A brief gallivant about the marketplace of ideas.

They expire?! Lotion and shampoo.

How to tell when lotions and shampoos have expired:

  1. Can I use lotion past its expiration date?” by Kristeen Cherney (Healthline, 2018-11-19).
  2. When do lotions expire?” by Frieda Wiley (WebMD, 2019-07-18).
  3. Does shampoo expire and how to tell if it has?” by Sara Lindberg (Healthline, 2020-20-11).

Encrypted e-mail services

Information on ProtonMail and Tutanota. As of 2020-11-24, ProtonMail offers Thunderbird compatibility only to users of paid accounts; Tutanota does not offer Thunderbird compatibility to any users.

  1. ProtonMail review: Have we found the most secure email provider in 2020?” by Mindaugas Jancis (CyberNews, 2020-11-20).
  2. Tutanota review: When privacy is a must” by Justinas Mazura (CyberNews, 2020-11-20).
  3. ProtonMail vs Tutanota: Comparison of email services” (Tutanota).

Read : 2020-11-21

Today’s selection of articles:

  1. 2 companies say their vaccines are 95% effective. What does that mean?” by Carl Zimmer (NY Times, 2020-11-20).
  2. This insect has the only mechanical gears ever found in nature” by Joseph Stromberg (Smithsonian Magazine, 2013-09-12).
  3. A close reading of the best opening paragraph of all time” (Literary Hub, 2017-12-15).

Read : 2020-11-19

Today’s selection of articles:

  1. The last children of Down syndrome” by Sarah Zhang (The Atlantic, 2020-11-18).
  2. Four rules for running fast” by Steve Magness (The Growth Equation, 2020-11).
  3. Lily Collins’s take on Parisian chic is very different than Emily’s” by Janelle Okwodu (Vogue, 2020-11-18).

Read : 2020-11-17

Today’s selection of articles:

  1. Biologist Rob Lue, founding HarvardX faculty director, dies at 56” by Juan Siliezar (The Harvard Gazette, 2020-11-13). A brilliant and creative educator, Dr. Lue is (still) a driving force behind LabXchange. Requiescat in pace, Rob.

Read : 2020-11-13

Today’s selection of articles — in reality, numerous articles (and the occasional speech) that I’ve had open for weeks now:

  1. Screenwriters’ lecture: Charlie Kaufman” by Charlie Kaufman (2011-09-30). 2011 speech at BAFTA.
  2. Jason Zweig Q&A” by Sarah Chacko (Wall Street Journal, 2020).
  3. Grapefruit is one of the weirdest fruits on the planet” by Dan nosowitz (Atlas Obscura, 2020-10-06).
  4. Face masks: What the data say” by Lynne Peeples (Nature, 2020-10-06).
  5. The inside story of MacKenzie Scott, the mysterious 60-billion-dollar woman” by Stephanie Clifford (Medium, 2020-10-06).
  6. How to know when your running shoes are worn out” by Fleet Feet (YouTube, 2020-10-09). 9m18s video.
  7. Infection detection” by Haley Bridger (The Harvard Gazette, 2020-09-29).
  8. A letter from Sweden, which deems flax seeds more dangerous than the pandemic” by Lauren LaFauci (Zócalo, 2020-10-12). The article’s title (and opening photo) suggests bias. Think critically.
  9. ‘They’re taking a much broader view of what public health is about’ — Sweden’s pandemic pragmatism” (The Economist, 2020-10-12). An article on the same topic as the previous article, but on the other side of the bias scale, at first blush. Again, think critically.
  10. The woman who faced down the mob and championed a union” by Catherine Rios & David Witwer (Zócalo, 2020-10-21). Min Matheson.
  11. Why social media is so good at polarizing us” by Christopher Mims (Wall Street Journal, 2020-10-19).
  12. Hurt people hurt people” by Brad Stulberg (The Growth Equation, 2020).
  13. Community and close contact exposures associated with COVID-19 among symptomatic adults ≥ 18 years in 11 outpatient health care facilities — United States, July 2020” by Kiva A. Fisher et al. (Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, 2020-09-11).
  14. How to make restaurants safer during the pandemic” by Charlotte Jee (MIT Technology Review, 2020-10-28).
  15. What’s more risky, going to a bar or opening the mail?” by David Doolittle (Texas Medical Association, 2020-07-08).
  16. Animals keep evolving into crabs, which is somewhat disturbing” by Caroline Delbert (Popular Mechanics, 2020-10-19).
  17. An infinite universe of number systems” by Kelsey Houston-Edwards (Quanta Magazine, 2020-10-19). p-adic numbers! Dr. Bianca Viray!
  18. Why some memories seem like movies: ‘Time cells’ discovered in human brains” by Jon Hamilton (NPR, 2020-10-29).
  19. How to heal through life writing” by Uddipana Goswami (, 2020-10-28).
  20. Jeania Ree V. Moore” (Sojourners).
  21. Inside the secret math society known simply as Nicolas Bourbaki” by Kevin Hartnett (Quanta Magazine, 2020-11-09).
  22. 2021 Class Fellows of the AMS” (American Mathematical Society, 2020).
  23. Computer scientists achieve ‘crown jewel’ of cryptography” by Erica Klarreich (Quanta Magazine, 2020-11-10).
  24. The promise of the new covid-19 vaccine is immense” (The Economist, 2020-11-13).

Read : 2020-09-27

Today’s selection of articles:

  1. Programming language trade-offs” by Larry Garfield (GarfieldTech, 2010-09-30).
  2. Why comparing flu and COVID-19 severity is not equivalent” by Rachel Lutz (Contagion Live, 2020-05-28). An article emphasizing the distinction between reported deaths and estimated deaths, and the potential for confusion and abuse when comparing seasonal influenza with Covid-19.
  3. Guillain–Barré syndrome” (Wikipedia). This disease came up in a discussion of vaccination risks. The article notes that “Guillain–Barré syndrome is rare, at 1 or 2 cases per 100,000 people every year”. I have no estimate how these figures would change if an insufficiently tested vaccine were introduced into widespread use. The article also notes that “[g]lobally, death occurs in about 7.5% of those affected”.
  4. Context matters: You have heard that it was said…but I say to you” by Peter Krol (Knowable Word, 2018-07-27). A reading of Jesus’s words in Matthew 5.
  5. Inspirational writing advice from Charlie Kaufman” by Charlie Kaufman (2011-09-30); video posted by BAFTA Guru (YouTube, 2017-01-06). Personally, I find the video editing distracting (and, ironically, against the authenticity and sincerity that Kaufman advocates). Ditto for the YouTube commercials (ironically, the very marketing and politicalization that Kaufman warns against). If you’re like me, you may prefer the transcript of the speech (BAFTA, 2011-09-30).

Read : 2020-09-20

Today’s selection of articles:

  1. The baloney detection kit” by Maria Popova (Brain Pickings, 2014-01-03).
  2. Coronavirus responses highlight how humans have evolved to dismiss facts that don’t fit their worldview” by Adrian Bardon (Scientific American, 2020-06-26).
  3. Mortality analysis” (Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center, 2020-09-20).

Read : 2020-09-19

Today’s selection of articles:

  1. Millennials and Gen Z are spreading coronavirus — but not because of parties and bars” by Rebecca Renner (National Geographic, 2020-09-17). ” An August 18 briefing from the World Health Organization announced that people in their 20s, 30s, and 40s are now driving the virus’s spread, but that’s because most are just trying to do their jobs.”
  2. The crushing reality of Zoom school” by Dan Sinker (Esquire, 2020-09-16). An opinionated article. “The lesson we refuse to learn with COVID-19 is that decisions we make today have no bearing on right now, but have a huge effect in a few months.”
  3. Why I changed my mind about the Caster Semenya case” by David Epstein (The Range Report, 2020-09-18).
  4. How the government lost its mind” by Deborah Pearlstein (The Atlantic, 2020-09-17).
  5. Sun, skin, and science” by Stephanie Dutchen (Harvard Magazine, 2020-09).
  6. Your shoes were made for walking. And that may be the problem” by Juan Siliezar (The Harvard Gazette, 2020-09-17).
  7. The big Tesla hack: A hacker gained control over the entire fleet, but fortunately he’s a good guy” by Fred Lambert (Electrek, 2020-08-27). Will successful hackers always be good guys? (The hack referenced in the article’s title occurred in early 2017.)
  8. The ‘serendipity mindset’: How to make your own luck” by Sharon Walker (The Guardian, 2020-09-13). “[H]ave an eye for the main chance and making the most of the unexpected.” (Also, one can add “chocolate-chip cookies” to that list of “lucky accidents”.)
  9. Facebook has been a disaster for the world” by Jamelle Bouie (NY Times, 2020-09-18). Another opinionated article. The author makes some valid points, but doesn’t make any attempt to search out evidence that would disprove his thesis, or even just add balance. I feel an analogy would help (the following is not the most helpful analogy): Facebook as a highway, that some (many? quantify!) people decide to drive on at speeds that endanger others. Is this behavior the fault of those who built the highway? No. The behavior of the users is on the users. But if those responsible for maintaining the highway and enforcing its speed limits refuse to do so, that’s on them. Which maybe clarifies an aspect of the Facebook criticism: Hold individual users accountable for misuse; hold politicians accountable for the lack of “speed limit” laws; and hold decision-makers at Facebook accountable when they ignore, break, or actively suppress these laws.

Read : 2020-08-29

Today’s selection of articles:

  1. What we don’t understand about fascism” by Victoria de Grazia (Zócalo, 2020-08-13).
  2. NISTIR 8309: Status report on the second round of the NIST post-quantum cryptography standardization process” by Gorgjan Alagic et al. (2020-07).
  3. How we recovered XXX,000 in bitcoin from an encrypted zip file” by DEFCON (2020-08-05). 41m43s YouTube video.
  4. Reopening schools: Lessons from abroad” by Tyler Barton & Anand Parekh (The Commonwealth Fund, 2020-08-11).
  5. Federalist Papers No. 10” by James Madison (Bill of Rights Institute, 1787).
  6. Chinese diplomats helped military scholars visiting the U.S. evade FBI scrutiny, U.S. says” by Kate O’Keeffe & Aruna Viswanatha (Wall Street Journal, 2020-08-25).
  7. Tracking Laura: Map and times of arrival” by John Muyskens, Lauren Tierney, Chris Alcantara, & Laris Karklis (Washington Post, 2020-08-28).
  8. Preparing your mind for uncertain times” by Eric Weiner (The Atlantic, 2020-08-25).
  9. Cantique de Jean Racine” by Gabriel Fauré, recorded by Maîtrise de Radio France, conducted by Sofi Jeannin (YouTube, France Musique, recorded 2016-10-18, posted 2017-12-18).