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Barking Up The Wrong Tree distils scientific research, focused on its motto: "I want to understand why we do what we do and use the answers to be awesome at life." With a gradual shift to more digest posts packed with links to summaries & sources, a sampling of the past couple weeks includes: What are 10 things you should do every day to improve your life? - What are 10 things you should do every week to improve your life? - 25 research-based ways to increase your intelligence - What are 7 things that can make you happier in 7 seconds? - 7 steps to never procrastinating again. Another blog along the same lines but less glib & immediate is Peer-Reviewed By My Neurons; recently: How confusion facilitates learning - The science of coming on too strong - Want to be creative? Play Dungeons & Dragons [more inside]
Music Theory for Musicians and Normal People Toby W. Rush's "Music Theory for Musicians and Normal People" covers a massive range of topics like pitch, rhythm, scales, intervals, and harmonics. The online book itself is arranged as a collection of about 50 PDFs that offer diagrams, notes, and tips for everything music theory related. [more inside]
"At my then-boyfriend’s house I opened a drawer to borrow a T-shirt. All the T-shirts were perfectly folded, as if ironed. I knew right then and there that I must run for my life." And other tales of romantic dead ends. capturing the exact moment you realize a relationship is doomed, doomed, doomed.
Tonight! He's "a well-meaning, poorly informed, high-status idiot." An it-getter. A knight. A doctor (of fine arts). A Real American Hero. And after tonight, his arched eyebrow of justice will never again grace American television screens in quite the same way. "Stephen Colbert": a brief retrospective. Truthiness - The White House Correspondents' Dinner - Better Know a District - Formidable Opponent - Tek Jansen - Papa Bear - I Am America (And So Can You!) - Americone Dream - The ThreatDown - Late Night Fight! - Testifying to Congress - The Rally to Restore Sanity - Colbert Super PAC - Maurice Sendak - Wheat Thins - Lorna Colbert - Tolkien-off - Ask a Grown Man - The Decree. So much more inside. [more inside]
(About) 100 fantastic pieces of journalism from the editor of the Atlantic. Some stuff has been posted here before, but there is much that is new. So read about: The man who broke the Price is Right, horrifying Argentine ant invasions (warning: features description of ants in a California home that will creep you out for a long time to come), the ethics of cloning Neanderthals, the rise of the order of Assassins, why Holder can't close Gitmo, Hooter's opening in Japan, how a jailhouse lawyer sued himself out of prison, and the reflections of one of the best writers of nonfiction alive. And about 90 other articles, all available online.
"If you are poor, why do you spend money on useless status symbols like handbags and belts and clothes and shoes and televisions and cars? One thing I’ve learned is that one person’s illogical belief is another person’s survival skill."
Two and a half years ago, we explored the early history of Cartoon Network... but it wasn't the only player in the youth television game. As a matter of fact, Fred Seibert -- the man responsible for the most inventive projects discussed in that post -- first stretched his creative legs at the network's truly venerable forerunner: Nickelodeon. Founded as Pinwheel, a six-hour block on Warner Cable's innovative QUBE system, this humble channel struggled for years before Seibert's innovative branding work transformed it into a national icon and capstone of a media empire. Much has changed since then, from the mascots and game shows to the versatile orange "splat." But starting tonight in response to popular demand, the network is looking back with a summer programming block dedicated to the greatest hits of the 1990s, including Hey Arnold!, Rocko's Modern Life, The Adventures of Pete & Pete, The Ren & Stimpy Show, Double Dare, Are You Afraid of the Dark?, Legends of the Hidden Temple, and All That. To celebrate, look inside for the complete story of the early days of the network that incensed the religious right, brought doo-wop to television, and slimed a million fans -- the golden age of Nickelodeon. (warning: monster post inside) [more inside]
The return of "patrimonial capitalism": review of Thomas Piketty's Capital in the 21st century (pdf) - "Thomas Piketty's 'Capital in the 21st century' may be one of the most important recent economics books. It jointly treats theory of growth, functional distribution of income, and interpersonal income inequality. It envisages a future of relatively slow growth with the rising share of capital incomes, and widening income inequality. This tendency could be checked only by worldwide taxation of capital." [more inside]
Kids know that the best toys are the ones you make from stuff that's lying around. Arvind Gupta's been doing this for three decades. Take a look at his Turbine bottle cap, Helicopter foam cup, Drinking straw flute, The CD hovercraft, Magic Paper Fan, Funny Fountain, Drinking Straw Centrifuge Pump, Climbing Butterfly. Or check out the rest of his 1000 videos(!). Go to his website and discover an armload of books and pamphlets describing more toys (some of them classic) along with science experiments, math activities and stories. A sample: The amazing Touching Slate, a drawing toy for blind children. Hands On - Science Sense, Hands On - Ideas and activities, Toy Joy, Little Science, The Toy Bag, Toy Treasures. Little Toys , Finally you can hear Arvind in person at TED.com giving career advice, showing off a dozen toy examples, demonstrating the structure of methane; telling a Large Hadron Collider joke and finishing with the wonderful "Captain's hat" story. [more inside]
America's Test Kitchen Super Quick Video Tips: "Test Kitchen wisdom distilled into eminently watchable video clips" of no more than a minute or two long, including tips for meat (how to make the most perfect bacon ever - how to quickly defrost meat - how to dry-age steak at home) to coffee (how to make pour-over coffee - how to fake a latte at home) and wine (the fastest way to chill wine) to pizza (flattening dough and baking a perfect thin-crust pizza ) and general kitchen tips (is your knife sharp enough? - do you really need to buy regular olive oil? - how to quickly soften butter and soft cheese). And there's Ask the Test Kitchen quick video tips as well (what's the best way to peel eggs? - how do I store brown sugar?).
Kevin Kelly has posted a list of what he believes are the best magazine articles ever.
Five years ago this week, the BBC started broadcasting one of the most extraordinary documentaries ever to grace television: Planet Earth. The culmination of five years of field work, it employed the most cutting-edge of techniques in order to capture life in all its forms, from sweeping spaceborne vistas to shockingly intimate close-ups -- including many sights rarely glimpsed by human eyes. Visually spectacular, it showcased footage shot in 204 locations in 62 countries, thoroughly documenting every biome from the snowy peaks of the Himalayas to the lifegiving waters of the Okavango Delta, a rich narrative tapestry backed by a stirring orchestral score from the BBC Concert Orchestra. Unfortunately, the series underwent some editorial changes for rebroadcast overseas. But now fans outside the UK can rejoice -- all eleven chapters of this epic story are available on YouTube in their original form: uncut, in glorious 1080p HD, and with the original narration by renowned naturalist Sir David Attenborough. Click inside for the full listing (and kiss the rest of your week goodbye). [more inside]
Get Your Shit Together helps you do what it says on the tin. After her husband died in a 2009 bike accident, Chanel Reynolds created the site as a step-by-step toolkit to help keep track of important life documents and tasks. Four days after its launch, the New York Times got in on the action. [more inside]
Professor Deepak Malhotra offers 15 pieces of negotiation advice, followed by Q&A, in an informal session for students at the Harvard Business School. (1 hr 5 min video).
Famous Poems Rewritten as Limericks, as brought to us by our very own Lore Sjöberg. English majors, begin your griping now.
A Field Guide to Chess Tactics. Chess tactics explained in plain English, with hundreds of examples. A great site for beginning to mid-level players. Includes a large library of positional problems, organized thematically, with the solutions explained and discussed. For example, learn about knight forks, then quiz yourself on the same topic.
The 5 Stupidest Habits You Develop Growing Up Poor (sl Cracked list) [more inside]
In the wake of their grunge-y breakout hit "Creep" and the success of sophomore record The Bends, Thom Yorke and the rest of Radiohead were under pressure to deliver once more. So they shut themselves away inside the echoing halls of a secluded 16th century manor and got to work. What emerged from that crumbling Elizabethan castle fifteen years ago today was a shockingly ambitious masterpiece of progressive rock, a visionary concept album that explored the "fridge buzz" of modernity -- alienation, social disconnection, existential dread, the impersonal hum of technology -- through a mosaic of challenging, innovative, eerily beautiful music unlike anything else at the time. Tentatively called Ones and Zeroes, then Your Home May Be at Risk If You Do Not Keep Up Payments, the band finally settled on OK Computer, an appropriately enigmatic title for this acclaimed harbinger of millennial angst. For more, you can watch the retrospective OK Computer: A Classic Album Under Review for a track-by-track rundown, or the unsettling documentary Meeting People is Easy for a look at how the album's whirlwind tour nearly gave Yorke a nervous breakdown. Or look inside for more details and cool interpretations of all the tracks -- including an upcoming MeFi Music Challenge! [more inside]