Weekend Reading

  • Noisli – Improve Focus and Boost Productivity with Background Noise
    Now, put your headphones on and start boosting your productivity.
    I’m a bit of a sucker for these things but this one is a good one, calming too if you get the right combo.

  • Productivity Is Really About What You Don’t Do
    The best productivity tip I ever got was the idea of a “stop-doing list” from Jim Collins. In this Age of Distraction, we’re all dodging and weaving between so much incoming information that what you don’t do on a daily basis has become as important—if not more—as what you do execute on.
    Can you tell I’m on a bit of a ‘get stuff done’ kick at the moment? No? Damn…

  • British Man Bungee Jumps With A Biscuit In Hand And Dunks It In A Cup Of Tea Below
    Nothing stands between a Brit and their cuppa tea… unless they need to queue up in order to get one. Then they shall wait patiently.
    I’m not a tea fan, nor much of a dunker but this is EPIC.

  • The Man Who Fell To Earth
    I kept waking up at night, thinking about it. How could you do it? Can you do it? I fully admit it’s a totally risky and partially crazy thing to do. But I thought you could mitigate the risk. That’s when I had the idea for the net.
    Parachutes? When I grew up all we had was… etc etc. More proof that mankind is still wonderfully, scarily, bonkers.

  • Watch This Futuristic Vat Of Water Paint A Cat
    Dunking a statue into a bucket of paint usually won’t give you anything other than a monochromatic result. But dunk a statue into this vat of water coated with a layer of painted film, and the results are pretty incredible.
    GEEK ALERT: This is CAF!

  • Quit Social Media. Your Career May Depend on It.
    I’m a millennial computer scientist who also writes books and runs a blog. Demographically speaking I should be a heavy social media user, but that is not the case. I’ve never had a social media account.
    Couldn’t agree with this more. And by agree, I do mean agree (and then wilfully ignore because life is too damn short).

  • The Speculative Dread of “Black Mirror”
    In 1999, at the age of twenty-eight, Charlie Brooker, the British satirist who is now a television auteur, was at a low ebb. He’d spent most of his twenties freelancing for PC Zone, a little-read gaming magazine, where he was able to indulge his obscene and misanthropic sense of humor.
    Love him or hate him, Brooker has a voice that we NEED right now.

  • The Last Unknown Man
    Early one summer morning, Son Yo Auer, a Burger King employee in Richmond Hill, Georgia, found a naked man lying unconscious in front of the restaurant’s dumpsters. It was before dawn, but the man was sweating and sunburned. Fire ants crawled across his body, and a hot red rash flecked his skin.
    We know so little about the human mind that, especially things like this, are scary to comprehend.

  • Our brains want us to keep calm. But to make a change, we need to keep angry
    These days, a lot of people are thinking about how best to make a change in the world. Some might imagine that it’s best to try to rise above emotions like anger and fear and focus on taking action. But science suggests that embracing feelings of frustration can actually help you make an impact.
    FUCK YEAH! REVOLUTION!! (does being in a constant state of ‘grump’ count?)

  • It’s official: NASA’s peer-reviewed EM Drive paper has finally been published
    After months of speculation and leaked documents, NASA’s long-awaited EM Drive paper has finally been peer-reviewed and published. And it shows that the ‘impossible’ propulsion system really does appear to work.
    Still more evidence needed but if this is true, this is a fundamental change to… almost everything.

  • Use the “SBNRR” Technique to Handle Stressful Moments Mindfully
    When your stress is building into an exasperating moment, emotions can easily get the best of you. And that can be detrimental if you’re in a professional environment. The next time you’re about to explode with stress, try this instead.
    Just throwing this one out there as I believe some recent world events may have gotten some people stressed? Maybe? Lil bit?

  • How Casinos Enable Gambling Addicts
    Regardless of the machine—slots, video poker—casinos’ ultimate goal is to maximize players’ “time on device.” This is crucial for casinos, because given enough time, the house always wins.
    Fascinating. Horrible. Compelling.

  • ‘None of the old rules apply’: Dave Eggers travels through post-election America
    The word surreal is overused and often wrongly used, but in the case of the Washington Post Election Night Live party, the word was apt. First of all, it was a disco.
    One US Election article, that’s it for this week (and NO MORE after this, probably)

  • David Chang’s secret code to unleashing the most amazing flavors on Earth
    A few years ago I got really into experimenting with fermentation. Miso is made by fermenting soybeans, but I wanted to see what happens when you ferment nuts, seeds, and other legumes. It turns out you can get some really delicious flavors.
    What makes a great dish, great? What do we really experience when we taste food? Intriguing article about a chef challenging the way we experience taste.

  • The latest earthquake in Japan was an aftershock of the one five years ago
    Early on Nov. 22, the residents of Fukushima, Japan were woken by loud sirens. At 6am local time, a magnitude 6.9 earthquake had struck off the coast.
    To be honest, you don’t need to click through, the headline says it all. WTAF?!

  • Researchers have figured out how to spot a self-loathing person by how they speak
    We communicate in many ways, not just with our words. But nonverbal signals are often missed in conversation. Now, social scientists have found a way to train machines to spot the linguistic tics that show psychological distress.
    I (hate) don’t know how they figure this stuff (myself) out… clever.

  • The 100 most influential images of all time
    Time Magazine has selected the 100 most influential photos of all time, from the first permanent photograph taken (in 1826) to the heartbreaking photo of the body of a 3-year-old refugee washed up on a beach from last year.
    CN: These photos are at times graphic, and will bring many feels. But you SHOULD look at them.

  • Don’t Give Up on the Guitar. Fender Is Begging You
    Each holiday season, thousands of teenagers tear gift wrap off shiny, new guitars. They giddily pluck at the detuned strings, thinking how cool they’ll be once they’re rock stars—even if almost all will give up before they ever get to jam out to “Sweet Child o’ Mine.”
    Part of me just thinks this means fewer crap guitar players to listen to?

  • Watch the Evolution of Ringo Starr, Dave Grohl, Tré Cool & 19 Other Drummers in Short 5-Minute Videos Open Culture
    I’ve always been more than happy to admit that I think Ringo Starr is a fantastic drummer and don’t find it much worth arguing over. Then again, more and more people seem to have come around to that point of view. Or at least that’s been my experience.
    Don’t let the focus on drumming put you off, these 5 minute videos are fascinating. Apparently drummers have skill!

  • Five ways to damage autistic children without even knowing
    Yep, uncomfortable title. But sadly, these are subjects that I feel we have a responsibility to talk about.
    Share, repeat, share. You never know when this will come in handy (and to be honest, a lot of it applies to EVERY child).

  • How the 24-hour society is stealing time from the night
    Burmese monks know that it is time to get up when it is light enough to see the veins in their hands. Muslims base their getting up on the passage in the Quran that defines daybreak as the time when it is possible to distinguish between a dark and a light thread.
    I’ve been focussing more and more on my sleep patterns, making sure I get ‘enough’. I’m not much more aware of when I need to have an early night (which isn’t easy for a night owl like me).

  • Made-up man comes second in list of best-known MEPs in Wales
    He also came ahead of his real-life elected colleagues Jill Evans, Derek Vaughan and Kay Swinburne. They were given only 30 seconds to answer and were given the choices of four entirely made-up names and real MEPs.
    A slightly skewed survey I’d say, but still, a telling indictment of how disengaged we are from the people who serve us.

  • The Running Conversation in Your Head
    Beck: People are not very good generally at reporting the specifics of what’s going on in their minds, right?
    Fascinating look at something we all do, even if we don’t always realise we are doing it.