A brief gallivant about the marketplace of ideas.

Month: January, 2015

Read — 2015/01/31

Today’s selection of articles includes:

  1. How to find the best deals on flights“, by Elaine Glusac (NY Times). An interview with David Solomito, director of brand marketing at Kayak. Low on explicit money-saving tips, but this one stands out: “for North America, the ideal booking window…is four to six weeks in advance of a trip”. As one might expect, “[t]he lowest fares depart Friday and return on Monday”.
  2. Serena Williams beats Maria Sharapova to win Australian Open“, by Piers Newbery (BBC Sport). Mlle Williams wins her 19th Grand Slam title in straight sets, 6-3, 7-6 (7-5).
  3. Best ways to profit from beaten-down energy stocks“, by Eric Rosenbaum & Bryan Borzykowski (CNBC). Big-picture advice counseling slow action and focus on fundamentals.
  4. Oscars animated shorts roundup“, by Robin Lindsay & A.O. Scott (NY Times). A look at the 2015 favorites among the five films on the 2015 Oscar “Best Animated Short Film” list.

Read — 2015/01/20

Today’s selection of articles includes:

  1. Silicon Valley turns its eye to edcation“, by Natasha Singer (NY Times).
  2. Language translation tech starts to deliver on its promise“, by Quentin Hardy (NY Times).
  3. Artificial intelligence experts sign open letter to protect mankind from machines“, by Nick Statt (CNET).
  4. Mahomet en une du «Charlie Hebdo» de mercredi” (Liberation).

Read — 2015/01/11

Today’s selection of articles includes:

  1. New president in Sri Lanka puts China’s plans in check“, by Ellen Barry (NY Times). Or does it? Maithripala Sirisena replaces Mahinda Rajapaksa as president of Sri Lanka, but some experts on the region expect China’s influence there to persist: “It’s simply money that talks”.
  2. Growing up on Easy Street has its own dangers“, by Ron Lieber (NY Times). A call for a better understanding of the issues, especially mental issues, facing middle- and upper-middle class children. Perhaps the biggest warning flag is excessive parental criticism.
  3. What will it take to run a 2-hour marathon?“, by Alex Hutchinson (Runner’s World). Recipe for the perfect runner? Short, light, relatively inflexible, with high oxygen supply and efficient oxygen use.
  4. Red Carpet watch: Emma Stone“, by Alexandra Jacobs (NY Times). A few recent photos of Ms. Stone and her fashion.

Read — 2015/01/08

Today’s selection of articles includes:

  1. ‘Charlie Hebdo’, a magazine of satire, mocks politics, religion“, by Krishnadev Calamur (NPR). The magazine’s office was the site of an attack that left 12 dead.
  2. CES: security risks from the smart home“, by Molly Wood (NY Times). As we connect more and more devices to the Internet, we must be deliberate about our networks, passwords, and use of encryption.
  3. It’s never too late to learn new skills“, by Elizabeth Holmes (Wall Street Journal). Set aside the time, don’t expect to be a pro on Day One, be resiliently willing to make mistakes.
  4. Eugenics…not totally evil“, by Laura Secorun Palet (OZY). A case for pre-birth genetic intervention.
  5. Meet the market shapers” (The Economist). Machine learning and type elicitation lure economics out of the ivory tower.
  6. Here’s the question every man is asking after the amazing Jimmy Fallon interview with Nicole Kidman“, by Taylor Antrim (Vogue). The author is spot-on to call the interview a “truly human exchange”, modulo small intrusions of machismo and viewer-targeted asides (they are on a TV show in front of a crowd, I suppose). Two acquaintances reminisce about a shared and mutually awkward past experience, dabbing their toes on the shore of another world line.

Read — 2015/01/06

Today’s selection of articles includes:

  1. Inside a Chinese test-prep factory“, by Brook Larmer (NY Times). A look at Chinese students and their families vis-à-vis the gaokao (高考), China’s National Higher Education Entrance Examination. “Inside” is misleading — the article gives an outsider’s view of the effect that test preparation in general, and cram-school culture in particular, has on students and their families.
  2. If you want to meet that deadline, play a trick on your mind“, by Phyllis Korkki (NY Times). Make the future (seem) closer to the present.

Read — 2015/01/03

Today’s selection of articles includes:

  1. You are not just what, but when you eat“, by L. Bryan Ray (Science). Research published in Cell Metabolism found improved metabolic fitness among mice whose daily food intake was restricted to a 12-hour window.

And a pair of articles about those New Year’s resolutions:

  1. The psychology behind New Year’s resolutions that actually stick“, by Fawad Zakariya (Quartz).
  2. Why we make (and break) our New Year’s resolutions — and how to stick to them“, by Siobhan Norton (The Independent).

The moral of the story?

  1. Write down an explicit goal.
  2. Break it down into specific milestones.
  3. Make it personal.
  4. Share your goal with others.
  5. In case of temporary failure, play the “fresh start” card (known to gamers as the RESET button).

Read — 2015/01/02

Today’s selection of articles includes:

  1. Will that be cash, credit, fingerprint or iris scan?“, by Jared Lindzon (OZY). The state of biometric security.
  2. To rescue economy, Japan turns to supermom“, by Jonathan Soble (NY Times). Serious under-supply of daycare services and persistent structural biases against working women hamper Tokyo’s latest efforts to revive the economy.
  3. Economist Thomas Piketty refuses France’s top honour” (France 24). Said Piketty of the government’s decision to award him the Légion d’Honneur, “They would do better to concentrate on reviving [economic] growth in France and Europe”.
  4. Une si blanche préhistoire“, par Philippe Dagen (le Monde).
  5. Cardale Jones, in 2nd career start, leads Ohio State in upset of Alabama“, by the Associated Press (ESPN). (4) Ohio State 42 – 35 Alabama (1).
  6. Marcus Mariota, Ducks down error-prone FSU in Rose Bowl rout“, by the Associated Press (ESPN). (2) Oregon 59 – 20 Florida State (3).

Intriguing science articles from this week include:

  1. Inching toward the 3D genome“, by Elizabeth Pennisi (Science). Researchers work to better understand — and more precisely recreate — the nucleome, the three-dimensional, folded structure of DNA.
  2. Geoscientists aim to magnify specialized Web searching“, by Jia You (Science). Geoscientists and computer scientists collaborate to build “a smarter academic search engine” — with potential payoffs for everyone.
  3. Inflammation’s stop signals“, by Mitch Leslie (Science).

And a couple historical pieces:

  1. Cuomo at the 1984 Democratic Convention” (NY Times). The “tale of two cities” address by the late governor of New York City.
  2. Stoessel, after long conference, surrenders city“, by R. Hart Phillips (NY Times, 03 Jan 1905). Report of Russian General Stoessel’s surrender of Port Arthur to Japanese General Nogi.

Read — 2015/01/01

Today’s selection of articles includes:

  1. Rem Koolhaas takes Silicon Valley“, by Pooja Bhatia (OZY). Solitary genius laments a certain disappearance of adventure, risk, transgression.
  2. Anatomy of a scene: ‘Big eyes’“, by Mekado Murphy (NY Times). Tim Burton discusses the inspiration for “disturbing”, “lurid” color schemes and the power of internal acting.
  3. Anatomy of a scene: ‘Interstellar’“, by Mekado Murphy (NY Times). Christopher Nolan discusses choices in set design and camera positioning.

Happy News Year!

A keeper text, from my lil sis. Intentional? Inadvertent? The world may never know.

Make 2015 a happy (news) year, everyone.