Benjamin Ho

Independent writer at Wry Things

18 Followers | 48 Following

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Benjamin Ho

10 days ago

Watch your step: why the 10,000 daily goal is built on bad science

theguardian.com

Benjamin Ho

22 days ago

Ode to Gray

theparisreview.org

Benjamin Ho

23 days ago

The violence that comes when capitalism meets a lawless state

He is one of 18 human rights and indigenous “defenders” to have been murdered so far this year in a wave of rural violence. Of these, 13 were involved in land conflicts and nine were Codeca leaders. Two were journalists investigating disputes and of the seven people killed in the month following Marroquín’s death, one died in a church, another was rammed by a truck and a third was murdered while doing the shopping. Others were stabbed or hacked to death. Few people have been arrested, let alone convicted.

How Guatemala is sliding into chaos in the fight for land and water

theguardian.com

Benjamin Ho

44 days ago

But enlightenment, I decided by the end of the retreat, is banal. It means simply appreciating each moment, no matter how mundane and annoying, as an end in itself, not as a means to another end, like making money or impressing others. Like, be here now, Dude.

Easy to say, hard to do. Most of us see our lives as a series of chores to be completed, not moments to be cherished. I certainly do. An insidious effect of being a blogger is that my life becomes fodder for my writing. I’m not complaining, I love this gig, but there is a price.

A Buddhism Critic Goes on a Silent Buddhist Retreat

blogs.scientificamerican.com

Benjamin Ho

44 days ago

tl;dr: the earth is in constant motion throughout an expanding universe, so to travel in time while staying in the same place *on earth* requires mindbogglingly precise spatial navigation and also probably an immense amount of energy just for the spatial part alone. Imagine travelling from December to June; you're gonna be on the other side of the sun if you don't change your actual position.

The Utter Failure of Fictional Time Travel

blogs.scientificamerican.com

Benjamin Ho

56 days ago

Food for my thoughts

‘Find Your Passion’ Is Awful Advice

theatlantic.com

Benjamin Ho

63 days ago

“Such supplements come with a significant cost,” he said, “so to anyone buying them in the hope that they reduce the risk of heart disease, I’d advise them to spend their money on vegetables instead.”

Omega-3 no protection against heart attack or strokes, say scientists

theguardian.com

Benjamin Ho

70 days ago

Really gripping stuff. Good job for a first article.

Attack on Skull Island

gq.com

Benjamin Ho

71 days ago

tl;dr: a healthy outlook on life is actually biologically good for your longevity

Could your thoughts make you age faster?

ideas.ted.com

Benjamin Ho

71 days ago

A memoir of a man

Anthony Bourdain’s Moveable Feast

newyorker.com

Benjamin Ho

72 days ago

one of the coolest things I've read this week

Spiders Can Fly Hundreds of Miles Using Electricity

theatlantic.com

Benjamin Ho

73 days ago

Life is not gonna give you what you want all the time. You'd agree with that, right? Then why are we so frustrated when we don't get what we want? We take pleasures for granted and are frustrated by the difficulties. Yet we readily admit difficulties are inevitable and pleasures must be worked for. It's totally inconsistent — and the source of most of our bad feelings.

The secret to loving your life

theweek.com

Benjamin Ho

73 days ago

RIP

The Last Days of Marc-André Leclerc

outsideonline.com

Benjamin Ho

73 days ago

I knew Trump was daft, but this a special kind of stupid

Meet the guys who tape Trump's papers back together

politico.com

Benjamin Ho

75 days ago

Farming doesn't have to be unsustainable and industrial.

Bringing Farming Back to Nature

nytimes.com

Benjamin Ho

76 days ago

Agricultural landscapes may not be as good for bees as urban ones

Bumblebees Thrive in the City but Struggle on the Farm

nytimes.com

Benjamin Ho

78 days ago

Palm oil may be a problem, but alternative oils aren't the answer.

Saying ‘no’ to palm oil would likely displace, not halt biodiversity loss – IUCN report

iucn.org

Benjamin Ho

108 days ago

"When it comes to paying for lodging at North Korea’s preferred five-star luxury hotel, the United States is open to covering the costs, the two people said, but it’s mindful that Pyongyang may view a U.S. payment as insulting. As a result, U.S. planners are considering asking Singapore, the host country, to pay for the North Korean delegation’s bill."

U.S. seeks discreet way to pay for Kim Jong Un’s hotel during Trump-Kim summit

washingtonpost.com

Benjamin Ho

119 days ago

If a civilization uses fossil fuels, the climate change they trigger can lead to a large decrease in ocean oxygen levels. These low oxygen levels (called ocean anoxia) help trigger the conditions needed for making fossil fuels like oil and coal in the first place. In this way, a civilization and its demise might sow the seed for new civilizations in the future.

Was There a Civilization On Earth Before Humans?

theatlantic.com

Benjamin Ho

138 days ago

Bitcoin is not an investment.

Bitcoin is the greatest scam in history

recode.net

Benjamin Ho

156 days ago

- Hans Rosling

Remember that the media and activists rely on drama to grab your attention; that negative stories are more dramatic than positive ones; and how simple it is to construct a story of crisis from a temporary dip pulled out of its context of a long-term improvement.

Good news at last: the world isn’t as horrific as you think

theguardian.com

Benjamin Ho

185 days ago

An intriguing cult of personality

This Multibillion-Dollar Corporation Is Controlled by a Penniless Yoga Superstar

bloomberg.com

Benjamin Ho

189 days ago

A challenging lifestyle in more ways than one

Why 4 a.m. Is the Most Productive Hour

wsj.com

Benjamin Ho

190 days ago

Go #ZeroPlastic

Microplastic pollution in oceans is far worse than feared, say scientists

theguardian.com

Benjamin Ho

192 days ago

Chilling.

The Killers of Kiev: How Putin Created an Assassin’s Metropolis

gq.com

Benjamin Ho

198 days ago

A fascinating history of trying to corral the English language

Inside the OED: can the world’s biggest dictionary survive the internet?

theguardian.com

Benjamin Ho

210 days ago

The WeWork Manifesto: First, Office Space. Next, the World.

nytimes.com

Benjamin Ho

210 days ago

The Special Stew at the Heart of Sumo Wrestling

atlasobscura.com

Benjamin Ho

210 days ago

Strange urban phenomena still exist

There’s a Persistent Hum in This Canadian City, and No One Knows Why

nytimes.com

Benjamin Ho

223 days ago

From Oil to Solar: Saudi Arabia Plots a Shift to Renewables

nytimes.com

Benjamin Ho

233 days ago

Folklore used to be morally ambiguous, compared to modern fairy tales

The good guy/bad guy myth

aeon.co

Benjamin Ho

241 days ago

In its elegantly retro pages, often rather posh men wrote about the pleasures of laziness – while on the side busily producing books and newspaper articles, and running a creative consultancy with corporate clients, Idle Industries.

Post-work: the radical idea of a world without jobs

theguardian.com

Benjamin Ho

248 days ago

Here's a tangible example of a consumer product derived from forests. In this case, fungi-based enzymes for detergents that can improve stain removal and reduce energy usage in washing machines.

Fighting Climate Change, One Laundry Load at a Time

nytimes.com

Benjamin Ho

248 days ago

From a Singaporean perspective

A cautionary tale from the depths of the sharing economy

straitstimes.com

Benjamin Ho

248 days ago

I'm not a vegan and probably won't become one anytime soon, but this writer's a really affable vegan who makes her new lifestyle sound so sensible and reasonable.

A bacon sandwich would, of course, still taste delicious. But then, keeping a slave in one’s house would also be very handy. It’s just not something any sane person is going to do.

5am ice baths and a strict vegan diet: my year of living (very) healthily

theguardian.com

Benjamin Ho

250 days ago

A new culprit

In bee decline, fungicides emerge as improbable villain

phys.org

Benjamin Ho

254 days ago

This City Hall, brought to you by Amazon

seattletimes.com

Benjamin Ho

254 days ago

Privilege is not always clear cut.

“You can look at it and think, ‘Oh, the white child probably had the better childhood in this ritzy, tony suburb,’” Ms. Roost said. “But then again, peel it back a layer and you’ll see it was a horrible childhood.”

The Adopted Black Baby, and the White One Who Replaced Her

nytimes.com

Benjamin Ho

254 days ago

Singapore's educational system is just Harrison Bergeron's world realized

And therein lies the paradox. In Singapore, gifted children are expected to be completely different, yet utterly the same.

I Grew Up Gifted. It Was Terrifying.

academia.com.sg

Benjamin Ho

258 days ago

As riveting as a car crash

Donald Trump Didn’t Want to Win – and Neither Did His Campaign

nymag.com

Benjamin Ho

264 days ago

I'm actually quite scared about this. It sounds like a potential ice-9.

Being able to nudge evolution one way or the other would be a powerful tool for combating everything from disease to climate change. They’re being considered for wiping out malaria-causing mosquitoes, and eradicating harmful invasive species. But out in the wild, they have the potential to spread out of control, with perhaps dire consequences.

Crispr Isn’t Enough Any More. Get Ready for Gene Editing 2.0

wired.com

Benjamin Ho

264 days ago

Perhaps You’d Like to Try Lemon or Raspberry Flavored Oysters

atlasobscura.com

Benjamin Ho

266 days ago

In the old brown house on the corner, a mile from the middle of the city, we ate bacon for breakfast every morning of our lives.


If you are reading this essay, you’re a reader. You probably know this sentence, and if you don’t, you are comfortable with interpreting it. You can hear a character beginning to form: its romantic, optimistic, nostalgic voice; a voice yearning for simplicity; probably, in its deliberate imitation of a child’s singsong, the voice of a woman, a mother. You know it might take a few pages to learn just who this woman is. You’re skilled in this sort of patience.
But if you have never read anything more difficult than a Harry Potter book, how are you meant to proceed?

'The difficulty is the point': teaching spoon-fed students how to really read

theguardian.com

Benjamin Ho

267 days ago

While Singapore continues to wayang smart nation, another tiny nation-state becomes an actual smart nation

Estonia, the Digital Republic

newyorker.com

Benjamin Ho

271 days ago

Well done, maesters

There is now a climate model of the world of Game of Thrones

arstechnica.com

Benjamin Ho

272 days ago

Why Monks and Nuns Make So Many Beloved Foods

atlasobscura.com

Benjamin Ho

273 days ago

The first floor, above the hubbub of the street but conveniently accessed by a single flight of stairs, was the floor most sought after—the piano nobile or bel étage.

New lift technology is reshaping cities

economist.com

Benjamin Ho

274 days ago

Elaborated well with scrolling graphics

Generation Screwed

highline.huffingtonpost.com

Benjamin Ho

275 days ago

Why do I gravitate to unprofitable industries?

How to Survive the Media Apocalypse

theatlantic.com

Benjamin Ho

278 days ago

A good explainer of the developments in taxonomy, and a sad revelation about how the sheer diversity of invertebrates that we barely know are already disappearing

‘A different dimension of loss’: inside the great insect die-off

theguardian.com

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