Sunday, June 30, 2013
( 9:10 PM ) The Rat
YOU'RE DELUSIONAL ABOUT YOUR HEALTH.
# Posted by The Rat @ 9:10 PM
Friday, June 28, 2013
( 9:31 PM ) The Rat
YIKES. Via AB.
The second-largest man-made hole in the world (surpassed only by the Bingham Copper Mine in Utah) is a diamond mine located on the outskirts of Mirny, a small town in eastern Siberia. Begun in 1955, the pit is now 1,722 feet deep and 0.78 miles in diameter. Stalin initially ordered construction of the mine to satisfy the Soviet Union's need for industrial-grade diamonds...
# Posted by The Rat @ 9:31 PM
( 12:54 PM ) The Rat
It is often said that New York is a city for only the very rich and the very poor. It is less often said that New York is also, for those of us who came there from somewhere else, a city for only the very young.
# Posted by The Rat @ 12:54 PM
( 12:42 PM ) The Rat
Running 100 miles should be easier than pounding out 200, but a recently released study in the journal PLOS One suggests that longer races may be less fatiguing and damaging than their shorter counterparts.
Researchers tracked 25 male runners as they took place in the Tor des Géants, a race consisting of 24,000 meters of elevation change across 300 km of travel. Before, during, and after the race, researchers took blood samples from the runners (looking for markers of inflammation and muscle breakdown) and tested how much force their muscles could produce.
Compared to a group of runners competing in races a quarter to a half as long, the Tor des Géants racers showed less muscle damage, fewer inflammation markers, and less-altered neuromuscular function...
# Posted by The Rat @ 12:42 PM
( 12:16 PM ) The Rat
AT LAST! SCIENCE DRAWS A LINE BETWEEN GEEKS AND NERDS, via TG. So... geeks are just like nerds, but dumber?
# Posted by The Rat @ 12:16 PM
Wednesday, June 26, 2013
( 10:45 AM ) The Rat
THE COOKBOOK THEORY OF ECONOMICS, via WC.
Consider how cooking evolves: It starts in the home and then eventually spreads to restaurants and on to cookbooks, along the way transforming a recipe from oral tradition to commercialized product. In the home, recipes are often transmitted from grandmother to mother, or from father to son, or simply by watching and participating. I've seen this in rural Mexico, for instance, when an older daughter teaches her younger sister how to pat tortillas the right way. When societies get richer, you start to see restaurants, a form of specialization like auto mechanics or tailors (see: Adam Smith on the division of labor). Restaurants require that strangers—other cooks—be taught the process. That means simplifying or standardizing ingredients so they're easier to work with and, in many cases, available year-round. This, of course, means writing down the recipe. Once a dish reaches these commercial milestones, cookbooks will follow.
# Posted by The Rat @ 10:45 AM
( 10:07 AM ) The Rat
RESEARCHERS STUDY 18,000 HOURS OF DEEP SEA FOOTAGE, FIND OCEAN SEAFLOOR IS COVERED IN TRASH.
# Posted by The Rat @ 10:07 AM
Tuesday, June 25, 2013
( 12:10 PM ) The Rat
"THERE IS NO FINISH LINE. WHICH MAKES ME WISH I'D BROUGHT SOME TOILET PAPER." The full run of Mark Remy's Motivational Posters to date. No. 34 ("When Buddha was on his deathbed...") is probably my favorite.
# Posted by The Rat @ 12:10 PM
Sunday, June 23, 2013
( 10:38 AM ) The Rat
SO IT'S NOT JUST ME!
# Posted by The Rat @ 10:38 AM
( 10:37 AM ) The Rat
'WHAT IF ROCKS ARE ACTUALLY SOFT BUT JUST TENSE UP WHEN WE TOUCH THEM?' See, illicit substances have never worked for me in this way. 28 Everyday Things Tumblr Will Make You Question. (Nos. 9 and 10 are my favorites.)
# Posted by The Rat @ 10:37 AM
Saturday, June 22, 2013
( 6:26 PM ) The Rat
"THIS IS SUCH AN AWESOME CONCEPT THAT WE CAN'T BELIEVE WE NEVER THOUGHT OF IT BEFORE, BUT IT'S PROBABLY BECAUSE JACKSONVILLE, FL., IS THE ONLY PLACE WHERE YOU COULD PULL THIS OFF FOR ONLY $300."
# Posted by The Rat @ 6:26 PM
Friday, June 21, 2013
( 12:23 PM ) The Rat
"MORE THAN ONE CRWTH."
# Posted by The Rat @ 12:23 PM
Wednesday, June 19, 2013
( 11:36 AM ) The Rat
HOW A USED BOTTLE BECOMES A NEW BOTTLE, IN 6 GIFS. I will say that if anything will give you a boost to finally kick your soda habit, it's watching the unloading of one of those bottle-return machines.
# Posted by The Rat @ 11:36 AM
Tuesday, June 18, 2013
( 11:08 AM ) The Rat
PERFECT PITCH MAY NOT BE SO 'PERFECT.'
I realized this about my own perfect pitch a few years ago, so it's actually a relief to find that it's not just me...
# Posted by The Rat @ 11:08 AM
Sunday, June 16, 2013
( 10:32 AM ) The Rat
HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE TO FALL OUT OF SHAPE?
# Posted by The Rat @ 10:32 AM
Saturday, June 15, 2013
( 7:49 PM ) The Rat
HOW DO PEOPLE SURVIVE SOLITARY CONFINEMENT?
The first thing they should do is take control of their space, says David Alexander, a psychiatrist and trauma expert. He is the principal adviser to Hostage UK, a charity that helps victims of kidnap.
Very often hostages will be kept in conditions similar to Tabir's, without toilets or washing facilities.
"It's filthy—well, let's clean it," says Alexander. "It's not a nice job. You start scraping the filth to one end. You designate one corner for pee. Pee runs downhill so don't put your pee corner at the top of the room."
He recommends creating a "living quarter" within the cell, to be kept as clean as possible. Prisoners should also try to keep themselves clean, he says.
"Pick your nails with your own nails—if they are rough and broken scrape them on the walls—every effort you can make to try and retrieve your identity, which is part physical, part psychological."
With no communication for days on end and a complete loss of contact with the outside world, hostages and prisoners sometimes wonder whether they still exist.
Tabir spent the nights talking or singing to himself to recapture a sense of his physical presence. At his most desperate, he found himself picking fights with his guards. In the U.S. prison system, this is called a "cell extraction." A prisoner will refuse to comply with his orders, for example by holding on to his food tray when a guard tries to clear it away. The inevitable result—four or five armed guards come to the cell and forcibly restrain him. It may be brutal, but it's a form of human contact...
# Posted by The Rat @ 7:49 PM
( 9:51 AM ) The Rat
JAPAN'S 007 ISLAND STILL CARRIES SCARS OF WARTIME PAST. Am I so one-dimensional that friends can send me Bond-related links and I will almost invariably be fascinated? Why, yes.
Though today weeds and plants have taken root in derelict balconies and rooftops, children then knew only grey. "There were no bushes, no flowers, we didn't even know what the cherry blossom was," recalled Hideo Kaji, who was born on Hashima in 1932. "We told the seasons from one another by listening to the wind or looking at the color of the ocean and the sky."
Kaji's best friend at school was Korean. He says he didn't see much discrimination against Koreans but he remembers his parents talking about one episode when a Korean worker was beaten. "My father and mother were saying how sorry they were but my Dad said it was inevitable because it is wartime." He remembers resenting the Chinese as a child because they were "locked up in the southern part of the island, right where we used to play baseball. We were so upset they took our place to play, but after the war ended I learned they were forced to work there"...
# Posted by The Rat @ 9:51 AM
Friday, June 14, 2013
( 5:58 PM ) The Rat
"I DOUBT AN ESSAY ENTITLED 'THE SECRET TO BEING A SUCCESSFUL WRITER AND MOTHER: HAVE THREE STEPSONS' WOULD GAIN MUCH INTERNET TRACTION, BUT..." Women Writers and the Optimal-Child-Count Spectrum.
# Posted by The Rat @ 5:58 PM
( 4:47 PM ) The Rat
MARCEL DUCHAMP has joined the illustrious ranks of people commemorated on U.S. postage stamps, though I guess it'll be hard to ever top the Ayn Rand stamp.
# Posted by The Rat @ 4:47 PM
( 12:49 PM ) The Rat
GO THE DISTANCE.
The findings add to a growing body of evidence contradicting the long-held belief that the pace and effects of aging are hardwired into an individual's genetics. In another recent study, published in the Journal of Internal Medicine, researchers who examined 855 men born in 1913 found that hereditary factors didn't play a significant role in determining a person's life span. "If you ask most doctors, 'What do you believe is the most important factor for living long?' it would be to have old parents," says the study's author, University of Gothenburg professor Lars Wilhelmsen. "But we couldn't find that." In other words, even if you're 35, the lifestyle choices you make right now may determine not only how quickly you age but also how long you live...
# Posted by The Rat @ 12:49 PM
( 11:41 AM ) The Rat
One my way home I bump into Paul Tanui, the runner who has replaced Josphat in the Iten Town Harriers. He has been at the track to watch the racing.
"Hello," he says, shaking my hand.
"Are you ready for Lewa?" I ask. It's only a few weeks away now.
"Yes," he says. "But, listen, what are we doing about visas?"
"Yes, when are we getting them?"
"Lewa is in Kenya," I say. "We don't need visas."
I feel like apologizing. He obviously thought I was taking him abroad to race. One last payday. The problem with racing in Kenya is that the competition is so much tougher, it's harder to win. The outrageous depth of talent just milling around in this tiny corner of the world is illustrated by a telephone conversation I have that same afternoon. I've been trying to pin down Wilson Kipsang, who leads the End of the Road early-morning runs. He's a fairly decent runner even in these parts, ranked in the world all-time top ten in the marathon with a time of 2:04. Godfrey, who knows everyone, gives me his number, except that by mistake he gives me the number of a completely different person, someone called William Kipsang. Not knowing that, I dial the number.
"It's Finn here, the mzungu writer."
"We've met a few times. I was talking to you at the track yesterday."
"Is that Wilson Kipsang?"
"Oh, I thought your name was Wilson. The two-oh-four marathoner, right?"
Even if you dial a wrong number here, you can end up speaking to a person who has run a time three minutes quicker than the British record, set over twenty-five years ago. No wonder Paul was hoping to race abroad.
—Running With the Kenyans
# Posted by The Rat @ 11:41 AM
( 12:06 AM ) The Rat
"THE WORLD'S FIRST FOIE GRAS MOUSSE DONUT."
# Posted by The Rat @ 12:06 AM
Thursday, June 13, 2013
( 11:25 PM ) The Rat
"PERHAPS YOU CAN TAKE SOME AMBIEN TO HELP YOU SLEEP THEN WAKE UP FOUR HOURS LATER TO FIND YOURSELF DRIVING THE TRAIN." Traveling Cross-Country by Train, via WC.
# Posted by The Rat @ 11:25 PM
( 12:53 PM ) The Rat
He looked me up and down and asked, "Why are you sitting over there and I'm over here?" I didn't understand the question, and he explained, "You and me had the same childhood, but you're in that nice suit and probably drive a nice car. You get to leave today. You're sitting over there—how'd that happen?"
This question had often presented itself in my work and my life, first as a curiosity, later as more than that. I could have been a likely and welcome resident of the world of violence (as opposed to the tourist I became), but somehow I followed a different route. Some people come through awful childhoods and become productive, contributing adults, while others become people who do anti-social or even monstrous things. Why?
It is similar to one brother asking another, "Why did you grow up to be a drunk?" The answer is "Because Dad was a drunk." The second brother then asks, "Why didn't you grow up to be a drunk?" The answer is "Because Dad was a drunk."
—The Gift of Fear
# Posted by The Rat @ 12:53 PM
Wednesday, June 12, 2013
( 7:37 PM ) The Rat
# Posted by The Rat @ 7:37 PM
( 3:00 PM ) The Rat
WHY WANTING EXPENSIVE THINGS MAKES US SO MUCH HAPPIER THAN BUYING THEM, via WC.
For the most materialistic people, there might be something dull—even disappointing—about the act of buying itself.
"Materialists are more likely to overspend and have credit problems, possibly because they believe that acquisitions will increase their happiness and change their lives in meaningful ways," Marsha L. Richins of the University of Missouri concludes in her new paper, "When Wanting Is Better Than Having," published this month in the Journal of Consumer Research. But in three separate studies, materialists reported significantly more happiness thinking about their purchase beforehand than they did from actually owning the thing they wanted.
"Thinking about acquisition provides momentary happiness boosts to materialistic people, and because they tend to think about acquisition a lot, such thoughts have the potential to provide frequent mood boosts," Richins wrote, "but the positive emotions associated with acquisition are short-lived. Although materialists still experience positive emotions after making a purchase, these emotions are less intense than before they actually acquire a product"...
# Posted by The Rat @ 3:00 PM
Tuesday, June 11, 2013
( 2:26 PM ) The Rat
10 PLACES IN LONDON YOU'LL PROBABLY NEVER VISIT. Neato.
Here, unencumbered by the need for explanatory labels, sit thousands of technological and medical treasures, from Apollo mission patches, to lucky Roman phalluses, to early dentist chairs...
# Posted by The Rat @ 2:26 PM
( 2:21 PM ) The Rat
'I'M HAPPY BEING A PROSTITUTE' SLOGAN DROPPED BY BRAZIL'S GOVERNMENT.
# Posted by The Rat @ 2:21 PM
( 10:37 AM ) The Rat
USING METADATA TO FIND PAUL REVERE, via AB.
# Posted by The Rat @ 10:37 AM
Monday, June 10, 2013
( 9:36 PM ) The Rat
SHOUT LOUDER THAN EVERYONE ELSE AND PEOPLE WILL SIMPLY ASSUME YOU'RE RIGHT.
# Posted by The Rat @ 9:36 PM
( 9:33 PM ) The Rat
STOCKHOLM'S MALE TRAIN DRIVERS WEARING SKIRTS TO WORK, ibid.
# Posted by The Rat @ 9:33 PM
( 9:28 PM ) The Rat
"DAD UR ON THE TOILET......" "THAT'S WHY I'M SMILING!" 23 Reasons Why Parents Should Never Be Allowed to Text, via IKM.
# Posted by The Rat @ 9:28 PM
Sunday, June 09, 2013
( 4:57 PM ) The Rat
THE KISS OF LIFE, via JM. I confess I can't look at this without being reminded of this joke...
# Posted by The Rat @ 4:57 PM
Saturday, June 08, 2013
( 9:10 AM ) The Rat
AGING CHINESE FACE A BLEAK PICTURE.
An aging population means the problems are compounded. The number of old people for every hundred working-age members of the population—known as the dependency ratio—will rise from 11 in 2010 to 42 in 2050, according to projections from the United Nations.
Other countries will also see a rise in the dependency ratio. But the pace of aging in China is particularly marked—a consequence of the one-child policy.
China is also unique in encountering a serious problem with aging while still a poor country. "Other countries are old and rich," said Albert Park, a professor at Hong Kong University of Science and Technology and another survey leader. "China will be old at a relatively early stage in its development"...
# Posted by The Rat @ 9:10 AM
Friday, June 07, 2013
( 11:15 AM ) The Rat
TRANSLATING THE COCA-COLA EXPERIENCE.
For 60 years, Myanmar was officially without Coca-Cola. The soda wasn't made or marketed in the country because of international sanctions. Now, Coke is back, and the new Myanmar bottle tells you everything about the challenges of re-establishing a brand...
# Posted by The Rat @ 11:15 AM
Thursday, June 06, 2013
( 1:05 PM ) The Rat
THE WORLD'S MOST BIZARRE AIRCRAFT GRAVEYARDS, via EL.
# Posted by The Rat @ 1:05 PM
( 11:49 AM ) The Rat
HILARIOUS YOGA MAT FOR SALE AD ON CRAIGSLIST, via AB. Yeah, this is pretty much what a Bikram class is like.
# Posted by The Rat @ 11:49 AM
Wednesday, June 05, 2013
( 4:17 PM ) The Rat
'ANCHORMAN: THE EXHIBIT' TO OPEN AT NEWSEUM IN NOVEMBER.
# Posted by The Rat @ 4:17 PM
( 4:15 PM ) The Rat
"THAT'S HOW BUSINESS WORKS IN AMERICA. IT'S ALL PROGRAMMING—ACCESSORIES—THINGS WE'VE BEEN MADE TO BELIEVE THAT WE WANT." Freeway Rick Has a New Business, via Planet Money.
On the subject of public radio (and for that matter, of gratuitous consumption), note that NPR temporary tattoos are now available.
# Posted by The Rat @ 4:15 PM
( 8:27 AM ) The Rat
# Posted by The Rat @ 8:27 AM
Monday, June 03, 2013
( 10:14 PM ) The Rat
THE KINDLE ED. of Thinking, Fast and Slow
has been discounted to $4.99 btw, for anyone else who was waiting...
# Posted by The Rat @ 10:14 PM
( 7:05 PM ) The Rat
ADULT CRAYON COLOR NAMES, via SJ.
# Posted by The Rat @ 7:05 PM
( 11:25 AM ) The Rat
SENIOR USES HORSE_EBOOKS TWEET AS HER YEARBOOK QUOTE. Man, I wish I'd thought of this.
# Posted by The Rat @ 11:25 AM
Saturday, June 01, 2013
( 11:23 AM ) The Rat
THE TERRIBLE TRAGEDY OF THE HEALTHY EATER.
Before Your Healthy Eating Internet Education:
I eat pretty healthy. Check it out: whole grain crackers, veggie patties, prawns, broccoli. I am actually pretty into clean eating.
After Your Healthy Eating Internet Education:
Those crackers—gluten, baby. Gluten is toxic to your intestinal health, I read it on a forum. They should call those crackers Leaky Gut Crisps, that would be more accurate. That veggie burger in the freezer? GMO soy. Basically that's a Monsanto patty. Did you know soybean oil is an insecticide? And those prawns are fish farmed in Vietnamese sewage pools. I didn't know about the sewage fish farming when I bought them, though, really I didn't!
The broccoli, though... that's ok. I can eat that. Eating that doesn't make me a terrible person, unless… oh, shit! That broccoli isn't organic. That means it's covered with endocrine disrupting pesticides that will make my son sprout breasts. As if adolescence isn't awkward enough.
And who pre-cut this broccoli like that? I bet it was some poor Mexican person not making a living wage and being treated as a cog in an industrial broccoli cutting warehouse. So I'm basically supporting slavery if I eat this pre-cut broccoli. Oh my God, it's in a plastic bag too...
# Posted by The Rat @ 11:23 AM
( 11:20 AM ) The Rat
"DISTANCE RUNNING HAS A LONG HISTORY OF ATTRACTING ADDICTS, OBSESSIVE PERSONALITIES, THE HOPELESSLY SELFISH, THOSE WHO ENDURED TOUGH CHILDHOODS, OR ANY COMBINATION THEREOF..." Nice Slate profile of Scott Jurek.
Ultramarathon running god Scott Jurek has a deep, gnawing pain. The familiar assault begins 30 miles into a 100-mile race. His legs feel like they've been beaten by a baseball bat, and his suffering will only increase over the next 70 miles. Sooner or later he’ll contend with a pitiful triad: vomiting, dry heaves, and stomach pains from the stress of sweating, eating, and drinking while running continuously. And that's the best-case scenario.
Jurek’s ultimate mind-numbing race was done on a one-mile oval track for 24 hours. He pounded out 165.7 miles—the equivalent of 6 1/2 marathons in one day—and set an American record. At a race in the San Juan Mountains of Colorado, Jurek ran the 100-mile course on a sprained ankle, climbing and descending a cumulative 66,000 feet in elevation over 11 mountain passes—and still won. A third of the way into a 135-mile run across Death Valley, in torturous heat that singed his nose hairs, he took a reprieve and crawled inside a coffin-size, ice-filled cooler because, Jurek said, it "felt like my internal organs were liquifying"...
# Posted by The Rat @ 11:20 AM
( 8:52 AM ) The Rat
DO YOU LIVE IN IHOP AMERICA OR WAFFLE HOUSE AMERICA? via WKO.
America might be a fast-food nation, but at least it's a rich, greasy tapestry of fast food. In-N-Out Burger is the jewel of the West Coast. Massachusetts seems to breed Dunkin' Donuts franchises the way it used to breed Kennedys. Oklahoma and Wyoming are the only states to have both Hardee's and Carl's Jr. We so strongly associate regional character and fast food offerings that in 2001, The Onion reported, "Mason-Dixon Line Renamed IHOP-Waffle House Line."
To drive this 12-year-old joke into the ground, we calculated the density of all 1,543 IHOP locations (as of this February) and 1,661 Waffle House locations (as of last December) across the United States. The map at the top compares these densities, showing who in America is eating cheap waffles for breakfast, and who's eating cheap pancakes...
# Posted by The Rat @ 8:52 AM