, it was a great place to find out where to eat the best tapas in Barcelona. It was straight-up celebrity-lifestyle voyeurism, and Paltrow, with her long blonde hair and aura of complete self-satisfaction, was irresistible.
    Given my recent sojourn into this territory it is at once fascinating and terrifying that so much unbridled bullshit goes unchecked.

  • 2017 National Geographic Travel Photographer of the Year Contest, Part II
    The National Geographic Travel Photographer of the Year Contest is open to submissions until the end of this week, June 30. The grand-prize winner will receive a 10-day trip for two to the Galápagos Archipelago with National Geographic Expeditions.
    Because, hey, this planet thing we are on is pretty damn amazing.

  • The funny thing about wanting something badly
    Every day, I talk to someone who wants something badly: a postdoc looking for his first industry research role or an applications scientist who feels that her destiny is to become one of the company’s highly paid regional sales managers.
    Less is more. Life lesson #67… ohh I’ve lost count.

  • Chris Froome: Tour De France & the secret world of climbing
    The first thing you notice when you shake Chris Froome’s hand is how lean he is: big eyes, thin cheekbones, black t-shirt and shorts hanging off him as if they are two sizes too big. We are in Monaco, with the Tour de France imminent.
    Despite the doping scandals I hope in years to come we will look back at realise just how remarkable this guy is (but then, didn’t we say that about that Lance guy?)

  • Pride in London is not worthy of the LGBTQ+ community’s support
    The concept of ‘pride’ has become the central discussion point within the LGBTQ+ community in recent years. The trailblazers of the 1960s and 70s literally ran riot, did time and, in some cases, died, fighting for basic respect and recognition.
    Ugh ugh and more ugh. I’m not close to the Pride movement and I sincerely hope this ‘model’ isn’t reflected elsewhere.

  • Greetings, E.T. (Please Don’t Murder Us.)
    A new initiative to beam messages into space may be our best shot yet at learning whether we’re alone in the universe. There’s just one problem: What if we’re not?
    We are all just lumps living on this … actually, you know what, dear E.T. please come down and wipe the slate clean, we’ve kinda fucked everything up.

  • Britain’s ancient parliament officially goes “business casual”
    It’s the end of an era for Britain. For centuries, Britain’s House of Commons has adhered to strict rules (pdf) seen as vital to the smooth-running of daily affairs.
    ….. [insert your own ‘shouldn’t they be vosting on more important things right now’ sarcastic comment, I’m out] …..

  • Christopher on Twitter
    Strange request. Anyone know anyone famous/well known who could send Ollie a positive/9th birthday message. The bully keeps saying to him
    Another twitter thread but what a great one to end on. Keep scrolling, it gets better and better. Note: you may well up/cry like an eejit. SEE! COMPASSION!!!

Weekend Reading

  • Location Scouting for Wes Anderson
    I have another part-time job that nobody knows about. It doesn’t pay very well because … well, technically my “boss” doesn’t actually know I hired myself to do the job. But whenever he decides he needs me, I’m certainly ready and waiting.
    I love the look of the Wes Anderson world, if you do too, check this out.

  • The surprising number of American adults who think chocolate milk comes from brown cows
    Seven percent of all American adults believe that chocolate milk comes from brown cows, according to a nationally representative online survey commissioned by the Innovation Center of U.S. Dairy. If you do the math, that works out to 16.4 million misinformed, milk-drinking people.
    Something something guns something something Trump something…

  • How do you draw a circle? We analyzed 100,000 drawings to show how culture shapes our instincts
    Let’s do a quick exercise. Are you ready? Draw a circle in the box below. Don’t think too hard! Did you start at the top or bottom? Clockwise or counterclockwise? New data show that the way you draw a circle holds clues about where you come from.
    Start at top and draw clockwise.

  • Are You a Self-Interrupter?
    Our technology-rich world has proven to be both a blessing and a curse. While on the one hand we have access to information or people anywhere at any time, on the other hand we find our attention constantly drawn by the rich, multisensory, technological environments.
    I’m just leaving this here. Obviously I know no peoples who should read this (if they can stop checking FB long enough)

  • How Cats Used Humans to Conquer the World
    Ancient DNA from 209 cats over 9,000 years tell the story of their dispersal. Sometime around the invention of agriculture, the cats came crawling. It was mice and rats, probably, that attracted the wild felines. The rats came because of stores of grain, made possible by human agriculture.
    I KNEW IT!!

  • Dave Grohl’s daughter playing the drums with her dad in Iceland june 16th 2017
    In no surprise to anyone, Dave Grohl’s daughter is also a kick ass human being

  • Left handed people are more likely to be geniuses
    The belief that there is a link between talent and left-handedness has a long history. Leonardo da Vinci was left-handed. So were Mark Twain, Mozart, Marie Curie, Nicola Tesla and Aristotle.
    Hmmm I can type with both hands, does that count?

  • The 10 Most Depressing Radiohead Songs According to Data Science: Hear the Songs That Ranked Highest in a Researcher’s “Gloom Index”
    One of my favorite music-themed comedy sketches of recent years features a support group of Radiohead fans flummoxed and disappointed by the band’s post-Ok Computer output.
    I don’t think depressing is the right word. Yes, some of their songs instil melancholy but not all of them.

  • The myth of the ‘cool tech girl’
    In my early twenties I tried out the ‘cool tech girl’ thing. When you’re early in your career and one of the only women at a startup, it’s easy to fall in to the ‘cool girl in tech’ trap.
    One for all my IT friends, especially the ‘guys’ to read.

  • Dear Twitter: FWIW, this is how you spell “democracy”: EMPATHY
    When I caught the story of the mass shooting yesterday (and yes, I know, in my country, we need to specify which mass shooting yesterday, so I mean the mass shooting of Republican congressmen in Virginia, not the one in San Francisco, or any of the other 154 that have happened so far this year)
    Empathy is not a word that makes headlines. I wish it was.

  • When Totally Normal Books About Girls Turned into ‘Beach Reads’
    As a book critic, I am no stranger to listicles. The quickest way to condense and transmit recommendations, the listicle has been around almost as long as publications have, but the internet is a particularly potent vehicle for randomly numbered collections of items around a theme.
    Not sure if I agree/disagree, or like/dislike the general sentiment in this.

  • The Dark And Wild Fluorescence Of Lorde’s ‘Melodrama’
    In the most shredded moment off Lorde’s new record, Melodrama, she sounds nearly defeated. It’s just four words, the opening line of “Liability,” the second single off her sophomore album, and arguably the best bit of songwriting of her entire, still-brief career.
    Is this my album of the summer? It might be…

  • How An Entire Nation Became Russia’s Test Lab for Cyberwar
    The clocks read zero when the lights went out. It was a Saturday night last December, and Oleksii Yasinsky was sitting on the couch with his wife and teenage son in the living room of their Kiev apartment.
    Scary. Tht dystopian future is here. Now.

  • What I Learned About Interruption from Talk Radio
    But this, this thing where a man simply doesn’t let you get a word in edgewise, this doesn’t happen to me much. Sure, I’ve had my fair share of mansplainers (my favorite being a clone of Solnit’s book-explainer, the man who explained my own podcast to me).
    I wish I didn’t even have to share this article. But I do. How to interrupt people.

  • 10 Glasgow restaurants that deserve a Michelin star
    Despite having a flourishing foodie scene, Glasgow isn’t currently home to any Michelin starred restaurants. Here are a few of the city’s best eateries which are deserving of being awarded this coveted accolade.
    8 down, 2 to go!

  • Wait for the second date to reveal you’re poly?
    The last time I reported on a Dan Savage column a furious reader unsubscribed, writing, I have no quibble with his poly advice. However, Dan is a pretty bigoted dude across multiple axis, and has been known to harrass and denigrate employees that do not meet his standards for attractiveness.
    Is waiting to see if there is a connection (enough for a second date) also lying about your relationship status?

  • Why Your Brain Hates Other People
    As a kid, I saw the 1968 version of Planet of the Apes. As a future primatologist, I was mesmerized. Years later I discovered an anecdote about its filming: At lunchtime, the people playing chimps and those playing gorillas ate in separate groups.
    Not my circus…

  • Forget fidget spinners, it’s the toothpick crossbow that is worrying parents
    Handheld mini-crossbows that can fire needles and nails are the latest must-have toy in China but anxious parents want them banned before a young child gets blinded or worse.
    This is just ‘tech’… rubber band and a drawing pin, right?

Weekend Reading

  • Groom surprises bride with a pug puppy on their wedding day, tears ensue
    As if a wedding day isn’t magical enough, groom Stephen Watt wanted to take it one paw-dorable step further by surprising his bride, Keriann Watt, a lifelong pug-lover, with her very own puppy at their reception in Luss, Scotland.
    The power of social media! This is a friend of my sister, she was at the wedding! Seeing this picked up by US media was fascinating! Also… PUPPY!!

  • This Baker Makes Internet Trolls Eat Their Words — Literally
    The social media world is heavily populated by trolls — you know, those people who write nasty, mean comments online. Sometimes it can be tempting to respond back, but what if there’s a better alternative? Like sending them a cake…. with their words written on it.
    And once they’ve finished their tasty cake… he reveals the true ingredients! (he doesn’t, but I wish he did)

  • America Made Me a Feminist
    I used to think the word “feminist” reeked of insecurity. A woman who needed to state that she was equal to a man might as well be shouting that she was smart or brave. If you were, you wouldn’t need to say it. I thought this because back then, I was a Swedish woman.
    Is the word ‘feminist’ in danger of … well I’m not sure what, but it seems like it gets twisted every which way by different parties…

  • The Warriors Duped The NBA
    Chuck Jones, the classic Warner Bros. animator, used to say that we are all defined by our disciplines: When anything is possible, the things we don’t do are just as important as the things we do.
    Fascinating to see the beginnings of a dynasty

  • ‘Seductive names’ make vegetables more appealing
    How do you get more people to eat their greens? Give vegetables seductive names, say US researchers. Healthy labels, such as “wholesome”, were a turn-off, even though the dishes were identical in every other way.
    Probably says a lot about me that when I read the title I thought… “Cassandra the Carrot??” no, that THAT type of name …

  • Feline Food Issues? ‘Whisker Fatigue’ May Be to Blame
    Moon was having eating issues, familiar ones to many cat owners: He batted food out of his bowl before he would eat it. Some days he seemed terrified even to approach his feeding dish. Moon’s owner, Cheryl Anne Gardner, did some internet research and found the likely cause: whisker fatigue.
    Sharing for those with cats.

  • Steps I Take to Counteract Gentrification While Living In a Luxury Building in Brooklyn
    Bring people’s attention to important issues by posting #BlackLivesMatter stickers all over my building’s sauna. Speak Spanish to Roberto at in lobby coffeeshop while he makes my $7 dark roast with almond milk.
    Many of these steps could be taken in the UK…

  • The impossible job: Compiling the fixture list
    The man behind compiling the Premier League fixture list for 2017/18, Glenn Thompson, of Atos, explains how travel plans and rail and road networks play a role in deciding when matches are played.
    Football geekery for stats fiends.

  • Freediving Is the Lung-Crushing, Mind-Altering Path to Inner Peace
    How the high-risk, high-reward extreme sport helps conquer your fear of the deep through meditation. The Guinness World Record for holding one’s breath underwater is 24 minutes and 3 seconds. Most humans, however, can barely make it a minute and a half.
    I am always fascinated by those who push themselves beyond boundaries.

  • How a Philly Ob-Gyn Ended Up Delivering a Baby Gorilla
    Last Friday, at 10:30 a.m., ob-gyn Rebekah McCurdy was seeing patients in her office when she got the call. Hello, said the voice on the line. It’s us. We’re thinking of doing a C-section, and we’re ready to put her under anesthesia. Weird, thought McCurdy.
    Interesting article but mostly posting for the pics of a BABY GORILLA WHICH IS TOTES ADOREBALLS

  • The off-kilter cinematography of Mr. Robot
    Using traditional cinematography, characters are not usually confined to the bottom third of the screen, crammed all the way in the corner, or placed right at the edge of the screen, looking offscreen. But rules are meant to be broken..
    Some people think this is a cheap gimmick, but it’s one reason I like this show (and why I enjoy The Shining which employs some similar visual headfuckery)

  • To the Women Over 40 and the 20-Somethings Who Write About Them
    I’m officially in my 40s. I’m surrounded by teenagers. And I’m tired of fetuses on the internet telling me what to do. One of the things? Wear big hoop earrings.
    I’m officially in my 40s. A lot of this resonates (not the hoop earrings bit though… not yet at least)

  • Winners of the Red Bull Illume Photo Contest 2016
    The winners have been announced in the 4th edition of the Red Bull Illume Image Quest photo competition.

  • Spotify’s users are loving it to death
    Spotify may be the world’s most popular subscription music streaming service, but that doesn’t mean it’s anywhere near profitable. In fact, the more music users stream, the more millions Spotify loses.
    Please don’t die Spotify, please.

  • Cosmic ‘Bruise’ Could Be Evidence for Multiple Universes
    It sounds wild. But the idea that we live in a multiverse — a cosmos where an infinite number of universes exist beside our own — is no longer confined to science fiction. It’s a respectable theory among scientists, so much so that some are on the hunt for proof of a nearby universe.
    Apparently universes may have ‘bumped into’ each other. I can’t even… I mean… what??

Weekend Reading

Special Election Free edition (one week only).

  • Aleppo After the Fall
    As the Syrian civil war turns in favor of the regime, a nation adjusts to a new reality — and a complicated new picture of the conflict emerges.
    The forgotten conflict, 4 years of war and it barely makes the front pages anymore.

  • The Mackinac Island Stone Skipping Competition
    Late one afternoon last summer, our family arrived at a campsite on the western shore of Lake Michigan. We had been driving all day, across Wisconsin on our way further east. The four of us—my wife and two daughters, ages 7 and 10—set up our tent, made dinner, then went down to the water.
    My record is 12, set many years ago. I need to practice. A LOT.

  • Urchins and alleyways: a rare glimpse of 19th-century Glasgow – in pictures
    Photographer Thomas Annan captured Glasgow in the 1860s and 70s, at a time when the city had transformed and grown rapidly after the industrial revolution
    Always interesting seeing your home city, picking out landmarks that still exist today.

  • Climber Completes the Most Dangerous Rope-Free Ascent Ever

    The more I read about this feat, and this man, the more bamboozled I am. It’s utterly mindblowing.

  • Open-minded people have a different visual perception of reality
    Psychologists have only begun to unravel the concept of “personality,” that all-important but nebulous feature of individual identity. Recent studies suggest that personality traits don’t simply affect your outlook on life, but the way you perceive reality.
    So this half-full glass is actually… a porcupine? Am I doing it right?

  • Who needs a perfect language? It’s already perfectly imperfect
    Poets, historians, scientists, philosophers – we all seek to capture the world in a net of language. Yet it is the nature of nets to capture some things while letting others slip away.
    English is such a rich language, and evolves faster than we realise.

  • The Bondage-Bound, Feminist Origins of Wonder Woman
    Orgies, a sex cult, polyamory, lie detectors, and bondage. While that sounds like the makings of a fascinating word association game, those words do have one very particular thing in common – well, besides the obvious.
    The movie is packed with wonderful feminist, enlightened ideas, so this is a strange bedfellow of an article.

  • Why ‘Checking Your Privilege’ Doesn’t Work
    “Dear White People: no one is saying your life can’t be hard if you’re white but it’s not hard because you’re white.” This perhaps overly earnest profundity comes from an August 2015 tweet by user Austin (@kvxll), that somehow made its way to my own Twitter feed.
    The problem with privilege is you don’t see it, this opened my eyes to my mistakes and assumptions (and I am the most privileged type of person possible).

  • Taking Muhammad Ali home
    A week before her husband dies, Lonnie Ali changes the plans for his funeral. The funeral she had envisioned is too big, she thinks. It is too complicated.
    Articles I will always read: anything about The Greatest.

  • Apple’s developer conference was chock full of new hardware
    Apple’s annual developer conference felt especially like a show for consumers this year, with announcements of seven laptop updates, a new iMac Pro desktop computer, a new iPad, and a new home smart speaker called the HomePod.
    Apple is doing some new stuff. Some of it is good. Some of it isn’t everything people wanted. Some of it I don’t quite get why. In other words, Apple is doing what it always does.

  • Welcome to Poppy’s World
    It’s hard to explain Poppy to the uninitiated. But I’m going to try. Let’s start with the edge of the Poppy rabbit hole: You see a woman in a YouTube video. She is blond and petite with the kind of Bambi-sized brown eyes you rarely encounter in real life.
    Mentioned as an aside in the Apple Dev Conference… and that’s all I’m gonna say (ok, I will also say… WTF?)

  • How to fall to your death and live to tell the tale
    Alcides Moreno and his brother Edgar were window washers in New York City. The two Ecuadorian immigrants worked for City Wide Window Cleaning, suspended high above the congested streets, dragging wet squeegees across the acres of glass that make up the skyline of Manhattan.
    I am not good with heights, and presume if I was falling to my death, my brain probably WON’T recall this article but… you never know.. right?

  • When you cross a raven, the bird will hold a grudge
    For over 2,000 years, children have been warned of the dangers of hidden agendas through the “The Fox and the Raven.
    I KNEW IT!! Sorry, had some Raven harassment issues a few years ago and no-one believed me!

  • A conversation with Rickie lee Jones
    A video of a conversation that most of you will have heard some of before (earworm activation in 3, 2….)

  • What it feels like to get hit by a pitch
    A baseball is a wondrous little thing. It weighs 6 ounces — the same as an apple — and is the perfect size and shape for the hand. It is the ideal home for the proudest autographs, so white and pristine, resting on the mantel or in the trophy case.
    I’ve started watching a little baseball for reasons I’m not yet sure of, the more I learn the more I can see how people get dragged into it (stats fiends, check it out!)… and then there is side of it.

  • The Exquisitely English (and Amazingly Lucrative) World of London Clerks
    It’s a Dickensian profession that can still pay upwards of $650,000 per year. At Fountain Court Chambers in central London, the senior clerk is called Alex Taylor. A trim, bald 54-year-old who favors Italian suiting, Taylor isn’t actually named Alex.
    Hey ‘disruptors’ I have a new industry for ya!!

  • Turns out open relationships aren’t the most sexually satisfying
    Sex is a big part of most romances, whether a marriage or a more experimental union. A recent survey of Europeans shows that people in the most sexually liberated partnerships aren’t having the best time.
    They missed out the question ‘Are you surprised by this’ to which many poly people would answer, ‘no, not at all’.

Weekend Reading

  • What If We Cultivated Our Ugliness? or: The Monstrous Beauty of Medusa
    Myth and folklore teem with frightening women: man-seducers and baby-stealers, menacing witches and avenging spirits, rapacious bird-women and all-devouring forces of nature.
    One of a series of articles on how culture/media portrayal of women is … somewhat troubling (AKA fubar)

  • Mossberg: The Disappearing Computer
    This is my last weekly column for The Verge and Recode — the last weekly column I plan to write anywhere.
    I’ve not linked to many (any?) of his articles but no doubt his legacy is a strong one

  • The Curious Case of the Disappearing Nuts
    At 11:22 a.m. on Thursday, June 20, 2013, an orange Freightliner tractor-trailer arrived at Crain Walnut Shelling in Los Molinos, California. The truck’s driver, a man in his mid-thirties wearing a gray T-shirt, introduced himself as Alex Hernandez.
    OK, I confess. I originally only bookmarked this for FNAR title but turns out nuts are big business! (FNAR!)

  • Essential apps for switching from Mac to Windows
    Over the last few weeks I’ve been writing about my shift to Windows from Mac after five years of using a MacBook, and many of you have written to ask what apps I use to replace various Mac-only tools.
    The one thing I baulk over (daily) is keyboard differences – keys and shortcuts – but aside from that my usage of a computer is a lot more evenly balanced. If ‘Windows’ hardware is catching up then they fast become an interesting, and cheaper, proposition.

  • Salvation Mode
    The forgotten joys of the screensaver. When I first encountered Jorge Luis Borges’s “The House of Asterion,” a short story whose narrator runs with madness through an endless labyrinth, a remote feeling of déjà vu eased into one of bizarre, welcome recognition.
    I always did love a good screensaver. Flying Toasters anyone?

  • A Year of Google Maps & Apple Maps
    Coincidence or not, it was interesting. And it made me wonder what else would change, if we kept watching. Would Google keep adding detail? And would Apple, like Google, also start making changes?
    Fascinating detail, and a good example of why owning your own data is more and more important. Well played Google.

  • When self-improvement is self-destruction: The 4 warning signs
    In the age of Instagram, self-help and wellness have never looked more glamorous and appealing, says inspirational speaker Danielle LaPorte. But as she points out in her new book, “White Hot Truth,” sometimes the path to self-improvement can become self-destructive.
    Stepping away from social media always feel rewarding, turns out it could be crucial.

  • “Personal kanban”: a life-changing time-management system that explodes the myth of multitasking
    Multitasking is probably the single most overrated skill in modern life. Only 3% of the population are “supertaskers,”…
    Do more, do more!! Or, you know, just chill out, stuff always gets done. I’m starting to shy away from these types of article, more to life, innit!

  • There’s a dark side to meditation that no one talks about
    We’ve all heard about the benefits of meditation ad nauseam. Those disciplined enough to practice regularly are rewarded with increased control over the brainwaves known as alpha rhythms, which leads to better focus and may help ease pain.
    Definitely something I’ve noticed as I’ve been meditating more often.

  • The curious story of how transatlantic exchange shaped Italy’s illustrious coffee culture
    In 1959, Italian novelist Italo Calvino received a grant to spend six months in the US. Once he arrived in New York City, he discovered a disturbing trend. More than 50 years later, Italians are still deeply protective of their country’s reputation as the coffee capital of the world.
    I’m not sure I actually equate Italy with coffee. Not culturally at least, odd.

  • Indonesia’s hijab-wearing Muslim metal group challenges stereotypes
    With their heads covered with Islamic headscarves, the three members of the Indonesian band VoB (“Voice of Baceprot” or “Noisy Voice”) do not look like your typical heavy metal group.

  • How a Kids’ Cartoon Created a Real-Life Invasive Army
    Once upon a time, raccoons were strangers to the island of Japan, save for the occasional critter kept in a zoo. That all changed when Araiguma Rasukaru aired and turned a nation onto raccoons’ inherent charm.
    Damn cartoons ruin everything.

  • Pat Kane: Why the Big Yin deserves big, big love as Billy Connolly fades from our sight
    As the supreme comic of human frailty and our subversive bodies — always something leaking, smelling, sticking out or needing covered up — you might have wondered what Connolly would do if his own body started to profoundly rebel.
    He has his critics, I’m one of them, but no doubting the impact he’s had.

  • A Look at How Snapchat’s Powerful Facial Recognition Tech Works
    Snapchat’s “lenses,” more colloquially known as selfie filters or just “filters,” may seem like a totally inane feature. But it turns out the facial recognition technology behind them is advanced, impressive… and a tad scary.
    Part of me is boggled by the science, part of me scared at where this could lead. Add AI to this and… yikes?

  • “I don’t know, let me find out”: learn this phrase. Use it.
    I’ve hit the end of my tether with this fucking election. It’s driving me right up the wall, daily doses of bullshit. Today, it’s one politician making what the Jolyons treat as the worst boo-boo ever. Tomorrow, it’ll be another.
    I’d much rather vote for a party leader who CHECKED HIS FACTS, than one who waffled and lied just to look good. INTEGRITY people, say it with me!

  • The hierarchy polyamorous people don’t talk enough about
    Hierarchies are seen as an inherently negative thing within many polyamorous subcultures, but very myopically.
    Something I always shied away from as a hierarchy always felt rigid and ‘not right’, but I know it works for many.

  • Rebecca Solnit: The Loneliness of Donald Trump
    Once upon a time, a child was born into wealth and wanted for nothing, but he was possessed by bottomless, endless, grating, grasping wanting, and wanted more, and got it, and more after that, and always more.
    I know I know, the T word again. I’m doing my best to avoid but THIS article is worth a read. Scarily.

  • Putting off the important things? It’s not for the reasons you think
    All you really need to succeed, according to the writer-philosopher Robert Pirsig, who died last month, is gumption.
    Linked for one word. Gumption.

  • The Meteoric Rise of McLaren Automotive
    These days, new car companies rarely succeed. For every Tesla, there are 10 would-be companies that never get beyond an initial press release. Five years ago, we test drove the first model from a brand new car manufacturer, McLaren Automotive.
    I’m a car geek, this is all completely ridiculous I know but OH MY CAR GEEK TASTIC

  • The Queer Literary Origins of Wonder Woman
    Six months before the Second World War came to an end, William Moulton Marston, the creator of Wonder Woman—both comics and character—declared his intention for the iconic comics.
    Fascinating look at an iconic character (and I’m seeing the new movie tomorrow!)

  • Why Are We So Afraid of Female Desire?
    There are many stories in history and legend where rampant females are seen as posing a particular threat to the social order. In classical mythology it was the maenads, or followers of Dionysus or Bacchus, who frenziedly tore Orpheus apart.
    Another article tackling another ‘troubling’ aspect of women. Trust me, I cannot roll my eyes any harder at that view, and this article explains why.

  • The third detection of gravitational waves opens up a new, crucial window to study the universe
    When it rains, it pours. After waiting for 100 years since the first prediction of the existence of gravitational waves, scientists have detected them three times in the last two years.
    Our understanding of the universe is expanding fast (which is just as well as Earth is fucked).

  • Is This The Oldest Bottle Of Bordeaux In The World?
    What was Bordeaux like in the 1700s? I want to paint a picture of what things were like back in the 1700s when this recently unearthed bottle was produced. At the time, most wines were sold by the barrel and only rarely bottled.
    Can you still call this wine? Surely it’s just rancid vinegar by now? #boak

  • Mister Softee has team spying on rival ice cream truck
    It’s the harder side of soft serve.
    Not quite on the scale of the Glasgow Ice Cream Wars mind you…

Weekend Reading

  • We Aren’t Built to Live in the Moment
    We are misnamed. We call ourselves Homo sapiens, the “wise man,” but that’s more of a boast than a description.
    What is now? When is then? Etc etc. A notable addition to my recent post.

  • How Mountain Biking Is Saving Small-Town
    From Nevada to Minnesota, hollowed-out mining towns are seeing economic revitalization on trails and tracks that attract mountain bikers from far and wide Photo: Nearly 50 years ago, the iron mining companies that were once the backbone of Crosby.
    And the world evolves.

  • Pet Project
    The semester is almost over and the rain is only supposed to hold off for a couple more hours, but a group of Campbell University golf management majors are stuck in Principles of Marketing instead of out on the course.
    File under “Only on the internet”, also “DOGGIES”!

  • If Raw Fruits Or Veggies Give You A Tingly Mouth, It’s A Real Syndrome
    If you have ever noticed an itchy or tingly sensation in your mouth after biting into a raw apple, carrot, banana or any of the fruits and veggies listed here, read on. People who are allergic to pollen are accustomed to runny eyes and sniffles this time of year.
    Touch wood, but I don’t have any allergies, other than a dislike of bell peppers … which might be an allergy as it turns out.

  • ISIS Has A Strategy To Create A Media Frenzy And News Outlets Are Struggling To Disrupt It
    It’s 2017, and the world is shaken by another depraved mass murder, carried out and claimed in the name of ISIS. This time, it is children who are targeted.
    Amidst more horrific news I read this article. We ALL need to change our behaviours in the aftermath of these things, we are feeding the fire, even though we don’t always realise it.

  • Roger Moore Was the Best Bond Because He Was the Gen X Bond
    I heard about Roger Moore’s death during a walk in Brooklyn on Tuesday morning, when a young father looked up from his phone and said, “The worst James Bond ever just died.
    A colleague of mine always insisted Moore was the best bond. Maybe he was right?

  • Forgotten Women Writers: A Reading List
    For every Edith Wharton and Jane Austen, there are numerous women writers whose works aren’t found in the typical literary canon or school-required reading list.
    I don’t usually pay attention to the gender (or race or any other ‘category’) of authors, but good to get a steer to spread my horizons a little more.

  • What If We Cultivated Our Ugliness? or: The Monstrous Beauty of Medusa
    This is Role Monsters, a series on monstrous female archetypes by Jess Zimmerman. Myth and folklore teem with frightening women: man-seducers and baby-stealers, menacing witches and avenging spirits, rapacious bird-women and all-devouring forces of nature.
    The relentless pressure on women, once you are aware of it, is horrific and far uglier than any person.

  • Mossberg: The Disappearing Computer
    Welcome to Mossberg, a weekly commentary and reviews column on The Verge and Recode by veteran tech journalist Walt Mossberg, executive editor at The Verge and editor at large of Recode. This is my last weekly column for The Verge and Recode — the last weekly column I plan to write anywhere.
    Final column from Walt. Looking forward to Ambient Computing being a reality, right now it’s a fuckin shambles!

  • The Curious Case of the Disappearing Nuts
    At 11:22 a.m. on Thursday, June 20, 2013, an orange Freightliner tractor-trailer arrived at Crain Walnut Shelling in Los Molinos, California. The truck’s driver, a man in his mid-thirties wearing a gray T-shirt, introduced himself as Alex Hernandez.
    Everything is big business. Even nuts. (So proud I didn’t make any reference to testicles!!)

Weekend Reading

Two notes on today’s post.

  1. I’m finding it harder to wade through my usual sources and avoid the T word. Especially this past week. It’s depressing stuff and shows no sign of abating.
  2. I tend to leave the order of the links in these posts unaltered. They are presented as I discovered, oldest to latest. But the news about Chris Cornell hit me really hard, largely because grunge was the ‘music moment’ I identified with growing up.
  • Chris Cornell Was a Rock Star for the Ages
    Chris Cornell, frontman for Soundgarden and Audioslave, died Wednesday night in Detroit, a few hours after a Soundgarden show. He was 52. He died by suicide, a medical examiner determined. Cornell was one of the giants of his time. You knew it from the first time you laid ears or eyes on him.

    See also: Chris Cornell: 8 Great Acoustic Covers
    A sad loss, one of THE great rock voices.

  • Pilgrim at Tinder Creek
    In 2013 I found myself simultaneously single and on the academic job market for the first time. I was thirty, several years into graduate school and at work on a dissertation about nineteenth-century poetry and pleasure. Literary studies, my dissertation argued, was blighted at its core.
    Imagine being a time traveller, coming from the distant past of 1990 and reading this.

  • A Time to Kill iTunes
    Okay, so the quote above isn’t actually a quote. Well, I said it on Twitter, but it’s not a famous quote. Nor does it technically make sense. But it is, of course, a play on a famous quote. It was and remains a great line. But times have also changed.
    WWDC in June, no rumours but I struggle to believe that this isn’t on a ‘list’ of things Apple know they need to sort out. Right?

  • How Pixar Lost Its Way
    For 15 years, the animation studio was the best on the planet. Then Disney bought it. A well-regarded Hollywood insider recently suggested that sequels can represent “a sort of creative bankruptcy.”
    Inevitable? Reversable? The early Pixar movies will remain some of my favourite movies, but Toy Story 4 just ‘feels’ wrong.

  • The Amazing Dinosaur Found (Accidentally) by Miners in Canada
    Clearly more fake news.

  • ‘Fat but fit is a big fat myth’
    The idea that people can be fat but medically fit is a myth, say experts speaking in Portugal. Their early work, as yet unpublished, involved looking at the GP records of 3.5 million people in the UK.
    Don’t worry, in August there will be an article from experts saying that bacon is better for you than lettuce.
  • Why Did a Chinese Peroxide Company Pay $1 Billion for a Talking Cat?
    Inside the strange courtship between industrial behemoths and Western video game studios. Samo and Iza Login were Slovenian high school sweethearts who studied computer science in college and then decided, in 2009, to get into the business of apps.
    One more step towards MegaCorp!

  • Dutch king reveals double life as an airline pilot for KLM
    For 21 years, King Willem-Alexander has taken to the skies twice a month to ferry passengers around on short-haul services for the Dutch airline KLM.
    Yay for the Dutch. No doubt if this had happened in the UK it’d be Prince Phillip and we all know how well THAT would go…

  • Two candy giants have spent years in court fighting over the shape of Kit Kat bars
    Two of the planet’s largest food companies have been locked in a bitter, multinational, decade-long legal saga over the shape of a chocolate bar. At stake is whether Kit Kat’s “four-finger” shape is distinctive enough to be protected by trademark. And the fight may be reaching its climax.
    I had no idea!

  • The Petticoat Rebellion of 1916
    Please warmly welcome our newest contributor, Jennifer Colton-Jones. On a December morning in 1916, the polls opened in the small town of Umatilla, Oregon, for a municipal election. As the day stretched on, the town’s men drifted in and out, casting a ballot here or there.
    Food for thought for the upcoming General Election? There must be some loophole somewhere that would let this happen, right?

  • Comic Papyrus, A Complete Font Designed as a Mashup of Papyrus and Comic Sans
    Graphic designer Ben Harman combined the two generally loathed typefaces Papyrus and Comic Sans into the font Comic Papyrus. We previously featured the same concept from Barth and Co, but Harman has made the complete font, including a special character set, available for purchase for $5.
    I feel sorry for Ben. Clearly has some weird death wish.

Weekend Reading

  • The ‘Shazam’ For Plants Will Identify Any Plant From A Picture
    An estimated 400,000 flowering plant species exist in the world, and, understandably, it can be difficult to keep track. The vast majority of us can only recognize and name a handful of plants, even if we would like it to be otherwise.
    This’ll be one of those apps I forget about until I need. And by then I’ll already have asked my mate Graeme…

  • Strong language: swearing makes you stronger, psychologists confirm
    It isn’t big and it isn’t clever. But the benefits, known to anyone who has moved home, climbed a mountain, or pushed a broken-down car, have finally been confirmed: according to psychologists, swearing makes you stronger.
    Bet you are expecting me to do a swear here.

  • What it’s like to have a surprise dinner with Mark Zuckerberg
    About two weeks ago, Daniel Moore received a cryptic phone call. “I thought it was a prank phone call,” Moore told Business Insider during a recent interview. “I almost hung up.”
    Fuckin Zuckerberg huh…

  • We’ve Got a Mediocre White Guy in Charge: So Now What?
    This weekend, a group of us stood in line in our requested “cocktail” attire, and waited in line to be checked in to the “Not the White House Correspondents’ Dinner,” the brain child of Full Frontal host Samantha Bee and her Executive Producer/Show runner Jo Miller.
    More of this please. (nb. Trump related, indirectly)

  • Sorting 2 Metric Tons of Lego · Jacques Mattheij
    One of my uncles cursed me with the LEGO bug, when I was 6 he gave me his collection because he was going to university. My uncle and I are relatively close in age, my dad was the eldest of 8 children and he is the youngest.
    I really hope he’s patented that. Genius level geekery.

  • The great British Brexit robbery: how our democracy was hijacked
    “It’s not MI6’s job to warn of internal threats. It was a very strange speech.”

  • Doughnuts Are on a Global Rampage, and They Must Be Stopped
    Donuts, you have gone too far. Not long ago, we were your biggest champions. We cheered when you evolved into the scrumptious, flakey cronut, and when you multiplied up and down the West Coast through the Blue Star chain, which brought slick, beautiful rings from Portland, Ore.
    Nice double spelling there… also, yes, doughnuts have gone too far. Also, Krispy Kreme? Meh!

  • Why Everything We Know About Salt May Be Wrong
    The salt equation taught to doctors for more than 200 years is not hard to understand. The body relies on this essential mineral for a variety of functions, including blood pressure and the transmission of nerve impulses. Sodium levels in the blood must be carefully maintained.
    In other news, salt will cool down hot food (or so I used to believe when I was 6)

  • Why Would Aliens Even Bother with Earth?
    As an astrobiologist I spend a lot of my time working in the lab with samples from some of the most extreme places on Earth, investigating how life might survive on other worlds in our solar system and what signs of their existence we could detect.
    Screw the science, if they’ve half a brain they’ll shoot straight past us, I have my towel ready!

  • The Lost Art of Getting Lost
    I have two pieces of major travel cred, neither particularly deserved.
    Guess what I’m doing this weekend!

  • My Weekend at a Conference for the Super-Happy
    The inaugural World Happiness Summit in Miami, Florida, convened in mid-March inside the Ice Palace Film Studios, a 1923 fortresslike building surrounded by high hedges and palm trees. Its white walls seemed to glow under the sun.
    I really want to think this is awesome. Super awesome. But….

  • This Is What Channing Tatum Wants His Daughter to Grow Up to Do
    In honor of the launch of Magic Mike Live in Las Vegas, my friends at Cosmo generously invited me to write something for you. The more I thought about this, the more I thought about my daughter reading this article someday.
    Advice for all young women. Great stuff. (I’ll post the rebuttal article that says this is shit, next week!)

  • The Illustrated Guide to the KonMari Method
    Here in the states, minimalism isn’t exactly a point of pride (we like stuff, and lots of it), so it’s especially remarkable that Japanese tidying expert Marie Kondo’s brutally strict approach to de-cluttering took off here.
    Yes, I’ve tried this. Yes, I may have adopted a couple of these. Shut up. It works!

  • On Murakami’s Men Without Women, and Silent But Pervading Loneliness
    A new silent killer has been making headlines all over the world, and it’s not heart disease, carbon monoxide, or cancer. It’s loneliness. According to a 2010 study, the incidence of loneliness among adults in the United States has doubled since the 1980s, to 40 percent.
    *adds to reading list*

  • Which Tech Giant Would You Drop?
    Apple, Amazon, Facebook, Alphabet (Google).
    Facebook. Simples. Except it’s not, is it.

  • The Girls’ Soccer Team That Joined a Boys’ League, and Won It
    The ponytailed forward cut through the rain and the defense and drove a low shot past the outstretched arm of the goalkeeper. The pinpoint strike — her 38th of the season — confirmed Andrea Gómez as the top scorer for her championship team.
    These girls can! And did!

  • Is an Open Marriage a Happier Marriage?
    When Daniel and Elizabeth married in 1993, they found it was easy enough to choose a ring for her, but there were far fewer choices for him.
    Long article. tl;dr – depends (cos, people).