Thursday, March 2nd, 2023
Tuesday, October 4th, 2022
As Descarte completed his Discourse on the Method I wonder if he had an inkling it would come to this, from “What Trans Health Care for Minors Really Means” by Tyler Santora at mainstream medical reference website WebMD:
For adolescents who are assigned female at birth, top surgery can be performed to create a flat chest. The Endocrine Society states that there is not enough evidence to set a minimum age for this type of gender-affirming surgery, and the draft of the updated SOC recommends a minimum age of 15. “Usually, for a [person] assigned female at birth, the chest tissue continues to mature until around 14 or 15,” Inwards-Breland says. “What I’ve seen surgeons do is after 14, they feel more comfortable.” If, though, a person is started on puberty blockers followed by hormone therapy from a relatively early age – around 13 – they will never develop breast tissue and wouldn’t need surgery to remove it.
Steve Jobs said: “Western rational thought is not an innate human characteristic; it is learned and is the great achievement of Western civilization.” Implicit in his statement is that it can be unlearned. As an intellectually inquisitive teenager in the 1980s I would have scoffed at the notion that religion serves to keep us rational. But the evidence suggests that it does, and without its drumbeat the fever dream of linguistic chimeras can drive us surprisingly mad surprisingly quickly.
Tuesday, March 8th, 2022
Exercise is upstream of everything.
Sunday, September 12th, 2021
This graphic in Scientific American details dozens of autoimmune diseases and the bodily systems they target.
Tuesday, July 6th, 2021
On ear wax.
Tuesday, January 19th, 2021
Nice backgrounder at Stat News on the history of mRNA vaccines.
Thursday, April 2nd, 2020
Wednesday, April 1st, 2020
Devi Sridha, Chair of Global Public Health at the University of Edinburgh, had been trying to sound the alarm about the British herd-immunity approach with pieces such as “Britain had a head start on Covid-19, but our leaders squandered it”.
Monday, March 9th, 2020
Saturday, November 2nd, 2019
Adam Gopnik’s “Short Husbands” essay.
Tuesday, October 1st, 2019
The sweaters of ??Succession??. By Vulture.
Monday, May 13th, 2019
We must be facing this: David Gelertner on giving up Darwin. Like Smith’s invisible hand and even Newton’s laws of physics, these glorious, newly-algorithmic cosmologies — the precursors to our wonder-world of bitty digitalism — aren’t the full explanation.
Thursday, January 17th, 2019
Jonathan Hoefler explores something that typeface designers have long known but that researchers have only now corroborated: horizontal lines appear thicker than vertical ones.
Saturday, September 22nd, 2018
How did I not know about ribbonfarm all these years; truly I’ve been living under a rock for ages. Thoughtful, concise, erudite, relevant: Tendrils of Mess in our Brains by Sarah Perry.
Tuesday, July 10th, 2018
Lesbians protest transsexuals at London Pride. The group is called Get the L Out. The event and the media condemned them but they seem to have some sympathy in the discussion on mumsnet.
Sunday, June 17th, 2018
Michael Chabon on Finnegan’s Wake .
As my year of diving languorously into the murky waters of the Wake wore on, I came to feel that it was this failure, this impossibility, this grand futility of the Wake, that constituted its secret theme, its true aboutness.
Thursday, May 24th, 2018
Michael Pollan’s everywhere-on-the-internet excursion into psychoactives is excerpted in The New York Times Magazine.
“I” now turned into a sheaf of little papers, no bigger than Post-its, and they were being scattered to the wind. But the “I” taking in this seeming catastrophe had no desire to chase after the slips and pile my old self back together.
Monday, March 12th, 2018
In the search for an interesting riff on Black Panther, Teju Cole, photography critic at The New York Times Magazine starts it up, complete with dueling translations of Rilke’s “The Panther”.
Tuesday, March 6th, 2018
A review of the new disenchantment with our overly-enchanting digital lives by one Arianna Huffington of all people.
Monday, July 10th, 2017
All our spines. A compilation of what Houston-based chiropractor Dr Gregory Johnson calls his ring-dingers.
Monday, July 3rd, 2017
Giancarlo Esposito talks with Slant Magazine about, among other things, how he created Gustavo Fring. “So part of what I began to do in Breaking Bad was to use my ease of expression—my breathing in and out, my yoga practice—to drop my natural personality. So that I would be calm and relaxed and allow myself to witness a little bit.”
Thursday, June 1st, 2017
Tuesday, January 10th, 2017
A double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled, cross-over feeding trial conducted for eight weeks at the University of New Mexico demonstrated that eating walnuts improves men’s mood (but interestingly not women’s). I announce here my love them with raisins, that’s 5 per half-walnut.
Thursday, December 1st, 2016
Gut: the inside story of our body's most under-rated organ
It’s arguably a profound and important book in that it can change our self-perception to one that’s closer to the truth.
Putting aside some questionable attempts at humor, the core of the book is an engaging, informed Fantastic Voyage from in the mouth all the way to out the bottom. I’ve seen so many images of our digestive system but never been presented with the process as a clear narrative, with emphasis on the differences between the organs involved and the inflection points between them.
Wednesday, November 2nd, 2016
Free-running amazingness may well become, like swimming, an increasingly common part of the human repertoire. Good monkey, good.
Tuesday, July 26th, 2016
Published in 1976, the themes nonetheless feel contemporary some 40 years later: environmental destruction, economic inequality, social alienation, childlessness. It’s all very naturalistic. We never encounter any aliens because they are long gone, and we don’t understand their amazing technological artifacts at all. And the people are in constant emotional turmoil.
Monday, July 18th, 2016
Friday, June 3rd, 2016
“You can’t cross the species barrier but, by bumping up against it, you can learn things.” In The New Yorker, Joshua Rothman surveys ventriloquism of the soul. “Tolstoy’s animals teach us to be good,” he explains. “Joyce’s teach us to be alive.” [via aldaily.com]
Thursday, May 5th, 2016
Sunday, February 21st, 2016
Sunday, January 10th, 2016
A story and video of a young reporter kind of blown away, so to speak, by some new VR porn demoed at CES. [Via DrudgeReport]
Wednesday, November 18th, 2015
The conclusion of this peer-reviewed scientific article on sauna: “Increased frequency of sauna bathing is associated with a reduced risk of SCD, CHD, CVD, and all-cause mortality.”
Saturday, May 16th, 2015
Once they see it they say, Oh is that the thing? And I say, Yes it is the thing. And they ask, Has it changed your life? And I shrug. And they are so disappointed.
Tuesday, March 31st, 2015
Your children are friends whom you know from the bottom up.
Sunday, December 28th, 2014
Zoe Harcombe investigates the WHO data and demonstrates that higher cholesterol = longer life.
Wednesday, April 2nd, 2014
A fearsomely refreshing list of what the author has learned in her 40s. Enjoyable if you’ve reached the age, and I wonder if edifying for those yet to.
Monday, March 31st, 2014
Here’s your treat for today: Montaigne on drunkenness [new link, find it in the contents].
Friday, March 28th, 2014
Give me health and a day, and I will make the pomp of emperors ridiculous. The dawn is my Assyria; the sun-set and moon-rise my Paphos, and unimaginable realms of faerie; broad noon shall be my England of the senses and the understanding; the night shall be my Germany of mystic philosophy and dreams.
Ralph Waldo Emerson
Sunday, September 8th, 2013
On the Grant Study, a longitudinal study of the happiness of the best and the brightest.
The squat, the perch—a reminder that we are not designed to defacate in seating position.
Wednesday, June 5th, 2013
Holy smokes. WiSee interprets human movements by the disturbances they cause in the force, er, wifi environment using existing hardware. By Qifan Pu at the University of Washington.
Monday, May 27th, 2013
University of Michigan doctors 3-D printed a bioresorbable splint that expanded the bronchus and saved the life of 6-month-old Kaiba. Science Daily reports.
Saturday, May 25th, 2013
Why, by the William Shatner School of Toupological Studies.
Sunday, May 12th, 2013
Cary Grant’s 1963 op-ed in This Week magazine on dressing well.
Thursday, April 4th, 2013
You’re diminutive, for sure.
Brian Greben, to me
Sunday, March 17th, 2013
Sauna: drug-free altered-state pod.
Monday, December 3rd, 2012
Check out the “Beneficial effects of sauna bathing for heart failure patients” by Arnon Blum and Nava Blum, an article published by the US National Institutes of Health. Turns out people with heart problems not only can use the sauna, it’s a therapy.
Some pro-sauna theory: Sweat Therapy Theory by Stephen Colmant. “From clinical experience, sweating induces commonly observed effects of exercise on mental health, such as reducing anxiety, depression, and stress and improving body image, self-esteem, and sense of well being.”
Wednesday, October 17th, 2012
Humans evolved to run long distances, argues Daniel Lieberman, Professor of Human Evolutionary Biology at Harvard, and the evolutionary approach helps us use our bodies better. Great stuff!
Sunday, March 11th, 2012