What Happens to #Ferguson Affects Ferguson
“Algorithms have consequences.” Man, this is really good — really important — stuff.
Source: Medium
Posted on August 14, 2014
Stock and Flow
“Flow is the feed...Stock is the durable stuff.” A metaphor for writers (or, really, anyone) to live by.
Source: Snarkmarket
Posted on August 13, 2014
Coder’s High
David Auerbach on “coder’s high”, the trance-like, deeply creative state familiar to all programmers.
Source: Slate
Posted on August 12, 2014
How Coffee Fueled the Civil War
Still true to this day (no matter how you define the verb “soldier”): “Nobody can ‘soldier’ without coffee.”
Source: The New York Times
Posted on July 10, 2014
An android looks at automation
Google offers “a robot’s view of technology in general and of automation in particular — mindless, witless, joyless; obsessed with productivity, oblivious to life’s everyday rhythms and textures and the pleasures they provide.”
Source: Rough Type
Posted on June 26, 2014
Facebook and the Epiphanator: An End to Endings?
"No matter what comes along streams, feeds, and walls, we will still have need of an ending." Great essay by Paul Ford.
Source: New York
Posted on May 27, 2014
The Great Works of Software
“There’s a sad tendency in most manuals and programming guides to congratulate people simply for thinking.”
Source: Medium
Posted on May 2, 2014
Identity overload
“Forget information overload. Ours is a time of identity overload.”
Source: Rough Type
Posted on April 30, 2014
Chat Wars
Although (in my view delightfully) geeky in places, this blow-by-blow recount of an early Microsoft v. AOL coding war is very entertaining.
Source: n+1
Posted on April 29, 2014
No, Tech Adoption Is Not Speeding Up
The conventional wisdom says that we adopt new technologies at a faster rate. The conventional wisdom is wrong.
Source: Paleofuture
Posted on April 25, 2014
Return to Nib’s Knoll
The “surging triumph of solving a problem on a computer screen.” Robin Sloan gets it.
Source: Aeon
Posted on March 23, 2014
"It is good just by being knowledge"
"Don't allow your own lack of intellectual curiosity to be a guide to the value of research." To which I can only add an emphatic "Yes!"
Source: The New Atlantis
Posted on March 20, 2014
The Mindfulness Racket
"Never before has connectivity offered us so many ways to disconnect."
Source: New Republic
Posted on March 17, 2014
Why 18th century books looked like smartphone screens
Clive Thompson on the remarkably similarity between early, small-format books and smartphone screens.
Source: Collision Detection
Posted on February 28, 2014
42 reflections on the meaning of life, the universe and everything
“Reminding myself that there’s only so much time left makes me makes me hungrier for life, gladder of it.” Wisdom from Ian Leslie.
Source: Medium
Posted on February 27, 2014
18th Century Paintings of London, Remixed With Google Street View
A wonderfully clever and illuminating mashup of art and technology.
Source: The Atlantic Cities
Posted on February 27, 2014
Against the Insufferable Cult of Productivity
"Our world has become an ambient factory from which there is no visible exit and there exists an industry of self-help technologies devoted to teaching us how to be happy workers."
Source: New Republic
Posted on January 2, 2014
Why is the act of urban walking so revolutionary?
"The transformative potential of large numbers of people regularly stepping outside the matrix, taking to the streets and walking."
Source: New Statesman
Posted on December 6, 2013
Araucaria's last puzzle: crossword master dies
There are many reasons why I'd like to have lived in Britain, not least of which would have been the pleasure of regularly trying to solve Araucaria's puzzles.
Source: The Guardian
Posted on November 28, 2013
Rob Ford and the triumph of the new hosers
Want to understand Canada, esp. Toronto? First know what a hoser is, then read this spot-on column.
Source: The Globe and Mail
Posted on November 6, 2013
The New York City Subway Operators' Photography Club
I love that New York's subway operators, dispatchers, and conductors have their own photography club.
Source: The Atlantic Cities
Posted on November 1, 2013
Books Don't Want to Be Free
Think the book publishing industry is dying? Nope, not even close.
Source: New Republic
Posted on October 18, 2013
The truth about happiness
You can't reduce life to an equation, but this comes close: "Happiness equals reality minus expectations."
Source: The Guardian
Posted on October 15, 2013
Kids these days
"The best minds of my generation...are helping to make the world go." Burying the millennial-as-slacker stereotype.
Source: Aeon
Posted on October 7, 2013
Paper Versus Pixel
A timely and surprisingly reassuring look at the current state of paper and printed books.
Source: Nautilus
Posted on August 29, 2013
Facebook Use Predicts Declines in Subjective Well-Being in Young Adults
So, there's this: "The more they used Facebook over two-weeks, the more their life satisfaction levels declined over time."
Source: PLOS ONE
Posted on August 22, 2013
The Evolution of the Little Free Library
I'm a big fan of the Little Free Library idea, now 10,000 strong!
Source: Book Patrol
Posted on August 21, 2013
The Art of Looking: What 11 Experts Teach Us about Seeing Our Familiar City Block with New Eyes
A great review of one of my favorite books so far this year: On Looking, by Alexandra Horowitz.
Source: Brain Pickings
Posted on August 13, 2013
The Secret Subway
140 years before Elon Musk, Alfred Ely Beach built a pneumatic tube subway under New York.
Source: PBS
Posted on August 13, 2013
More doing, less promoting
Amen, brother: "The balance I've always taken with promoting vs. doing is to err completely on the side of the latter."
Source: Fast Company
Posted on July 24, 2013
The crystalline wall
“[Shyness]...is like coming late to a party when everyone else is about three glasses in.”
Source: Aeon
Posted on July 22, 2013
The Unread: The Mystery of the Voynich Manuscript
"I'll take pleasure in living in a world where, in spite of all our gadgets and progress, a six-hundred-year-old book remains unreadable and unread."
Source: The New Yorker
Posted on July 16, 2013
Celebrating the Commercial Building
These early skyscraper drawings are gorgeous!
Source: Cooper-Hewitt
Posted on July 16, 2013
The True Web
"RSS is the true web: a loose net of dark filaments."
Source: Snarkmarket
Posted on July 10, 2013
Wine-tasting: it's junk science
Nobody — not even wine experts — can tell plonk from pinot noir. Oh, and those wine scores? Pretty much random.
Source: The Guardian
Posted on June 27, 2013
We Need a Fixer (Not Just a Maker) Movement
Making your own stuff? Pretty cool. Fixing your own stuff? Very cool.
Source: Wired
Posted on June 26, 2013
How wonder works
Superb essay on wonder as the common ground of science, art, and religion. Highly recommended.
Source: Aeon
Posted on June 26, 2013
Fix Things, Never Force It: Lessons from Grandpa
Wise words: "'Never force it.' That was Grandpa's advice for tinkering, and it's good advice for life."
Source: iFixit
Posted on June 20, 2013
Acupuncture Doesn't Work
Stark truth of the day: "In layman's terms, acupuncture does not work — for anything."
Source: Science-Based Medicine
Posted on June 20, 2013
Star Wars
"What dendritic history of logrolling lay behind the rave about that book?" Superb wordsmithery by Tom Vanderbilt.
Source: The Wilson Quarterly
Posted on May 6, 2013
What Do Philosophers Believe?
Pleased to see that in a recent survey of philosophers, a mere 12.2% choose to believe that free will is an illusion.
Source: Preposterous Universe
Posted on April 29, 2013
Facebook Home Propaganda Makes Selfishness Contagious
Saying "No" to the Facebook Home ads, "because selfishness spreads like a contagious yawn."
Source: Wired
Posted on April 29, 2013
Abnormal Is the New Normal
Think you're not crazy because your mother had you tested? Think again.
Source: Slate
Posted on April 23, 2013
The Eternal Mainframe
"True standalone personal computers may return to their roots: toys for hobbyists."
Source: Throwww
Posted on April 22, 2013
Sprinting Toward the End
Working right to the end: On the good deaths of Nora Ephron, Christopher Hitchens, and Roger Ebert.
Source: The New York Times
Posted on April 22, 2013
Total Noise,? Only Loudr
Agreed: "continuous real-time broadcast news is a failed experiment."
Source: New York Magazine
Posted on April 22, 2013
Kobe, Jackie, and Me: Stars and Minutes
If you're an aging amateur athlete, this beautiful, elegiac reflection by @ThomasBeller will hit home.
Source: Babble
Posted on April 15, 2013
Iain Banks shows it's better to accept the facts of death
"Dennis Potter said, when he was dying,...'the nowness of everything is absolutely wondrous, the glory of it, the comfort of it'"
Source: The Telegraph
Posted on April 8, 2013
Conversation points
"As we tune ourselves to the rhythms of the machine, can we afford the inefficiencies of courtesy?"
Source: Rough Type
Posted on April 3, 2013
The Attachment That Still Makes Noise
"But nothing, really, comes close to the satisfying ka-chunk of a stapler: it's a sound that means work is getting done."
Source: The New York Times
Posted on March 27, 2013
Mother Tongue
A lovely reminisence by novelist Ian McEwan on how his mother's "timorous relationship with language" influenced his writing.
Source: Ian McEwan
Posted on March 27, 2013
One of Us
A thought-provoking meditation on animal consciousness by the great John Jeremiah Sullivan.
Source: Lapham's Quarterly
Posted on March 25, 2013
Becoming the All-Terrain Human
A fascinating portrait of Kilian Jornet, probably one of the most amazing athletes alive today.
Source: The New York Times
Posted on March 25, 2013
Bach blows minds
At a Bach recital: "The notes are like thoughts [and] I find myself hooked up to something that feels like a larger and stronger mind."
Source: Prospect
Posted on March 8, 2013
In Praise of Concision
A pitch-perfect paean to concision.
Source: The New Yorker
Posted on March 5, 2013
Why I Hate Dreams
Michael Chabon: "Dreams are the Sea Monkeys of consciousness."
Source: The New York Review of Books
Posted on February 26, 2013
On the Stovetop of Sleep
Nicholson Baker: Dreams tap into "the stochastic stew that sits cooling on the stovetop of our sleep-softened consciousness."
Source: The New York Review of Books
Posted on February 26, 2013
The Cult of Donna Tartt
There's a cult of Donna Tartt? Okay, I'm in.
Source: Prospect
Posted on February 19, 2013
Phreaking Out Ma Bell
A brief history of the phone phreak's blue box. Fascinating.
Source: IEEE Spectrum
Posted on February 4, 2013
Lunch with the FT: Robert B Silvers
Twitter is "a huge..universe of prose that is simply slipping through the consciousness of time without any systematic or thoughtful criticism."
Source: Financial Times
Posted on February 4, 2013
For 40 Years, This Russian Family Was Cut Off From All Human Contact, Unaware of World War II
"People have thought something up and are sending out fires that are very like stars." Amazing story.
Source: Smithsonian
Posted on January 29, 2013
Meet the Flannery O'Connor of the Internet age
Here's an excellent profile of Ellen Ullman, one of my favorite writers.
Source: Salon
Posted on January 28, 2013
Why Does the World Exist?
A fascinating and on-the-money review by Troy Jollimore of Jim Holt's thought-provoking book Why Does the World Exist?.
Source: Barnes and Noble Review
Posted on January 22, 2013
William Shipley, grandfather of cafe culture
A brief history of the origins of 18th C. British cafe culture (surprise revelation: the coffee tasted terrible).
Source: Think
Posted on January 18, 2013
Joy in the task
It's about coffee, but it's actually a fine tribute to artisanship and making things by hand.
Source: Aeon
Posted on January 3, 2013
Will Gutenberg laugh last?
Love printed books and looking for some good news? Look no further.
Source: Rough Type
Posted on January 2, 2013
Bach's Music, Back Then and Right Now
This book review is really a superb paean to the genius of J. S. Bach. Highly recommended.
Source: The New Republic
Posted on December 6, 2012
In a Constantly Plugged-In World, It's Not All Bad to Be Bored
"Boredom is the brain's way to tell you you should be doing something else."
Source: The New York Times
Posted on December 5, 2012
Dr. Carmella's Guide to Understanding the Introverted
Essential instructions for the care and feeding of the introverts in your life.
Source: deviantART
Posted on December 5, 2012
The Riddler
Terrific portrait of Henry Hook, "the Marquis de Sade of the puzzle world."
Source: The New Yorker
Posted on December 3, 2012
Nov. 30: A St. Andrew's Day Salute to Scottish Inventors
Happy St. Andrews Day! This impressive list of Scottish inventors is further proof that if it's not Scottish, it's crap!
Source: Wired
Posted on November 30, 2012
We're living the dream; we just don't realize it
"We underestimate the amount of steady progress that continues around us, and we misunderstand where that progress comes from."
Source: CNN
Posted on November 29, 2012
The Quiet Ones
"Being an advocate of quiet in our society is as quixotic and ridiculous as being an advocate of beauty or human life."
Source: The New York Times
Posted on November 19, 2012
Cataloging The Pale King
Why are all these people having affairs? Perhaps because, as DFW once said, "The human heart is a chump."
Source: The Millions
Posted on November 19, 2012
Ray Kurzweil's Dubious New Theory of Mind
I prefer positive reviews to negative ones, but there's something oddly pleasurable in a takedown of a Ray Kurzweil book.
Source: The New Yorker
Posted on November 19, 2012
The iPad Mini and the cost of Retina
If you're wondering why the iPad mini shipped without a Retina display, Marco Arment explains all.
Source: Marco.org
Posted on November 15, 2012
Spotify and Its Discontents
"How can you form a relationship with a record when you're cursed with the knowledge that, just an easy click away, there might be something better, something crucial and cataclysmic?"
Source: The New Yorker
Posted on November 14, 2012
Why Math is Like the Honey Badger: Nate Silver Ascendant
Check this out if not to find out why math is like the honey badger, then at least to watch the hilarious video.
Source: Scientific American
Posted on November 13, 2012
Speaking in Memes
"We've developed a kind of meme literacy, a habit of intuiting in real time the potential virality of a speech act."
Source: The New Inquiry
Posted on October 29, 2012
O.J. Simpson, Racial Utopia and the Moment That Inspired My Novel
Michael Chabon describes the inspiration behind his incredible new novel, Telegraph Avenue.
Source: The New York Times
Posted on October 17, 2012
Digital Dualism versus Augmented Reality
The fascinating post that coined the phrase "digital dualism."
Source: Cyborgology
Posted on October 17, 2012
Reign of the Techno-Nanny
"The danger of the techno-nanny..will arise through the slow creep of inertia where we incorporate Siri and other apps into our normal daily routine."
Source: The New Inquiry
Posted on October 15, 2012
Low-tech Practices and Identity
"A focal thing demands more of one's self than a device. We are mere users of devices, focal things invite us to become practitioners."
Source: The Frailest Thing
Posted on October 11, 2012
The IRL Fetish
Superb essay arguing that we have gone beyond seeking to fully fetishizing IRL (in real life) experiences.
Source: The New Inquiry
Posted on October 9, 2012
God wielded the buzzer
Good review of the D. T. Max biography of David Foster Wallace.
Source: London Review of Books
Posted on October 9, 2012
Social networks own us all — it's time we returned the favour
"The only way to not be used by the Internet is either to not use it, which is ridiculous, or to make something out of it."
Source: The Globe and Mail
Posted on October 9, 2012
Hipstertechnoauthenticity
"This is just that old-school paradox of hipster-identity, and perhaps one of the primary causes of hipster-hate: claiming authenticity and rejecting identity-definition while simultaneously, and disingenuously, replicating a pre-set aesthetic. Let's call it The Urban Outfitters Contradiction: be unique just like everybody else!"
Source: Cyborgology
Posted on October 3, 2012
Hipsters and Low-Tech
"The hipster aesthetic reflects an ideology of hyper-individualism, though this individualism is itself paradoxical because it is socially mandated."
Source: Cyborgology
Posted on October 3, 2012
Meet Mira, the Supercomputer That Makes Universes
"Cosmology...describes...a universe that is as enormous as it is ancient." Precisely.
Source: The Atlantic
Posted on October 2, 2012
Not Wanting Kids Is Entirely Normal
Eyebrows up: When given immunity, a shocking number of parents will abandon children of any age to the state.
Source: The Atlantic
Posted on September 28, 2012
The Third Born
Outstanding short story by Mohsin Hamid, author of The Reluctant Fundamentalist (one of the best books of the past 5 years).
Source: The New Yorker
Posted on September 25, 2012
The Honor System
A terrific portrait of Teller, the "smaller, quieter half of the magicians Penn & Teller."
Source: Esquire
Posted on September 20, 2012
Beer and the Apocalypse
Wondering how you'll survive in a post-apocalyptic world? Good news: You can drink the beer!
Source: The Nuclear Secrecy Blog
Posted on September 20, 2012
Cosmo, the Hacker 'God' Who Fell to Earth
At 6' 7", 220 lbs, this 15-year-old isn't scary because of his size, but because of his skill at cracking seemingly secure systems.
Source: Wired
Posted on September 19, 2012
Philip Roth and Wikipedia
We all sniggered when Wikipedia told Philip Roth it requires "secondary sources", but the plot has thickened considerably.
Source: Non-Commercial Use
Posted on September 18, 2012
Whoa, Dude, Are We Inside a Computer Right Now?
This apparently unstoned scientist thinks it's possible we could be nothing more than an advanced computer simulation.
Source: Vice
Posted on September 17, 2012
iPhone 5? Yawn. What Will the 'Phone' of 2022 Look Like?
If the history of technological prognostication is any guide, the smartphone of 2022 won't look anything like the pundits' predictions in this article.
Source: The Atlantic
Posted on September 17, 2012
Men Explain Things to Me
The amazing Rebecca Solnit battles with the Men Who Explain Things.
Source: TomDispatch
Posted on September 10, 2012
Aquarius Wept
From August 1970, the original Esquire story on the disastrous 1969 Rolling Stones concert in Altamont.
Source: Esquire
Posted on September 10, 2012
Mizoram's Wild Flower
An incredible tale of a four-year old girl who ran off into the jungle and was found 38 years later.
Source: Open Magazine
Posted on September 7, 2012
Diary of a Mad Fact-Checker
Ostensibly an essay on fact-checking but really a whip-smart and fantastically written ode to truth and credibility in writing.
Source: Oxford American
Posted on September 7, 2012
Experiments in airborne BASIC-"buzzing" computer code over FM radio
Okay, now I wish I'd lived in Finland in the 1980s.
Source: Ars Technica
Posted on September 3, 2012
Your Words Against Mine
"[A]t this level, Scrabble's dirty little secret is that it is a word game in which words mean nothing."
Source: Sports Illustrated
Posted on August 28, 2012
Which profession drinks the most coffee?
Fellow writers and editing colleagues! If we work hard, we can get to #1 on this list of the heaviest coffee drinkers.
Source: I ♥ Coffee
Posted on August 15, 2012
Errant Code? It's Not Just a Bug
Ellen Ullman: "Society may want to put its trust in computers, but it should know the facts:...There is always one more bug."
Source: The New York Times
Posted on August 14, 2012
How Apple and Amazon Security Flaws Led to My Epic Hacking
This sobering account of a journalist getting hacked shows the thin veneer — or, really, the illusion — of online safety.
Source: Wired
Posted on August 9, 2012
Myths, Legends and the Making of Usain Bolt
Really!? Usain Bolt's old sports instructor is named Mamrie Flash? #youcantmakethisstuffup
Source: Der Spiegel
Posted on August 7, 2012
The Body Olympic
Anthony Lane at the Olympics: Nobody does it better.
Source: The New Yorker
Posted on August 3, 2012
The Mechanics and Meaning of That Ol' Dial-Up Modem Sound
The always interesting Alexis Madrigal on dial-up modem noises and sounds as the symbols of an era.
Source: The Atlantic
Posted on June 12, 2012
Leaving Facebookistan
Steve Coll on why he's leaving Facebook: "Neither its governance system nor its young ruler seem trustworthy."
Source: The New Yorker
Posted on May 28, 2012
Machine Politics
Fascinating and accessible article on uber-hacker George Hotz, "the man who started the hacker wars."
Source: The New Yorker
Posted on May 10, 2012
Please Read: Important Procedure Change for Contacting IT Department
"Level 3 (Low priority): ...The user has become entangled in the cords behind the computer."
Source: The New Yorker
Posted on May 9, 2012
Talking With Your Fingers
Linguist John McWhorter defends texting, calling it, memorably, "fingered speech"
Source: New York Times
Posted on April 28, 2012
Hacks of Valor
"Anonymous [is] the audacious provocateur, straddling the boundaries between destructive, disruptive, and instructive."
Source: Foreign Affairs
Posted on April 24, 2012
Is Facebook Making Us Lonely?
"The tendency for neurotic and lonely individuals to spend greater amounts of time on Facebook per day than non-lonely individuals."
Source: The Atlantic
Posted on April 22, 2012
The Strange Days and Surprising Afterlife of a Legendary Operating System
Who knew? Apparently IBM's ostensibly defunct operating system OS/2 is still very much alive
Source: Time
Posted on April 11, 2012
How We Will Read
"Being bored is a kind of diagnostic for the gap between what you might be interested in and your current environment."
Source: Findings
Posted on April 6, 2012
Game of her life
A truly amazing story of a teenage girl from a slum in Uganda who is, of all things, a chess prodigy. Highly recommended.
Source: ESPN
Posted on April 6, 2012
I am very real
Just-so letter that Kurt Vonnegut wrote to the head of the school board that burned his books.
Source: Letters of Note
Posted on April 5, 2012
We Need A Private Mode For The Whole Internet
"There's a reason every stage has a curtain." An argument in favor of not sharing everything all the time.
Source: BuzzFeed
Posted on April 2, 2012
Do We Need Stories?
"The more words we invent, the more we feel reassured that there really is something there to refer to."
Source: The New York Review of Books
Posted on March 29, 2012
London cafes: the surprising history of London's lost coffeehouses
An entertaining but all-too-brief ramble through the history of London's famed coffeehouses. Great illustrations, too.
Source: Telegraph
Posted on March 28, 2012
The originality of the species
"The somewhat grand, somewhat ignoble, all too human pursuit of originality in the face of total dependence on..others"
Source: Guardian
Posted on March 27, 2012
Out of Contact
Strange, but true: We're well into the 21st century and there are still dozens of uncontacted native tribes around the world.
Source: The New York Review of Books
Posted on March 27, 2012
How a Bach Canon Works. Brilliant.
Mesmerizing and enlightening animation that shows the incredible complexity of a Bach canon.
Source: Open Culture
Posted on March 27, 2012
Stop Calling it Curation
Posting links to cool stuff: Is it "curating" or just "sharing"? Matt Langer plants a foot firmly in the sharing camp.
Source: Matt Langer
Posted on March 23, 2012
The Turing Problem
Standard awesomeness from Radiolab, this time a fascinating look at WWII hero and computing pioneer Alan Turing.
Source: Radiolab
Posted on March 23, 2012
Fish: a tap essay
Fish, a "tap essay" (that is, an essay in the form of an iPhone app) by Robin Sloan is a gem. The birth of a new genre?
Source: Robin Sloan
Posted on March 22, 2012
Broken English
Some of my favorite novels of recent years (Room, Never Let Me Go, The Curious Incident...) use a "hindered narrator."
Source: Propsect
Posted on March 21, 2012
Your Brain on Fiction
"The brain does not make much of a distinction between reading about an experience and encountering it in real life."
Source: The New York Times
Posted on March 21, 2012
Theater, Disguised as Real Journalism
A smart take on the MIke Daisey/This American Life controversy by The New York Times' David Carr.
Source: The New York TImes
Posted on March 20, 2012
Why You Shouldn't Retweet the Haters
Retweeting a troll is like groaning when someone makes a bad pun: All you're doing is encouraging the offender.
Source: The Atlantic
Posted on March 20, 2012
Why Finish Books?
Is there a right time to stop reading a novel, even one that you're enjoying? Tim Parks thinks so.
Source: The New York Review of Books
Posted on March 20, 2012
E. B. White on the Free Press and the Evils of Corporate Interests in Media
E.B. White: "Sponsorship in the press is an invitation to corruption and abuse."
Source: Brain Pickings
Posted on March 20, 2012
Wikipedia Didn't Kill Britannica. Windows Did
Think Wikipedia killed the Encyclopedia Britannica? No, it was dead in the water long before that.
Source: Wired
Posted on March 20, 2012
The Tao of the C Train
"The train will arrive when you are ready for it to arrive. A sage does not will the train to arrive of her own desire"
Source: McSweeney's
Posted on March 19, 2012
Where's _why?
Superb Slate piece on the mystery surrounding a famous programmer who committed "infosuicide."
Source: Slate
Posted on March 19, 2012
Hacking is Important
A normal company needs hacking to create "something new that is going to disrupt and eventually destroy that normality."
Source: Rands In Repose
Posted on March 18, 2012
Turn On, Code In, Drop Out: Tech Programmers Don't Need College Diplomas
Do you need a degree to become a professional programmer? This great piece by @ErinBiba presents the case against.
Source: GOOD
Posted on March 18, 2012
The Bookshop
In a bookstore, I love coming across "Books That Fill You With Sudden, Inexplicable Curiosity, Not Easily Justified"
Source: Lists of Note
Posted on March 13, 2012
Up Front
Great quote from Douglas Coupland: "We invented [technology] ourselves. Therefore it can never be alienating; it can only be an expression of our humanity."
Source: The New York Times
Posted on March 12, 2012
School for quants
I wish all these smart young quants would use their massive brainpower to solve real problem or make useful things.
Source: Financial Times
Posted on March 12, 2012
Mathematical translations of popular refrains
What are the equations for "Meh" and "It is what it is"? Read on.
Source: McSweeney's
Posted on March 6, 2012
How to Survive the End of the Universe
A plan for the survival of the human race over the next 100 trillion years.
Source: Discovery
Posted on March 6, 2012
Form and Fortune
An outstanding essay ("book review" doesn't come close) by Evgeny Morozov on Steve Jobs' (and, so, Apple's) design philosophy.
Source: The New Republic
Posted on March 6, 2012
I'm Being Followed: How Google—and 104 Other Companies—Are Tracking Me on the Web
Oy, is this scary stuff: As many as 100 companies are most likely tracking your web moves.
Source: The Atlantic
Posted on March 6, 2012
Horrid Writing
Anti-technology rant, circa 1862: "Has not the curse of steel pens swept over the land until decent handwriting is almost unknown?"
Source: Scientific American
Posted on March 6, 2012
Attacks paid for by big business are 'driving science into a dark era'
"We are sliding back into a dark era." On the troubling anti-science movement.
Source: The Guardian
Posted on March 1, 2012
The Boy Who Played With Fusion
The amazing story of Taylor Wilson, who built a nuclear fusion reactor at the age of 14.
Source: Popular Science
Posted on March 1, 2012
The Weasel, Twelve Monkeys And The Shrub
David Foster Wallace on the campaign trail with John McCain in 2000. Essential reading.
Source: Rolling Stone
Posted on February 29, 2012
The Forgetting Pill Erases Painful Memories Forever
Soon we'll have a pill that can erase a painful memory. I'm creating a painful memory just thinking about it.
Source: Wired
Posted on February 23, 2012
Shelf-Conscious
A brief history of the bookshelf.
Source: The Paris Review
Posted on February 23, 2012
E-books Can't Burn
Let us now praise electronic books.
Source: The New York Review of Books
Posted on February 22, 2012
Quitting the Paint Factory
"I distrust the perpetually busy." So begins a classic essay in praise of idleness. (Ignore the inane political diatribe in the last third of the piece.)
Source: Harper's
Posted on February 22, 2012
An Open Letter to the Fastest Jogger at the Park
Superb send-up of those of us who often run too fast in crowded spaces.
Source: McSweeney's
Posted on February 22, 2012
Google's iPhone Tracking
Google is now officially evil.
Source: The Wall Street Journal
Posted on February 17, 2012
Man falls ill eating Heart Attack Grill burger
Irony thick enough to chew: Dude has a heart attack eating a "Triple Bypass" burger at the (now all-too-aptly named) Heart Attack Grill.
Source: The Seattle Times
Posted on February 15, 2012
The Mystery Behind Anesthesia
Anesthesia is a modern medical marvel. The trouble is that "we still can't quite tell you how it works."
Source: Technology Review
Posted on February 15, 2012
Forefather
Eyebrows up: John Tyler, 10th President of the United States, born in 1790, has two living grandchildren!
Source: Futility Closet
Posted on February 10, 2012
On the Meaning of Life
"Life demands to be lived. Inaction, save as a measure of recuperation between bursts of activity, is painful and dangerous to the healthy organism."
Source: Letters of Note
Posted on February 7, 2012
William Empson
"The central function of imaginative literature is to make you realize that other people act on moral convictions different from your own."
Source: Milton's God
Posted on February 6, 2012
Austrian Law Student Faces Down Facebook
Yikes!: "Facebook sent Mr. Schrems a computer disc containing 1,222 pages of [his personal] information."
Source: The New York Times
Posted on February 6, 2012
The Death of the Cyberflaneur
Remember when we used to surf the web? A lament for those bygone days, wrecked by apps and social networking.
Source: The New York Times
Posted on February 6, 2012
Toronto through the lens of Jeremy Kai
Stunning photos of underground Toronto.
Source: blogTO
Posted on February 2, 2012
Let the Robot Drive: The Autonomous Car of the Future Is Here
I dislike driving long distances, so I for one will welcome our new autonomous car overlords.
Source: Wired
Posted on February 1, 2012
The Long Goodbye
A cautionary tale for those of us with aging parents.
Source: Atlanta Magazine
Posted on January 27, 2012
Charles Dickens's Inner Child
A wonderful parting gift from the late Christopher Hitchens.
Source: Vanity Fair
Posted on January 19, 2012
In Search of Serendipity
No Wikipedia today, so why not try something new? This essay on the pleasures of serendipity is a good place to start.
Source: More Intelligent Life
Posted on January 18, 2012
King of the Cosmos
Based on this absorbing profile by Carl Zimmer, I would like to be Neil deGrasse Tyson when I grow up.
Source: CarlZimmer.com
Posted on January 18, 2012
The Definitive Post On Why SOPA And Protect IP Are Bad, Bad Ideas
If you only want to read one article about SOPA and PIPA and the reasons behind today's protests, this is it.
Source: Techdirt
Posted on January 18, 2012
TheOatmeal.com blacked out in protest of SOPA/PIPA
"Orwellian bullshit makes me sad." The Oatmeal's irreverent and right-on SOPA protest.
Source: The Oatmeal
Posted on January 18, 2012
Internet Access Is Not a Human Right
An excellent reminder from "the father of the Internet" that technology is a tool to achieve an end, not an end in itself.
Source: The New York Times
Posted on January 11, 2012
Christopher Hitchens (Vanity Fair, Feb 2012)
One more for the road: Salman Rushdie's superb tribute to his great friend and defender, Christopher Hitchens.
Source: Salman Rushdie
Posted on January 10, 2012
The accidental universe: Science's crisis of faith
The proposed explanations of the greatest conundrums in science are undermining some of science's fundamental tenets.
Source: Harper's
Posted on January 6, 2012
Kodak Teeters on the Brink
Eyebrows up: Kodak, the company that invented the digital camera, may file for bankruptcy.
Source: The Wall Street Journal
Posted on January 6, 2012
Books That Are Never Done Being Written
Nicholas Carr on printed books as a "cultural preservative," and how the advent of eBooks will change all that.
Source: The Wall Street Journal
Posted on January 5, 2012
The String Theory
A classic essay from the late, great, and still very much missed David Foster Wallace.
Source: Esquire
Posted on January 5, 2012
The Search for a More Perfect Kilogram
Fascinating look at scientists' attempts to redefine the kilogram in terms of the laws of nature instead of a platinum brick.
Source: Wired
Posted on January 5, 2012
The End of the Future
This essay tackles a huge question: Is our current malaise the result of a lack of large-scale technological progress?
Source: National Review
Posted on January 4, 2012
George Steiner, a certain idea of knowledge
"I am concerned by what it means to be literate today. Is it possible to be literate if you do not understand non-linear equations?"
Source: Presseurop
Posted on January 4, 2012
The Woman Who Bested the Men at Math
The inspiring tale of Philippa Fawcett who, despite systemic sexism, won Cambridge's highest academic honor in 1890.
Source: The Smithsonian
Posted on January 3, 2012
A Time to Tune Out
Think the New York Times is trying to tell us something? First this: http://nyti.ms/uBPPj1, then this: http://nyti.ms/Vxvaky, and now this: http://nyti.ms/rwvaAl.
Source: The New York Times
Posted on January 3, 2012
Higgs Boson Might Yield Origins of Universe But Questions Remain
Sobering thought: "We might, far down the line, encounter limits because our brains just don't have enough conceptual grasp."
Source: Newsweek
Posted on January 2, 2012
Creating Artificial Intelligence Based on the Real Thing
"[The Jeopardy-playing computer] Watson...consumes 85,000 watts of electricity, while the human brain runs on just 20 watts."
Source: The New York Times
Posted on January 2, 2012
Can Tides Turn the Tide?
I had high hopes that tidal power would solve our energy woes but, alas, no, not when you Do The Math.
Source: Do the Math
Posted on December 30, 2011
The Strange Birth and Long Life of Unix
A terrific essay on the history and influence of the UNIX operating system.
Source: IEEE Spectrum
Posted on December 29, 2011
Scientists Discover That Antimicrobial Wipes and Soaps May Be Making You (and Society) Sick
Do you use antimicrobial soaps or wipes? Don't waste your money: regular soap is just as effective.
Source: Scientific American
Posted on December 29, 2011
Public bathrooms house thousands of kinds of bacteria
If you're in the least bit squeamish about public washrooms, you do NOT want to read this.
Source: Scientific American
Posted on December 27, 2011
The Strange Birth and Long Life of Unix
A terrific essay on the history and influence of UNIX.
Source: IEEE Spectrum
Posted on December 27, 2011
Does God exist?
One of my favorite writers, the physicist and novelist Alan Lightman, tries his best to reconcile science and religion.
Source: Salon
Posted on December 27, 2011
The wisdom of crowds
Call it "pedestrianology", the surprising science of pedestrian behaviour.
Source: The Economist
Posted on December 27, 2011
You Say You Want a Devolution?
Have styles remained essentially unchanged for the past two decades? This thought-provoking essay argues for the affirmative.
Source: Vanity Fair
Posted on December 27, 2011
Opena
I can't believe I'm only finding out about this combination iPhone case/bottle opener two days before Christmas!
Source: Opena Case
Posted on December 23, 2011
Christopher Hitchens: 'the consummate writer, the brilliant friend'
Another moving tribute to Christopher Hitchens, this one from the great novelist Ian McEwan.
Source: The Guardian
Posted on December 21, 2011
The serendipity machine is low on oil
The riposte: "I hadn't even realized that there was a correct way to use the Web."
Source: Rough Type
Posted on December 21, 2011
Anatomy of an Idea
The quote: "People who think the Web is killing off serendipity are not using it correctly."
Source: Steven Johnson
Posted on December 21, 2011
PostScript: Christopher Hitchens, 1949-2011
A funny, moving tribute to a friend: Christopher Buckley memorializes the late Christoper Hitchens.
Source: The New Yorker
Posted on December 16, 2011
You Can Legislate Morality. Ask Anyone Who's Tried to Avoid Picking Up After Their Dog.
Can you legislate morality? Yes, through dog poop.
Source: Dallas Observer
Posted on December 16, 2011
Auditing Astronomy Class
"I know enough that I look at the world differently." Beautiful meditation on how science enhances wonder.
Source: The Last Word On Nothing
Posted on December 12, 2011
What Really Happened Aboard Air France 447
A superb, unnerving tick-tock of the last few minutes in the cockpit of the doomed flight of Air France 447.
Source: Popular Mechanics
Posted on December 12, 2011
The Unlikely Event
Highly entertaining look at, of all things, the history of airline safety cards. First-rate writing by Avi Steinberg.
Source: The Paris Review
Posted on November 30, 2011
We Are the One Per Cent
"We are still a movement, coalesced around a cause, sleeping two and sometimes three people to a villa."
Source: The New Yorker
Posted on November 22, 2011
Pre-occupied
The origins of the Occupy Wall Street movement.
Source: The New Yorker
Posted on November 22, 2011
Rebecca Coriam: lost at sea
Eyebrows up: Since 2000, 171 people have disappeared from cruise ships.
Source: The Guardian
Posted on November 21, 2011
Luddite legacy
"Mr Ford has identified over 50m jobs in America...which, to a greater or lesser extent, could be performed by...software."
Source: The Economist
Posted on November 16, 2011
9 Equations True Geeks Should (at Least Pretend to) Know
If you're a geek, you need to know these essential equations (and these ones, too).
Source: Wired Science
Posted on November 11, 2011
A Brief Rant on the Future of Interaction Design
"With an entire body at your command, do you seriously think the Future Of Interaction should be a single finger?"
Source: Bret Victor
Posted on November 9, 2011
The Tweaker
Malcolm Gladwell argues that Steve Jobs wasn't an inventor, but rather a tweaker of other people's work. He means it as a compliment.
Source: The New Yorker
Posted on November 9, 2011
My First Flame
A return to the time when "flaming" was new and the word "net" was written using that's-what-all-the-kids-are-saying quotation marks.
Source: The New Yorker
Posted on November 1, 2011
What Kind of Buddhist was Steve Jobs, Really?
A fascinating look at how Steve Jobs' Buddhism affected his life and his work.
Source: NeuroTribes
Posted on November 1, 2011
What's the Most Important Lesson You Learned from a Teacher?
If you're a teacher or you know a teacher, these terrific stories of lessons learned from teachers are a must read.
Source: NeuroTribes
Posted on October 7, 2011
Nostalgia on Repeat
In an age of increasingly disposable media, what form will our future nostalgia take?
Source: Grantland
Posted on October 4, 2011
The Worst Sports City in the World
The exquisite pain of being a sports fan in Toronto, "the worst sports city in the world".
Source: Grantland
Posted on October 3, 2011
The Rise of the Zuckerverb
"Why, just now, I created a social app that allows the user to 'hornswoggle a flibbertigibbet.'" Sign me up for that app!
Source: The Atlantic
Posted on September 30, 2011
Don't Be Evil
"[Google's] systems...have grown so complex that no Google engineer fully understands them."
Source: The New Republic
Posted on September 30, 2011
Paula Radcliffe has committed the twin sins of being good and a woman
The IAAF's decision to no longer recognize women's marathon records run in "mixed" races is "boneheaded and heartless". Agreed.
Source: The Guardian
Posted on September 30, 2011
Every Child Is A Scientist
When faced with ambiguity and situations that excite their natural curiosity, children act like scientists.
Source: The Frontal Cortex
Posted on September 30, 2011
Beyond words: the Kindle Fire and the book's future
Lots of Amazon Fire punditry the last couple of days, but you won't read anything smarter than this Nicholas Carr piece.
Source: Rough Type
Posted on September 30, 2011
The Unselfish Gene
Are we inherently selfish creatures? Recent studies and experiments show that the answer is, surprisingly, "No, not really."
Source: Harvard Business Review
Posted on September 28, 2011
Radiolab: An Appreciation
NPR icon Ira Glass talks about what makes Radiolab such a great show.
Source: Transom
Posted on September 27, 2011
Dr. Don
A terrific, engaging New Yorker story about a druggist who's the heart and soul of a small Colorado town. Highly recommended.
Source: The New Yorker
Posted on September 22, 2011
Raise high the paywall, publishers
"Information doesn't want to be free. Nor does it want to be expensive. Information wants to be reasonably priced."
Source: Rough Type
Posted on September 21, 2011
How Will Shortz Makes a New York Times Crossword Puzzle
An entertaining, behind-the-scenes look at how Will Shortz edits a New York Times crossword.
Source: The Atlantic
Posted on September 16, 2011
Jon Stewart and the Burden of History
An oddly written but still entertaining profile of Jon Stewart, by Esquire's Tom Junod.
Source: Esquire
Posted on September 15, 2011
Marrying Tech and Art
Steven Johnson: "There is no contesting the fact of Steve Jobs's genius-just a debate about its defining qualities."
Source: The Wall Street Journal
Posted on September 15, 2011
800m women, questions but few answers
You wouldn't think Caster Semenya's testosterone levels would make interesting reading, but you'd be surprised.
Source: The Science of Sport
Posted on September 14, 2011
Pablo Fanque's Fair
Speaking of "Being for the Benefit of Mr. Kite", ever wondered who Pablo Fanque was? Wonder no more.
Source: The Smithsonian
Posted on September 13, 2011
Being for the Benefit of Mr. Kite
?"Over Men & Horses, through Hoops, over Garters, and lastly, through a Hogshead of REAL FIRE!" The original playbill that inspired John Lennon to write "Being For the Benefit of Mr. Kite".
Source: The Smithsonian
Posted on September 13, 2011
Footsteps: Sebastian Coe's Last Great Race
Terrific reminiscence of the last great race of the incomparable Sebastien Coe.
Source: Running Times
Posted on September 9, 2011
The Heady Thrill of Having Nothing to Do
"Dilbert" creator Scott Adams sings the praises of boredom. Yes, that's right, boredom.
Source: The Wall Street Journal
Posted on August 15, 2011
+1'tastic
If you're a Google+ user, better get your "+1" verb forms right. Here's a primer.
Source: The Boston Globe
Posted on August 13, 2011
How algorithms shape our world
A fascinating - and slight scary - talk about the just-barely-under-control algorithms that run our world.
Source: TED
Posted on August 13, 2011
Past-Tense Pop
Everything old is newish again.
Source: The New Republic
Posted on August 13, 2011
A Woman's Place
If I ever work in an office again, I want it to be one that Sheryl Sandberg runs.
Source: The New Yorker
Posted on August 12, 2011
How Google Dominates Us
"What it means to own information is very much in flux." Great state-of-the-Google essay by James Gleick.
Source: The New York Review of Books
Posted on August 4, 2011
A Billion Dollars Isn't Cool. You Know What's Cool? Basic Human Decency
A cri de coeur for basic human decency and ethical behavior from Web 2.0 entrepreneurs and venture capitalists.
Source: TechCrunch
Posted on August 4, 2011
4 Ways Technology Can Enable Your Inner Introvert
Ever-so-slightly tongue-in-cheek essay on how introverts can use technology to keep the extroverted world at bay.
Source: The Atlantic
Posted on August 4, 2011
The 30-Foot Jump
Was Carl Lewis once robbed of a 30-foot long jump? Find out in this entertaining piece told in the exuberant SI style.
Source: Sports Illustrated
Posted on August 4, 2011
The teacher who encouraged me to write
"Sure hope you become a writer." A moving tribute to a teacher who made a difference, by the writer Dave Eggers.
Source: Salon
Posted on August 3, 2011
Why Do Viral Videos Go Viral?
Some online videos go viral because they satisfy an ancient social instinct.
Source: The Frontal Cortex
Posted on August 3, 2011
The history and mystery of the high five
A brief history of the high five.
Source: ESPN The Magazine
Posted on August 3, 2011
Caring for Your Introvert
"Introverts are people who find other people tiring." Very funny essay on introverts and the people who love them.
Source: The Atlantic
Posted on August 3, 2011
On Pseudonymity, Privacy and Responsibility on Google+
A detailed and ultimately convincing argument in favor of using pseudonyms in social networks.
Source: TechnoSocial
Posted on July 29, 2011
Welcome, stranger
Why are we kind to strangers? Because there's a chance, however small, that we might meet them again.
Source: The Economist
Posted on July 29, 2011
How Not To Write a Book Review
If only every book reviewer would follow these three simple rules.
Source: Slate
Posted on July 28, 2011
McLuhan at 100
"His books read like accounts of acid trips written by a bureaucrat." Nicholas Carr on Marshall McLuhan.
Source: Rough Type
Posted on July 28, 2011
Did Einstein flunk math?
Einstein did not, I repeat, he did not flunk math.
Source: Time
Posted on July 28, 2011
Why Does Beauty Exist?
Is the appreciation of beauty -- in art, music, poetry, etc. -- just an enhanced version of curiosity?
Source: The Frontal Cortex
Posted on July 27, 2011
Scandal Sheets
Christopher Hitchens offers some welcome perspective on the British tabloid scandal.
Source: Slate
Posted on July 27, 2011
The 'Dramatic Picture' of Richard Feynman
Richard Feynman, superstar.
Source: The New York Review of Books
Posted on July 27, 2011
Mercury Espresso Bar
If you love *great* coffee, the next time you're in Toronto I highly recommend my local coffee joint, Mercury Espresso Bar.
Source: The Leslieville'r
Posted on July 27, 2011
Distant time and the hint of a multiverse
Superb TED talk by cosmologist Sean Carroll on time, the universe, and everything.
Source: TED
Posted on July 26, 2011
Two decades of the web: a utopia no longer
Early Net cheerleaders failed to anticipate (and so set up defenses against) negative developments such as spam and scams.
Source: Prospect
Posted on July 26, 2011
How the internet created an age of rage
Online anonymity leads to "deindividuation", which can turn regular folk into spewers of bile and venom.
Source: The Guardian
Posted on July 26, 2011
The Kingdom and the Paywall
Apparently, news of the imminent demise of the New York Times was greatly exaggerated.
Source: New York Magazine
Posted on July 26, 2011
Facebook and the Epiphanator
Superbly written essay by Harper's editor Paul Ford, lamenting the lack of story arcs in a socially-networked world.
Source: New York Magazine
Posted on July 22, 2011
Email Charter
TED's Chris Anderson presents a few sensible rules for making email less of a timesuck.
Source: Chris Anderson
Posted on July 22, 2011
Free Will Is as Real as Baseball
I choose to believe that free will exists. In this post, a cosmologist offers compelling arguments in my favor.
Source: Cosmic Variance
Posted on July 22, 2011
The Year of Wonders
Entertaining essay on the rise and post-911 fall of novelist Alex Shakar's first book.
Source: The Millions
Posted on July 13, 2011
Is the Fastest Human Ever Already Alive?
How fast can a human being run? Some think we're nearly at the limit.
Source: Grantland
Posted on July 13, 2011
The World's Greatest Light Bulb
Incandescent bulbs? Near-obsolete. Compact flourescents? Hideous & soul-destroying. So? Wait just a bit for LED bulbs.
Source: Slate
Posted on July 11, 2011
Monumentally Important Clocks
Great photo essay on classic clocks. Must see: Incredible video of a Lego replica of the Antikythera Mechanism.
Source: Wired Science
Posted on June 29, 2011
The End of Solitude
"The great contemporary terror is anonymity." Excellent meditation on the virtues of solitude in a too-connected world.
Source: The Chronicle of Higher Education
Posted on June 29, 2011
How to Land Your Kid in Therapy
If you shield kids from hurtful experiences, they never develop the tools to handle such experiences as an adult. Discuss.
Source: The Atlantic
Posted on June 28, 2011
How to survive the age of distraction
"Reading is an act of resistance in a landscape of distraction." A lovely essay on the pleasures of print.
Source: The Independent
Posted on June 28, 2011
Shyness: Evolutionary Tactic?
A spirited (and badly needed) defense of introversion and shyness.
Source: The New York Times
Posted on June 27, 2011
Rebecca Newberger Goldstein: secular humanist with a soul
A terrific profile of one of my favorite novelists, Rebecca Newberger Goldstein.
Source: The Christian Science Monitor
Posted on June 27, 2011
You know what scares me? The online mob
While I'm on the subject of online mobs: This columnist says "We have seen Big Brother. And he is us."
Source: The Globe and Mail
Posted on June 27, 2011
Upending Anonymity, These Days the Web Unmasks Everyone
Online mobs and digital vigilantes just might be scarier than their real-worl counterparts.
Source: The New York Times
Posted on June 27, 2011
Regrets of the Dying
Thought-provoking list of the five most common regrets that people have as they near death.
Source: Inspiration and Chai
Posted on June 27, 2011
#amwriting
Dani Shapiro coins "to pull a Franzen": To minimize writing distractions by using a barebones PC with no Net access.
Source: n+1
Posted on June 20, 2011
An AOL Content Slave Speaks Out
Sturgeon's Law tells us that "90 percent of everything is crap". Looks like AOL's going for 100 percent.
Source: The Faster Times
Posted on June 20, 2011
Bobby Fischer: from prodigy to pariah
Ostensibly a book and film review, but really a compact biography of chess genius (and notorious anti-semite) Bobby Fischer.
Source: The Guardian
Posted on June 17, 2011
The Renaissance man: how to become a scientist over and over again
Fantastic portrait of scientist Erez Lieberman Aiden and his "nomadic" mind.
Source: Not Exactly Rocket Science
Posted on June 16, 2011
Getouttamyway! (Thoughts On City Traffic)
This meditation on city traffic includes a wild video of bikers doing crazy things and a new profession: traffic archaeologist.
Source: NPR
Posted on June 16, 2011
Physics meets cancer
Can physicists cure cancer? Some are giving it a try.
Source: Nature
Posted on June 15, 2011
Boot Camp for Boosting IQ
Can we take steps to boost our intelligence? The answer is a definite maybe.
Source: The Wall Street Journal
Posted on June 15, 2011
U.S. Underwrites Internet Detour Around Censors
The U.S. government is financing an "Internet in a suitcase" and other projects to route around censorship.
Source: The New York Times
Posted on June 15, 2011
Antidote to LeBron: V-E-R-Z-B-I-C-A-S
Here's a feel-good sports story for you: The high schooler who ran a sub-4:00 mile in his last race. Great athlete, great kid.
Source: ESPN
Posted on June 15, 2011
Practical Tips on Writing a Book from 23 Brilliant Authors
Steve Silberman gets some solid advice on writing a book from the likes of Carl Zimmer, Cory Doctorow, and ... Anonymous!?
Source: NeuroTribes
Posted on June 13, 2011
Synthetic Biologists Use DNA to Calculate Square Roots
What the...? Synthetic biologists have created a DNA sequence that can calculate square roots!
Source: Wired Science
Posted on June 10, 2011
The Twitter Typo That Exposed Anthony Weiner
Beware the "DM fail": Putting "@" (public reply) instead of "D" (private direct message) at the beginning of a tweet!
Source: Huffington Post
Posted on June 10, 2011
Lady Gaga takes tea with Mr Fry
Whatever you think of Lady Gaga, this refreshingly uncynical profile by Stephen Fry (yes, that Stephen Fry) is a treat.
Source: Financial Times
Posted on June 10, 2011
The Big Bang Theory - Intro
Fans of the The Big Bang Theory will love this frame-by-frame list of the rapid-fire images that appear during the show's intro.
Source: Harald Kraft
Posted on June 9, 2011
Project Euler
Get your geek on: Project Euler encourages people to learn (or improve) programming skills by offering problems that require code to solve.
Source: Project Euler
Posted on June 9, 2011
Why Are Indian Kids So Good at Spelling?
Why do Indian-American kids dominate the National Spelling Bee? They have a "minor league" circuit to hone their skills.
Source: Slate
Posted on June 8, 2011
Where's the Panic Button on This Phone?
This author argues (and I agree) that fears of cellphone-caused brain cancer are irrational and unsupported by the evidence.
Source: Slate
Posted on June 3, 2011
The Crime of Lead Exposure
Fascinating idea: The steep drop in crime over the past two decades is a result (in part) of reduced lead exposure over that time.
Source: The Frontal Cortex
Posted on June 2, 2011
Book-odourise your Kindle!
Missing the smell of books while using your eReader? Karl Lagerfeld can help.
Source: The Dabbler
Posted on June 1, 2011
Physics and the Immortality of the Soul
The concept of the immortal soul runs up against the standard model of physics. Hint: the immortal soul loses. Badly.
Source: Scientific American
Posted on June 1, 2011
The Optimism Bias
I believe this will turn out to be true: Many scientists now believe that we are hard-wired for optimism.
Source: Time
Posted on May 30, 2011
Readers of the Pack: American Best-Selling
What our bestselling books tell us about ourselves and our culture: a 100-year restrospective.
Source: Bookforum
Posted on May 30, 2011
There and Back Again
Excellent article about "extreme commuters", people who travel 90 minutes or more each way to work.
Source: The New Yorker
Posted on May 30, 2011
The Evolution of Common Sense
This historian and philosopher of science argues that common sense is a product of evolution.
Source: Scientific American
Posted on May 30, 2011
Kurt Vonnegut Turns Cinderella Into An Equation
A great post by Robert Krulwich, but the payoff is the hilarious video of Kurt Vonnegut "graphing" our most common story arcs.
Source: NPR
Posted on May 27, 2011
Does Guinness Taste Better in Ireland?
It's hard to imagine Guinness being any tastier, but apparently it does taste better in Ireland.
Source: Slate
Posted on May 25, 2011
Turning to Biomechanics to Build a Kinder, Gentler Rib Spreader
Some amazing ingenuity on display in this terrific story about building a better rib spreader (no, really).
Source: The New York Times
Posted on May 25, 2011
The Flight of Curiosity
This philosopher says he and his peers need to be more open to creative rather than rigorous argument.
Source: The New York Times
Posted on May 25, 2011
The murder of Leo Tolstoy: A forensic investigation
A trip to the International Tolstoy Conference is the basis for this wry account by one of my favorite new writers, Elif Batuman.
Source: Harper's
Posted on May 25, 2011
The MIT factor: celebrating 150 years of maverick genius
An entertaining look at MIT, where ideas that transform the world are rated higher than Nobel prizes.
Source: The Guardian
Posted on May 25, 2011
Experimental Physics and The Limits Of Human Knowledge
"Science is not much talked about in society today." A mind-opening interview with the director of CERN.
Source: The European
Posted on May 24, 2011
How to spot a psychopath
"Serial killers ruin families. Corporate and political and religious psychopaths ruin economies. They ruin societies."
Source: The Guardian
Posted on May 24, 2011
The Chilling Story of Genius in a Land of Chronic Unemployment
Fascinating inside look at some of Nigeria's 419 scammers. The bad news: They're *way* smarter than you think.
Source: TechCrunch
Posted on May 24, 2011
The Stockholm Syndrome Theory of Long Novels
We stick with big novels because the authors are captors and we're hostages with Stockholm Syndrome-like symptoms. Or something.
Source: The Millions
Posted on May 24, 2011
"Children at Play" signs imperil our kids
It's a paradox: Those "Slow: Children at Play" signs actually make kids less safe.
Source: Slate
Posted on May 23, 2011
Dream Machine
Outstanding article on the mind-blowing weirdness of quantum mechanics and quantum computing (sub req'd).
Source: The New Yorker
Posted on May 23, 2011
Wikipedia And The Death Of The Expert
Well-argued essay on the superiority of collaborative knowledge versus individual insight.
Source: The Awl
Posted on May 22, 2011
Why Privacy Matters Even if You Have 'Nothing to Hide'
Excellent smackdown of the you-don't need-privacy-if-you've-got-nothing-to-hide argument.
Source: The Chronicle of Higher Education
Posted on May 22, 2011
Confessions of a Lexicographer
Slangmeister Jonathon Green on the craftsmanship of dictionary-making.
Source: The Dabbler
Posted on May 22, 2011
The Immortal Horizon
Redefining the word tough: In the 34-year history of this 100-mile race, only 7 people have finished.
Source: Believer
Posted on May 22, 2011
Why Facebook Needs Sheryl Sandberg
An interesting profile of "Facebook's adult", COO Cheryl Sandberg.
Source: BusinessWeek
Posted on May 22, 2011
There's More Than One Way to Feel the Pain of Running
That pain you feel during intense exercise? Turns out it's not pain at all.
Source: The New York Times
Posted on May 19, 2011
How Power Corrupts
A timely review of the latest research on how and why power corrupts.
Source: The Frontal Cortex
Posted on May 18, 2011
The Information Sage
A fascinating and insightful profile of "information design" guru Edward Tufte.
Source: Washington Monthly
Posted on May 18, 2011
The Duke in His Domain
The prodigious talents of Truman Capote, one of my favorite writers, are on full display in this 1957 New Yorker profile of Marlon Brando.
Source: The New Yorker
Posted on May 17, 2011
Survey finds most wine not drunk with meals
Eyebrows up: A new survey shows that only 40 percent of wine is quaffed with a meal.
Source: Napa Valley Register
Posted on May 16, 2011
Word Freakout
To those North American Scrabble players having a conniption fit over the new slang words, chill: We won't be getting them.
Source: Slate
Posted on May 13, 2011
Here Be Monsters
Absorbing tale of the three Tokelau teenagers who were adrift on the Pacific Ocean for 51 days without food or water.
Source: GQ
Posted on May 11, 2011
The Possibilian
"Time is this rubbery thing." A fascinating profile of the neuroscientist David Eagleman.
Source: The New Yorker
Posted on May 11, 2011
Ghostly 'Winged' Octopus Caught on Camera
Does the phrase "gorgeous octopus" strike you as oxymoronic? It won't after you see this stunning video.
Source: Wired Science
Posted on May 11, 2011
Watch The Incredible 70-Year Evolution Of The Cell Phone
A fascinating and occasionally hilarious visual history of the cell phone.
Source: Business Insider
Posted on May 10, 2011
Go the Distance
Want to live longer? Go for a run.
Source: Outside Magazine
Posted on May 10, 2011
What does 'friend' mean now?
The word "friend" is changing before our eyes (assuming we look away from our social media feeds long enough to notice).
Source: The Boston Globe
Posted on May 10, 2011
The Argumentative Theory
Why did humans evolve as reasoning creatures? According to this compelling theory, it was so we can win arguments.
Source: Edge
Posted on May 10, 2011
Infinite Attention
There are many good reviews of The Pale King out there, but I particularly liked this one by Judith Shulevitz.
Source: Slate
Posted on May 9, 2011
Mac vs. PC: A Hunch Rematch
Who do you identify with more, the PC people or the Mac people?
Source: Hunch Blog
Posted on May 9, 2011
How the Illusion of Being Observed Can Make You a Better Person
People behave more socially when they're watched, even if the "watcher" is a pair of eyes on a poster or computer screen.
Source: Scientific American
Posted on May 9, 2011
Pain and itch connected down deep
Pain and itch are closely connected, particularly at the "wasabi receptor" (yes, you read that correctly).
Source: UC Berkeley
Posted on May 4, 2011
The Comic Stylings of Brian Williams
This profile of news anchor Brian Williams is hilarious. Yes, that's right: hilarious.
Source: New York Magazine
Posted on April 28, 2011
Weird Science
Mildly frightening story about how little science there is in forensic science.
Source: Texas Monthly
Posted on April 28, 2011
Science and religion don't have to be enemies
Physicist and Templeton Prize winner Martin Rees makes the can't-we-all-just-get-along? case for science and religion.
Source: New Statesman
Posted on April 26, 2011
Play Fair, Run Fast, and Smile for the Camera
This well-written essay on the state of American sport includes the best explanantion I've heard for why soccer will never be big in the U.S.
Source: The New Inquiry
Posted on April 26, 2011
Elif Batuman: Life after a bestseller
Entertaining meditation on how Elif Batuman's life changed after she published an unlikely bestseller.
Source: The Guardian
Posted on April 26, 2011
The Science of Why We Don't Believe Science
Why our brains fool us into discounting scientific facts that contradict our current beliefs.
Source: Mother Jones
Posted on April 26, 2011
Amis on Hitchens
Christopher Hitchens #3: Martin Amis calls CH "one of the most terrifying rhetoricians the world has seen." Agreed.
Source: The Observer.
Posted on April 25, 2011
Message to American Atheists
Christopher Hitchens #2: Claws as sharp as ever, the dying lion tells his fellow atheists, "Don't keep the faith."
Source: Richard Dawkins Foundation
Posted on April 25, 2011
Beware the In-Laws
3 by Christopher Hitchens: First, a spirited rant against the British monarchy; the perfect antidote to Royal Wedding fluff.
Source: Slate
Posted on April 25, 2011
What Defines a Meme?
If you haven't yet read James Gleick's The Information (why not? It's amazing!), here's a fascinating excerpt on memes.
Source: Smithsonian Magazine
Posted on April 25, 2011
Donald Trump: Magnificent Bastard
Scott Adams (of Dilbert fame) sees Donald Trump's presidential "aspirations" as a classic prank, and he's impressed.
Source: Scott Adams Blog
Posted on April 25, 2011
The hardest sentence in the tax code
The most brain-twisting sentence in the U.S. tax code. Approach with caution.
Source: The Economist
Posted on April 22, 2011
Gerry Howard on Discovering, Editing, and Hatching David Foster Wallace
Gerry Howard (the editor of my Word Spy book) reminisces about discovering and editing DFW. Lots of great stories here.
Source: The New York Observer
Posted on April 21, 2011
In Memorium: Tim Hetherington
Another Tim Hetherington memorial, this one with a slide show of his incomparable photojournalism.
Source: The New Yorker
Posted on April 21, 2011
Remembering Tim Hetherington
I was so sorry to hear about the death of photojournalist Tim Hetherington (of Restropo fame) in Libya. This is just one many tributes from around the web.
Source: The New Yorker
Posted on April 21, 2011
'Neurotic and Obsessive' but 'Not Too Intransigent or Defensive'
Fascinating look at the challenges and joys experienced by the people who edited David Foster Wallace over the years.
Source: The Howling Fantods
Posted on April 21, 2011
Where does good come from?
How did natural selection produce altruism? It's one of the Big Questions, and still a controversial one.
Source: Boston Globe
Posted on April 20, 2011
The Man Behind the Curtain
The true state of modern physics: A pessimistic but entertaining survey.
Source: American Scientist
Posted on April 20, 2011
The Boys in the Bank
The original Life Magazine article that was the inspiration for the movie Dog Day Afternoon.
Source: Life
Posted on April 19, 2011
Yes, Nukes
Bjørn Lomborg makes the case for continuing investment in nuclear power.
Source: Slate
Posted on April 19, 2011
Is Facebook geared to dullards?
Social networking attracts people who don't like to think (present company excluded, of course).
Source: Rough Type
Posted on April 19, 2011
Vicarious Embarrassment: Awkward Moments Trigger Pain Centers in the Brain
Now I know why I'd rather chew tinfoil than watch "The Office": The show literally causes me pain.
Source: ABC News
Posted on April 19, 2011
The Psychology of Architecture
Need to be creative today? Find a room with blue walls and a high ceiling.
Source: The Frontal Cortex
Posted on April 18, 2011
Listen: Humpback Whale Songs That Swept the Pacific
In a clear example of whale culture, male humpbacks create new songs every year, and those songs get taken up by other humpback groups.
Source: Wired Science
Posted on April 15, 2011
How Self Control Works
Lessons on self-control from...Ulysses? Yup.
Source: Scientific American
Posted on April 15, 2011
This Tech Bubble Is Different
A lament that Silicon Valley's best and brightest are consumed by "ad think", where innovation serves only to get people to click more ads.
Source: BusinessWeek
Posted on April 15, 2011
Are You Following a Bot?
Better check the list of people you're following on Twitter. One of them might be a "social bot".
Source: The Atlantic
Posted on April 15, 2011
Grandmasters in Guayaberas
A college chess team "that includes a nightclub bouncer, a security guard, and a courier, beating Ivy Leaguers in the ultimate brain sport."
Source: Miami New Times
Posted on April 15, 2011
You're Being Played By Twitter
How sites like Twitter and Facebook use game-related concepts to keep users hungry for followers, friends, RTs, likes, etc.
Source: An Associate's Mind
Posted on April 14, 2011
Coffee studies should warm your heart
Today's good news: Recent studies suggest drinking coffee might help prevent strokes. Plus, it's delicious.
Source: Los Angeles Times
Posted on April 13, 2011
The science of eternity
The universe will be around for trillions of years to come. If we survive, what will we do with all that time?
Source: Prospect
Posted on April 12, 2011
Famous Unsolved Ciphers
Entertaining slide show of six of the most famous ciphers that have yet to be broken.
Source: Slate
Posted on April 12, 2011
Stem cells make 'retina in a dish'
This is, to say the least, stunning: Researchers have used embryonic stem cells to assemble an entire retina.
Source: Nature
Posted on April 12, 2011
How "The Fighter" shot 35 days worth of fight scenes in only three days
You know those great fight scenes in The Fighter? They seemed so real because, well, they were real!
Source: 37signals
Posted on April 11, 2011
On 'Radiolab,' the Sound of Science
Nice writeup of the aural awesomeness otherwise known as Radiolab.
Source: The New York Times
Posted on April 11, 2011
How News Corp got lost in Myspace
The rise and fall of MySpace. What's that? No, *My*Space. M-Y-S-P-A-C-E. MySp... Ah, never mind.
Source: Reuters
Posted on April 10, 2011
The Information Essay
Too much of what passes for literary nonfiction today is nothing more than a regurgitation of facts by "ironic Gradgrinds."
Source: n+1
Posted on April 10, 2011
The Pale King and I
David Foster Wallace remembered by the designer who worked on many of his book covers, including The Pale King.
Source: The Hipster Book Club
Posted on April 7, 2011
The Sleepless Elite
A look at "short sleepers," people who thrive on just a few hours of sleep a night.
Source: Wall Street Journal
Posted on April 7, 2011
Inside David Foster Wallace's Private Self-Help Library
Amazing (and amazingly detailed) look at the surprising contents of David Foster Wallace's personal library. A must for any DFW fan.
Source: The Awl
Posted on April 6, 2011
Sad as Hell
Ostensibly a review of the novel Super Sad True Love Story, but really a superb lament on our modern over-connectedness.
Source: n+1
Posted on April 6, 2011
How Professor Maxwell changed the world
A fine tribute to a true titan of science and one of my intellectual heroes, James Clerk Maxwell.
Source: The Economist
Posted on April 5, 2011
The Assassin in the Vineyard
The strange but true story of the plot to "assassinate" the vines of Romanée-Conti, the world's most famous vineyard.
Source: Vanity Fair
Posted on April 5, 2011
I Can Awkward
Terrific meditation on awkwardness and being human. (Must see: Pic of the cringingly awkward Oscar co-host James Franco.)
Source: The Awl
Posted on April 5, 2011
World's Largest Indoor Photo
At 40 gigapixels, this 360-degree photo is the world's largest. Wow factor: Zoom in to see the book titles or the ceiling details!
Source: 360Cities
Posted on April 4, 2011
The Lost Art of Pickpocketing
Jug troupes, steers, stalls, and hooks. The lush lingo of pickpocketing and its odd status as a "lost art".
Source: Slate Magazine
Posted on April 3, 2011
Grand Theft Attention: video games and the brain
Your brain on video games: There's good news, sure, but there's bad news, too.
Source: Rough Type
Posted on April 2, 2011
Why Escalators Bring out the Best in People: Scientific American
Strange, but true: Going up or being in an elevated position makes people act and feel more positive towards others.
Source: Scientific American
Posted on March 31, 2011
What Was the New York Times Magazine Like 100 Years Ago?
David Friedman has been featuring interesting and quirky New York Times Magazine articles from 100 years ago.
Source: Slate
Posted on March 31, 2011
Tsunamis: A Primer
Excellent layman's overview of how tsunamis work.
Source: The New York Review of Books
Posted on March 30, 2011
A Herd Makes Money on Wall Street
Big-time traders use IM a lot—on average, 16(!) chats at once—and those who use it most are the most successful.
Source: The Wall Street Journal
Posted on March 30, 2011
The Race That Is Not About Winning
Oddly charming (or perhaps charmingly odd) essay on running, runners, and (this is the odd part) Michael Cera.
Source: The Believer
Posted on March 29, 2011
Music is all in the mind
Wow: A new brain-computer interface lets paralysed patients play and compose music using just brain waves.
Source: Nature
Posted on March 28, 2011
The Prospect for Safe Nuclear Power
There are existing and future nuclear power technologies and plant designs that are safer than the current versions.
Source: Business Week
Posted on March 27, 2011
Consumed
The riveting story of South African Hendrik Coetzee, one of the world's best and most fearless whitewater kayakers.
Source: Outside
Posted on March 27, 2011
The Charms of Wikipedia
The great Nicholson Baker becomes (for a while, at least) a Wikipedian.
Source: The New York Review of Books
Posted on March 26, 2011
The Mother of Possibility
Thoughful essay by Sven Birkerts on the history and pleasures of idleness.
Source: Lapham's Quarterly
Posted on March 25, 2011
Where Do Bad Moods Come From?
I'm afraid I have bad news. According to this, "self-control is inherently aggravating," (which at least explains a lot).
Source: The Frontal Cortex
Posted on March 24, 2011
That was quick: Four lines of code is all it takes for The New York Times' paywall to come tumbling down
Paywall? We don't need no stinking New York Times paywall!
Source: Neiman Journalism Lab
Posted on March 23, 2011
Digital Subscription Prices Visualized (aka The New York Times Is Delusional)
I subscribe to many publications, so it's weird that I'm shunning the NYT digital sub. Now I see why.
Source: The Understatement
Posted on March 23, 2011
I was the man who broke into Auschwitz
Amazing story of a British POW who infiltrated Auschwitz to "identify the people responsible."
Source: The Telegraph
Posted on March 22, 2011
New York Times paywall: wishful thinking or just crazy?
Cory Doctorow objects to the NYT paywall. Me: The Times will simply ignore users who take "countermeasures" to beat the paywall.
Source: Boing Boing
Posted on March 21, 2011
Understanding Japan's Nuclear Crisis
Excellent overview of the operation of Japan's Fukushima nuclear plant and the problems it's facing.
Source: Wired Science
Posted on March 20, 2011
4chan's Chaos Theory
Is 4chan founder Christopher Poole the anti-Mark Zuckerberg? Yes, very much so.
Source: Vanity Fair
Posted on March 19, 2011
Which Traits Predict Success? (The Importance of Grit)
The most successful artists, athletes, and even spelling bee entrants aren't the most talented, they just have the most grit.
Source: Wired Science
Posted on March 18, 2011
When disaster strikes others: How your brain responds
Brain scans suggest that watching media coverage of disasters isn't voyuerism or rubbernecking; it's "vicarious coping".
Source: Psychology Today
Posted on March 17, 2011
The View from the Stands
Fantastic essay exploring the agony and the ecstasy of Istanbul's soccer fanatics.
Source: The New Yorker
Posted on March 17, 2011
Model Shows Intense Wave Power of Tsunami
Jaw-dropping animation that shows how the Honshu tsunami propagated across the Pacific ocean.
Source: The New York Times
Posted on March 16, 2011
The Weed that Strings the Hangman's Bag
A second helping of Alan Bradley's precocious princess of chemistry, Flavia de Luce. Great read.
Source: Amazon
Posted on March 16, 2011
Rhetoric and the Math Melodrama
Nobody could combine cheeky and geeky as well as the inimitable David Foster Wallace, who was in fine form in this 2000 book review (PDF).
Source: Science
Posted on March 16, 2011
How to make really good coffee
The science behind the perfect cup of coffee.
Source: Scientific American
Posted on March 11, 2011
Montaigne's Moment
Michel de Montaigne: The original oversharer.
Source: The New York Times
Posted on March 11, 2011
How Facebook is Killing Your Authenticity
How Facebook Commenting is the not-so-thin edge of the wedge in Facebook's grand plan to rule the web.
Source: steve's blog
Posted on March 11, 2011
Anatomy of a Crushing
Satisfyingly geeky account of how Pinboard survived a mad rush of Delicious users abandoning ship.
Source: Pinboard Blog
Posted on March 11, 2011
Troll, Reveal Thyself
Farhad Manjoo makes the case against anonymous commenting.
Source: Slate
Posted on March 10, 2011
Urge to Own That Clapton Guitar Is Contagious, Scientists Find
When buying memorabilia, our brains regress and are influenced by "celebrity contagion" and "imitative magic".
Source: The New York Times
Posted on March 9, 2011
Physics of Pruney Fingers Revealed
The math (yes, math) behind why our fingers get all wrinky after a long time in the water.
Source: Wired
Posted on March 9, 2011
A Song for Aretha
A poignant and personal tribute to Aretha Franklin by writer Nell Boeschenstein.
Source: The Morning News
Posted on March 9, 2011
Vermin of the Sky
What are the odds an asteroid will plow into the Earth and blow us all to kingdom come? Unfortunately, the answer is "It depends."
Source: The New Yorker -sub req'd
Posted on March 8, 2011
The Scientific Gender Gap
The solution to the persistent lack of women choosing math and science careera? More female math and science teachers!
Source: The Frontal Cortex
Posted on March 8, 2011
Situational overload and ambient overload
The problem isn't finding needles in haystacks, it's dealing with too many needles!
Source: Rough Type
Posted on March 8, 2011
The Science of Making Decisions
Information overload - it's worse than you think.
Source: Newsweek
Posted on March 7, 2011
Made in America: Small Businesses Buck the Offshoring Trend
Higher costs, quality problems are causing many firms to pull their manufacturing out of China
Source: Wired
Posted on March 7, 2011
The Blind Man Who Taught Himself To See
Wow: A blind man who uses tongue clicks to "see" by echolocation.
Source: Mens Journal
Posted on March 7, 2011
Twitter Was Act One
We don't know much about Twitter founder Jack Dorsey, so even this puffball piece is better than nothing.
Source: Vanity Fair
Posted on March 4, 2011
Sight Gets Repurposed in Brains of the Blind
In people who are born blind, brain structures normally used for vision are used instead for language.
Source: Wired Science
Posted on March 4, 2011
Drowning in Beeps
A review of James Gleick's "impressive" new book, The Information, which is now on my "must read" list.
Source: The Daily Beast
Posted on March 3, 2011
Why Are Easy Decisions So Hard?
Why trying to choose a breakfast cereal or one of the 350 (!) varieties of toothpaste is like struggling in quicksand.
Source: Wired
Posted on March 3, 2011
A Declaration of Cyber-War
Comprehensive and well-researched look at the mysterious and troubling "Stuxnet" worm that was unleashed last year.
Source: Vanity Fair
Posted on March 3, 2011
The Radical
Animal researcher by day, animal activist by night: The strange story of Joseph Harris.
Source: Nature
Posted on March 2, 2011
'This is one race an athletics fan in Kenya just has to witness'
Ever wondered why Kenya dominates distance running? Read this piece by Adharanand Finn.
Source: The Guardian
Posted on March 1, 2011
Bother Me, I'm Thinking
Daydreaming and distraction are good for you. Sorry, what was I saying...?
Source: Wall Street Journal
Posted on March 1, 2011
Nonfiction: Nabokov Theory on Butterfly Evolution Is Vindicated
Vladimir Nabokov was not only a famous novelist, but also a surprisingly dedicated lepidopterist.
Source: New York Times
Posted on February 28, 2011
Researchers Study 'Sidewalk Rage'
Apparently some folks become insane when walking behind slow people.
Source: Wall Street Journal
Posted on February 24, 2011
Rage Against Your Machine
Tom Vanderbilt examines the often hostile relationship between drivers and cyclists.
Source: Outside Magazine
Posted on February 23, 2011
2045: The Year Man Becomes Immortal
Good overview of the sometimes fascinating, but more often absurd worldview of the Singularitarians.
Source: Time
Posted on February 18, 2011
Mind vs. Machine
Excellent meditation on AI, the Turing test, and what it means to be human.
Source: The Atlantic
Posted on February 15, 2011
The Secrets Behind Your Flowers
Surprisingly interesting history and current overview of the cut-flower industry.
Source: The Smithsonian
Posted on January 15, 2011
Ray Kurzweil's Slippery Futurism
Over at IEEE Spectrum, John Rennie takes a closer look at Ray Kurzweil's supposed talent as a futurist. It ain't pretty.
Source: IEEE Spectrum
Posted on January 6, 2011