Weekend Reading

  • The outrageous plan to haul icebergs to Africa
    If towing icebergs to hot, water-stressed regions sounds totally crazy to you, then consider this: the volume of water that breaks off Antarctica as icebergs each year is greater than the total global consumption of freshwater. And that stat doesn’t even include Arctic ice.
    Given the state our planet is in, this is anything but crazy, and it’s sad that it’s come to this.
  • Steve Kerr and Phil Jackson Trade Coaching Lessons
    Favored to win their third straight championship, Steve Kerr’s Golden State Warriors face more adversity than fans realize. Kerr speaks with his former coach Phil Jackson — who led two teams to 11 NBA championships — about surviving success.
    Mindful coaching of athletes. Something that is starting to pervade football in the UK (and is massively missing in the NFL).
  • This 94-year-old hands out chocolate bars to strangers. And people love it
    Every Saturday, Bob Williams walks into a Dollar General store in Long Grove, Iowa, and buys a box of Hershey’s milk chocolate bars. Williams hands two to the cashiers, a third to the person behind him in line and then sets off around town handing the rest out to anyone he sees.
    Life goals. Except not that weird Hershey’s nonsense.
  • Machine Learning Confronts the Elephant in the Room
    Score one for the human brain. In a new study, computer scientists found that artificial intelligence systems fail a vision test a child could accomplish with ease.
    We need not fear the robot uprising! (yet)
  • A Good Man, and Thorough: The Genius of ‘The Big Lebowski’
    In the published screenplay for The Big Lebowski, a character named “The Dude” is introduced in the stage directions as “a man in whom casualness runs deep.” Of all the Coens’ movies, The Big Lebowski is, at least on the surface, the most ambling and aimless.
    20 years old, still funny. Abide.
  • I Made One Simple Financial Change and It Lowered My Spending
    A few years ago, when I was reporting a story on personal finance, I became fascinated by a concept that behavioral economists call the “pain of paying.”
    How come all these ‘tips’ mean more work. Where’s the one that I can do less but not be worried about money?
  • ‘The Very Top Guy in the Stasi was Personally Involved in Figuring Out How to Destroy Punk.’
    Punk rock was revolution-minded from the get-go, at least about aesthetics. Its political consciousness bloomed later –- most vividly in the U.K., then in scenes around the world. Yet for all the anti-Thatcher, anti-Reagan bluster, punk can lay direct claim to just one full regime change.
    Bonkers amazing. And in the climate of today, apt? How those in power fear ANY challenge.
  • A Prescription for Forgetting
    “You’re dead,” said the meditation guide. “You’ve been dead a long time.” I start crying. “What do you see?” she asked. I whimpered, “My dad somewhere, cremated, maybe a river, gone for decades. My son is older. He has a family. He thinks of me sometimes. I can’t stand it.”
    Life is so complex. Then you add emotions.
  • Paralyzed people are beginning to walk with a new kind of therapy
    Kelly Thomas woke up in a Florida hospital four years ago with no recollection of the car accident that had robbed her of the ability to walk.
    Proof that we still don’t know so much about our own bodies and minds. Wow.
  • How does a food become a trend? Ask cauliflower.
    First came the cauliflower steaks, thick vegetal slabs, roasted and served like cruciferous T-bones. Then there was Buffalo cauliflower, breaded and fried and generally chicken-shaped.
    I asked one the other day. I say ‘asked’ it was a more a good roasting he got.
  • Why do we hate wasps and love bees?
    The researchers involved say that this view is unfair because wasps are just as ecologically useful as bees. The scientists suggest a public relations campaign to restore the wasps’ battered image.
    Wasps are assholes. Screw the science.
  • Urban bees are living healthier lives than rural bees
    Bumblebees are making it in the city. Research published in the Royal Society B found that bumblebees living in urban areas experience healthier lives than their counterparts in rural habitats. Their colonies are larger, better fed, and less prone to disease.
    ‘Mon the bees!!
  • Henry – Rob Delaney
    Note: I wrote all of this except the last paragraph in April or May of 2017. I changed names as well, except for Henry’s. I’m on the bus to go see my son Henry at the hospital.
    A hard read, but honest emotions always are.
  • iPhone XS Camera Review: Zanzibar
    Mambo vipi (what’s up) from Zanzibar! I’m here capturing an amazing Ker & Downey experience at Asilia’s Matemwe Lodge and have been testing the iPhone XS along the way. When I learned about the new camera upgrades this year, I was a little underwhelmed.
    One of my primary uses for my iPhone is to take photos. I am SO getting an upgrade.
  • Reckoning With Pinegrove
    On a muggy July night in 2017, Pinegrove guitarist Nick Levine was stabbing a hot needle of indeterminate origin into my flesh. I was getting my first stick-and-poke tattoo. The design was a single square.
    Been a fan for a couple of years but hadn’t heard of any of this. Not good.
  • Scotland launches an ad campaign that confronts homophobes and racists
    Today, Scotland is launching an ad campaign that confronts transphobia and racism. The campaign is funded by Police Scotland and the Scottish Government under the One Scotland campaign, which aims to tackle hate crime.
  • Facebook Is Giving Advertisers Access to Your Shadow Contact Information
    Last week, I ran an ad on Facebook that was targeted at a computer science professor named Alan Mislove. Mislove studies how privacy works on social networks and had a theory that Facebook is letting advertisers reach users with contact information collected in surprising ways.
    Fuck Facebook. I can’t leave it as a lot of friends and events are on there, but it’s a pain to lock it all down too. But you can.
  • Fortnite Is So Big It Can Bully Sony and Nintendo
    Fortnite is undeniably one of the biggest games in the world, but today we saw an example of just how big it is. Sony’s long-standing (and, frankly, embarrassing) stance against cross-play with other consoles is finally coming to an end, and Fortnite is pretty much leading the charge.
    Might be time to try this?
  • The Man Behind the Scooter Revolution
    Two decades ago, a Swiss inventor laid the foundation for the big mobility innovation of 2018. Like so many inventions, the scooter was a child of necessity: Specifically, the need to get a bratwurst without looking like an idiot.
    Ha, always thought they were built for kids.
  • Christine Blasey Ford shows us vulnerability is strength, not weakness
    Christine Blasey Ford clarified her intentions at the very start of her testimony before the Senate judiciary committee. Three words especially—”I am terrified”—have reverberated.
    Been dipping in and out of the hearings. What a strong woman. What a monster of a man.
  • Bizarre Particles Keep Flying Out of Antarctica’s Ice, and They Might Shatter Modern Physics
    There’s something mysterious coming up from the frozen ground in Antarctica, and it could break physics as we know it. Physicists don’t know what it is exactly.
    Yay science! We know nothing!!