October 5, 2016
What do you do when your company's commercial sparks urban legends about a curse? Why, replace it with one that isn't creepy at all. [more inside]
Athletes Jesse Owens and Carl Ludwig "Luz" Long, competitors at the 1936 Olympic Games in Berlin, became devoted friends and corresponded long after Owens returned to America. [more inside]
Phil Coyne is an usher for the Pittsburgh Pirates. He first started working that job in the 1936 season.
The prevailing attitude [in China] is chabuduo, or ‘close enough’. It’s a phrase you’ll hear with grating regularity, one that speaks to a job 70 per cent done, a plan sketched out but never completed, a gauge unchecked or a socket put in the wrong size. Chabuduo is the corrosive opposite of the impulse towards craftmanship...it implies that to put any more time or effort into a piece of work would be the act of a fool. China is the land of the cut corner, of ‘good enough for government work’.
Pallas's cats (aka manuls) have been granted protection area in Sailyugemsky Nature Park. This calls for floofy manul kittens pouncing to a crime-sleazy lounge soundtrack. [more inside]
"The possibility that education has become a fundamental divide in democracy – with the educated on one side and the less educated on another – is an alarming prospect. It points to a deep alienation that cuts both ways. The less educated fear they are being governed by intellectual snobs who know nothing of their lives and experiences. The educated fear their fate may be decided by know-nothings who are ignorant of how the world really works. Bringing the two sides together is going to be very hard. The current election season appears to be doing the opposite." [SLGuardian] [more inside]
The Dizzying Grandeur of 21st Century Agriculture [NYT link] Our industrialized food system nourishes more people, at lower cost, than any comparable system in history. It also exerts a terrifyingly massive influence on our health and our environment. Photographer George Steinmetz spent nearly a year traveling the country to capture that system, in all its scope, grandeur and dizzying scale. His photographs are all the more remarkable for the fact that so few large food producers are willing to open themselves to this sort of public view [more inside]
For Canadians, Thanksgiving Is a ‘Quieter’ Affair in October [The New York Times] Trying to explain their version of the holiday can be a thankless task for Canadians living in America. Most of the year, Canadians living in the United States look, talk and act so much like their neighbors that their nationality draws no attention at all. Autumn is a season of danger, though, when the mask of assimilation can be ripped off, forcing some Americans to face the unnerving, if fleeting, realization that Canada is an entirely different country. All it takes is one mention of Canadian Thanksgiving [wiki].
Mahjong! Mahjong! Students mystified at midnight, busted for playing mah jong in a common outdoor area. Apparently take out is controversial as well.
Or rather, to be scrupulously accurate: We have been parted often since, in fact most of the time, as I live elsewhere, though she has ever been the companion of my heart. But I first knew her as my own on the internet. Making friends on the internet is the closest I have ever come to fulfilling my dream of becoming one of the monks of the B’omarr Order, who keep their brains in jars and the jars on mechanical spider-legs, and who are seen briefly in Jabba’s palace in Return of the Jedi: It is a nearly perfectly unembodied act. Online, we are all Jane Eyre yelling about soul-kindred-ness to one another.
"[O]ne thing that's really critical from an emotional agility perspective and that's actually really quick and easy to do, is to simply recognize your thought for what it is. It's a thought. Or your emotion for what it is. It's an emotion." An interview with author and Harvard Medical School faculty psychologist Susan David, Ph.D., by Sarah Green Carmichael for Harvard Business Review IdeaCast: Building Emotional Agility [audio + transcript] [more inside]
The highly acclaimed magazine mental_floss will publish its last edition this month. Executive Editor Foster Kamer shares his thoughts on its demise and the mountain of spam that he had to wade through to assemble the letters section each month. [more inside]
NOAA data buoy 42058, located in the central Caribbean about 200 NM south of Jamaica, records as the eye of Hurricane Matthew passes directly over it. [more inside]