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27 May 2024
[life] A Billionaire Can Never Be Held Accountable… [via]

10 May 2024
[life] 101 Additional Advices … More Advice From Kevin Kelly. ‘When you are stuck or overwhelmed, focus on the smallest possible thing that moves your project forward.’
26 April 2024
[life] My Comments Are in the Google Doc Linked in the Dropbox I Sent in the Slack‘The document won’t open? I’m not sure how I could make this any easier. Okay, I reset the document permissions, but you’ll need to sign into the email document_view@busycompany.org via the password I texted you via iMessage. Once you sign into the email, it’ll ask you to create a Microsoft Teams account. You’ll find the link to the document in the Teams channel called “NO DOCUMENTS LINKS!!!” From there, you’ll find a link to a couple of WeTransfers of the current .docs. Every WeTransfer link is expired. To find the non-expired link, you’ll have to look through the email thread I forwarded you saying, “FYI.” It should be 110-120 emails deep in the thread.’
19 April 2024
[mac] Fixing Macs Door to Door … Confessions of an AppleCare Contractor in the 2000s, navigating around Chicago to repair Macs at customers’ homes. ‘Often I’d show up only to tell them their hard drive was dead and everything was gone. This was just how things worked before iCloud Photos, nobody kept backups and everything was constantly lost forever. Here they would often threaten or plead with me, sometimes insinuating they “knew people” at Apple or could get me fired. Jokes on you people, I don’t even know people at Apple was often what ran through my head. Threats quickly lost their power when you realized nobody at any point had asked your name or any information about yourself. It’s hard to threaten an anonymous person.’
10 April 2024
[time] 15 Methods to Master Your Time … Great infographic on various time management methods like Pomodoro and Eating the Frog.
25 March 2024
[lists] Things that don’t work … An interesting list of things that never ever work. ‘Arguing with people — Say Alice strongly believes X. You give devastating evidence that X is in false. How often will Alice turn around and say, “You’re right, I’m wrong, X is wrong.”? Words do not exist that will make people do that. (Aside from a few weirdos who’ve intentionally cultivated the habit.) But if you make a good case and leave her some room for retreat, you may find that Alice’s position is a bit softer the next time X comes up in conversation.’
11 March 2024
[relationships] Satanic Couple No Longer Has Shared Dark Vision For Future‘She and Dane hadn’t felt that first blush of unspeakable perversity and evil in quite some time. “As I became more interested in animal and human sacrifice, he started immersing himself more in his esoteric texts and dark arts that he says will unleash death and madness upon the world. So we really don’t have much to talk about anymore. We had planned on giving birth to the Antichrist someday, but he keeps trying to put it off by saying we have to wait until a blood moon rises on the winter solstice.”’
29 February 2024
[books] Today, I learned… Apparently the Brontës all died so early because they spent their lives drinking graveyard water. ‘…There was the graveyard—which sat on a hill, right in front of the parsonage where the Brontës lived—which Babbage found to be overstuffed, badly laid out, and poorly oxygenated, so much so that the decomposing material from the graves had filtered into the town’s water supply. The long-term exposure to harmful bacteria would have made the Brontës weaker, shorter, and more susceptible to other diseases.’
18 January 2024
[wifi] Problems with the WiFi“I’ve got problems with your Wifi. You’ve put a password on it…” 🤣

1 January 2024
[hangover] World’s Best Hangover Cure? … from Information is Beautiful.

29 December 2023
[cartoons] Tom Lets Out Weary Sigh After Walking Into Kitchen and Noticing Cheese Grater Isn’t Part of the Matte Painting‘Viewers of Tom & Jerry, while still eager to see Tom get hurt, were sympathetic to how resigned he was to his fate. “Don’t get me wrong, that cheese grater looked gnarly and he absolutely had it coming,” cartoon enthusiast Katie McLaughlin said of Tom, whose only crime was trying to catch a pest that lives in the walls and eats his owners’ food.’
27 December 2023
[ideas] 100 Little Ideas … A collection of ideas explaining how the world works. ‘Fact-Check Scarcity Principle: This article is called 100 Little Ideas but there are fewer than 100 ideas. 99% of readers won’t notice because they’re not checking, and most of those who notice won’t say anything. Don’t believe everything you read.’
12 December 2023
[life] 52 things Tom Whitwell Learned in 2023 A list of TiLs. ‘Scientists in Singapore have developed a tiny flexible battery, powered by the salt in human tears, designed for smart contact lenses.’
25 October 2023
[philosophy] Philosophy Bro … The complicated ideas of philosophy explained simply. Camus’ “The Myth of Sisyphus”: A Summary: A Summary: ‘Look, so, nothing matters, right? Shit’s fucking weird. We all want to know how the universe ultimately works or who’s running the show or whatever, and it turns out – TRICK. FUCKING. QUESTION. No one’s running the show, and the world is unreasonable. Ever had some shit happen to you that made you go, “Why the fuck did that happen? There’s no reason for that.” Turns out, you were right. So our attempts to impose reason on the world will fail. Death and taxes, my friend. Death and motherfucking taxes.’
10 October 2023
[dna] The Gift … I really recommend this BBC Radio podcast about what happens when home DNA tests gives their users big surprises.
13 September 2023
[death] Horror stories of cryonics: The gruesome fates of frozen bodies … A look at the results of cryogenic freezing failure on human bodies during the early days of cryogenics. ‘The worst fates of all occurred at a similar underground vault that stored bodies at a cemetery in Butler, New Jersey. The storage Dewar was poorly designed, with uninsulated pipes. This led to a series of incidents, at least one of which was failure of the vacuum jacket insulating the inside. The bodies in the container partially thawed, moved, and then froze again — stuck to the capsule like a child’s tongue to a cold lamp post. Eventually the bodies had to be entirely thawed to unstick, then re-frozen and put back in. A year later, the Dewar failed again, and the bodies decomposed into “a plug of fluids” in the bottom of the capsule. The decision was finally made to thaw the entire contraption, scrape out the remains, and bury them. The men who performed this unfortunate task had to wear a breathing apparatus.’
1 September 2023
[life] Study: ‘Truly Being Seen’ Still Ranks Among Worst Possible Experiences In Human Existence‘We’ve found conclusive evidence that realizing somebody has managed to look past your protective façade and recognize you for who you are continues to be the most punishing and humiliating experience the human psyche is capable of withstanding…’
30 August 2023
[worms] ‘Oh my god’: live worm found in Australian woman’s brain in world-first discovery … Oh, Dear God, Tapeworms! ‘It was a fairly regular day on the ward for Canberra hospital infectious diseases physician Dr Sanjaya Senanayake, until a neurosurgeon colleague called him and said: “Oh my god, you wouldn’t believe what I just found in this lady’s brain – and it’s alive and wriggling.” The neurosurgeon, Dr Hari Priya Bandi, had pulled an 8cm-long parasitic roundworm from her patient…’
3 August 2023
[doctors] Fad diets, midday sun and … coffee on the sofa: 12 doctors on the everyday dangers they avoid‘I don’t take paracetamol for a headache unless it is really bad. I see a lot of people with headaches in my clinic and they can usually be avoided by a healthier lifestyle. Quite often patients get headaches from popping too many paracetamols, or other over-the-counter medications. It is a vicious cycle: we call it an analgesic overuse headache. I try not to skip sleep. If you want to get a headache, go to bed late and get up early. Sleep and downtime are important.’
28 July 2023
[life] Current Status… (from @flotsammm)

"...But it was all Problemo."

18 July 2023
[opinions] 100 Incontrovertible Opinions‘Covid: Of course the vaccine worked you morons.’
14 June 2023
[life] I did a cringey thing… A cartoon by Sarah Andersen.

12 June 2023
[life] Dead Ringers … The compelling story, from 1975, about identical twin gynecologists who died together under mysterious circumstances in New York. The story was an influence on David Cronenberg’s movie Dead Ringers. ‘On Tuesday, July 14, Cyril lurches one last time out of the twins’ final nesting place. He stumbles as he is about to cross the threshold to the outside world. The doorman who offers to assist Cyril thinks he “looks like death.” Out on the sidewalk Cyril looks at life without Stewart. The first thing he will have to do, he knows, is explain things. It’s not hard to explain why he returned so soon to that crypt in 10H. Only in those two minutes he languished in the womb after his brother’s departure could Cyril have been more alone. He double-locked the door behind him. He pushed an armchair up against it as a further barricade…’
23 May 2023
[lost] Into Thin AirPods … Amusing tale of an attempt to find some lost Airpods using Apple’s Find My” app. ‘I texted a group chat that I had lost my AirPods, but was hot on the trail of the thief in a natural history museum, as if my life were a damn Hitchcock movie. I told them I thought I had eyes on the perp, but couldn’t be sure. “Confront!!” They urged. “Apprehend the teen!!! You of all people can take him!!” But what if I was wrong? I couldn’t ruin some nice adorable family’s Friday afternoon, even if it was just to ask a few innocent questions, like, “Hey–You guys look like you ski. Do you ski? What about stealing? Do you steal?”’
4 April 2023
[life] Treat your to-read pile like a river … Oliver Burkeman On Dealing With Your To-Read Pile. ‘The reading recommendations I encounter via Twitter are much more tailored to my concerns than those I might encounter via a newspaper, because I choose who I follow on Twitter; it’s like having a thousand assistants scouring the infoverse for whatever might pique my interest. My challenge, information-wise, isn’t about finding a needle in a haystack. It’s that I’m confronted on a daily basis, in Carr’s words, by “haystack-sized piles of needles.”‘
15 February 2023
[life] Taliban Bureaucrats Hate Working Online All Day, ‘Miss the Days of Jihad’ … Please note that this is not an Onion headline. ‘The real test and challenge was not during the jihad. Rather, it’s now. At that time, it was simple, but now things are much more complicated. We are tested by cars, positions, wealth and women. Many of our mujahedin, God forbid, have fallen into these seemingly sweet, but actually bitter traps.’
12 January 2023
[til] 52 things I learned in 2022 … Fifty-two TIL from Tom Whitwell. ‘There’s a warehouse in Israel full of claw machines you can play remotely. They send the prize if you win.’
27 December 2022
[nostalgia] ‘Who remembers proper binmen?’ The nostalgia memes that help explain Britain today … A look at nostalgia memes popular within UK social media. ‘Worzel Gummidge. Sweets by the ounce. Icicles hanging from the window frame (“Before central heating!”). Miss World (“All natural. Not a bit of botox in sight”). The power cuts of 1972-4 (“we coped, we were strong”). Scrubbing and polishing your front steps (“That’s when people had pride in where they lived”). Outdoor toilets. Cigarette machines. Flares. Playing in bombsites. Jumping in puddles. Roland Rat. There are no births, marriages or deaths here, no wars, no world-historic events, no great men and women of history. There is no post asking “who remembers the Cuban missile crisis?” or “who remembers the sinking of the Belgrano?” Those questions are too remote from ordinary life. Over here, we have abacuses and Listen With Mother to talk about. The banality is the point. This is a world where a picture of three butter knives can attract 1,300 comments of fond recollections and reflections.’
15 November 2022
[life] Are You a Parent of a Toddler or an Assistant to a Male CEO of a Tech Startup?‘He refuses to wear shoes.’
10 November 2022
>> I don’t know who need this today but here’s some joyful old clips of Vincent Price riding roller coasters. You’re welcome.
4 November 2022
[concentration] The Ultimate White Noise Player • Design Your Own Color … A website that helps you generate brown noise which can help with mental focus apparently.
14 September 2022
[queen] Inside British newsrooms on the day Queen Elizabeth II died: secret codes, chaos and black ties

‘Thirteen minutes after the note came the tweet. “Following further evaluation this morning, the Queen’s doctors are concerned for Her Majesty’s health and have recommended she remain under medical supervision,” wrote Buckingham Palace. “The Queen remains comfortable and at Balmoral.”

“When the statement dropped about her health it was obvious, and suddenly no MPs would talk,” the Whitehall correspondent says. Labour and Liberal Democrat MPs stopped responding to messages.

Across at what was once known as Fleet Street, time stopped.’

16 August 2022
[games] Jason Brassard Spent His Lifetime Collecting the Rarest Video Games. Until the Heist … A true-crime story about the robbery of a pristine collection of video games and the emotional cost of losing it. ‘Generations of games had been lost to attics, yard sales, and garbage bins, and enthusiasts like Brassard had become sentimental about finding and possessing them. A culture, and then a market, had bloomed around such wistful longings. It’s fair to assume most humans have played a video game—the emotional capital of playing and loving a game 30 years ago is one of the reasons games that old have become desirable. In the summer of 2021, a sealed copy of the first print of Super Mario Bros. for the NES sold for $2 million at auction. A copy of The Legend of Zelda went for nearly $900,000. A pristine, never-opened copy of Super Mario 64 sold for $1.56 million.’
15 August 2022
[cancelled] I’m a low-income pensioner and I’m terrified of university cancel culture this winter‘Yes, those with conservative views have got the Daily Telegraph, the Mail, Spectator and the Sun if people want to advocate sending Windrush migrants to Rwanda in leaky boats, but if they’re denied the platform of the University of East Anglia you’re literally cutting their tongues out. I don’t know what I’m going to do…’
20 June 2022
[life] Why City Life Has Gotten Way More Expensive … A look at why things like Uber are starting to cost more. ‘It was as if Silicon Valley had made a secret pact to subsidize the lifestyles of urban Millennials. As I pointed out three years ago, if you woke up on a Casper mattress, worked out with a Peloton, Ubered to a WeWork, ordered on DoorDash for lunch, took a Lyft home, and ordered dinner through Postmates only to realize your partner had already started on a Blue Apron meal, your household had, in one day, interacted with eight unprofitable companies that collectively lost about $15 billion in one year.’
1 June 2022
[life] Your Personality, Explained by Your Annoying Household Habits‘Soaking Dishes in the Sink – Your ability to make life more difficult is unmatchable. If an easy solution is available—and I mean a mind-numbingly obvious one—you decide that maybe the fix can’t be so simple and that you’d better let things marinate for a few days, at which point, yes, they’ve now become the nasty thing that you imagined, seeped in a rancid cesspool of indecision and procrastination (and, literally, rotting food).’
6 May 2022
[life] 103 Bits of Advice I Wish I Had Known … Some advice from Kevin Kelly. ‘Dont believe everything you think you believe.’
15 April 2022
[comics] We Apologize For Publishing Darkseid’s Anti-Life Equation … All is one in Darkseid! ‘Naturally, the staff and ownership of Hard Drive don’t encourage anyone to die for Darkseid; we encourage conversation. As the current and eternal ruler of the dread planet-fortress Apokalips, Darkseid is a public figure of note. While we pointedly disagree with cosmic genocide, we considered his perspective on the fabrege egg we call life newsworthy. Now it’s clear that no conversation can take place after cutting out your own tongue. We’ve removed Darkseid’s editorial, at great human cost. Our Opinion editor caught a glimpse of the equation as he deleted the page, snuffing the flame of his mortal soul and replacing it with loyalty to Darkseid.’
11 April 2022
[life] Fries on the Pier … from False Knees.

25 March 2022
[life] 100 ways to slightly improve your life without really trying … I have a theory that you usually find one useful thing in these lists of ways to improve your life. ‘Don’t be weird about how to stack the dishwasher.’
24 March 2022
[lol] Why We Use “lol” So Much … A deep-dive into LOL. ‘We use lol as a way of downplaying a statement; adding irony, levity, humility, empathy, or commiseration; expressing amusement; or just neutral acknowledgment. No longer simply an internet acronym that’s entered the mainstream, lol is an example of how language evolves over time, adheres to new grammatical rules, and creates community around the people that use it.’
18 March 2022
[tech] His software sang the words of God. Then it went silent. … A really sad, powerful story about how software can die with it’s creator, teaching Torah, loss and about a million other things. ‘I first heard it played to me over the phone from a copy that hadn’t yet ceased to function. It was a voice unlike any I’d ever heard: not human but made by humans, generated by a piece of computer code dating to the 1980s, singing words of a text from the Bronze Age in a cadence handed down, from one singer to another, over thousands of years. TropeTrainer was software that had been taught to sing the words of God. Then it went silent…’
14 March 2022
[life] UK Lottery Simulator – Playing The Lottery 1,000 Times Per Second … An animation on Reddit showing how little chance you have of winning the UK lottery.
7 March 2022
[life] A must-read book? Go on, make me … Why is it when a friend or review recommends something as must read or must watch we often get annoyed and reject the advice. ‘When it comes to, say, TV shows about competitive baking, I resist the pull of the crowd because I’m confident I’m not missing much. In the case of Hamilton or Boyhood, I’m sure my perversity is costing me real enjoyment. So what’s going on? One explanation is what psychologists call “optimal distinctiveness theory” – the way we’re constantly jockeying to feel exactly the right degree of similarity to and difference from those around us. Nobody wants to be exiled from the in-group to the fringes of society; but nobody wants to be swallowed up by it, either. In toddlerhood and teenagerhood, this manifests as a bloody-minded refusal to do what we’re told, precisely to show we can disobey our parents. Perhaps it never entirely goes away.’
9 February 2022
[experts] Why Is It So Hard to Predict the Future? … A look at why experts find predicting the future correctly difficult. ‘The integrators outperformed their colleagues in pretty much every way, but especially trounced them on long-term predictions. Eventually, Tetlock bestowed nicknames (borrowed from the philosopher Isaiah Berlin) on the experts he’d observed: The highly specialized hedgehogs knew “one big thing,” while the integrator foxes knew “many little things.” Hedgehogs are deeply and tightly focused. Some have spent their career studying one problem. Like Ehrlich and Simon, they fashion tidy theories of how the world works based on observations through the single lens of their specialty. Foxes, meanwhile, “draw from an eclectic array of traditions, and accept ambiguity and contradiction,” Tetlock wrote. Where hedgehogs represent narrowness, foxes embody breadth.’
28 January 2022
[tech] A Computer can never be held accountable… (An IBM Slide from 1977.)

A Computer can never be held accountable...

10 January 2022
[web] Meet the man who accidentally started an assassin hiring website … Buying a internet domain name can have unexpected consequences. ‘Innes had received a message from a woman named Helen. She was stranded in Canada, had lost her passport, and wanted three family members in the UK murdered for screwing her out of her father’s inheritance. He didn’t respond. But she persisted: sending a second email, which included names, addresses and other corroborating information. Innes felt compelled to act…’
7 January 2022
[drink] The Heaviest Drinker in the Animal Kingdom … Today I learned it is very hard to get hamsters drunk. ‘Alcohol goes straight from the gut to the liver, which starts breaking down the mind-altering toxin that is ethanol. Hamster livers are “so efficient” at processing ethanol that very little ends up in their blood, says Tom Lawton, a critical-care doctor in Bradford, England. But when the hamsters got injected with ethanol, the substance could bypass the liver and go into their bloodstream and then their brain—hence much wobbling and falling over. Hamsters’ alcohol tolerance is likely an adaptation to their hoarding lifestyle.’
24 November 2021
[life] The Misconception About Baby Boomers and the Sixties‘The boomers get tied to the sixties because they are assumed to have created a culture of liberal permissiveness, and because they were utopians—political idealists, social activists, counterculturalists. In fact, it is almost impossible to name a single person born after 1945 who played any kind of role in the civil-rights movement, Students for a Democratic Society, the New Left, the antiwar movement, or the Black Panthers during the nineteen-sixties. Those movements were all started by older, usually much older, people. The baby boomers obviously played no substantive role in the passage of the Civil Rights Act or the Voting Rights Act, or in the decisions of the Warren Court, which are the most important political accomplishments of the decade. Nor were they responsible for the women’s movement or gay liberation.’ [Thanks Feeling Listless]
9 August 2021
[life] Fake iceberg injures guests at Titanic museum‘In the most compelling evidence to date that the universe is controlled by a malevolent overlord who takes sick joy in our species’ misfortunes, visitors at a Titanic museum in Tennessee have been injured after a fake iceberg fell on them…’