Are good readers more likely to give up on maths?: “None of this means that we should stop efforts to counter stereotypes about girls’ aptitude for maths and science versus reading. But it does suggest that much of the impact of these stereotypes occurs not at the point at which girls choose a career, but many years earlier.”
Apple sleuths hunt Northwest for varieties believed extinct: “E.J. Brandt and David Benscoter, who together form the nonprofit Lost Apple Project, log countless hours and hundreds of miles in trucks, on all-terrain vehicles and on foot to find orchards planted by settlers as they pushed west more than a century ago.”
Sometime between January 11th and January 23rd, I thought this stuff was interesting. You might think so too!
- A meteor hit the moon during the lunar eclipse. Here’s what we know.: “In what may be a first-of-its-kind event, a flash of light seen during totality has astronomers on the hunt for a new crater on the moon.”
- DuckDuckGo Taps Apple Maps to Power Private Search Results: "We're excited to announce that map and address-related searches on DuckDuckGo for mobile and desktop are now powered by Apple's MapKit JS framework, giving you a valuable combination of mapping and privacy."
- To save the sound of a Stradivarius, a whole city must keep quiet: “Cremona is home to the workshops of some of the world’s finest instrument makers, including Antonio Stradivari, who in the 17th and 18th centuries produced some of the finest violins and cellos ever made. The city is getting behind an ambitious project to digitally record the sounds of the Stradivarius instruments for posterity, as well as others by Amati and Guarneri del Gesù, two other famous Cremona craftsmen. And that means being quiet.”
- An Idea for Electoral College Reform That Both Parties Might Actually Like: “As long as we continue to have the Electoral College, we should make it work as intended. This means bringing it back into compliance with the majority-rule principle.”
- The oral history of the Hampsterdance: The twisted true story of one of the world’s first memes: “What started 20 years ago in Nanaimo, B.C. spawned hit songs, worldwide LOLs and a giant hairball of drama.”
Sometime between November 14th and November 29th, I thought this stuff was interesting. You might think so too!
- Neuroscience says listening to this song reduces anxiety by up to 65 percent: “The group that created ‘Weightless’, Marconi Union, did so in collaboration with sound therapists. Its carefully arranged harmonies, rhythms, and bass lines help slow a listener’s heart rate, reduce blood pressure and lower levels of the stress hormone cortisol.”
- Physicist Wins Ig Noble Prize For Study On Whether Cats Should Be Classified As Liquids Or Solids: "At the center of the definition of a liquid is an action: A material must be able to modify its form to fit within a container," Fardin said. "If we take cats as our example, the fact is that they can adapt their shape to their container if we give them enough time. Cats are thus liquid if we give them the time to become liquid."
- Pseudoarchaeology and the Racism Behind Ancient Aliens: “Where, exactly, the idea of ancient aliens building the pyramids began — and why some academics think racism lies at the heart of many extraterrestrial theories.”
- Do you have any advice for someone who is 16?: "Watch Star Trek. // I’m sorry anon. I realized belatedly that I basically just told you 'turn to Jesus!' and walked away without explanation. I’m absolutely not kidding, though: Star Trek. Especially in times of difficulty and change: watch Star Trek."
- This is the Greatest Example of Wanton Cruelty in All of the Star Wars Universe: "There’s a lot here that can be considered cruel—torture, enslavement, sadism, and so on—but the really cruel thing isn’t directly happening in the scene, but it does make the scene possible. It’s the fact that droids can feel pain."
Sometime between October 2nd and November 9th, I thought this stuff was interesting. You might think so too!
- ‘Star Trek: Short Treks’ Michael Chabon, Aldis Hodge Interview [SPOILERS]: “I started thinking about The Odyssey and the story of Odysseus landing on the Isle of Calypso,” Chabon tells The Hollywood Reporter. “He’s been out wandering for a long time, and she takes him in and falls in love with him. He’s been traumatized and is now just trying to get home, but has this strange magical interlude on the way.”
- “In political terms, calling something a ‘distraction’ means it’s a distraction tactic, not that the issue itself isn’t important.”: “The Republican party has a very longstanding history of dropping hints of major policy changes right before big elections in the hopes of getting the ‘hot-headed liberals’ all fired up about it so we start bickering among ourselves.”
- What Makes ‘The Good Place’ So Good?: “NBC gave Michael Schur total freedom. So the TV impresario made a sitcom that’s also a profound work of philosophy.” This show is so very good. My dad would have loved it.
- “Fifty years later and this is still one of the most daring filmmaking decisions I’ve ever seen on TV”: Behind-the-scenes info on the shooting of the scene in Amok Time where Spock breaks down. One single shot, 1:45, no cuts — done in a single take, at Leonard Nimoy’s insistence.
- Woman awarded Nobel Prize in physics for first time in 55 years: “Donna Strickland, from Canada, is only the third woman winner of the award, along with Marie Curie, who won in 1903, and Maria Goeppert-Mayer, who was awarded the prize in 1963.”
Sometime between September 1st and September 3rd, I thought this stuff was interesting. You might think so too!
- It Came From the ’70s: The Story of Your Grandma’s Weird Couch: “The ’70s, however, was a time when everyone, even the Western-loving square, was more open to experimenting in some way. Some people tried drugs or hosted swinging sex parties; others channeled their sense of adventure exclusively into garish upholstery.”
- Why tech’s favorite color is making us all miserable: “The cold blue light of modern touchscreens may be aesthetically pleasing, but it poses health problems. Designers and technologists should take cues from military history and embrace the orange.”
- Lego Wants to Completely Remake Its Toy Bricks (Without Anyone Noticing): “It wants to eliminate its dependence on petroleum-based plastics, and build its toys entirely from plant-based or recycled materials by 2030.”
- The man who owns the Moon: "For more than 35 years, Dennis Hope has been selling land on the Moon. Hope registered a claim for the Moon in 1980 and, since the US government & the UN didn’t object, he figures he owns it (along with the other planets and moons in the solar system)."
- A twitter thread in which I drag every single US president in order:: Not many get off lightly — nor should they. Not an approach to history you're likely to find in most history classes.
Sometime between May 13th and May 25th, I thought this stuff was interesting. You might think so too!
- George Takei Accuser Scott Brunton Changed His Story of Drugs, Assault: “A fabricated coffee meeting. Key facts withheld or walked back. A ‘great party story’ about a sexual assault—which the accuser now says may not have actually happened. What happens when an activist’s legacy is tarnished by the story of an old friend who later says it could have all been a misunderstanding? And how do we process such an anomaly in an era of overdue social justice?l
- when i say ‘don’t make jokes about rednecks and hillbillies’, that doesn’t mean i think you’re being racist against white people: “i say that because you are perpetuating extremely toxic rhetoric about our region, you are promoting stigma, you are encouraging blatant classism, and you are furthering the idea that we somehow ‘deserve’ it because our elected officials vote republican. it’s not cute. stop acting like none of us have the right to call you out on your classist bullshit.“
- Dear NRA, It’s Time to Take Away Everyone’s Gun: “I’m finished trying to reason with you. So now I, a guy who was ambivalent about guns just a few years ago, want to take your guns away. All of them. I want to take them all and melt them down and shape them into a giant sphere and then push it at you so you have to run away from it like Indiana Jones for the rest of your lives. I want Ted Nugent to roam the halls of his gunless house, sighing wearily until he dies. I want to end this thing once and for all, so that all of you who have prioritized the sale of guns over the lives of children have to sit quietly and think about what you’ve done. God help me, I want to take all of your guns out of your hands, by myself, right now.”
- The respect of personhood vs the respect of authority: "In April 2015, Autistic Abby wrote on their Tumblr about how people mistakenly conflate two distinct definitions of 'respect' when relating to and communicating with others. This is an amazing & astute observation and applies readily to many aspects of our current political moment."
- How the 50-mm Camera Lens Became ‘Normal’: “The idea that a 50-mm best approximates human sight has more to do with the early history of lens production than any essential optical correspondence between the lens and the eye.”
Sometime between 13:25 and 16:32 on March 30th, I thought this stuff was interesting. You might think so too!
- The Male Power Fantasy (and why Mad Max and Captain Kirk don’t fit): This relates to a theory I have, which is that the archetypal Western Male Hero is James Bond, to the degree that people (Mainly straight white men) start to see every Western Male Hero as James Bond. Which is to say an aggressively masculine, quip-spitting, hyper violent womanizer. The ultimate Male Power Fantasy. A new supermodel love interest (or two) every film, a gun in his hand, and no consequences for his actions.
- So many biological genders: If anyone tells you that there are 2-3 sexes in the world I want you to just go ahead and slap them.
- Fight Club and toxic masculinity (with a side of Mad Max: Fury Road): Hold up – you mean there are people who watch Fight Club and don’t realise that Tyler Durden is meant to be full of shit?
- Geisha FAQ: Please do not spread misconceptions about these hard-working women artists. They deserve respect and have persevered for centuries with women at the forefront of these professions.
- Earth is dangerous: I really want a science fiction story where aliens come to invade earth and effortlessly wipe out humanity, only to be fought off by the wildlife.
- Of privilege and nostalgia: The reality is, there was never a time when everyone could just enjoy things. To be able to say you had that time is to admit the privilege you had at not having to think about problematic behavior because it didn’t negatively affect your life.
- To everyone else in the galaxy, all humans are basically Doc Brown.: Random Headcanon: That Federation vessels in Star Trek seem to experience bizarre malfunctions with such overwhelming frequency isn’t just an artefact of the television serial format. Rather, it’s because the Federation as a culture are a bunch of deranged hyper-neophiles, tooling around in ships packed full of beyond-cutting-edge tech they don’t really understand.
- Snarky but amusing and thorough Romeo and Juliet analysis: SUMMARY: Romeo and Juliet is a stunningly rich play that is mostly about how feuds fuck people over badly and how if you have to wait until YOUR KIDS OFF THEMSELVES to figure that out you deserve to lose your children. Romeo and Juliet are victims of the feud and its mindless death-lust, not perpetrators of death on others. They’re not supposed to be figures of ridicule OR representatives of True Love: they’re supposed to make the audience go “oh BABIES, no, you’re going to end so badly” and then be sad when they do.
- The singular “they”: Next time someone complains about singular “they” I’ll point them to this 17th century rant against singular “you”.
Sometime between , I thought this stuff was interesting. You might think so too!
- A Tasting Menu of Female Representation: Several simple guidelines for gauging how well women are presented in media. Bechdel, Mako Mori, Sexy Lamp, Anti-Freeze, Strength is Relative, and Furiosa, and Pizza Night tests. (tags: sexism media film representation bechdel bechdeltest makomori pacificrim sexylamp antifreeze strengthisrelative furiosa madmaxfuryroad mmfr pizzanight )
- Everything is Chemicals: “If you can’t pronounce it, it’s bad for you” is literally the worst pseudo-scientific scaremongering bullshit tactic. I hate it so much. (tags: tumblr health science food chemicals )
- Humans Are Weird: To paraphrase one of my favorite bits of a ‘humans are awesome’ fiction megapost: “you don’t know you’re from a Death World until you leave it.” For a ton of reasons, I really like the idea of Earth being Space Australia. (tags: tumblr sciencefiction sf earth aliens australia humor )
- Old Fandom-New Fandom Dictionary: Definitions for several terms common to fandom; some old, some new. Not remotely comprehensive. (tags: tumblr fandom language glossary )
- Dear Fellow Guys….stop hitting on women at work….: If you’re interacting with a human it’s because you want to interact with a human and you want that human to be nice to you. You are paying for their kindness, for their smiles when their feet hurt and their questions about your day when they haven’t had lunch yet. Flirting with customer service workers at work, asking them out when they’re on the clock and paid to make you happy, telling them you think they’re attractive and expecting a gushing response – that’s breaking the rules. That’s a lose-lose situation that you’ve set them up for. (tags: sexism toxicmasculinity behavior flirting safety tumblr )