Weekend Reading

  • My family of four uses Slack and now we can’t imagine life without it
    Everything changed for the better when we started using Slack at work. We’ve made countless custom integrations; doorbells, intercoms, travel cards, Reddit, lunch menus, git hooks, server monitoring, you name it—we have it. My family has been using Google Calendar for a few years.
    My poly ‘family’ has used Google Calendar for ages, invaluable when working across four schedules. The geek in me thinks Slack could be a fun thing to try too.
  • Where the bodies are buried
    Even before she became an anatomy student, Sue Black was used to death. From the age of 13 she had worked every Saturday at a local butcher’s shop. On cold days, she would rush to pick up the livers from the incoming vans, the fresh organs warming her hands in the cold Scottish winter.
    Forensic science is fascinating, if you enjoy Val McDiarmid books, read this artlce.
  • Wife crashes her own funeral, horrifying her husband, who had paid to have her killed
    Noela Rukundo sat in a car outside her home in Melbourne, Australia, watching as the last few mourners filed out. They were leaving a funeral — her funeral. Finally, she spotted the man she’d been waiting for. She stepped out of her car, and her husband put his hands on his head in horror.
    An incredible story that’s told in such a matter of fact style it doesn’t seem real.
  • How to Be Alone: An Antidote to One of the Central Anxieties and Greatest Paradoxes of Our Time
    If the odds of finding one’s soul mate are so dreadfully dismal and the secret of lasting love is largely a matter of concession, is it any wonder that a growing number of people choose to go solo? The choice of solitude, of active aloneness, has relevance not only to romance but to all human
    Obviously I believe there is another choice, but recent personal ruminations on ‘alone time’ made this an interesting read.
  • What Kind of Literature Lives on the Dark Web?
    Depending on who you ask, the “Dark Web”—the Internet’s mysterious undercurrent accessible only through specialized software—is either a libertarian utopia or a criminal hellscape run by cryptoanarchists trading stolen bitcoins. Now it’s more than either.
    As Facebook et all continue to grow (many people only access the internet ‘through Facebook’) the “Dark Web” will be the web that everyone uses as standard.
  • Why did two parents murder their adopted child?
    Asunta Fong Yang was adopted as a baby by a wealthy Spanish couple. Aged 12, she was found dead beside a country road. Not long after, her mother and father were arrested
    A sad story, a child dead because of a flawed, failed system.
  • Watch: This robot learned to mix drinks by imitating humans
    Researchers from the University of Maryland didn’t teach their robot how to mix a drink and make a salad. It learned those tricks by itself.
    Remember, BE NICE TO YOUR ROBOT (just in case!)
  • Swiss authorities ban ‘noisy’ silent discos
    The Swiss city of Lausanne has banned outdoor silent discos, saying that they are too noisy.
    I’ve been at a silent disco or two, they are a lot noiser than you’d imagine…
  • Amanda Palmer on Patronage vs. Commerce, Art as Non-Ownable Nourishment, and the Story Behind Her Bowie String Quartet Tribute
    On a gray January morning, I was taking a run through a London cemetery, the BBC in my ear, when news of David Bowie’s death broke. It was astonishing to observe the immediate and intense global outpour of grief for this artist who had inspired and emboldened generations of creative rebels.
    Thoughtful, provoking, insightful, Amanda Palmer is a genuine force of nature.
  • The Minister Who Updated His Status in a Diary, Every 5 Minutes for 25 Years
    Critics of the social-media-obsessed Millennial generation love to tsk-tsk over the fact that these young’uns cannot stop chronicling the minutiae of their lives.
    And I thought I was bad on Twitter… (p.s. I’m writing this update whilst sitting on the loo!)
  • A sigh’s not just a sigh – it’s a fundamental life-sustaining reflex
    Research reveals that sighing is more than a sign of depression or despair: it’s a reflex that happens several times an hour and helps preserve lung function Californian scientists have identified the source of the sigh.
    To both my partners: This is why I sigh!
  • I Miss Barack Obama
    As this primary season has gone along, a strange sensation has come over me: I miss Barack Obama. Now, obviously I disagree with a lot of Obama’s policy decisions. I’ve been disappointed by aspects of his presidency. I hope the next presidency is a philosophic departure.
    Timely given the barrage of noise, base behaviours and idiocy happening in American politics right now. Can you even imagine Trump as POTUS? *shudders*
  • The chair modelled on a baseball mitt
    When the Eames lounge chair and ottoman were launched in 1956, they signalled a new direction in American consumerism.
  • The rise of Donald Trump is a terrifying moment in American politics
    On Monday, Donald Trump held a rally in Manchester, New Hampshire, where he merrily repeated a woman in the crowd who called Ted Cruz a pussy. Twenty-four hours later, Donald Trump won the New Hampshire primary in a landslide.
    Can you even imagine Trump as POTUS? Take two. It really is a scary scary thought.
  • Google’s self-driving car AI can be the vehicle’s legal driver, US government says
    The US government has cleared the way for Google to create a self-driving car that doesn’t also have a human driver inside the vehicle that can take over if necessary.
    As long as I can clear the browser history for all the times I got it drive me to McDonalds, I’m down with this!
  • Why the NBA Loves—and Fears—Stephen Curry
    The Golden State Warriors are now some 15 months in to their turn as one of the best teams in basketball history. Last season, they won 67 games, the most in the NBA in eight years, and secured a championship in June against LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers.
    Even if your not a fan, there are moments in every sport, culture, movement, that are pivotal and historic. This one is happening right now.
  • Do animals feel empathy? Inside the decades-long quest for an answer.
    Throughout her career as a neurobiologist, Peggy Mason has been told over and over that the rats she experiments on are not capable of empathy. Only humans and other primates can understand the emotions of another. Most other animals can’t. And certainly not beady-eyed rats.
    Regardless of all this, cats are dicks. End of. The article agrees!
  • You can train your body into thinking it’s had medicine
    Jo Marchant asks if we can harness the mind to reduce side-effects and slash drug costs. Marette Flies was 11 when her immune system turned against her.
    “Think yourself better?” is fine, but “think yourself thinner” does not work. Trust me.
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