Sunday, December 09, 2018


Do not retailers love invented holidays?

A few decades back, a young middle-class Egyptian spending some time in the US had the misfortune to be invited to a dance one weekend and was horrified at what he witnessed:
The room convulsed with the feverish music from the gramophone. Dancing naked legs filled the hall, arms draped around the waists, chests met chests, lips met lips . . .
Root intelligence: Plants can think, feel and learn New Scientist

The Hyperinflation And Corruption Of The Book Blurb Biz

Blurbs, the quoted testimonials of a book’s virtues by other authors, are now so ubiquitous, readers expect them, first-time authors stress about getting them, booksellers base orders on them. A blank back cover today would probably look like a production mistake. But while readers heft books in their hands and scrutinize the praise, it should be noted that blurbs are not ad copy written by some copywriter; they are ad copy written by a fellow author. “Ad copy” might be a bit harsh, but maybe not.

WELL, GOOD: Time in sauna may lower risk of death from heart disease.

Woman who says her daughter Abcde was ‘name shamed’ isn’t getting a lot of sympathy.
Frank Zappa’s odd names for his kids should be viewed as a warning, not a how-to guide

This Year’s Man Booker Prize Winner May Never Write Again

Anna Burns, who took the 2018 award for her novel of Northern Ireland during the Troubles, Milkman, suffers severe back and nerve pain due to botched surgery some years ago. “Thanks to the Booker, which includes a $64,000 prize, she may get treatment in Germany without having to worry about the cost. ‘If it’s successful, I’ll be able to write again,’ she said. ‘I haven’t written in four and a half years.'”

FastCompany – Sound therapies have long been used to help us cope: “Everyone knows they need to manage their stress. When things get difficult at work, school, or in your personal life, you can use as many tips, tricks, and techniques as you can get to calm your nerves. So, here’s a science-backed one: make a playlist of the 10 songs found to be the most relaxing on earth. Sound therapies have long been popular as a way of relaxing and restoring one’s health. For centuries, indigenous cultures have used music to enhance well-being and improve health conditions. Now, neuroscientists out of the UK have specified which tunes give you the most bang for your musical buck. The study was conducted on participants who attempted to solve difficult puzzles as quickly as possible while connected to sensors. The puzzles induced a certain level of stress, and participants listened to different songs while researchers measured brain activity as well as physiological states that included heart rate, blood pressure, and rate of breathing…”