Good news at last: the world isn’t as horrific as you think
- 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.
An intriguing cult of personality
A challenging lifestyle in more ways than one
A fascinating history of trying to corral the English language
Strange urban phenomena still exist
Folklore used to be morally ambiguous, compared to modern fairy tales
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.
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.
From a Singaporean perspective
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.
A new culprit
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.”
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.
As riveting as a car crash
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.
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?
While Singapore continues to wayang smart nation, another tiny nation-state becomes an actual smart nation
Well done, maesters
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.
Elaborated well with scrolling graphics
Why do I gravitate to unprofitable industries?
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
Getting companies to use RSPO-certified products does not mean as much as it should yet.
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.
comprehension is intimately intertwined with knowledge.
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.
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.
No such thing as indefinite growth on a finitely sized planet
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."
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.
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.
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.
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.
Yet another lesson about the huge psychological impact of agenda-driven science.
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.