September 17, 2015

Indigenous Australian storytelling accurately records sea level rises 7,000 years ago.

“I will distract men with my boobs.” Men: are distracted by her boobs. Social hacking and hardware hacking. I like it.

A documentary about Christian “purity culture” shows all the ways it’s obsessed with sex.

The first printed cookbook…was published 20 years after Gutenberg’s Bible. Bartolomeo Platina’s On Honorable Pleasure and Health (De honesta voluptate et valetudine) addressed “the citizen who wishes good health and a clean life rather than debauchery.”

More Evidence for Coming Black Hole Collision.

Does Canned Food Ever Really Go Bad? A canny analysis.

September 16, 2015

The Writing of History. Yes. Both American liberals and conservatives believe America caused and causes everything, everywhere.

Daily chart: How countries spend their money.

It’s Time to Stop Employer Credit Checks.

People Are More Likely to Cheat at the End.

I honestly don’t know if Garbage Pail Kids would have ever got off the ground had it been made today. The PC police would probably shut it down pretty quickly. I loved these as a kid.

The United States Probably Has More Foreign Military Bases Than Any Other People, Nation, or Empire in History.

From slavery to Ferguson, Ken Burns sees an unfinished Civil War.

Do the rest of the fucking analysis.

September 15, 2015

If you object that exponentials are unrealistic, then we’re in agreement. But such growth is the foundation of our current economic system, so we need to explore the consequences.

How much does welfare for 1 percenters cost?

A ‘Cakewalk’ Wasn’t Always Easy.

Robert Frost’s “The Road Not Taken” Is Our Most Misread Poem. Yes. It clearly does not mean what most people think it means.

Researchers find unintended consequences of geoengineering to slow climate change.

Asteroids have “fractured and pulverized” the moon’s subsurface.

A 17th-Century Woman Artist’s Butterfly Journey.

Appeals court strikes a blow for fair use in long-awaited copyright ruling.

Study Finds Average American Inadvertently Eats Equivalent Of 8 Pieces Of Fruit Per Year.

September 14, 2015

#Blacksexworkerslivesmatter: White-Washed ‘Anti-Slavery’ and the Appropriation of Black Suffering.

Optimal Sunshade Configurations for Space-Based Geoengineering near the Sun-Earth L1 Point.

Exercise vague caution.

It’s Time for a Conversation. Breaking the communication barrier between dolphins and humans.

Elite scientists are more likely to have a hobby in the arts and crafts. Being singularly focused is not actually good for anything.

Apple, in refusing backdoor access to data, may face fines.

Blind cave fish evolved a shrunken brain to save energy.

A Major Surge in Atmospheric Warming Is Probably Coming in the Next Five Years.

The ‘Fat Tail’ of Climate Change Risk.

We’ve Abandoned the Poor in This Country.


Gaps in Alumni Earnings Stand Out in Release of College Data.

When Plants Attack Unborn Cows. Next on Fox!

The Problem with Fat Activism’s “Rubenesque” Beauty. Doesn’t know/realize some of the history, but pretty good.

September 13, 2015

The decades-old intellectual debate simmering beneath the current conversation over sexual assault on campus.

It simply is impossible physically for cars and bicycles to share the same roads safely, due to differences in mass, differences in speed, differences in psychology.

Is there a Planet X, a ‘massive perturber,’ hidden beyond Pluto? “Massive Perturber” sounds like a Norwegian black metal band.

Egyptian blue.

The Mind-Bending Physics of a Tennis Ball’s Spin.

To help feed billions of people, scientists braved the snake-infested and croc-filled swamps of northern Australia in search of rice.

Breaking Chesterton’s fence in the presence of bull. This woman is ridiculously smart, and I say that about few people.

Half a century after Adorno, we have only refined the machinery of operationalizing human beings into cogs — perhaps slightly more enlightened cogs — in the economic apparatus of consumerism.

The Physical Activity and Nutrition in Children Study (PANIC) carried out in the Institute of Biomedicine at the University of Eastern Finland shows that low levels of physical activity, weaker physical fitness and higher body fat content are linked to arterial stiffness already in 6-8 year-old children.

September 12, 2015

Huge Communities of Crayfish Are Living Right Underneath The Prairies.

America Will Add 1 Gigawatt of Solar Every Month Between Now and the End of 2016. 10 years ago, I was assured by all and sundry that this was impossible.

Flooding Farmland May Provide Key To Replenishing Groundwater.

The earliest use of “fuck” discovered.

Mozilla quietly deploys built-in Firefox advertising.

Poor diet ‘biggest contributor to early deaths across the world.’ But HAES! HAES! Or maybe not.

Sperm Whales’ Language Reveals Hints of Culture.

Hackers vs. Academics: who is responsible for progress?

Drone Self-Defense and the Law.

North America 100 million years ago.

September 11, 2015

Microsoft thinks you’ll love Windows 10 so much, it downloads it for you — without asking.

Reading Lem is an education, wherein one may learn the deep ramifications of breakthroughs such as Claude Shannon’s development of information theory, Alan Turing’s work on computation, and John von Neumann’s exploration of game theory.

Data is not an asset, it’s a liability.

Anti-Choicers Are Trying to Convince Us That Reproductive Care Isn’t a Legitimate Need—and the Media Is Helping. It’s Marcotte, but she is right.

Stone-age people were making porridge 32,000 years ago.

Diabetes nation? Half of Americans have diabetes or pre-diabetes. HAES? Right.

Worried About Refugees? Just Wait Until We Dust-Bowlify Mexico And Central America.

The Science of Snobbery: How We’re Duped Into Thinking Fancy Things Are Better.

The secret history of “Y’all”: The murky origins of a legendary Southern slang word. Correction: In the South, it is not slang.

New Data Gives Clearer Picture of Student Debt.

Less intelligent individuals are more likely to gain weight and become obese throughout adulthood than more intelligent individuals.

September 10, 2015

Activists have been calling it the “war on women.” But the onslaught of new abortion restrictions has been so successful, so strategically designed, and so well coordinated that the war in many places has essentially been lost.

We Need the Right to Repair Our Gadgets.

I have seen the future of space exploration, and it looks like a cue ball covered with brown scribbles.

Your Fingerprints Are About to Reveal a Lot More About You.



Humans aren’t so special after all: The fuzzy evolutionary boundaries of Homo sapiens. Every species has fuzzy boundaries.

Why we need nature writing.

Rupert Murdoch Is Buying National Geographic. Sesame Street, and now this.

Does playing dress-up really give you a sense of what the past was like? Of corset doesn’t.

September 9, 2015

When Plutocrats Joke.

14 Years After 9/11, the War on Terror Is Accomplishing Everything bin Laden Hoped It Would.

8.4 Million New Yorkers Suddenly Realize New York City A Horrible Place To Live.

The study found that as people get older, the idea that weight is determined more by DNA than factors people can control — such as diet and exercise — is associated with poor eating habits.

Trading Down and the Business Cycle.

This hilarious Cisco fail is a network engineer’s worst nightmare. Always have your configs backed up; this is why.

The Pointless Banishment of Sex Offenders.

Teachers Aren’t Dumb. But a lot of the training they get in school sure is.

Keyboards on Mobile are Making a Comeback. Oh thank god. Touch keyboards are fucking terrible.

Signs of neutrinos from the dawn of time, less than a second after the Big Bang.

The Myth of Quality Time.

We’ve shifted intelligence from that part of our brain labeled “common sense about real tractors” to the one labeled “abstract reasoning about conceptual tractors.”

September 8, 2015

Patents Shouldn’t Block Sales of Used Products.

Why those working-age men who left the U.S. job market aren’t coming back.

In two experiments, Wood found labeling an assertion a conspiracy theory had no significant effect on whether people believed it to be true.

Huge ritual arena discovered near Stonehenge.

Magnetic Refrigeration. BTW, any heat source can in principle cool somewhere else, too.

The Math That Shows How Fewer Roads Can Lead to Less Traffic Congestion.

No-go theorem.

Hiroshima, Nagasaki, Hanoi: How the Manhattan Project generation of scientists unwillingly abetted the war in Vietnam.

What Made This University Researcher Snap?

It’s the cities, stupid.

Hummingbirds tended to cluster their nests close to hawks.