Category: <span>Weekend Reading</span>

I stopped publishing my weekly Weekend Reading posts last year. As I said at the time:

3 years and 161 posts later and I think it’s time to admit that this is now more of a chore than I’d like. Sure it’s mostly automated, but over the past few months I’ve started searching out and filtering what I read knowing that it will appear in these posts, and that’s not why I started doing it. It isn’t supposed to be a chore, it’s just supposed to be an extension of what I already read, and it no longer is.

Since then I’ve read about the same number of articles but shared a wider variety, or at the very least I feel like I’ve shared a wider variety as I’ve not actually done any analysis on this other than the sense that reading and sharing articles the way I do now definitely doesn’t feel like a chore nor does it feel influenced by the fact that other people may judge me based on what I share (which is really what I was trying to say when I closed the weekly summary posts.

My life has changed a lot this since then, for the better I hastened to add, and naturally my world view and the things that matter to me most have evolved and my reading habits have mirrored that. As I’ve said, I’ve not stopped reading articles and I still subscribe to and enjoy a few daily newsletters, all of which have yielded some fascinating articles which I’ve shared (via Pocket and IFTTT so it’s still kinda automated) to my Twitter account.

When I set this up I would also have had the articles posted to my Facebook account but IFTTT doesn’t support creating posts to a personal Facebook account, but it does support creating posts on a Facebook Page. I didn’t have, nor had any desire to have, a Facebook Page because who needs yet another social media outlet to manage.

That was back then and like I say, life has changed so prompted by someone asking why I don’t cross post to Twitter AND Facebook, I give you – – so if you prefer to consume your social media over there, feel free to Like and follow my new page.

Or don’t.

Reading Weekend Reading

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  • The Fascinating, Creepy New Research in Human Hibernation for Space Travel
    No interstellar travel movie is complete without hibernators. From Prometheus to Passengers, we’ve watched protagonists awaken in hibernation pods, rebooting their fragile physiology from a prolonged state of suspended animation—a violent process that usually involves ejecting stomach fluids.

    It’s such a staple of Sci-Fi that it’s hard to imagine it any other way.

  • It is not a woman’s responsibility to make a man a better human being

    Women don’t want to be caretakers of badly raised, ill-mannered or generally troubled men. Essentially, women don’t want to raise men, we want to grow together.

    Yes. Still. All Men.

  • GoGo Penguin’s Guide To Manchester’s Jazz Underground

    After a stunning gig last week, I stumbled across this. This is NOT the Jazz you think it is.

  • Ultrarunner Courtney Dauwalter Takes On The World’s Most Sadistic Endurance Race

    Gary Cantrell clanged a bell at 6:40 a.m. on Saturday, Oct. 20, signaling 70 runners to jog off into the woods on his farm in Tennessee. They had an hour to complete a 4.1667-mile loop trail. Easy. Most of the group finished with 15 minutes to spare. The bell clanged again at 7:40 a.m.

    I have an odd liking and awe for these lunatics.

  • Man Arranges Leaves, Sticks, And Stones To Create Magical Land Artworks

    Scottish sculptor Andy Goldsworthy creates transitory works of art by arranging leaves, sticks, rocks or anything else he can find outside. Most of Goldsworthy’s art is considered transient and ephemeral, causing people to perceive it as a criticism on the Earth’s fragility.

    Some pretty for your weekend.

  • The real trick to staying young forever

    People are living longer today. But how do we make sure those extra years are good ones? For people in wealthy countries, it’s a question of increasing urgency. In 2019, for the first time ever, there will be more Americans over age 60 than under age 18.

    It had better be pizza and ice cream… if so I’m sorted!

  • Stores use these tricks to get you to spend money. Don’t fall for it.

    The holiday season in America is one giant spending fest, as the months of November and December can account for 30 percent of a brand’s sales, according to the National Retail Federation.

    It’s holiday season, keep an eye out!

  • How to Be a More Patient Person

    Relax. It’s going to be O.K. My jaw clenches when Hulu videos buffer. I huff and puff when stuck in a sluggish line at a coffee shop. Slow cars in the fast lane send me into a curse-filled tizzy. I’m ashamed how quickly I lose my cool over these minor things.

    Valid advice for the always-on, 100mph society we are told we should participate in.

  • What Happened When I Started Intuitive Eating

    It was 6 a.m. and we’d been up for five hours already, wildly jet lagged from our recent honeymoon. (The cake was a mini version of the one from our wedding, which he’d surprised me with the day we came home.

    It had better be pizza and ice cream… ohh it is! (note: this is essentially the latest diet fad, I’m not suggesting you do this!)

  • Post Malone is the perfect pop star for this American moment. That’s not a compliment.

    Him? The most popular young artist in the most unpopular young nation is a rhinestone cowboy who looks like he crawled out of a primordial swamp of nacho cheese.

    Seconded. Where are the original talents?

  • When does a spork become sentient? Inside the existential “Toy Story 4” teaser

    At what point does a spork become a toy?

    Important questions, we must have answers!

  • Comics legend Stan Lee dead at 95

    The legendary comic-book author, publisher, and film producer Stan Lee has died. He co-created Spider-Man, The Incredible Hulk, the Avengers, the X-Men, Black Panther, and many more characters and imaginary worlds we’ve come to know through comic books, games, and movies.

    What a life.

  • ‘Being silenced is not acceptable’: Doctors express outrage after NRA tells them ‘to stay in their lane’

    At first, Judy Melinek didn’t know how to respond when she learned about a National Rifle Association tweet last week telling doctors who dared enter the gun debate “to stay in their lane.

    Also worth noting NRA budget is shrinking. Bravo Dr. Melinek!!

  • What happened when I tried the U.S. Army’s tactic to fall asleep in two minutes

    If you often find yourself having trouble falling sleep, you’re not alone. The American Sleep Association (ASA) says that 50 million to 70 million U.S. adults have a sleep disorder. Among that group, insomnia is the most common.

    I kinda do the ‘relaxy’ thing already, who knew.

  • How I Use and Manage Apple Photos

    Problem: You have a camera phone in your pocket and, over time, you’ve accumulated a LOT of pictures. Like, a whole lot. What now…?

    This sounds very familiar.

  • 8 Warning Signs You’re Mentally And Emotionally Exhausted

    Riding on that crazy rollercoaster called life can sometimes be really tiresome. One minute you’re high up and the next second you’re back down where you started. All that madness and unpredictability can really mess with a person’s physical as well as mental wellbeing.

    Worth a read as it’s never always obvious.

  • 10 ‘Amazing, Fantastic, Incredible’ Facts About Comic Book Writer Stan Lee

    Pop culture legend Stan Lee’s life has always been an open book. The co-creator of some of the greatest superheroes and most beloved stories of all time has become just as mythical and larger-than-life as the characters in the panels.

    Genuinely nice man. What are the odds.

  • The kilogram is changing. Weight, what?

    SEVRES, France (AP) — The kilogram is getting an update. No, your bathroom scales won’t suddenly become kinder and a kilo of fruit will still weigh a kilo. But the way scientists define the exact mass of a kilogram is about to change.


  • Paper coffee cups will be the death of us

    While driving around the country on a mega-road trip last year, I relied on a lot of things to keep me going: gas, protein bars, peanut butter pretzels, water, and coffee. Lots and lots of coffee.

    Guilty, so so guilty

  • Monsoon V

    Mike Olbinski is back with another of his jawdropping storm chasing videos. I find clouds endlessly fascinating — it seems like there’s always something new to consider while watching these kinds of videos.

    Nature. AMAZE.

  • The World’s Largest Hot Sauce Collection Might Be in an Arizona Living Room

    Hot sauce dominates Clinco’s living room. Vic Clinco is an assistant manager at US Foods, the food service distributor. But in his free time, he takes on a different identity entirely: that of a hot sauce collector supreme.

    I do love me a wacky collection.

  • School shootings have fueled a $2.7 billion school safety industry. What makes kids safer?

    The expo had finally begun, and now hundreds of school administrators streamed into a sprawling, chandeliered ballroom where entrepreneurs awaited, each eager to explain why their product, above all others, was the one worth buying.

    Jesus fuckin christ. Talk about ‘fixing’ the symptoms.

  • *privacy not included

    Teddy bears that connect to the internet. Smart speakers that listen to commands. Great gifts—unless they spy on you. We created this guide to help you buy safe, secure products this holiday season.

    Alexa, please turn yourself off.

  • The Leonid Meteor Shower Will Peak This Weekend

    Change your Saturday night plans! The Leonid meteor shower is going to peak this weekend so be ready to find a dark spot away from city lights to enjoy this stellar spectacle. The Leonids is considered one of the most prolific meteor showers for historical reasons.

    HEADS UP!!

  • The Best Way To Save People From Suicide

    It was still dark outside when Amanda woke up to the sound of her alarm, got out of bed and decided to kill herself. She wasn’t going to do it then, not at 5:30 in the morning on a Friday. She told herself she would do it sometime after work. Amanda showered. She put on khakis and a sweater.

    Reach out. Just reach out.

  • ‘Toxic’ is Oxford Dictionaries’ word of the year, beating ‘techlash’ and ‘gaslighting’

    At least that’s according to Oxford Dictionaries’ official word of the year selection. The British publisher said “toxic” beat out other expressions including “techlash” and “gaslighting” thanks to the “sheer scope of its application.”

    Great. That’s my earworm for the day sorted.

  • The Ubiquity of Smartphones, as Captured by Photographers

    According to reports issued by several market-research firms, including Forrester Research, the total number of smartphone users worldwide will reach 3 billion this year—40 percent of the human population.

    The future is bleak? Golden? Lit by a thousand LCD screens?

Weekend Reading

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  • Unexpected Life Lessons from the Gym
    Now there’s a title I never thought I’d type. It’s been bang on a year since I started regularly going to training at AG Fitness and it’s been nearly 10 months since I upped my sessions to three times a week.
    I love Abba! A great write up of the wee gym I go to.

  • A hiker in the Cascades thought she would die in a snowstorm. But a stranger was looking out for her.
    Just before reaching its northern terminus at the Canadian border, the Pacific Crest Trail runs through the Glacier Peak Wilderness, an unforgiving stretch of rugged timberland in Washington state’s Cascade Range.
    Faith in humanity restored.

  • How A Dog Could Stop The Global Spread Of Disease
    Several years ago, British entomologist Steve Lindsay landed at an American airport and was immediately struck by all the furry creatures walking around the baggage claim area. Recent studies have found that people carrying malaria release a signature scent.
    Dogs are ace. Fact.

  • Trees ordered to pick all that shit up
    Following a wild night during which they waved their branches in the air as if they just did not care, the trees have left the country covered in debris which they expect others to clear up.
    Damn right. Messy fuckers!

  • “My official resignation from slimming by committee”
    Me and food, relationship status: complicated.
    I’ve never gone to a slimming class of any description but I have been tempted. Glad I’ve never succumbed.

  • A Growing Number of People Are Getting Rich Selling T-shirts Online
    Nearly every night after dinner for eight straight months, Glen Zubia brewed a cup of coffee, turned on heavy metal music, and made T-shirts. On Tuesdays and Wednesdays he designed in Adobe Illustrator.
    Gig economy? Work hard and reap the rewards?

  • Ross Edgley sets record for round Great Britain swim
    An adventurer from Grantham has become the first person to swim 1,780-miles around Great Britain. Ross Edgley, 33, was joined by 300 swimmers for the last mile before he arrived in Margate at about 09:00 GMT.
    Nutter. Well done!

  • Solitary bees

    Most bees are not part of a hive.

  • Can you prevent osteoporosis?
    Completely preventing osteoporosis isn’t as straightforward as we might hope and can never be guaranteed. However, we can all make ourselves more aware of what causes osteoporosis, our own risk of developing osteoporosis, and what we can do to help our bones stay stronger for longer.
    As I get older, these are the things I consider. Great article.

  • Analyzing Lego Porn, the Fetish That Will Ruin Your Childhood
    “If something exists, there is porn of it:” Welcome to Rule 34, a weekly column in which Motherboard’s Samantha Cole lovingly explores the highly specific fetishes that can be found on the web. If you’ve thought of it, someone’s jerked off to it.
    I am so SO sorry. (not sorry enough to NOT link to this though!)

  • Benedict Cumberbatch is ‘sick of camomile tea being called tea’. Is he right?
    When is tea not tea? That is, inarguably, a question. According to the Sherlock actor and exceptionally unlikely sex symbol Benedict Cumberbatch, it’s when it comes in a fey little sachet and smells of newly mown lawn.
    I don’t ‘get’ tea in any form so I’ll leave it to you to decide.

  • Researchers created an artificial society to find the causes of religious conflict
    To understand religious warfare, you could study the hundreds of historical or ongoing world conflicts that center on religion. Or you could program an AI to mimic human psychology and generate artificial societies, and then run it millions of times under different variables.
    Religion. A lot of good bits, but the bad bits are truly horrific.

  • Life’s Little Luxury
    When a few years ago I decided to write a book about charm, I began asking friends and acquaintances if they could name five people in contemporary public life—in show business, television journalism, politics, sports—they thought charming. None could do it. Some couldn’t name one.
    I am well mannered but wouldn’t say I was charming.

  • Party for one: why are so many of the greatest love songs about masturbation?
    It is a truth universally acknowledged that Carly Rae Jepsen is incapable of putting out a bad song – from Call Me Maybe via Run Away With Me via Cut to the Feeling (seriously, all of them) to her new single, Party for One.
    All by myseeelllfff…. hang on..
  • Do you love or loathe coffee? Your genes may be to blame.
    A warm cup of coffee is a necessary part of the morning routine for millions of people around the world. And as the end of daylight saving time messes yet again with our sleep patterns, plenty of people in the U.S. may reach for an extra cup or two to power through the drowsiness.

  • How Bill Gates Aims to Save $233 Billion by Reinventing the Toilet
    Bill Gates thinks toilets are a serious business, and he’s betting big that a reinvention of this most essential of conveniences can save a half million lives and deliver $200 billion-plus in savings.
    A lot of poo-pooing of this article… but at least he’s doing something.

  • The Problem With Being Perfect
    When the psychologist Jessica Pryor lived near an internationally renowned university, she once saw a student walking into a library holding a sleeping bag and a coffee maker. She’s heard of grad students spending 12 to 18 hours at a time in the lab.
    Part of my counselling uncovered ‘perfectionism’ as a trait of mine. So, basically, this (kinda).

  • People magazine names Idris Elba 2018’s Sexiest Man Alive
    The British actor says the honor has given him a boost of self-confidence. “I was like, ‘Come on, no way. Really?'” he told the magazine. “Looked in the mirror, I checked myself out.
    *immediately subscribes to People magazine*

  • David Attenborough has betrayed the living world he loves
    Knowingly creating a false impression of the world: this is a serious matter. It is more serious still when the BBC does it, and yet worse when the presenter is “the most trusted man in Britain”.
    Harsh take perhaps? My reading of this is Sir David wants to inspire wonder so we WILL want to take care of the world better, not depress and scare us into apathy?

  • The Don of Trumpery
    synonyms • cheesy, crappy, cut-rate, el cheapo, junky, lousy, rotten, schlocky, shoddy, sleazy, trashy Making fun of other people’s names is one of the lowest forms of humor. But naming can also be an art.
    Is it really this simple (I mean, HE is but.. oh yeah also, apologies for the Trump article but he’s really hard to avoid these days).

  • The cult of creativity is making us less creative
    You may have noticed that creativity is all the rage—and not just among artists. American culture, and indeed the world, has become obsessed with manufacturing creative kids, who will turn into inventive workers, who will then become the innovative leaders we need in these rapidly-changing times.
    Internet is good for some many things. Overwhelming any hobby is not one of them.

  • We Could All Use a Little More Chindogu, the Japanese Art of Useless Inventions
    A little bit Dada, a little bit “only sold on television,” intentionally useless inventions called Chindogu look like a bunch of plastic junk at first glance, but there’s more to it than that. And they’re not quite altogether useless.

  • What if the Placebo Effect Isn’t a Trick?
    The Chain of Office of the Dutch city of Leiden is a broad and colorful ceremonial necklace that, draped around the shoulders of Mayor Henri Lenferink, lends a magisterial air to official proceedings in this ancient university town.
    Amazing how much we still don’t know about our brains.

  • How Dad’s Stresses Get Passed Along to Offspring
    A stressed-out and traumatized father can leave scars in his children. New research suggests this happens because sperm “learn” paternal experiences via a mysterious mode of intercellular communication in which small blebs break off one cell and fuse with another.
    Makes note to meditate more often.

  • An Incredible Video of What It’s Like to Orbit the Earth for 90 Minutes
    This is easily the most awe-inspiring and jaw-dropping thing I’ve seen in months. In its low Earth orbit ~250 miles above our planet, the International Space Station takes about 90 minutes to complete one orbit of the Earth.
    I don’t often change the order of this list but it’s worth taking some time to watch some of this. Mesmerising. We are so so in-significant in the grand scheme of things. Let’s all just get along!

Weekend Reading

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  • This Melissa McCarthy Story Just Might (Maybe? Possibly?) Cheer You Up
    Melissa McCarthy was hovering six feet above Los Angeles, in a glass tube, wearing a helmet and goggles.
    Just when you thought you couldn’t adore her more.
  • There is no non-wanky way to sign off an email, study finds
    THERE is no way to end an email that does not make you sound like a bit of a twat, it has been confirmed. The Institute for Studies found all email sign-offs suffered from problems such as being weirdly matey, passive-aggressive or sternly formal like a threatening letter from a bank.
    Thanks. Sincerely, with regards.
  • The Denial Diaries: On #MeToo Men With No Self-Awareness
    Dan Harmon had no plans to say anything about the way he had treated Megan Ganz. But then, in January, the writer who used to work for him on “Community” accused him of sexual harassment on Twitter.
    My biggest bug-bear/pet peeve. Lack of self-awareness. Ugh.
  • Should I get a tattoo? You asked Google – here’s the answer
    I got my first tattoo 14 months ago. I see it every day except when I am especially absentminded in washing myself. Yet, still, the sight of it takes me by surprise. Almost 20% of Britons aged 18 and over are estimated to have a tattoo. Among 25- to 39-year-olds it could be as high as 30%.
    Yes. Life is too short. Just get the damn thing already.
  • The world’s longest and shortest flights, compared
    A new record was set earlier this month with a flight that links Singapore with New York. Reviews suggest that traversing 10,400 miles (16,700 km) and 12 time zones in 19 hours is not all that bad.
    19 hours on a plane. Double ugh. I’ll take the short trip every time thanks (whaddya mean, what about the planet?)
  • How Men Can Become Better Allies to Women
    Women’s conferences and employee resource groups (ERGs) are increasingly inviting men to attend. By creating events aimed at men, they hope to include men in discussions around gender equity in the workplace, and make organizational diversity efforts more successful.
    More talk is much needed. Presuming the men are listening.
  • Hong Kong-Zhuhai bridge: World’s longest sea bridge in pictures
    The 55km bridge and tunnel linking Hong Kong to mainland China via Macau has opened, years late.
    A bridge that is a tunnel that is a bridge, with man-made islands. Wow. Disaster movie waiting to happen?
  • Joachim Ronneberg: Norwegian who thwarted Nazi nuclear plan dies
    Joachim Ronneberg, the Norwegian resistance fighter who sabotaged Nazi Germany’s nuclear weapons ambitions during World War Two, has died aged 99. In 1943, he led a top-secret raid on a heavily-guarded plant in Norway’s southern region of Telemark.
    Proper legendary hero.
  • 100 Websites That Shaped The Internet As We Know It
    The World Wide Web is officially old enough for us judge what it’s produced. That’s right, it’s time for the world to start building a canon of the most significant websites of all time, and the Gizmodo staff has opinions. What does a spot on this list mean? It certainly doesn’t mean best.
    Wow. I remember all of these. Christ, I’m old.
  • Thousands Of Swedes Are Inserting Microchips Under Their Skin
    Technology continues to get closer and closer to our bodies, from the phones in our pockets to the smartwatches on our wrists. Now, for some people, it’s getting under their skin. In Sweden, a country rich with technological advancement, thousands have had microchips inserted into their hands.
    Geek G says yes. Privacy G says no.
  • Superfoods Are a Marketing Ploy
    Regardless of who issues them, guidelines for health promotion and disease prevention universally recommend diets that are largely plant-based, meaning those that include plenty of fruits, vegetables, grains, beans, and nuts.
    Once again, everything in moderation seems to be the key. Ignore the hype.
  • #MeToo Brought Down 201 Powerful Men. Nearly Half of Their Replacements Are Women.
    They had often gotten away with it for years, and for those they harassed, it seemed as if the perpetrators would never pay any consequences. Then came the report that detailed Harvey Weinstein’s sexual assaults and harassment, and his fall from Hollywood’s heights.
    Progress. Sort of. More needed!
  • Nasa photographs rectangular iceberg
    Nasa has released a striking photo of a rectangular iceberg floating in the Weddell Sea off Antarctica. The US space agency said the object’s sharp angles and flat surface suggested it had recently broken away from an ice shelf.
    Dear nature, stop showing off!
  • Doctors in Montreal will start prescribing visits to the art museum
    Laughter may be the best medicine but culture works wonders for health as well. That’s the thinking driving a new initiative in Montreal, Canada, where doctors will be able to prescribe free art museum visits to patients with a range of ailments, from depression to diabetes to chronic illnesses.
    Come to Scotland! Our museums are free all the time!!
  • On Likeability
    My daughter comes home from school at least once a week and announces to me that no one likes her. She has done something that is too weird, or bold, or has said a thing with which others disagree. She has had to sit alone during lunch or play alone during recess.
    It’s a strange trait but one I recognise. Am I likeable? Are you?
  • Counting Steps
    Her words caught me from behind. She’d been there for a while—maybe three or four miles—tailing me at distance that violated every tenet of basic running etiquette. As my pace had slackened, hers had remained annoyingly constant, a light pitter-pat on the San Diego boardwalk.
    You never know what other people are going through. Don’t presume.
  • The Embarrassing Private Languages of Couples
    Welcome to It’s Complicated, stories on the sometimes frustrating, sometimes confusing, always engrossing subject of modern relationships.
    Why embarassing? Embrace the silly people, EMBRACE THE SILLY!
  • Why you should give money directly and unconditionally to homeless people
    Who are you to judge what they do with that cash?
    Long been my opinion. A good articulation of why you should stop thinking beyond the act of helping another human being.
  • In Japan, the Kit Kat Isn’t Just a Chocolate. It’s an Obsession.
    The seven-story Don Quijote megastore in the Shibuya district of Tokyo is open 24 hours a day, but it’s hard to say when it’s rush hour, because there’s always a rush.
    Been lucky enough to try a few of these, wasabi Kit-Kat was surprisingly tasty!
  • Should a self-driving car kill the baby or the grandma? Depends on where you’re from
    In 2014 researchers at the MIT Media Lab designed an experiment called Moral Machine. The idea was to create a game-like platform that would crowdsource people’s decisions on how self-driving cars should prioritize lives in different variations of the “trolley problem”.
    As played out in an episode of The Good Place. Who would you choose to die?

Weekend Reading

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  • Fluid Dynamics: How a Wall of Lava Lamps Helps Encrypt 10% of the Internet
    Computers have a real problem when it comes generating truly random numbers, which has led one web-critical cybersecurity firm to reference an array of lava lamps to create unique and unpredictable code.
    Clever and pretty. Nothing like me then!

  • Attitude of Optimism
    “In 2018, how about cultivating an attitude of optimism? Not as a judgement, or a reaction to the world around you, but as a choice, by which you navigate and affect the world around you.”
    Much needed in the wake of 2017.

  • Inside One of America’s Last Pencil Factories
    A pencil is a little wonder-wand: a stick of wood that traces the tiniest motions of your hand as it moves across a surface. I am using one now, making weird little loops and slashes to write these words. As a tool, it is admirably sensitive.
    It’s almost enough to make me go back to using a pencil… almost.

  • Apple and the Alexa Ecosystem
    I recently read two interesting takes on the ever-growing Alexa ecosystem as it relates to Apple that made me think about the future of Siri and HomeKit.
    The future is not connected. It never will be.

  • Uber’s Secret Tool for Keeping the Cops in the Dark
    In May 2015 about 10 investigators for the Quebec tax authority burst into Uber Technologies Inc.’s office in Montreal. The authorities believed Uber had violated tax laws and had a warrant to collect evidence. Managers on-site knew what to do, say people with knowledge of the event.
    ANOTHER reason not to use Uber.

  • Salar de Uyuni is the World’s Largest Natural Mirror
    When you think about the most beautiful places in the world, you probably think of mountains or forests.
    Gorgeous (nothing like m… etc etc)

  • An Open Letter to the Box of Loose Cables in My Closet
    I know you’re hurting. The distance is killing me too. Last night, I woke up in a cold sweat to the thought of not having immediate access to you.
    Funny cos true.

  • ‘Why Am I So Lazy?’
    Why am I so lazy? As long as I can remember, I’ve always done as little as possible to still get the job done, to still get the A, to get the extra credit and be the teacher’s pet.
    This is the view I have of myself. It’s not the reality but persists. I am lazy.

  • The mystery of Jesus, the naked hippie dancer
    For decades, William Jellett danced at gigs and festivals, and told people he was the Son of God. Then, it seemed, he disappeared. It was a Saturday evening, St Valentine’s Day 1970, when William Jellett first thought he might be Jesus.
    Fascinating, if long, story of a legend I knew nothing about.

  • British tourist missing in Israel may have Jerusalem syndrome
    Israeli authorities are searching for a British man who is missing in the Negev desert amid fears that he could be suffering from Jerusalem syndrome, a psychiatric condition whose sufferers believe they are prophets or other biblical figures.
    See previous link. Baader Meinhof at play?

  • John Humphrys’ attitude to equal pay highlights the BBC’s impartiality problem
    Of the many things I have learned life is too short for – making your own puff pastry, monogamy, trying to have a proper drink in the interval at the theatre – top of my list is getting in a mobile-broadcast van outside my house in my nightie to be hooked up to the Today programme studio.
    So much wrong with this. First things first though, why is that twat still employed by the BBC?

  • Kaveh Akbar Is Poetry’s Biggest Cheerleader
    Ever eavesdropped on two poets having a conversation at a coffee shop? Iranian-American poet Kaveh Akbar has created an online space that lets you do that without leaving your bed. How?
    Not sure about the name, but this is pretty great.

  • Bad design in action: the false Hawaiian ballistic missile alert
    The Honolulu Civil Beat has tweeted a screenshot of the interface that was used to send an real alert for a nonexistent incoming ballistic missile on Saturday morning.
    Good. Grief.

  • Beyond the Bitcoin Bubble
    The sequence of words is meaningless: a random array strung together by an algorithm let loose in an English dictionary. What makes them valuable is that they’ve been generated exclusively for me, by a software tool called MetaMask. In the lingo of cryptography, they’re known as my seed phrase.
    Finally a bitcoin article that helps me understand (some of) what it is all about.

  • David Byrne Launches the “Reasons to Be Cheerful” Web Site: A Compendium of News Meant to Remind Us That the World Isn’t Actually Falling Apart
    Whatever your ideological persuasion, our time has no doubt given you more than a few reasons to fear for the future of civilization, not least because bad news sells.

  • The Psychological & Neurological Disorders Experienced by Characters in Alice in Wonderland: A Neuroscience Reading of Lewis Carroll’s Classic Tale
    Most reputable doctors tend to refrain from diagnosing people they’ve never met or examined. Unfortunately, this circumspection doesn’t obtain as often among lay folk. When we lob uninformed diagnoses at other people, we may do those with genuine mental health issues a serious disservice.
    Might re-read the book now, will put a different spin on things.

  • The men and women who brought curry to Birmingham
    Curry has become as much a staple of British cuisine as fish and chips or the roast dinner. An exhibition is celebrating some of the earliest curry houses in Birmingham, a city synonymous with the cuisine.
    Who doesn’t love a curry?

Weekend Reading

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STOP! If you haven’t seen Oprah Winfrey’s acceptance speech at the Golden Globes, go and watch it right now, don’t worry. I’ll wait.

  • Watch Prince Play Jazz Piano & Coach His Band Through George Gershwin’s “Summertime”
    A rock enigma wrapped around an R&B quandary, wearing platform shoes and purple velour. The cheekbones of an angel, dances moves and lyrics from an infernally sexy place, and more musical talent than it seems possible for a single person to possess in one lifetime….
    Two things from this: 1. Good GOD the man was talented. 2. I really wanna buy a piano.

  • David Letterman’s Netflix Talk Show Sets Obama as First Guest
    David Letterman has amassed an all-star roster of guests for his Netflix talk show series, titled My Next Guest Needs No Introduction with David Letterman.
    Starts this evening, and as far as first guests go it seems like it might be ‘quite good’?

  • People have spent centuries trying to prove caffeine is dangerous, but the science suggests otherwise
    When Davis Cripe died in his South Carolina classroom last May, it was a shock to everyone who knew him. He just 16, and healthy. His death made no sense, especially when the coroner said that he’d been killed by a substance most of us consume daily: caffeine.
    SCREW YOU CAFFEINE DENIERS!! (Denyers? Denyerists??)

  • This British Gardener Doesn’t Build Furniture
    Remember the end of “The Giving Tree,” when the tree has nothing left to give her favorite boy except her stump to sit on? Some people think that’s a heartwarming end to a story of selfless love, while others read it and think, “I could make a tree into a way better seat than that.”
    Well this is rather lovely (in an endearingly British kinda way)

  • The Need To Be Alone
    “By retreating into ourselves, it looks as if we are the enemies of others, but our solitary moments are in reality a homage to the richness of social existence. Unless we’ve had time alone, we can’t be who we would like to be around our fellow humans. We won’t have original opinions.
    I’m reading more articles this and they all ring true. They also seem to go hand in hand with more articles railing against socila media/always on lifestyles. Not a coincidence I don’t think.

  • How to Take a Picture of a Stealth Bomber Over the Rose Bowl
    An aerial photographer explains precisely how he took this amazing photograph. The first thought that comes to mind staring at the photograph above is: This has got to be fake. The B-2 stealth bomber looks practically pasted onto the field. The flag is unfurled just so.
    Impressive. Definitely couldn’t have done that with an iPhone (or could you??)

  • You’re Most Likely to Do Something Extreme Right Before You Turn 30
    Each year, cities, regions, and other organizers around the world host around 3,000 marathons. In large races like the Los Angeles Marathon and the London Marathon, more than half the participants are running a marathon for the very first time.
    Ahhhh our fragile egos, the realisation we won’t live forever, do all the things. How programmed we are!

  • Are Gummy Bear Flavors Just Fooling Our Brains?
    Fun fact about the newsroom at WFPL, the NPR member station in Louisville, Ky., where I work: It is fully stocked with lots of candy. Mini-chocolate bars, peanut butter cups, Jolly Ranchers — the list goes on and the candy bowl is constantly being refilled.
    This is why I don’t like those purple carrots.

  • Why Does Exercise Start Hurting Two Days After a Workout?
    If you’ve decided, this year, to start working out, you might have noticed a strange phenomenon: You’ll leave the gym feeling fine, and then two days later wake up sore.
    I write this comment after doing some ‘core’ exercises two days ago, sneezing, and then cursing my aching abs. The DOMS are real people!

  • Japanese Waiter Exhibits 8,000 Chopstick Sleeves Left as Restaurant “Tips”
    In a culture without tipping, one Japanese waiter began to realize that customers were expressing their gratitude in a subtle (and in some cases even unintentional way) by folding the sleeves in which their chopsticks came wrapped.
    A few moments of thoughtfulness is all it takes.

  • Scientists developed an electronic pill to analyze the gas in your gut
    Digestion is something of a black box. We know food gets put through a physical and chemical pulverization to make it easier to extract nutrients before we get rid of the waste. But there are all sorts of variances in each of our own unique digestive tracts.
    Dear Scientists, just pop to my place first thing in the morning, I got ALL THE FARTS YOU NEED!!

  • Tua Tagovailoa’s Rise Seemed Unlikely, but It Was Part of Nick Saban’s Championship Plan
    Like everything else for Alabama, the schedule scrawled on the Crimson Tide’s locker-room wall in Mercedes-Benz Stadium showed signs of precise, meticulous planning. 6:59 p.m., kickers. 7:09, specialists. 7:19, team. 8:17, Kick UGA ASS. But things don’t always go according to plan.
    I love this kind of thing. Go against the grain, do the unpredictable, triumph.

  • I Started the Media Men List
    In October, I created a Google spreadsheet called “Shitty Media Men” that collected a range of rumors and allegations of sexual misconduct, much of it violent, by men in magazines and publishing.
    I remember reading about this spreadsheet last year, the impact is has had (and is having) still reverberates.

  • Inside the Amish town that builds U2, Lady Gaga, and Taylor Swift’s live shows
    In December 2016, designer Ric Lipson was in New York on a conference call with Bono, The Edge, Adam Clayton and Larry Mullen Jr.
    Who knew!

  • The Encylopedia of the Missing
    From the outside, it’s just another mobile home in a neighborhood of mobile homes on the northwest side of Fort Wayne, Indiana. There’s the same carport, the same wedge of grass out front, the same dreamy suburban soundtrack of wind chimes and air conditioners.
    Nowt stranger than folk. Although these days Nowt stranger than folk on the internet, is way more accurate.

  • Emma Watson’s willingness to face the truth about race is refreshing
    I hope that the actor’s acknowledgment that she has benefited from being white will lead others to ask themselves hard questions too Feminism, to quote bell hooks, is for everybody. It’s a simple enough statement.
    With every voice speaking out, a few more minds change. The fact that Emma has a large platform makes this all the more powerful.

  • Improving Ourselves to Death
    Happy New Year, you! Now that the champagne has gone flat and the Christmas tree is off to be mulched, it’s time to turn your thoughts to the months ahead.
    So true. I refer you to my complete lack of resolutions. Live life as best you can and be happy people! (note: I am about a year or so OUT of this kind of mindset… goals, measures etc. and I’m much happier for it).

  • The world’s first major city to run out of water may have just over three months left
    It’s the height of summer in Cape Town, and the southwesternmost region of South Africa is gripped by a catastrophic water shortage.
    Good grief, this is awful.

Weekend Reading

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Thanks to the people who threw a couple of these my way, if you do spot anything and think ‘that weirdo will probably find this interesting’ then send it on (Twitter usually best way). And yes, it takes a weirdo to know a weirdo…

  • Commencement 1999
    Rocker David Bowie and jazz innovator Wayne Shorter accepted honorary doctorates while 580 graduates received their diplomas at the 1999 Berklee Commencement last Saturday.
    No idea why this bubbled into my timeline but it did, and it’s Bowie, and it’s wonderful. What better way to start 2018!

  • Every Last Jedi
    This is a spoiler-filled first set of reactions to Star Wars: The Last Jedi.
    Yes I’ve seen it. Yes I’m in the ‘well that could’ve been better’ camp. Not bad, just not as good as we’d all hoped (at least it’s not another Jar Jar).

  • A People’s History of Tattooine (with tweets)
    @tcarmody I’m just saying you can’t trust a man what plays in a cantina band. Not you, Figrin D’ith.
    Is this fanfic? I think this is fanfic (regardless of the medium). One for Star Wars geeks.

  • From C-3PO’s perspective, ‘Star Wars’ is a prolonged nightmare
    Which means that soon our giddy anticipation will give way to hard, cold reality like the planet Hoth — or soft, warm reality, like a Wookiee’s hug, as the case may be. We know that C-3PO, everyone’s favorite useless golden robot butler, is going to be in the new movie.
    Is this fanfic? I think this is fanfic (regardless of the medium). One for Star Wars geeks.

  • The Improbable Time When Orson Welles Interviewed Andy Kaufman (1982)
    “Sitcoms are the lowest form of entertainment,” declares Andy Kaufman as portrayed by Jim Carrey in Milos Forman’s biopic Man on the Moon. “I mean, it’s just stupid jokes and canned laughter.”
    The reverbations of my watching of Jim & Andy continue. I fear I may be entering a Kaufman-esque hole in the internet soon (or I have already?)

  • The Next Bechdel Test
    The Bechdel-Wallace Test — more commonly abbreviated to the Bechdel Test — asks two simple questions of a movie: Does it have at least two named female characters? And do those characters have at least one conversation that is not about a man? A surprising number of films fail the test.
    Further, much needed, reverbations from #metoo

  • An Argument Against Luxury Seating at the Movies
    The increasingly popular luxury reclining chair is a scourge on the moviegoing experience. Featuring heated seats, padded footrests and leather upholstery, these reservable, oversized, electric-powered armchairs have been installed incrementally at the country’s major movie theater chains.
    I’ve yet to try one of these, and let’s be honest, the problem with cinemas is not the seats (hint: if you talk during a movie YOU ARE THE PROBLEM)

  • 30 years after Prozac arrived, we still buy the lie that chemical imbalances cause depression
    Some 2,000 years ago, the Ancient Greek scholar Hippocrates argued that all ailments, including mental illnesses such as melancholia, could be explained by imbalances in the four bodily fluids, or “humors.”
    This is STILL the line, I’ve heard it from my own doctor. Shocking.

  • Achieve That New Year’s Goal By Not Telling A Soul
    If you don’t think this applies to you, you’re in good company—this topic has caused some controversy in the Curiosity office. Many of us think that a declaration of your goals is just a way to stay accountable to them, not a way to feel like you’ve already achieved them.
    I’ve already mentioned that I don’t do resolutions but here’s the thing, I do them every year. Accountability vs fear of failure is a tough balance though.

  • The David Bowie Book Club Gets Launched by His Son: Read One of Bowie’s 100 Favorite Books Every Month
    Cast as the star of 1976’s The Man Who Fell to Earth, David Bowie traveled to New Mexico for the shoot, meeting with director Nicolas Roeg soon upon arrival. “I took with me hundreds and hundreds of books,” Bowie said to The Face magazine a few years later.
    Wanna start a book club, or just get some ideas? Here ya go.

  • Iceland has a simple solution for closing gender pay gap: Make it illegal
    … (yup, I got nothing. Simple solution indeed).

  • The year we wanted the internet to be smaller
    Americans got tired of big social media in 2017. Or at least, we stopped wanting to look at it, and we stopped pretending to like it.
    *yawn* must be the new year, didn’t we say a lot of this last year (about stepping away from social media)? I know I did…

  • Why You Should Always Add Water To Your “Neat” Whiskey
    But not all whiskeys are smokey, especially as you get farther from Scotland. Still, it’s quite likely that the phenomenon remains in effect.
    First things first, Scottish whisky HAS NO ‘E’ in the spelling!! Other than that, whisky is rank, go nuts.

  • Interview: Architect Marc Kushner
    Manipulating space in order to create new ways for us to live and work, architects have always experimented with their craft.
    The one profession I’d love to have gotten into, I find design (particularly when focused on how humans interact with it) to be endlessly fascinating.

  • The 99 best things that happened in 2017
    If you’re feeling despair about the fate of humanity in the 21st century, you might want to reconsider. In 2017, it felt like the global media picked up all of the problems, and none of the solutions. To fix that, here are 99 of the best stories from this year that you probably missed.
    See, the world is not a bad place! Screw the media, believe in love and compassion!

  • Scientists have created a drug that replicates the health benefits of exercise
    Researchers have made the breakthrough of couch potatoes’ dreams with a new drug that mimics some of the most important effects of exercise.

  • Fiber Is Good for You. Now Scientists May Know Why.
    A diet of fiber-rich foods, such as fruits and vegetables, reduces the risk of developing diabetes, heart disease and arthritis. Indeed, the evidence for fiber’s benefits extends beyond any particular ailment: Eating more fiber seems to lower people’s mortality rate, whatever the cause.
    And here was me eating Fruit & Fibre for how good it tastes…

  • There’s a reason using a period in a text message makes you sound angry
    When it comes to texting, the period gets a lot of attention. What they’re actually noticing is written language becoming more flexible, with texting possessing its own set of stylistic norms (sometimes informally called “textspeak” or “textese”).
    Language evolves. I’m trying not to get angry at this nonsense though. Can. You. TELL?

  • Easter hunt is on: Cadbury makes batch of white Creme eggs
    British confectioner Cadbury is making a white chocolate version of its popular Easter Creme egg — and offering a cash prize for those who find them as it tries to bolster the product’s appeal.
    It’s actually offering the prize to stop any idiot trying to eat what will be the most sickly sweet thing ever invented (after tablet, obvs).

  • The Top Albums of 2017
    Here is my soundtrack from the past 365 days, a very long, very weird year. All in all, there were 74 albums I went back to over and over in 2017. And here’s a Spotify playlist of the entire pile.
    Maybe I’ll just keep up with music one year behind, seems to be easier that way, let everyone else figure out the good stuff first.

  • What is your album of the year and why? (Song of the year ok also.)
    So: If you had to pick one album that was your big discovery in 2017 – or just one song, if you can’t pick an album – what would it be? Why is it so great? Then they talked about watching the film when they were nine and I wanted to die, but I still love the record…
    Both a reminder that AskMeFi is still going strong, and that there is always new music you had no idea existed. Bjorn from Abba’s Piano album is bloody lovely!

  • How to protect your PC against the major ‘Meltdown’ CPU security flaw
    Details have emerged on two major processor security flaws this week, and the industry is scrambling to issue fixes and secure machines for customers. Dubbed “Meltdown” and “Spectre,” the flaws affect nearly every device made in the past 20 years.
    Still ‘breaking’ but worth keeping an eye out for more on these issues.

  • Rock night at the museum: Gigs and shows will accompany Rip It Up exhibition at National Museum
    The NMS has held Fringe events before but not rock gigs to accompany exhibitions. The Herald was allowed a peak at some of the 300 exhibits which will form the exhibition, at the NMS’s huge store in Granton, north Edinburgh.
    Looks like a wee day out in Edinburgh this year.

Weekend Reading

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Last one of the year (I’m taking next week off to focus on family and friends), I hope you’ve enjoyed these random selections as much as I have. It’s been quite a year, but here is to a wonderful 2018 for everyone.

  • The house that Edek built – and the secret suitcase kept inside
    When Edward “Edek” Hartry and his wife Teresa designed and built their family home near Woking, they created a daringly modern building full of light. Their glass and timber home stood out among the red-brick Tudorbethan of stockbroker Surrey – simple, open-plan and translucent.
    Quite a story, and quite a life they lead.

  • Pinegrove on How Being a Good Artist and a Good Person Are the Same Thing
    Our interview series Icebreaker features artists talking about things—some strange, some amusing, some meaningful—that just might reveal their true selves.
    Been on a bit of a Pinegrove binge (solipsistic moods and all that).

  • Deliverance From 27,000 Feet
    Five Sherpas surrounded the frozen corpse. They swung axes at the body’s edges, trying to pry it from its icy tomb. They knocked chunks of snow from the body, and the shattered pieces skittered down the mountain.
    I’m always fascinated by extremes and the people who take such risks. As horrific as this is.

  • ‘The Basic Grossness of Humans’
    Content moderators review the the dark side of the internet. They don’t escape unscathed.
    The internet can be such a dark and disgusting place, what a job.

  • Want to really understand how bitcoin works? Here’s a gentle primer
    The soaring price of bitcoin—the virtual currency is now worth more than $250 billion—has gotten a lot of attention in recent weeks. But the real significance of bitcoin isn’t just its rising value. It’s the technological breakthrough that allowed the network to exist in the first place.
    Still massively ‘meh’ about this but part of me knows I shouldn’t be. But still. Meh.

  • Hopeful Images From 2017
    2017 has been another year of news stories that produced photos which can often be difficult or disturbing to view. I’ve made it a tradition to compose an essay of uplifting images from the past year.

  • Behold The Most Hilarious Wildlife Photos of 2017
    Wildlife photographer Tibor Kércz would spend a few nights each year camped out in a tent near a tree, hoping to capture photos of little owls and their nestlings. But just before nightfall on one fateful evening, three of the birds flew out onto a short branch.

  • Endlessly zooming art
    DeepDream is a computer vision program created by Google engineer Alexander Mordvintsev which uses a convolutional neural network to find and enhance patterns in images via algorithmic pareidolia, thus creating a dream-like hallucinogenic appearance in the deliberately over-processed images.
    MESMERISING. I just lost 20 mins staring at these.

  • Dancing on roller skates with James Brown’s style
    For the latest installment of the Dance In The Real World series, the NY Times visited a Chicago roller rink where people skate in a JB Style, named after the performer James Brown. I wanted to watch about 10 more minutes of that…and then go roller skating.
    Skating (wheels or blades) is like black magic to me, just… nope… but THIS, I’d love to be able to do this!

  • Jam to These Super-Specific Spotify Playlists
    Writer Grace Spelman collects songs like they’re Legos, in a meticulously sorted tackle box.
    Already decided that 2018 will be a year of musical discovery for me, but I’m a long way from this level of collation!

  • Here’s Why Everyone Should Have an ‘Antilibrary’
    Now is the time when year-end book lists abound, hardcovers are gifted at family holidays, and your favorite writer announces that they’ve got something in store for 2018. But even if it feels like there are too many books and never enough time, that could actually be a good thing.
    An interesting idea, but goes against my desire for ‘less’… still, a mini version might be worth a shot?

  • How to Use Gender-Neutral Pronouns
    If you feel awkward using gender-neutral pronouns—or avoid them because you don’t know how to use them correctly—it’s time to get up to speed.
    Intellectually it’s pretty easy to learn, my struggle has been undoing decades of ‘muscle memory’.

  • A 17-Hour Chronological Playlist of Beatles Songs: 338 Tracks Let You Hear the Band’s Evolution From Talented Boy Band to Legendary Pop Geniuses
    The Beatles have seemingly never been just a band; they’ve been a brand, a history, an institution, a genre, a generational soundtrack, a merchandising empire, and so much more—possessed of the kind of cultural importance that makes it impossible to think of them as only musicians.
    Already decided that 2018 will be a year of musical discovery for me, once I get through this beezer of a playlist!

  • Exclusive interview with Derren Brown as he prepares to take UNDERGROUND back on tour
    As Derren Brown prepares to take his show UNDERGROUND around the country in 2018, he tells us what makes him happy, reflects on the future of magic entertainment and reveals he’ll be back on our TV screens soon. It’s great to see that UNDERGROUND will be back in UK theatres in 2018.

  • Coca-Cola didn’t invent Santa … the 10 biggest Christmas myths debunked
    Are you still boring your relatives with stories about Prince Albert’s tree and the origin of mistletoe kisses. Stop! The truth is much more interesting Christmas is a strange time of the year, when people merrily do all sorts of bizarre things.
    My inner pedant cannot WAIT to unveil some of these beauties to my friends and family (who will LOVE being corrected, so much!)

  • The 1883 Krakatoa Explosion Made the Loudest Sound in History–So Loud It Traveled Around the World Four Times
    Think of ourselves though we may as living in a noisy era, none of us — not even members of stadium-filling rock bands known specifically for their high-decibel intensity — have experienced anything like the loudest sound in history.
    I’m sorry. HOW LOUD? Off-the-scale unimaginable. My brain can’t even. Nope.

  • There’s a reason why iPhones get slower after every iOS update
    Have you ever noticed that after a year or so, it feels like your iPhone is just a bit … slower? You might not have downloaded any new apps or even been using your phone significantly more, but everything feels more sluggish.
    Only comment: Apple should’ve been clearer about this (I think they are doing it for the right reasons though). Transparency would’ve nullified this as a news item.

  • “Inemuri,” the Japanese Art of Taking Power Naps at Work, on the Subway, and Other Public Places
    If you’ve visited any big city in Japan, you’ve no doubt seen a fair few commuters sleeping on the subway. The more time you spend there, the more places in which you’ll see normal, everyday-looking folks fast asleep: parks, coffee shops, bookstores, even the workplace during office hours.
    I wholeheartedly approve this notion (but not so much the reasons it came about)

  • These Are the Stunning Photos From the 2017 National …
    Whoever said there’s no greater artist than Mother Nature was right. Thanks to the professional nature photographers of the world, we regular folk can be exposed to all the unimaginably beautiful, surreal, confusing and even disgusting scenes Earth has to offer.
    Interesting how many are (probably) from drones.

  • It Takes a Special Kind of Person to Get Chills From …
    Music seems to have a primal hold on us, reaching the very core of what it means to be human and reminding us that we are all small town girls, living in lonely worlds. And when it finally hits that chorus, you know that you’ll never stop believing.
    IT ME! I goosebump on a few tracks, every damn time. I am Gordon’s raw emotions.

  • No, Matt Damon, you can’t appropriate #MeToo for innocent men
    When my kids were tiny, they had a mechanical Woody from Toy Story doll, who, when you pulled the cord on his back, randomly uttered one of a selection of quotes. Over many years, as my kids got older and lost interest in him, Woody developed a fault.
    FFS. New rule for 2018, ALL MEN JUST SHUT UP.

  • What to do when Bill Gates sends you a 30lb Pusheen. STEP 1.
    PRO TIP: When filling out your reddit gift questionnaire, don’t act like a crazy person in hopes of making sure your santa understands the 1 thing you really care about. Bill Gates might read it. And then you will over-analyze every lame joke you made. #truestory
    The final link of the year. Here’s hoping 2018 is more like this.

Weekend Reading

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