April 16, 2017 – Stuff I Found Interesting

Other

People Are Photoshopping Mr. Bean Into Things, And It’s Absolutely Hilarious – Who wouldn’t want to see Mr. Bean as the Mona Lisa or Harry Potter?

 

New Spider-Like, Tree-Climbing Crab Species Found – Cool, but frightening. I don’t think I want to worry about crabs when I’m climbing trees.

 

Huge New Spider Species Discovered in Mexican Cave – Maybe it’s just a guy thing, but I can’t help but wonder who would win a fight – the softball sized Mexican spider or the tree climbing crab from India?

 

The world’s first dyslexic-only sperm bank – This is weird on many levels. I think my favorite thing about it is just the notion of a sperm bank article on a site called Virgin.

 

Riddle of Why Hitler Didn’t Use Sarin Gas Remains Unsolved – It is an interesting question. Hitler and Stalin were rivals for the most murderous rogues in modern history, but neither used gas in the war. Why not?

 

Vanguard Is Growing Faster Than Everybody Else Combined – People aren’t stupid.

 

British ex-bodybuilder convicted of killing rare butterfly – No clue why they identified the criminal as an “ex-bodybuilder.” It didn’t seem relevant at all.

Health – Physical and Mental

Should You Walk or Run When It’s Cold? – If you are naked at it is freezing, you should just shiver in place unless you plan to run a 5 minute mile pace. Honestly, you should also think about your lifestyle choices.

 

High-Intensity Interval Training Helps Slow Down the Aging Process – I can definitely attest to the fact that doing intervals makes life seem much longer.

 

An Hour of Running May Add 7 Hours to Your Life – If I run intervals for an hour, do I get even more?

 

How to Tell Someone You Have an STD – There is no good way to tell someone this. Don’t get one. That’ll save you a lot of trouble.

 

It’s True, Hot Baths Burn Calories – Mostly a screed against calorie counting with some praise of bathing. The author claims that a 104°F bath causes you to burn more calories. Perhaps, but a 104°C bath would burn much, much more.

 

The Strange Way Being “Good” Hurts Your Willpower – My conclusion was more that the author is an idiot.

Art and Culture

The Utter Uselessness of Job Interviews – I agree that interviews are a lousy way to select people to hire, but they are better than any alternatives I’ve seen. And making them all the same is unrealistic. You don’t have enough time in an interview to ask everything of everyone, so you have to pursue different potential strengths and weaknesses with different candidates.

 

If Humble People Make the Best Leaders, Why Do We Fall for Charismatic Narcissists? – Um, what about those of us that are charismatic narcissists and are exceptionally humble???

Science

We sleep less as we age because our brains don’t think we’re tired – This article blames most problems of aging on a flaw that allows us to get lets sleep. This article seems stupid throughout.

 

Sleep Is the New Status Symbol – Probably because it is something only young people can do.

 

Do Honeybees Feel Pain? – Their conclusion is “no”, but it could just be that bees don’t like narcotics or they don’t work on them. Or maybe they get so pissed off when you amputate one of their limbs that they jack with your study to get revenge.

 

Does space heat up when you accelerate? Physicists propose test of controversial idea – Read it. Didn’t quite understand it. My understanding of the concepts of heat and vacuum don’t mesh. How can nothing but hotter?

 

A Simple Visual Proof of a Powerful Idea – Kind of a difficult article, but I like the pretty Spirograph picture.

Technology

‘We’re running with scissors’: Why some experts worry about VR dangers – There is something especially amusing about people being afraid of new things.

 

McDonalds wants ‘fellow kids’ to apply for McJobs over Snapchat – I’m confused. I thought snapchat existed so that your messages would quickly disappear. How does that make sense for job applications?

 

Bad News: Artificial Intelligence Is Racist, Too – Interesting. Basically, AI absorbs culture and not everything in our culture is positive.

 

Princeton’s Ad-Blocking Superweapon May Put an End to the Ad-Blocking Arms Race – We really need an alternative to ad-sponsored media. I avoid ads everywhere I can because they are annoying.

 

Automated automobile cattle avoidance – Probably wouldn’t have helped the morning I almost hit a cow in Oklahoma. It was pre-dawn, the cow was black, it was in the middle of my lane, and it was walking away from me. The backside of a black cow is surprisingly unreflective. I barely missed what would have been an udder disaster.

Politics and Policy

Separating Culture and State – There isn’t enough money in it to make it worth worrying about, but the NEA and NEH do seem like a bad idea.

 

Trump Unleashed – A nice summary of the fact that the recent attack on Syria, as much as they may have deserved it, was illegal. I really don’t want to the rules to be that the President of the US can bomb anyone he wants whenever he wants. That seems to be the standard at play here.

 

Moms Who Bake vs. the Cookie Police – It’s apparently illegal to sell baked goods without a license in some places. We have way too many laws.

 

Boys Will Keep Winning Girls’ Sports Trophies Until We Are Willing To Re-Assert Sex Distinctions – This is a super provocative subject. Some people are just faster. That’s the way it is. We can divide leagues however you want – chromosomes, self-identification, or whatever, but we’re just selecting different sets of people that now have a chance of winning.

 

Could It Be Time To Deny White Men The Franchise? – This one is a little tricky. The original post has been replaced by White Men And The Vote: Why We Took The Blog Down. Basically, it looks like they were punked. When something is gone or you suspect that it has changed, you the Wayback Machine to go find the original. You can see it here. It was a silly racist rant against white men. Was it intended to get people to see a different perspective? To mock SJWs? I don’t know.

 

Why Prison?: An Economic Critique – An argument that imprisoning people is a suboptimal solution to crime. I’m not convinced, but it is interesting.

 

Educating the Disadvantaged – A lengthy and interesting article on the challenge of educating children from disadvantages backgrounds. There are no easy solutions.

 

The government is demanding to know who this Trump critic is. Twitter is suing to keep it a secret. – Anonymity is important. Remember that when people whine about “dark money”.

 

University Students: Chick-fil-A Makes Us Feel Unsafe – A short article mocking students for whining about Chick-Fil-A coming to their school. My favorite quote, coming from a student at a Catholic University is “Chick-fil-A has a questionable history on civil rights and human rights”. Hmmmm….

 

Filing Taxes in Japan Is a Breeze. Why Not Here? – I’d prefer to focus on making our taxes simpler rather than having the IRS do all the filing work for us, but I can see their point.

 

How Payday Lenders and Check Cashers Help the Poor – Conventional wisdom is that payday lenders are evil and should be stopped. If they are evil, why do so many people freely choose to use them? Instead of shutting own the payday lenders, put your energy into giving people better alternatives.

 

Canada agrees on free trade with itself – Every time I start thinking Canada isn’t that crazy, I read something like this.

Economics

Are living standards truly stagnant? – One of the most common complaints I hear about our economy is that wages have been stagnant for decades. This paper indicates that the problem is more of a measurement issue than real wage stagnation. That’s pretty obvious. Look at how much better people live today than they did 40 years ago.

 

Consumption vs. GDP – An interesting comparison of individual consumption rates against per capita GDP. Americans are outliers.

 

An Open Letter from 1,470 Economists on Immigration – They say that immigration is generally a good thing.