Weekend Reading

  • “It’s an exercise in seeing”: An artist’s mind-opening ritual of doodling on Sundays
    Sundays used to be sacred, reserved for prayer, family or sightseeing. Today, a third of busy Americans let work seep into their weekends, according to a 2014 National Bureau of Economic Research study.
    There is a lot to be said for switching off. That reminds me, must buy more Lego..

  • The average Netflix subscriber watches almost twice as much Netflix as they did 5 years ago
    Netflix says it will produce a whopping 1,000 hours of original TV shows and movies in 2017, and that’s a good thing since people keep watching more and more Netflix. The number of hours of Netflix the average subscriber watches has gone up steadily since 2011, at an average of 16.4% per year.
    No surprise, streaming services let me watch quality content, not the crap pushed out during most primetime (I’m a Celebrity, X-Factor etc…)

  • How Two Trailblazing Psychologists Turned the World of Decision Science Upside Down
    Back in 2003, I published a book called Moneyball, about the Oakland Athletics’ quest to find new and better ways to value baseball players and evaluate baseball strategies.
    If you’ve seen the movie, this is a must read. If you haven’t seen the movie, it’s still an interesting read on the REAL history of ‘decision science’.

  • Strobe-light training: From Michael Jordan to Kawhi Leonard
    With 20 seconds left in the third quarter of the young season’s biggest game, Gregg Popovich screams. He wants everyone out of the way so that Kawhi Leonard can go to work against Andre Iguodala. Leonard waits near half court as his teammates shuffle to the corners.
    I was tempted to offer a ‘strobe-light’ version of this post…

  • Who Can Be A Dancer?
    How do I responsibly raise a young white boy in today’s world of dangerously heightened white supremacy? How do I teach him to be self-confident and empowered by his choices, but still show him he isn’t the center of the universe, without creating a core of self-doubt?
    This. All day this.

  • The most relaxing song in the world
    According to a marketing study conducted by Dr. David Lewis-Hodgson, the most relaxing song in the world is Weightless, by ambient band Marconi Union. The song was produced by the band in collaboration with the British Academy of Sound Therapy.
    They aren’t wrong, it’s very relaxing. I’m listening to it now, it’s soo relaaazzzzzzzz

  • Reframe “Negative” Emotions as “Difficult” Emotions
    Nobody likes being sad, angry, or heartbroken. If you want to give yourself a leg up on getting through troubling times, a simple mental reframe can help you see the light at the end of the tunnel.
    I am emotion driven, I react and don’t always like the negative reactions I leap to. Definitely trying this the next time a random person doesn’t even bother to look back before breezing through the door and letting it swing IN MY GODDAMN FACE!!! Ahem…

  • Maths zeroes in on perfect cup of coffee
    Mathematicians are a step closer to understanding what makes a perfect cup of coffee. Through some complex calculations, they have shone a light on the processes governing how coffee is extracted from grains in a filter machine.
    Maths? Come to my kitchen, my coffee is always perfect! (for me)

  • The Big Thing About Little Things
    Back in 2013, George Saunders gave a speech to the graduating class at Syracuse. I’ve been thinking about that speech a lot over the past week. I’ll skip the platitudes about why it’s important, and I’ll leave the matter of politics entirely out of it.
    I’m going to write more about this elsewhere but it’s an interesting speech.

  • Can we just f***ing stop asking couples when they’re going to have a baby?
    Society dictates that our adult lives follow a specific formula. Move out, get a job, settle down with a partner, get married, have a baby, retire then die.
    I’d go further and stop after ‘get a job’, life is too short for all these damn rules and expectations!

  • The Difference Between “Being” and “Doing”
    The activities of the mind are related to patterns of brain activity. Different mental activities, such as reading a book, painting a picture, or talking to a loved one, each involve different patterns of interaction between networks of nerve cells in the brain.
    As per the Sunday doodling article, there is a lot more to the impact of the activities you partake in than just the activity themselves.

  • This Is How Facebook Is Radicalizing You
    On December 17, 2013, Facebook announced that videos on your News Feed would start autoplaying. They would mute on default and, at the end of the video, it’d have a carousel featuring related videos you might want to watch.
    Headline news stuff, I swither on Facebook on a weekly basis. It has a LOT of good points, but the bad ones are starting to appear to be a lot worse than we realised.

  • If You Want to Be Happy, Quit Facebook?
    What makes this study so interesting is that it was a randomized controlled trial (RCT) and so was able, at least in theory, to determine whether quitting Facebook actually causes changes in well-being.
    The articles I link to are usually posted here in the order I ‘find/read’ them. But sometimes it’s worth shuffling them around…

  • Bad sex award 2016: the contenders in quotes
    Games of tennis, muddy fields, knocking knees – it’s time to get intimate with the challengers for the Literary Review’s 2016 Bad sex in fiction prize A Doubter’s Almanac by Ethan Canin The act itself was fervent.
    Some lighter news, I challenge you not to giggle reading some of these. P.S. if any of these make you horny, get some help!

  • This 22-Year-Old Draws The Most Brutally Honest Cartoons About Mental Health
    Ruby Elliot, aka rubyetc, is a London-based illustrator who began sharing cartoons and illustrations about mental health and everyday life four years ago. Trapeze When Elliot was 17 she dropped out of school but managed to find solace in her love of drawing.
    Been following her on Twitter for a while, funny, self-effacing, honest and never shies away from mental health issues (and why should she). I’m ordering my copy today!

  • This temporary tattoo-like device doubles up as 24/7 stethoscope for your heart
    Researchers have developed an electronic sensor that can stick to the skin like a temporary tattoo and give you round-the-clock feedback on your heart health.
    Dear scientists, you are bloody amazing, please don’t ever stop.