Weekend Reading

  • Yelling at Amazon’s Alexa
    The first time I met Alexa, the A.I. robot voice inside the wine-bottle-size speaker known as the Amazon Echo, I was at my friends’ house, in rural New England. “Currently, it is seventy-five degrees,” she told us, and assured us that it would not rain.
    The future is coming. I admit I’m tempted even though I know the technology isn’t quite there. yet.
  • Brain Implant Restores Sense Of Touch To Paralyzed Man
    Twelve years ago, a car wreck took away Nathan Copeland’s ability to control his hands or sense what his fingers were touching.
    Science and technology can be marvellous. In every sense of the word.
  • Nations, Fighting Powerful Refrigerant That Warms Planet, Reach Landmark Deal
    KIGALI, Rwanda — Negotiators from more than 170 countries on Saturday reached a legally binding accord to counter climate change by cutting the worldwide use of a powerful planet-warming chemical used in air-conditioners and refrigerators.
    Not headline news, but maybe should be? Here’s to treating our planet better.
  • Letting Go
    At a young age, I put on a mask. A mask to try and hide all my foibles, to hide my anxiety so I could be somebody else and so that nobody would know the real me.  I thought I would never be able to take that mask off, maybe swap it for another but never to remove it completely.
    Worth reading, not easy to read. Such is the things that shape us.
  • Every baby born in Scotland will get a free box of useful things from 2017
    Babies born in Scotland will be gifted “baby boxes” from New Year’s Day 2017, the country’s First Minister has said. Nicola Sturgeon said Nordic-style policy, which was first announced in April, would be a “symbol of a belief in a level playing field” for all children.
    Continually proud of being Scottish. Regardless of the ‘politics’, stuff like this makes a real difference.
  • In Scotland, gusts of wind usher in a quiet energy revolution
    EDINBURGH, Scotland — Even by the blustery standards of this notoriously squall-swept land, Aug. 7 was a particularly gusty day.
    I didn’t see this get much coverage but it’s BIG news for the environment.
  • Do You Really Need to Worry About Your Electrolytes?
    Also: what the hell are electrolytes?
    Finally, some answers!!
  • David Letterman (and His Beard) Shop at Target These Days
    Why does David Letterman have a beard?
    Letterman is an American institution, but over here not so much. Basically. A guy retired and grew a beard… but ohhh then he did so much more.
  • Meet the Perennials
    This content is appropriate for people of all ages. And that’s the point. The days of targeting media and products at people based on their age is over. The Perennials.
    My name is Gordon. I am a Perennial.
  • Dear Men: We Need to Talk About How Y’all Talk About Women
    Yesterday, had a brother come up to me, *furious* that people were saying that Trump was just doing normal guy talk.
    Guilty as charged. Must try harder.
  • Can I Train My Cat to Be Less Annoying?
    Of all the misbehaving house cats in the world, my cat, Zadie, isn’t the worst. She’s sweet when she wants to be, she pees where she’s supposed to, and she only occasionally pounces on my forehead in the middle of the night.
    In short, all cats are dicks, can they be less ‘dick’? (answer, kinda maybe yes, but mostly no, because CATS!)
  • The scientists who make apps addictive
    In 1930, a psychologist at Harvard University called B.F. Skinner made a box and placed a hungry rat inside it. The box had a lever on one side. As the rat moved about it would accidentally knock the lever and, when it did so, a food pellet would drop into the box.
    Disturbing read but weirdly spooky because it’s all so true.
  • World wine output expected to hit four-year low
    World wine output is expected to hit a four-year low in 2016 after bad weather hit production in France and South America, industry forecasts say.
    It’s ok. Don’t panic!