January 14, 2016
Proponents of rationality tend to talk about the brain as a kind of second-rate computer, jammed full of old legacy software but possible to reprogram if you can master the code. (SLNYT) A group teaches ways to overcome your primate brain to help yourself.
Jane Marie writes about On Going Off My Depression Medication During Pregnancy.
"This is quite a large epidemic, so another question is how did this get so big so fast? And no one has the answer," said Hotez. "There's nothing really published, most of what we’re going on are World Health Organization alerts." First case of tropical zika virus linked to serious birth defect found in Texas (Jessica Glenza, The Guardian); What You Need To Know About the Zika Virus (Alexandra Ossola, Popular Science); CDC home page for resources and information; FAQ from Pan American Health Organization
Prominent Bitcoin developer Mike Hearn writes an epitaph for Bitcoin: "Bitcoin is an experiment and like all experiments, it can fail."
MetaFilter is long familiar with the dichotomy between Ask Culture and Guess Culture. Alice Maz, a programmer writing for the new group blog Status 451, has described another common dichotomy between “harmonious emotional experience” and “information sharing”, and what happens when the two meet. (In short: “Harsh words may be exchanged, and everyone exits the encounter thinking the other person was monumentally rude for no reason.”) [more inside]
Max Verstappen drove his F1 car on a ski slope and didn't die. [YouTube]
We see Verstappen taking his Red Bull (of course) team race car and driving it up, down, and back up a ski slope. Somehow, the mix of studded tires, snow chains, and Verstappen's natural born talent keep the kid from flying off the mountain. (The super serious 9-minute one, seen directly above, is particularly full of beautiful, mind-boggling footage.) [The Verge]
The San Francisco sewer system is an amazing feat of engineering. Almost entirely gravity-run, it directs both stormwater and wastewater into a combined system of pipes that flow to wastewater treatment facilities. In the Life of Poo, you can type in an address in San Francisco and see where your toilet waste flows.[more inside]
Peterborough & The Great War. At the Peterborough (UK) East Railway Station during 1916 and 1917, the Women’s United Total Abstinence Council ran a tea stall. There were two visitors books there signed by the soldiers travelling to and from the various fronts during World War I which have been digitised for the website. [more inside]
Jeff Enlow photographs the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta in Behind the Levees (with video) [more inside]
Crossrail needs to rename its stations. Crossrail is a big new railway right through the middle of London. Whilst a nice new railway affords a lot of opportunities for improvement apparently naming stations is not one of those areas.
In Zanzibar, life moves pole pole. Tunis does not rock the casbah. Barcelona is a gin and tonic town. Maps are worthless in Ulaanbaatar. Altitude is a bastard in Ganzi. Eating local in Hargeisa means devouring "a metric shit-ton of gamey, tough, and greasy camel meat." And nothing can prepare you for platzkart on the Trans-Mongolian Railroad. These are some of the many things you can learn from Roads and Kingdoms' regular feature, Know Before You Go.
My dentist tells me that I grind my teeth at night. He says this is a very bad thing and needs to be remedied. Apparently the problem is tension, brought on by stress. Clearly I need less stress in my life. To make this happen I have decided to use this column to address all the things about restaurants that I truly hate; the atrocities I hope to see disappear in 2016.The 12 things that restaurants must stop doing in 2016. [Single-link Jay Rayner] [more inside]
The Academy Award nominations are out, and for the second year in a row, the twenty acting nominees share a common thread besides being good actors: every one of them is white. [more inside]
Creed's star, Michael B. Jordan, and director, Ryan Coogler, talk about film and race. [more inside]
Actor Alan Rickman, active in theater and film for 30 years and known for roles such as Professor Severus Snape in Harry Potter, has died at age 69 from cancer.