April 8, 2014
1. This is Your Brain on Internet
Your brain was not designed to read this sentence. Our brains adapted to become good at reading. And now, our clicking, swiping, and scrolling is training our brain to consume content in a new way. But will there be a cost? Researchers are finding that serious reading has taken a hit from online scanning and skimming. (This article would work better as a list of charts.)
+ Ever feel aggressive after playing a video game? That aggression might have more to do with gameplay mechanics than violent content. That explains why playing Flappy Bird always makes me want to beat the hell out of someone.
2. Beyond Their Years
“By the time they have reached the fourth grade, African American boys who have run a childhood gantlet of poverty, shifting family structure, harsh parenting and a mother’s low mood and educational attainment will have signs of premature genetic aging.” From the LA Times: Black boys facing chronic adversity show signs of early genetic aging
3. Where’s Vladimir?
Can you find Ukraine on a map? Your answer to that question could go a long way towards predicting whether or not you think the U.S. should intervene.
+ It probably doesn’t give Ukrainians much faith in their government’s ability to deal with the Russian crisis when they see members of parliament punching the crap out of each other.
+ Robet Coalson in The Atlantic: I watched Russian state television for a whole day. Here’s what I learned. (spoiler alert.)
+ Vox: What is the Ukraine Crisis?
UConn took home college basketball’s national championship last night. But here’s something most of their players will not be taking home: A diploma. UConn graduates 8 percent of its players.
+ Shabazz Napier is a national champion. He is an excellent player. He helps his school and their sponsors make millions. So it might surprise you that during the season, he often didn’t have enough money to buy food.
+ The women’s basketball championship will feature a rare matchup: Combined, the two teams are 76-0.
5. You Came in Through the Bathroom WiFi
The hackers who gained access to your credit card data by way of Target got into the retailer’s payment system through its heating and cooling system. Everything is wired. Everything is connected. So everything provides a door to your data. From the NYT: They came in through the Chinese takeout menu.
6. Should and Must
“There are two paths in life: Should and Must. We arrive at this crossroads over and over again. And each time, we get to choose.” In Medium, Ella Luna shares some interesting thoughts on the choices we all make at different moments in our lives and careers. The Crossroads of Should and Must. The way I look at it, we should all be so lucky to be able to choose must.
7. Sharpton’s Informant Days
“For more than four years, the fact that Sharpton was working as an informant was known only to members of the Genovese squad and a small number of other law enforcement agents. As with any Mafia informant, protecting Sharpton’s identity was crucial to maintaining the viability of ongoing investigations. Not to mention keeping him alive.” The Smoking Gun provides a detailed look at what they say were Al Sharpton’s days as FBI informant CI-7.
+ Sharpton called the report old news and added: “I was not and am not a rat because I wasn’t with the rats. I’m a cat. I chase rats.” (Is this a subtle insinuation that Dr. Seuss was somehow involved?)
+ Whether or not he was an informant, this was his hair. I miss the 80s.
8. Right UPS Routes
Syndicated from Kottke: UPS trucks don’t turn left. Well, they do sometimes but not very often. Left turns cross traffic, which wastes time and causes accidents. So UPS routes are designed with mostly right turns.
+ UPS saves time and money with software. Uber is hoping they can use their software and growing network to enter and dominate the same day delivery market. This is how Uber plans to beat Amazon with bike messengers.
+ A emergency room surgeon explains how Google Glass helped him save a patient’s life. So in the end, we’re left with a choice between looking up at a person wearing Google Glass or dying. Toss up.
9. Shut Up
“Ultimately, the cycle of attack and apology, of disagreement and boycott, will leave us with fewer and fewer people talking more and more about less and less.” Jon Lovett on the culture of shut up.
10. The Bottom of the News
“Astronaut wives only had to hold out for a week before their husbands came home. If Sonia goes to Mars, she’s not coming back. The Mars One Project is a one-way trip to establish a permanent human colony there.” In Texas Monthly, Jason Stanford reflects on his wife’s travel plans: Honey, I Want to Move to Mars.
+ The scariest car recall: Spiders?
+ A bunch of internationally accomplished violinists played modern violions along with a Stradivarius worth millions. They couldn’t really tell the difference.
+ The meteoric rise of boys’ names ending with an N.
+ A showing of Noah was canceled due to flooding.