Weekend Reading

  • The Power of Eddie Vedder’s Voice: Hear Isolated Vocal Tracks from Three Classic Pearl Jam Songs
    A lifetime of rock star excess has taken its toll on Eddie Vedder’s voice but not on his talent. Most recent performances have tilted towards the gentle, the acoustic, the Americana, reflecting his larger embrace of the broad expanse of American music. And yes, he can still rock when needs be.
    This man literally brought me to tears the first (and only) time I saw them live. They opened with Release Me. Powerful.

  • And for His Next Act, Ev Williams Will Fix the Internet
    For years, Ev Williams was saddled with doubts. As a co-founder of Blogger and Twitter and, more recently, as the chief executive of the digital publishing platform Medium, Mr. Williams transformed the way millions of people publish and consume information online.
    I really hope he can but I don’t think it’s possible (see later link)

  • Large, Fluffy Pancakes with Pancetta & Maple
    There are few things that make a Sunday spent with loved ones even more perfect than a large stack of pancakes in the middle of the table. Last weekend, for the first time, I tried the combination of bacon & maple syrup.
    I have not tried making these. Yet. But she sure does know her food!

  • Why is Answering Email So Stressful?
    I have 19,834 unread email messages in my inbox. I’m fine. My coworkers, less so. Just seeing the phrase “Inbox (19,834)” on an open tab makes them tremble and break out in a nervous sweat. But I’m an anomaly—in office environments, email anxiety is the rule rather than the exception.
    Spoiler: it’s about most people being unable to communicate well in the written form.

  • Treadmills were originally designed to punish prisoners
    Says it all really

  • Finland’s rank as the world’s happiest country is very upsetting in Finland
    Finland, a perennial chart-topper on global rankings of well-being and prosperity, has just been named the world’s happiest country in the World Happiness Report. Finns are not happy about the news.
    Sheesh, they’re never happy…

  • How the Million Dollar Homepage kid became the $250m app man
    n a cold afternoon in January 2006, 21-year-old Alex Tew sat in his childhood bedroom in Wilshire, England, watching the final pixels fill up on a computer screen. He was about to become a millionaire. In 4 months, Tew went from broke and aimless to the toast of the internet.
    I remember the million dollar homepage (I’m THAT old). Had no idea he was behind that app.

  • Mumbling Isn’t a Sign of Laziness—It’s a Clever Data-Compression Trick
    Many of us have been taught that pronouncing vowels indistinctly and dropping consonants are symptoms of slovenly speech, if not outright disregard for the English language.
    See. Stop telling me to speak up!

  • You don’t have a right to believe whatever you want to
    Do we have the right to believe whatever we want to believe? This supposed right is often claimed as the last resort of the wilfully ignorant, the person who is cornered by evidence and mounting opinion: ‘I believe climate change is a hoax whatever anyone else says…
    This. ALL OF THIS. Education is so so important.

  • The rise of Patreon – the website that makes Jordan Peterson $80k a month
    In five years, online membership service Patreon has attracted two million patrons supporting 100,000 ‘creators’ to the tune of $350m – including nearly $1m a year for rightwing psychologist Jordan Peterson. So what’s the secret of its success?
    A great service, but have to admit, I’m waiting for the tipping point/backlash/end game.

  • Comixploitation!
    Robert Boyd I gave a talk yesterday at Alabama Song, an alternative art space in Houston’s Third Ward. I was invited to give the talk by Gabriel Martinez, who is Alabama Songs’s… Director? I don’t know if he has a “job title” or anything–they play stuff pretty loose.
    Comic book nerds. This one’s for you.

  • A Truck Spilled 12 Tons of Gooey Liquid Chocolate Onto a Highway in Poland
    The word calorie carries a lot of weight. We know we’re supposed to avoid too many of them, but things get more complicated after that. What, exactly, are calories, and how do I burn them?
    No, I don’t know how many calories are in 12 tons of liquid chocolate but pass me that damn ladle anyway…

  • Dear Book: I’m Having Trouble Getting Through
    Dear Book: I’m Having Trouble Getting Through. It’s not you, it’s me. Honestly. It’s finals and projects and the nice weather.
    Wondering if my fellow book clubbers are struggling with our current choice as much as I am (Embassytown).

  • Why the secret to happiness might be joy
    A few weeks ago I spoke at TED 2018 in Vancouver. It was an extraordinary experience (and challenge!) and I can’t wait to share it with you all when the video posts.
    Lightbulb moment for me. Happiness and joy are distinct (like when I learned the distinction between jealousy and envy).

  • How Tom Wolfe Became … Tom Wolfe
    I was 11 or maybe 12 years old when I discovered my parents’ bookshelves. They’d been invisible right up to the moment someone or something told me that the books on them were stuffed with dirty words and shocking behavior—a rumor whose truth was eventually confirmed by Portnoy’s Complaint.
    A sad loss. We need more people like this.

  • Body clock linked to mood disorders
    Disruption to the body’s internal clock may put people at increased risk of mood disorders, scientists say. A clock ticks in nearly every cell of the body. And they change how the tissues work in a daily rhythm.
    I’m glad the scientists have finally caught up. I thought this was common knowledge?

  • The Weird, Dangerous, Isolated Life of the Saturation Diver
    For 52 straight days this winter, Shannon Hovey woke up in the company of five other men in a metal tube, 20 feet long and seven feet in diameter, tucked deep inside a ship in the Gulf of Mexico.
    Nope. Fascinating insight into a job I simply could not do.

  • We Depend On Plastic. Now, We’re Drowning in It.
    This story is part of Planet or Plastic?—our multiyear effort to raise awareness about the global plastic waste crisis. Learn what you can do to reduce your own single-use plastics, and take your pledge.

  • This Armada of Saildrones Could Conquer the Ocean
    Each drone is a 23-foot neon-orange sailboat that catches wind with a solid wing more durable than a cloth sail. As the name implies, they’re seaworthy, autonomous robots, though a human pilot can take control remotely.
    So much we still don’t know about this planet.

  • The True History of ‘Yanny’ and ‘Laurel’
    If you somehow haven’t already over the last few days, listen to this audio recording right now. What do you hear? Is the person saying “Yanny” or “Laurel”? If you heard the second answer, you’re technically correct.
    FYI – I have not listened to this damn thing but as YOU are all talking about it…

  • 10 Tricks to Appear Smart During Meetings
    Like everyone, appearing smart in meetings is my top priority. Sometimes this can be difficult if you start daydreaming about your next vacation, your next nap, or bacon.
    For those of you who work in offices… this is genius, funny, and true!

  • Mental Health
    Mental Health, everyone by definition has it. Your brain is an organ. Just like your heart. Yet we talk about heart conditions. We actively from a young age take care of our hearts by exercise. We are bombarded with adverts for healthy lifestyles from trainers to healthy cholesterol butter.
    Inspiring post. This amazing person recently ran the London Marathon. Mental Health is always there for many people.

  • The Dunkirk Soundtrack is Way Cleverer Than You Think.
    I went into Dunkirk with high expectations for the score.
    OMG. Movie nerds, check this one out.

  • Shit My Cats Read: An Interview with Meg Wolitzer
    I never thought it was weird that my cats read so many books. They, these two sisters—Uni and Chloe—came from humble beginnings: the rafters of a garage in central New Jersey.
    Great interview. I knew cats were smart but…

  • The internet’s problems haven’t changed in 22 years
    A 1996 Wall Street Journal article that’s been quietly sitting on the web, waiting for its rediscovery and renewed relevance, has found its moment on Twitter this week.
    22 years. Jesus. I’m so frickin old. (also, see previous link on Ev Williams)

  • This physicist’s ideas of time will blow your mind
    Time feels real to people. But it doesn’t even exist, according to quantum physics. “There is no time variable in the fundamental equations that describe the world,” theoretical physicist Carlo Rovelli tells Quartz.
    I’ve read this three times. Once today, once yesterday, once tomorrow.