Category: <span>Reading</span>

  • “Automated Customer Service”
    A short story.
    This day is coming, mark my words!
  • The Simple Joy of “No Phones Allowed”
    A few nights ago I saw Jack White in concert. It was a wonderful night, and a big part of that was due to a new rule he has imposed on all his tour dates: no phones.
    Kate Tempest asked the audience to do this a couple of years ago. Was utterly immersive. These days a few snaps and I’m done.
  • Three Ingredient Oreo Fudge Recipe
    Line the baking tray with aluminium foil, pressing it fi rmly into the corners and sides. Put the white chocolate in a heatproof bowl and pour in the condensed milk. Microwave on full power for 30 seconds.
    Traybake Tuesday is a new thing at work. Here’s what I ‘made’ this week.
  • The Internet Doesn’t Need Civility, It Needs Ethics
    We know this.
  • 16 Comforting Pasta Recipes You Can Make In Your Slow Cooker
    Everybody knows slow cookers are great for making soups and stews — but what if I told you you can make pasta in a slow cooker?Yep, with the right recipe, you can make delicious pasta completely in a slow cooker! We rounded up recipes that cook the pasta directly in the slow cooker, as well as one
    Pasta in a slow cooker? WHAT? (can you tell it’s winter now?)
  • RIP Ricky Jay, Master of the Sleight of Hand Card Trick
    Ricky Jay died yesterday, aged 72. He was a master magician with a deck of cards, an actor, writer, and historian. The definitive profile of Jay was written by Mark Singer in 1993 for The New Yorker. It begins like this…just try not to read the whole thing:
    I watched a documentary about him last year, amazing skill.
  • Field of dreams: heartbreak and heroics at the World Ploughing Championships
    Some compare it to snooker, others to figure skating. But for those who have given their lives to competitive ploughing, it’s more than a sport, it’s a way of life.
    Sport can be wonderful, in all its weird forms.
  • How To Stop Wasting Time On The Internet
    We all waste a lot of time on the internet these days. And due to mobile devices, we do it everywhere, not just at home.
    Stop reading, and go out and do something less boring instead!
  • Dimming the sun: The answer to global warming?
    Scientists are proposing an ingenious but as-yet-unproven way to tackle climate change: spraying sun-dimming chemicals into the Earth’s atmosphere.
    “It was who scorched the sky…”
  • 10 Magic Tricks That Prove Ricky Jay’s Genius
    For decades, Ricky Jay dazzled audiences with his card tricks, both up close and as far away as he could throw them (a world-record breaking distance, in fact). With his flowing mane and fast hands, the magician quickly became a fan-favorite both for his showmanship and his undeniable talent.
    Mind blowing.
  • Swiss hotels are hiring Instagram “sitters” to post photos for you
    A hotel chain in Switzerland is offering a new service: a “social media sitter” who will take photos of a guest’s Valley cation and post them on Instagram on their behalf. This is the world we are now all living in.
    OK. Enough already.
  • The Insect Apocalypse Is Here
    Sune Boye Riis was on a bike ride with his youngest son, enjoying the sun slanting over the fields and woodlands near their home north of Copenhagen, when it suddenly occurred to him that something about the experience was amiss. Specifically, something was missing. It was summer.
    Now that I think about it, this feels true (or is this article biasing me?)
  • How Restaurants Got So Loud
    Let me describe what I hear as I sit in a coffee shop writing this article. It’s late morning on a Saturday, between the breakfast and lunch rushes. People talk in hushed voices at tables. The staff make pithy jokes amongst themselves, enjoying the downtime.
    More soft furnishings, rug those walls!!
  • Researchers built a smart dress to show how often women are groped at clubs
    For a campaign on behalf of beverage company Schweppes, advertising agency Ogilvy created a touch-sensitive dress that tracked how often—and with what degree of intensity—women in Brazil were groped on an average night out.
    Surprised that Schweppes are behind this. Not surprised at the number. UGH.
  • Even in our digital world, the humble sticky note abides
    E-readers and tablets have us doing more of our reading on screens than ever before. The latter category, including devices such as the iPad Pro and Surface Pro, even offers pens for scribbling notes.
    So true. I still use them!
  • The Mistake I Made with My Grieving Friend
    A good friend of mine lost her dad some years back. I found her sitting alone on a bench outside our workplace, not moving, just staring at the horizon. She was absolutely distraught and I didn’t know what to say to her.
    Best advice I was ever given, you just need to be there, you don’t need to say anything.
  • Inside the Great Electromagnetic Resistance
    I walked past the stage and sat down at the bar, the neon lights illuminating my pink teddy, shadowed eyes, and crimson lips. I ordered my first drink of the night and took inventory of the club.
    I used to laugh at these types of people. These days I’m starting to wonder…


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  • I’m Meditating (I’m Just Not Sitting Down)
    For a while, it seemed like everyone was talking about how meditation changed their lives—friends, acquaintances, podcast interviewees and interviewers, authors, even the baristas at the coffee shops I went to. Someone told me about the Headspace app, so I downloaded it.
    Other apps are available – I prefer Buddhify – but yes to this.

  • Re: Hate Mail
    I’ve received 15 emails from my internet stalker in the past four days. It’s like watching an inmate from behind a two-way mirror. He read a short story I wrote once satirically titled “The Greatest Story Ever Written.” It’s about a group of male writers who lose their way.
    One wish for the world: End hate.

  • How coffee protects the brain
    Scientists have now proved that drinking certain types of coffee can be beneficial to brain health, but how does this popular brew support cognitive function? A new study identifies some of the mechanisms that allow coffee to keep mental decline at bay.
    I bet TEA doesn’t do this, stupid tea.

  • Aaaand Now … an Oral History of the Greatest Starting Lineup Introduction in Sports History
    In the annals of the Great American Sports Songbook, a singular tune has reigned for more than three decades as the undisputed heavyweight champion of outré jock jams.
    I think the third CD I ever bought was purely to get this track.

  • A Day in the Life of a Mountain-Bike Trail Builder
    Clayton Woodruff, vice president of Progressive Trail Design (PTD) in Bentonville, Arkansas, misses digging in the dirt.
    Fun job! (But still a job).

  • Why Don’t We Forget How to Ride a Bike?
    Most of us learn how to ride a bike during childhood. But as we grow older, many of us stop riding and put those once-beloved bikes in storage. Years later, when we discover these relics and hop on, it’s as if we never stopped biking.
    Why don’t I forget song lyrics from 20 years ago but can’t remember what I did last week?

  • Tired of Pasted Text Messing Up Your Formatting? Try This
    You paste text into a document and for some dumb reason the formatting comes with. Gah! Here’s how to stop that.
    Mac users (posting ahead of potential new MacBook purchase…)

  • I Found the Best Burger Place in America. And Then I Killed It.
    I n my office, I have a coffee mug from Stanich’s in Portland, Oregon. Under the restaurant name, it says “Great hamburgers since 1949.
    Screw you internet!!

  • Does cutting carbs really help keep weight off? The big new diet study, explained.
    It’s probably the most contentious question in the dieting wars: How much do carbs really matter when it comes to weight loss?
    Another week, another sciencing of what we eat.

  • This mobile laundry gives homeless people free showers and washes their clothes
    Set up in 2014 by two friends, Nic Marchesi and Lucas Patchett, the Orange Sky Laundry started life as a van that had been fitted out with a washing machine and dryer. There are now 27 Orange Sky vans in Australia, which are operated by a team of volunteers.
    This is wonderful!!

  • The remote UK community living off-grid
    On a remote peninsula in the north-west Highlands of Scotland is the small off-grid community of Scoraig. Accessible only by boat or a five-mile walk, the residents of Scoraig live in relative isolation, partly powering their homes and school with wind power.

  • The Wrong Pair
    Dr. Alvarez furrowed his brow, crouching to view my right breast head-on, inscribing something on it with a dark blue marker — a map for his scalpel.
    Men have it so so easy.

  • How to Control a Machine with Your Brain
    For eighteen years, Jan Scheuermann has been paralyzed from the neck down. She is six feet tall, and she spends all day and all night in a sophisticated, battery-powered wheelchair that cradles her—half sitting, half reclining—from head to toe.
    The upside of all those scary Boston Robotics and AI videos? This. Life changing.

  • The Fax Is Not Yet Obsolete
    Nicole Follmann arrived at the Brooklyn House of Detention last spring to post bail by fax. This is how it works: You can post someone’s bail from any jail or courthouse, but you have to send a fax to wherever the person is housed.
    BEEEEEoooooooo ksshshhhshshhshhh BEEooeEEOOOOOE Jahsajhjahajshjkkkkk (sorry, you don’t speak fax?)

  • Rape survivors are clear on the distress of a ‘not proven’ verdict
    1878 rapes and attempted rapes reported to the police, but only 251 prosecutions and 98 convictions. Just 39% of cases which are prosecuted lead to a conviction. This is the lowest conviction rate for any crime. Nearly 30% of acquittals were not proven, compared with 17% for all crimes and offences.
    This has to change. Come on Scotland, we are better than this.

  • In Defense of Puns
    Once upon a time—in 382 C.E., to be exact—Eve bit into an apple. Seeing it was good, she offered the apple to Adam, and he also took a bite. Whereupon Adam and Eve’s eyes were opened, and they realized they were naked.
    I love a pun, I tried a number of puns here but none worked; no pun in ten did.

  • 24 Amazing, Homemade Dungeons & Dragons Maps
    Last week we asked Atlas Obscura readers to send us their greatest DIY Dungeons & Dragons maps. It was a critical success. We received dozens of fantasy adventure maps illustrating the amazing worlds in our readers’ imaginations.
    Wow. Never ‘got’ D&D but some of these are epic.

  • New Evidence Emerges of Steve Bannon and Cambridge Analytica’s Role in Brexit
    For two years, observers have speculated that the June, 2016, Brexit campaign in the U.K. served as a petri dish for Donald Trump’s Presidential campaign in the United States. Now there is new evidence that it did.
    But of course.

  • The Mystery of the Havana Syndrome
    In the winter of 2017, the American Embassy in Havana was in a precarious state.
    A fascinating insight into Cuba and the CIA.

  • A dark, handsome rival plans to muscle in on Nutella
    It’s being called the jar wars. For decades, the Italian spread known as Nutella has sat placidly upon its throne—the undisputed queen of the chocolate (and chocolate-hazelnut) spreads, with 54% of global market share. Now there’s a pretender looming in the wings.
    Just posting here. For reasons.

  • Why Scientists Are Rushing to Catalog the World’s Poop
    If a group of scientists is successful, the Svalbard Global Seed Vault will be getting a cousin—one that may initially sound rather strange. Instead of gathering seeds to preserve plant species, this project involves gathering fecal samples from people all over the globe.
    I really must stop complaining about MY job…


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  • Meditation in the Time of Disruption
    When I was 8 or 9, I became preoccupied with death. It wasn’t that I was afraid; I just like to be prepared.
    Meditation. Good for you? Or just another big business cashing in?
  • Why do some people hurt more than others?
    Anyone who came of age in the 1990s remembers the “Friends” episode where Phoebe and Rachel venture out to get tattoos. Spoiler alert: Rachel gets a tattoo and Phoebe ends up with a black ink dot because she couldn’t take the pain.
    I’ve a fairly high pain tolerance (tattoos being a good example). Until it comes to plucking eyebrows… UGH
  • European Parliament Approves Ban On Some Single-Use Plastics, Reduction On Others
    The European Parliament voted on Wednesday to enact a complete ban on some single-use plastics — such as drinking straws and disposable cutlery — across the European Union and a reduction on others in an effort to reduce ocean waste.
    Good! Ohhh no wait, this won’t apply post-Brexit. FFS.
  • A viral typo from 2009 is the perfect word for this spooky, funny time of year
    Like most people, when I first encountered the word “spoopy” on late-2013 Tumblr, I took it for a charming spelling mistake that had been turned into a short-lived meme.
    But was the typo deliberate?
  • This Is How We Radicalized The World
    On Sunday, far-right evangelical Jair Bolsonaro was elected president of Brazil. The era of being surprised at this kind of politics is over. Now we have to live with what we’ve done.
    We need more ideas on how we de-radicalize.
  • Why be nonbinary?
    Recently, I found myself at London Stansted Airport, travelling back to the United States. I’m a frequent flyer, so I’m familiar with the airport ritual: shoes, laptop, body scanner. But for myself and many others, the final instalment of this liturgy tends to become a social test.
    Short answer: because they are. Long answer: it’s never that easy.
  • Why everyone around the world is having the same nightmare
    The first time Tim Brown saw the Hat Man, he was 14 years old and curled up in his bed in Nashville, Tennessee. He was dozing, with the only light in the room coming from the flicker of late-night television. As he drifted off to sleep, a sound from the television shook him back awake.
    The real question is, how many of you will now have this nightmare having read this article!
  • Climate change is unraveling this Antarctic ecosystem
  • Sissel Tolaas goes nose-on with the whole world
    When you are a world-renowned pioneer in smells, it’s somewhat inevitable you will end up sticking your face into peculiar places: the burned rubber tire of a Chevy lowrider, a rotting hunk of wall insulation from an abandoned home, a cupped palmful of cool water from the Detroit River.
    One of the least prominent senses but one of the most important.
  • A cockroach’s karate kick is the trick to fend off killer zombie wasps
    Humans loathe roaches, so we don’t feel remorse about killing them, and don’t mind if other living things do it, either.
    I have a cockroach. His name is Bruce!
  • ‘Saviors of the white race’: Perpetrators of hate crimes see themselves as heroes, researchers say
    In Kansas, a middle-aged man yells, “Get out of my country!” and shoots dead an Indian-born immigrant. In New York, another man, convinced the white race is being destroyed by interracial marriage, allegedly finds an African American homeless man and stabs him to death.
    The problem I have reading this is just how much of a leap it ISN’T for some of these men.
  • Welcome to the Petty Hall of Fame
    Being petty can feel good. While we often shoot for grandeur, we frequently land at petty—an offshoot of the French word petit, to be specific. Petty has been a belittling word; calling someone petty would historically have been a derogatory statement.
    Would having to hand code this post count as something has broken my ‘magic IFTTT recipe’?
  • How Do You Move A Bookstore? With A Human Chain, Book By Book
    When October Books, a small radical bookshop in Southampton, England, was moving to a new location down the street, it faced a problem. How could it move its entire stock to the new spot, without spending a lot of money or closing down for long?
    Awww good to know us humans aren’t all bad.
  • One way to make urban cycling safer? Fewer angry dudes
    Copenhagen is renowned for being a bike-friendly city. At rush hour, parents navigate major roads with kids in their bikes or cycling beside them.
    What a surprise. Men.
  • The Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger Language of Dieting
    Late last year, the health-care start-up Viome raised $15 million in venture-capital funding for at-home fecal test kits.
    All about the money.


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  • 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!)


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  • Kitchen machismo off the menu as female chefs blaze a trail in Scotland
    Julie Lin MacLeod worked in male-led kitchens for years, and her experiences there – inappropriate sexual advances among them – served as motivation to open her own place, one that would be run by women.
    Some of the best eateries in Glasgow on this list.
  • 5 Psychological Strategies to Ease the Stress of Perfectionism
    The last three months I’ve been trying an experiment. It’s something that I’ve never done before, and in a certain way, it’s been a huge challenge. However, in other ways, it’s been an enormous stress relief, and I would say a largely successful effort.
    Read for myself, sharing for others.
  • ‘I have an appetite for transgressive women’
    Phoebe Waller-Bridge is sitting in an upmarket restaurant, asking me to teach her how to burp at will. “I can’t armpit fart and I can’t fake burp, and I think that’s a tragedy,” she says. We met about five minutes ago; I’m not quite sure how we reached this point.
    Killing Eve was superb. Prompted another rewatch of Fleabag which still delivers.
  • Why You Should Surround Yourself With More Books Than You’ll Ever Have Time to Read
    Not sure I fully agree but I get the sentiment.
  • Why we don’t have to attend every drama we are invited to
    This week I lost my purse. It had all the stuff your purse usually has in it – bank cards, credit card, driving licence, loyalty cards, stamps (how retro), photos and £50 cash. I was gutted. Gutted I’d have to cancel all my cards. Gutted that I had cash on me when I rarely do.
    Step away from the drama! (life rule 592)
  • One Small Step for the Web…
    I’ve always believed the web is for everyone. That’s why I and others fight fiercely to protect it. The changes we’ve managed to bring have created a better and more connected world.
    Will be following this with a lot of interest. Everything has to start small.
  • You Should Be Eating Pie for Breakfast
    From the moment it opens at 8 a.m. every day, customers flood Chicago’s Bang Bang Pie shop, drawn in by the smell of browned butter and toasted sugar. On a recent morning, peach raspberry was moving fast, as were slices of apple spiked with a slash of cider and baked in a graham flour crust.
    Not actually read this one, just going with the headline!!
  • Students raise money to send a janitor on the first vacation he’s had in almost a decade
    Custodian Herman Gordon has been spreading kindness at Bristol University for more than 11 years. This summer, students of the UK university decided it was time to return the favor.
  • The Joy of Experiencing Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody for the Very First Time: Watch Three Reaction Videos
    Remember when you first encountered Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody”? I suspect many of us don’t. It’s not the Kennedy assassination.
    Wow. I’d love to be able to go back and do something like this.
  • Hip Hop Fan Freaks Out When He Hears Rage Against the Machine’s Debut Album for the Very First Time
    I consider myself lucky to have been a child of the nineties. As you know from Portlandia’s tribute to the decade of slack, it was a time when “people were content to be unambitious and sleep to 11 and just hang out with their friends.
    As per above. This is why I keep going to gigs, why I seek out new music. I want THOSE moments.
  • Labels
    For the last 5 months or so, I have been doing some long hard thinking about who I am, something that I probably should have confronted years ago, but somehow managed to bury deep until this year.
    Feelings. All of them!
  • An In-Depth Explanation of Computational Photography on the iPhone XS
    Outside of Apple employees, one of the people most knowledgeable about the iPhone’s camera is Sebastiaan de With, designer of the manual camera app Halide. It is fitting, then, that Sebastiaan would publish what I believe is the best explanation of the iPhone XS camera system to date.
    Geek time. I’ve not yet stretched the XS camera but planning to this very weekend.
  • Raised by YouTube
    The platform’s entertainment for children is weirder—and more globalized—than adults could have expected. ChuChu TV, the company responsible for some of the most widely viewed toddler content on YouTube, has a suitably cute origin story.
    Good that it’s global and multi-culture based. Bad in terms of extended ‘screentime’.
  • Britons Among First to Try Out Carlsberg With Much Less Plastic
    In its effort to use less plastic in its products, Carlsberg A/S will start gluing together the beer cans it sells in six-packs around the world.
    Great idea. Probably not the best lager in the world though, eh.
  • Comedian Shares Stories Of All The Times She Didn’t Encounter A Rapist
    The investigation into sexual assault allegations against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh have been really hard to watch.
    More men need to read this. Strike that, more men need to UNDERSTAND this.
  • Apple Park
    In Lego.
    This is insane. Amazing. But insane.
  • Why are Apple Watch faces such a mess?
    The state of the Apple Watch is good. Tim Cook continues to hail its popularity, albeit without any hard sales figures. Most pundits felt it outshined the iPhone at last month’s Apple media event. The new Apple Watch Series 4 seems to have been received well by reviewers.
    Could not agree more. Hopefully it’s only a matter of time but, given their track record, I’m not holding my breath (this would be an entire OS upgrade I reckon.
  • Neal Preston’s best photograph: Robert Plant catches a dove
    As far as I know, I’m the only person ever to be Led Zeppelin’s tour photographer. I was just 22 and knew a plum job when it landed on my lap.


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  • 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!!


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  • Ditch the almond milk: why everything you know about sustainable eating is probably wrong
    In food and drink, we all want to do the right thing. We want to shop and eat sustainably. But, sometimes, it is easier said than done. Our willingness to jump on the latest eco-trends and unquestioningly accept reassuring labelling can lead to unintended consequences.
    Another week, another article about food. Time to get my own farm?

  • The iPhone’s autocorrect is a blessing and a curse. A longtime Apple designer explains why it’s so hard to teach software to read your mind.
    I have a confection to make. Ugh! No, I don’t want to bake a cake. Let me type that again. I have a confession to make. I worked for many years as a software developer at Apple and I invented touchscreen keyboard autocorrection for the original iPhone.
    Ducks sake, how hard can it be!

  • Probiotics labelled ‘quite useless’
    Their study is among the most detailed analyses of what happens when we consume probiotics. They are seen as healthy and good for the gut, but the results found they had little or no effect inside the body.
    Made up advertscienmenting isn’t real? WHO KNEW!

  • Illusion of control: Why the world is full of buttons that don’t work
    Written by Have you ever pressed the pedestrian button at a crosswalk and wondered if it really worked? Or bashed the “close door” button in an elevator, while suspecting that it may, in fact, have no effect whatsoever? You’re not alone, and you may be right.
    I love this stuff.

  • How Hevesh5 Builds Amazing Domino Chain Reactions
    19-year-old Lily Hevesh is obsessed with dominos. She spends hours upon hours building insanely intricate designs and chain reactions before knocking them down. Sound like a strange way to spend your time? Tell that to the nearly 2 million people who’ve subscribed to her YouTube Channel.

  • Dining fine: should you be charged £50 for missing a restaurant reservation?
    Customer no-shows are a huge problem for restaurants. Running at 5% to 20% per service, they cost the industry up to £16bn a year, according to the booking platform ResDiary.
    I say yes. If you don’t have common decency to cancel a booking then £50 should learn ya!

  • New Wireless Noise-Canceling Tech Is Faster Than the Speed of Sound
    A lightweight earpiece technology promises to meet or beat the performance of the best premium noise-canceling headphones without blocking the ear canal or covering people’s ears like heavy earmuffs.
    If you are reading this aloud, these headphones have already cancelled you out. Or something.

  • The Man Who Raised a Fist, 50 Years Later
    In the Boyle Heights neighborhood of Los Angeles, tucked between a gas station and what looks to be an abandoned warehouse, sits a former ceramics factory that now houses the studio of Glenn Kaino, a prominent conceptual artist.
    Still such a powerful image.

  • Why Egypt is building a brand new mega capital city
    Cranes are hovering over a new town in Egypt – but this is no mere overspill like Stevenage or Crawley. The new administrative capital, or NAC (so new it doesn’t even have a proper name), is mooted to be the biggest planned city ever.
    Whoa, this is crazy. Like re-building Glasgow.

  • There’s a name—and a laundry product—for that pile of lightly worn clothes in your bedroom
    Unilever knows a lot about how you do laundry—or don’t. For example, you know that pile of clothes draped over your bedroom chair? It’s the one made up of stuff you’ve worn once, that isn’t quite dirty yet.
    Monetise everything!!

  • Good Things Will Happen Keychain

    I do so wish I could afford to buy you ALL one of these.

  • Stress and Memory

    I have a bad memory, and this makes a lot of sense as to why.

  • The Copenhagen Letter: a set of principles for ethical technology
    The techlash has sparked a most welcome interest in the ethics of technology (there are hundreds of university courses on the subject!) and with it, a bustling cottage industry in the formulation and promulgation of “statements of principles” meant to guide technologists in their work.
    Only 20 years too late? But are we really expecting this to be followed?

  • The secret life of fungi: Ten fascinating facts
    They’re all around us, in the soil, our bodies and the air, but are often too small to be seen with the naked eye. They provide medicines and food but also wreak havoc by causing plant and animal diseases.
    They are everywhere right now, little squishy mushrooms. One day I’ll learn which ones I can pick.

  • I Caught My Husband On Tinder, And It Saved Our Marriage
    Marriage is freaking hard work. Anyone will tell you that, but what they don’t often tell you is that you could try to do everything the “right” way, and it will still be hard. My husband and I were DONE.
    More proof that life and relationships can evolve, even if it’s really hard to make it happen.

  • A Mind is Like A Parachute
    “A mind is like a parachute. It doesn’t work if it is not open.”
    Zappa quote is my new life quote, I think.

  • A Warning From Europe: The Worst Is Yet to Come
    Polarization. Conspiracy theories. Attacks on the free press. An obsession with loyalty. Recent events in the United States follow a pattern Europeans know all too well. On December 31, 1999, we threw a party.
    It’s all so so awful. Stop the ride, I wanna get off.

  • The “beautiful mess” effect: other people view our vulnerability more positively than we do
    Admitting mistakes, seeking help, apologising first, confessing one’s romantic feelings – all these kind of situations involve intentional expressions of vulnerability, in which we may fear being rejected or being judged negatively, yet we grit our teeth and go ahead anyway.
    Essentially, we are all a lot less fucked up than we think…

  • He Saw Our Darkness
    Wait — that’s … Johnny Cash? On a U2 album? The crisp, deep baritone was unmistakable. I perked up my ears and heard Cash sing of a strange pilgrimage through a dystopian landscape of soulless cities and anomic, eight-lane highways, driven by dark religious longings.

  • The New Science of Seeing Around Corners
    While vacationing on the coast of Spain in 2012, the computer vision scientist Antonio Torralba noticed stray shadows on the wall of his hotel room that didn’t seem to have been cast by anything.
    Pretty sure I’ve linked to an article about guns that can shoot round corners. If the robots get wind of this we are screwed.

  • Are Audiobooks As Good For You As Reading? Here’s What Experts Say
    Even for people who love books, finding the opportunity to read can be a challenge. Many, then, rely on audiobooks, a convenient alternative to old-fashioned reading. You can listen to the latest bestseller while commuting or cleaning up the house.
    Why is this even a question?


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