April 2, 2017 – Stuff I Found Interesting


Amazon’s Ambitions Unboxed: Stores for Furniture, Appliances and More – I love all the retail innovation that is occurring. Sounds like Bezos is working on some interesting ideas.


This Evil Alarm Clock App Is the Only Reason I’m Awake Right Now – I have a hard time understanding people’s aversion to getting up in the morning. If you don’t want to get up but need to, this sounds like an evil way to force yourself to do it. I say that, but one of my children is sound asleep with his phone alarm going off right next to him.


Doomsday Prep For Non-Paranoid People – Her list isn’t my list, but the concept is good, especially now that we’re in severe storm season (runs from roughly January to December in the Houston area). Are you ready?

Health – Physical and Mental

Why Opposites Rarely Attract – Short answer: because we want people that are complimentary rather than opposite.


“Couple Workouts” Are the Answer to Exercising with Your Partner – Sadly, this is a safe-for-work article; not at all what hoping for when I saw the headline.


Fellow Dirt Bags: Turns Out It’s Okay If You Don’t Wash Your Legs – I didn’t realize that this was a contentious topic of debate. Are you a leg washer or not? I don’t want to know.


LIFE IS A VIDEO GAME—HERE ARE THE CHEAT CODES – This article is mediocre (and the language is ugly), but I like his view that you approach problems either with solutions or distractions – tackling your problems or avoiding them. I think that is a good perspective, for the most part. One exception I’d like to note is that for problems that are someone else’s but still worry you, distraction might be a better approach for you than trying to find a solution.


Why You Should Do Weights Before Cardio – Short answer, because your muscles can still get the cardio done when they are tired. I just do them at different times of the day and call it good enough.

Art and Culture

Actually, Not Everything Is a Feminist Issue – I don’t know if this article is incoherent or just written by someone with a perspective so different than mine that I can’t follow her logic. Here’s a quote from the article that illustrates my point: “What about poverty, racism, war, the environment, anti-democratic regimes, the occupation of one country by another, capitalism?”


No More Wedding Gifts – This is a complaint about the increasing cost and decreasing purpose of wedding gifts. I’d apply the logic more broadly to weddings in general. I think the cost of a wedding gift should be inversely related to the number of guests and the cost of the wedding.


You Can Now Beg for Money on Facebook – Facebook wants some of the GoFundMe action. Given that half of Americans can’t get their hands on $2,000 in an emergency, I’m sure that there is a lot of demand for this.


How Clown Pants Saved My Life – This was just weird. The author’s relationship to clothes is so different than mine that I felt like I was reading about someone from a radically different culture. On a positive note, if pant hems are getting really high, there is a chance that I’ll someday be able to find pants that aren’t too long to be worn without altering.


Running a Marathon Is as Traumatic for Your Kidneys as Heart Surgery – Maybe runners should take more bathroom breaks.


Brain size in birds is related to traffic accidents – Big brain birds get hit by cars less often. They also mention in an aside that the same is true of birds being shot. Maybe hunters are inadvertently breeding a species of super-smart birds. We’re all worried about AI taking over the world, but that could all be part of the bird’s master plan.


Cars and second order consequences – This is a very interesting article that tries to think forward to the second order consequences of electric cars and self-driving cars.


AD AGENCIES AND ACCOUNTABILITY – An interesting article on shifts in the advertising market as they rely on providers that don’t control the content. When you advertise on a TV show, you have a good idea of what your ad is tied to. When you advertise on Facebook or Youtube, you have very little control over what insane ravings you may be sponsoring.


Verizon phones will soon get the useless ‘AppFlash’ search tool in an upcoming rollout – This behavior is one of the reasons why we dropped Verizon.


Rogue system admin shuts down servers and deletes core files on the day he is fired, now faces up to 10 years in prison – Wow! Talk about burning bridges.


Bomb Squad Academy – Learn about circuits playing a video game. Not sure why there isn’t more partnership between the education industry and the gaming world.

Politics and Policy

Why You Should Care About The Supreme Court Case On Toner Cartridges – Owning things isn’t what it used to be. Much of what you think you own, you “license” and you are restricted on what you can do with it. This case might impact your rights significantly.


You Could Be Committing a Crime and Not Even Know It – It’s a complex world with lots of complex rules. Still, it doesn’t seem right to punish someone for something that they don’t know is wrong. I guess this is why we have juries.


Facial recognition database used by FBI is out of control, House committee hears – Should the FBI be able to track your movements through public places without any suspicion or warrant? Do you want the FBI to have that power? What about Disney? (How I Let Disney Track My Every Move)


A VPN can protect your online privacy. But there’s a catch – The Internet is afire with the horrifying news that your ISP can sell your browsing history. The weirdest thing to me about the reaction is that they have virtually always been able to do that. There was a recent regulation that was going to prevent it and that regulation was just rescinded. That’s the big scary news. Even if the reg were in place, it wouldn’t stop your browser provider, your OS provider, or your hardware provider from doing the exact same thing.


2 Activists Who Secretly Recorded Planned Parenthood Face New Felony Charges – Set aside your feelings about planned parenthood and ask yourself again what you think of this. I find it troubling.


Trump cuts show Paris treaty is a paper tiger: Bjorn Lomborg – I love Lomborg’s approach. Maybe that’s because he annoys both sides of true believers in the climate science debate.



Evidence That Robots Are Winning the Race for American Jobs – This is yet another article on how machines are going to take all of our jobs. I presume that similar articles were written about the printing press, the loom, the tractor, the computer, etc. I wonder what the Amish think of all this.


One Christian’s alternative view of globalization and American society – An excellent defense of globalization. My favorite paragraph: “First, globalization is not a top-down system imposed by elites. Globalization is what happens when people around the world are left free by their governments to do business with one another. It’s what Adam Smith called “the natural system of liberty.”