Benjamin Ho

Independent writer at Wry Things

18 Followers | 48 Following

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Benjamin Ho

10 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

38 days ago

An intriguing cult of personality

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

bloomberg.com

Benjamin Ho

42 days ago

A challenging lifestyle in more ways than one

Why 4 a.m. Is the Most Productive Hour

wsj.com

Benjamin Ho

43 days ago

Go #ZeroPlastic

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

theguardian.com

Benjamin Ho

45 days ago

Chilling.

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

gq.com

Benjamin Ho

51 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

63 days ago

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

nytimes.com

Benjamin Ho

63 days ago

The Special Stew at the Heart of Sumo Wrestling

atlasobscura.com

Benjamin Ho

64 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

77 days ago

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

nytimes.com

Benjamin Ho

86 days ago

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

The good guy/bad guy myth

aeon.co

Benjamin Ho

94 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

101 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

101 days ago

From a Singaporean perspective

A cautionary tale from the depths of the sharing economy

straitstimes.com

Benjamin Ho

101 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

104 days ago

A new culprit

In bee decline, fungicides emerge as improbable villain

phys.org

Benjamin Ho

107 days ago

This City Hall, brought to you by Amazon

seattletimes.com

Benjamin Ho

107 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

108 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

111 days ago

As riveting as a car crash

Donald Trump Didn’t Want to Be President

nymag.com

Benjamin Ho

118 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

118 days ago

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

atlasobscura.com

Benjamin Ho

120 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

121 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

124 days ago

Well done, maesters

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

arstechnica.com

Benjamin Ho

126 days ago

Why Monks and Nuns Make So Many Beloved Foods

atlasobscura.com

Benjamin Ho

126 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

128 days ago

Elaborated well with scrolling graphics

Generation Screwed

highline.huffingtonpost.com

Benjamin Ho

129 days ago

Why do I gravitate to unprofitable industries?

How to Survive the Media Apocalypse

theatlantic.com

Benjamin Ho

132 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

Benjamin Ho

133 days ago

Why rejecting the modern world is a privileged fantasy

theguardian.com

Benjamin Ho

134 days ago

Getting companies to use RSPO-certified products does not mean as much as it should yet.

Study: RSPO certification prunes deforestation in Indonesia — but not by much

news.mongabay.com

Benjamin Ho

143 days ago

Bitcoin Is a Delusion That Could Conquer the World

theatlantic.com

Benjamin Ho

143 days ago

The Future of Journalism is Bright, and Paid

hackernoon.com

Benjamin Ho

147 days ago

Your phone vibrates a dozen times an hour with alerts about likes and comments and retweets and faves. The combined effect is one of just trying to suck you back in, so their numbers look better for their next quarterly earnings report.

The End of the Social Era Can’t Come Soon Enough

vanityfair.com

Benjamin Ho

148 days ago

comprehension is intimately intertwined with knowledge.

How to Get Your Mind to Read

nytimes.com

Benjamin Ho

149 days ago

Households are actually the biggest contributor to the amount of food going to waste across the country — more than grocery stores or restaurants or any other sector," Gunders says. Food is the No. 1 contributor to landfills, and as it decomposes, it releases methane, a powerful greenhouse gas.

Less Waste, More Taste: A Master Chef Reimagines Thanksgiving Leftovers

npr.org

Benjamin Ho

149 days ago

I could have written this article. Truly miss when books were all I read, and newspapers were for adults.

I used to read books all the time.

The Endless First Chapter

nytimes.com

Benjamin Ho

150 days ago

No such thing as indefinite growth on a finitely sized planet

Too right it's Black Friday: our relentless consumption is trashing the planet

theguardian.com

Benjamin Ho

153 days ago

I know what you're thinking. More fried chicken = save the world?

"But they are dismissive of the idea that cooking fats could somehow be used as a form of geo-engineering to limit the impacts of global warming."

Deep fat fryers may help form cooling clouds

bbc.co.uk

Benjamin Ho

153 days ago

We’re all significantly – but not entirely – shaped by luck. The recognition that we’re not wholly self-made should help us to credit others for their roles in our moral lives and perhaps most importantly to be compassionate and generous to those who are down on their luck. After all, with different luck, we might have shared their fate.

Moral luck

aeon.co

Benjamin Ho

158 days ago

Genomes can evolve either through drift, in which DNA changes randomly, or through natural selection, in which genes become more or less common because they affect their owner’s ability to survive and reproduce. Typically, both forces are important. But the passenger pigeon was so absurdly abundant that natural selection dominated. “There was almost no portion of the passenger pigeon’s genome that was evolving neutrally,” says Shapiro.

What DNA Says About the Extinction of America’s Most Common Bird

theatlantic.com

Benjamin Ho

161 days ago

Even as it is phasing out coal plants at home, it is building coal plants abroad as part of an ambitious “One Belt, One Road” initiative, designed to expand Chinese global influence. At the same time, China has embraced renewables: It is the largest producer of electric cars, and it has proposed to set up what would become the world’s largest carbon market.

Why China Wants to Lead on Climate, but Clings to Coal (for Now)

nytimes.com

Benjamin Ho

161 days ago

Meet the People Who Listen to Podcasts at Super-Fast Speeds

buzzfeed.com

Benjamin Ho

163 days ago

Lupita Nyong’o

nytimes.com

Benjamin Ho

171 days ago

Artificial flavours may have a larger environmental impact than natural flavours.

What's more, in some cases, natural flavors may have more detrimental environmental consequences than artificial flavors. Mattel explains that because natural flavors must come from resources in nature, they may involve more forest clear-cutting and carbon emissions from transport than flavors created from scratch in the lab.

Is 'Natural Flavor' Healthier Than 'Artificial Flavor'?

npr.org

Benjamin Ho

184 days ago

Yet another lesson about the huge psychological impact of agenda-driven science.

Dark chocolate is now a health food. Here’s how that happened.

vox.com

Benjamin Ho

187 days ago

Sad times

World's deepest lake in peril, scientists warn

straitstimes.com

Benjamin Ho

192 days ago

Perhaps most surprisingly of all, it is not just used to write Korean. The Cia-Cia, an ethnic minority in Indonesia, has adopted Hangul to record its Malayo-Polynesian language, which lacks an indigenous writing system of its own.

How was Hangul invented?

economist.com

Benjamin Ho

192 days ago

Fantastic essay

Why objective journalism is a misleading and dangerous illusion

thecorrespondent.com

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