Weekend Reading

  • The banana is dying. The race is on to reinvent it before it’s too late
    During the summer of 1989, Randy Ploetz was in his laboratory just south of Miami, when he received a package from Taiwan.
    I can’t imagine NOT having bananas.
  • That Time Coca-Cola Released a New Soda Just to Spite Pepsi
    Few companies have a rivalry as fierce and longstanding as PepsiCo and Coca-Cola and in their never ending battle for soda market dominance each company has gone to some spectacular lengths to screw over the other.
    I find this all the more amusing given I mostly drink water these days (yeah, I’m on my high horse, what of it?!)
  • Nationalism Isn’t Patriotism
    At a time when fascism & authoritarianism are creeping into the global politics of the developed world, it’s useful for us to reacquaint ourselves with the difference between nationalism and patriotism.
    As the rise of nationalism increases, this is vital to know.
  • This Man Says the Mind Has No Depths
    A whole lot of books on the brain are published these days and you can read yourself into a coma trying to make sense of their various messages. So it was with my usual low-burn curiosity that I starting reading The Mind Is Flat by British behavioral scientist Nick Chater.
    The human mind is endlessly fascinating.
  • 100 Brexits
    1) The one where Chequers proves unexpectedly workable. 2) The one where furiously redrafted technobabble saves the day. 3) The one where a digital workaround for frictionless trade solves everything.
    It gets better/worse as it goes.
  • Sugar Boat shipwreck: The River Clyde’s unlikely landmark
    For more than 40 years its rusting hulk has risen, whale-like, from the waters of the River Clyde. But what is the story of the “Sugar Boat”? On the night of 27 January 1974 fierce winds were battering Scotland’s west coast.
    A local feature that I knew little about, love me some local history.
  • Surfing Life Force
    “Going with the flow is responding to cues from the universe. When you go with the flow, you’re surfing life force. It’s about wakeful trust and total collaboration with what’s showing up for you.” – Danielle LaPorte
    Go with the flow.
  • Living with Dolly Parton
    Dolly Parton was one of two women I learned to admire growing up in East Tennessee. The other was Pat Summitt, head coach of the Lady Volunteers, the University of Tennessee women’s basketball team. One flamboyantly female, the other a masculine woman.
  • The Japanese Man Who Saved 6,000 Jews With His Handwriting
    “Even a hunter cannot kill a bird that flies to him for refuge.” This Samurai maxim inspired one gifted and courageous man to save thousands of people in defiance of his government and at the cost of his career.
    Silent hero.
  • The lost art of concentration: being distracted in a digital world
    It is difficult to imagine life before our personal and professional worlds were so dominated and “switched on” via smartphones and the other devices that make us accessible and, crucially, so easily distractible and interruptible every second of the day.
    It’s possibly telling that I’m still struggling to get back into reading books, but can read articles about why that would be good for me….
  • Big Bird, Oscar the Grouch Puppeteer Caroll Spinney Retires After Nearly 50 Years on ‘Sesame Street’
    Puppeteer Caroll Spinney is hanging up his feathers after bringing beloved “Sesame Street” character Big Bird to life for nearly 50 years. The cast member of the long-running children’s show is also the man behind Oscar the Grouch.
    Without Oscar I think Sesame Street would’ve all been too twee. I do love a good grouch.
  • Social robots will become family members in the homes of the future
    I first became fascinated by robots as a child while watching Star Wars. To me, R2D2 and C3PO were about so much more than just the novel, futuristic cool-factor—they were genuine friends and companions to the human characters, and even to each other.
    The utopian future. Robot & Frank anyone? (great movie!)