Saturday, December 29, 2018

Shared Meals: Stars Flock To Bra Beach

The world's biggest instagram stars flock to Little Bay and Bra Beaches when in need of seriously impressive content to keep their millions of deep bloggers and followers salivating ...
Exclusive to MEdia Dragon “Instagram viewer search engine - Pikbee is the best Instagram online web viewer on the Internet. Discovering top trending media on Instagram…”

Thermometer to nudge 41C as Sydney heatwave picks up

 It took four years for Tolstoy to write Anna Karenina, as he complained about the work, defamed the novel, and considered killing himself... Tolstoy Untangled

The US President thought his first visit to a combat zone was under wraps, but then ...

That’s shiny’: How a UK plane spotter cracked Trump's secret

It's hard to keep a secret when the internet is watching. Especially if plane spotters are involved.
Reporters accompanying President Donald Trump on his visit to US troops in Iraq on Wednesday, his first to a combat zone, were sworn to silence. Air Force One was given a call sign that identified it as a military cargo flight. Trump himself later marvelled at having travelled on a "darkened plane, with all windows closed, with no lights on whatsoever, anywhere — pitch black."

MICHAEL MULLINS. Abstract thinkers living in bubbles.

During the Christmas break I read Rick Morton’s One Hundred Years of Dirt, which is one of the more acclaimed Australian memoirs published during 2018. It details the wretched life he’s led and also challenges the culture warriors of the left and the right. Speaking about politicians as well as journalists, he says: ‘We don’t need more journalists from the right or from the left… What the media needs is more reporters with the ability to understand their subjects.’  Continue reading 

In Praise of Idleness: Bertrand Russell on the Relationship Between Leisure and Social Justice

Create Dangerously: Albert Camus on the Artist as a Voice of Resistance and a Liberator of Society

The Best of Brain Pickings 2018

 The splendors of the unknown, the uncertain, and the unclassifiable, truth and beauty at the intersection of poetry and science, the timeless tangles of the heart.

What were the questions I thought about most this year?

Nothing in the physical world seems to be constant or permanent. Stars burn out. Atoms disintegrate. Species evolve. Motion is relative. Even other universes might exist, many without life. Unity has given way to multiplicity. 

A meal naturally brings people together, but does the way a meal is served and consumed further matter for cooperation between people? This research (n = 1476) yielded evidence that it does. People eating from shared plates (i.e., Chinese style meal) cooperated more in social dilemmas and negotiations than those eating from separate plates.

Specifically, sharing food from a single plate increased perceived coordination among diners, which in turn led them to behave more cooperatively and less competitively toward each other compared with individuals eating the same food from separate plates. The effect of sharing a plate on cooperation occurred among strangers, which suggests that sharing plates can bring together not only allies, but strangers as well.

That is the abstract from a piece by Kaitlin Woolley of Cornell

Nota Bene

No one was out on the water but me. It was a moonless night, and quiet. The only sound I could hear was the soft churning of the engine of my boat. Far from the distracting lights of the mainland, the sky vibrated with stars. Taking a chance, I turned off my running lights, and it got even darker. Then I turned off my engine. I lay down in the boat and looked up. A very dark night sky seen from the ocean is a mystical experience. After a few minutes, my world had dissolved into that star-littered sky. The boat disappeared. My body disappeared. And I found myself falling into infinity. A feeling came over me I’d not experienced before… I felt an overwhelming connection to the stars, as if I were part of them. And the vast expanse of time — extending from the far distant past long before I was born and then into the far distant future long after I will die — seemed compressed to a dot. I felt connected not only to the stars but to all of nature, and to the entire cosmos. I felt a merging with something far larger than myself, a grand and eternal unity, a hint of something absolute. After a time, I sat up and started the engine again. I had no idea how long I’d been lying there looking up.  
Favorite Books of 2018