Bedlam: The story behind the London mental hospital that came to mean hell on earth
The word “Bedlam” conjures up scenes of wild chaos and confusion but, in the 13th century, it was linked to one specific place: The Bethlehem Royal Hospital in London. This was the first asylum in England, founded in 1247, and it cared for the mentally ill free of charge. I have a bit of a thing for articles like this, taking something every day and exploring it (try The Allusionist podcast if this floats your boat).
This Is Why You Shouldn’t Be Drinking Coffee First Thing in the Morning
If your job involves you pretending to be a functioning adult five days a week you probably rely on an early morning hit of caffeine to help you feel human. Sadly, it turns out we’ve been doing coffee all wrong. I post this only say I can say this in reply… ppffffttttt ANY time is CAFFEINE TIME!
How unsanitary is double dipping anyway?
You’ve been there: a bowl of salsa, guacamole, or some other type of dip sits on a party table right next to crackers and tortilla chips. You want some, but can’t help wondering: have the other people at the party been double dipping? Is it just me or does ‘double dipping’ sound rude? Just me? (yeah right).
Everything Google announced at its massive hardware event today
Google on Oct. 4 unveiled a wide range of new devices and services at an event in San Francisco, in what the company is calling the largest hardware announcement in its history. The new devices seemingly put Apple’s iPhones and Amazon’s Echo home hub right in the company’s sights. Lots of good looking and smart stuff. Enough to make me switch? No. Not yet at least.
Tiny machines win chemistry Nobel prize
The 2016 Nobel Prize for Chemistry has been awarded for the development of the world’s smallest machines. Jean-Pierre Sauvage, Sir Fraser Stoddart and Bernard Feringa will share the 8m kronor (£727,000) prize for the design and synthesis of machines on a molecular scale.
Clown sightings: the day it all began
The first person to spot a clown, the patient zero in the current epidemic of threatening clowns sightings spreading across the US, was a little boy at a low-income apartment complex in Greenville, South Carolina. Warning: Contains Clowns.
The mystery of why left-handers are so much rarer
From the time we pick up a chunky crayon and start scribbling as children, it begins to become clear whether we’re right- or left-handed. But what makes one hand dominate? And why are left-handers in the minority? And why is it always the weirdos that are left-handed?
The Bigger Your Brain, the Longer Your Yawn
While every STAT story aims to stimulate your cortex, if this one falls short and makes you yawn, you can thank us anyway—at least if a study published Tuesday is right. If you have a big brain, you can credit yawning for promoting brain growth and activity, the researchers found. I challenge you to read this article without yawning (you’re probably yawning already though, right?)
Trying to Solve the L.E.D. Quandary
Is there a workable business model for products that are built to last, rather than to fall apart? This is an idea that I explored here in July, in a story about the L.E.D. quandary. Blocked product syndrome?
When the engineers had at last finished their work, Eugenia Kuyda opened a console on her laptop and began to type. It had been three months since Roman Mazurenko, Kuyda’s closest friend, had died. Scares me to think what my ‘rebuilt self’ would be like…
Do commas still matter?
My favorite bumper sticker I’ve never seen: Commas matter. So I’ve always thought, and do still believe with the passion of one whose knuckles were rapped for grammatical errors. I hope they do, matter I mean, because god knows I love to, you know, abuse them, whenever I can!