Web Miscellany: Compilation #2

G’day folks and happy Friday! What exciting things do you have planned for this weekend? I’ll be attending my sister’s moving away party and packing my life into a storage pod so our water-damaged home can be repaired and remodeled.

Anyways, check out some favorite gems from around the web and feel free to share some of your recent finds in the comments.

  1. Audrey Watters on her favorite educational tech: “Sesame Street and Mr Rogers Neighborhood — *public* television, based in research, a respect for children, equity, and love.” We need useful tools to promote early childhood learning, without extracting data or tracking engagement.
  2. In praise of MSG. Monosodium glutamate has picked up a bad reputation over the last several years, but this New York Times articles argues that MSG offers complex and potent flavor-enhancement and the ingredient has scientifically proved to be harmless.
  3. Ever asked, “Is anyone sitting there?” The funny story of An Actual Thing That Actually Happened from Wait But Why. So relatable.
  4. The 10 Most In-Demand Skills for 2018 include self awareness, innovation, action-taking, and grit.
  5. When your outfit perfectly matches the sand, the sea, and the sky.
  6. I’ve been listening the album Dark Was the Night, which happens to be my all-time favorite music compilation. Notable choices: Sleepless by The Decemberists, The Giant of Illinois by Andrew Bird, and Happiness by Riceboy Sleeps.
  7. “What if I decided to take my dream seriously?” A gem from Alexandra Franzen.
  8. Stunning x-ray photos of flowers.
  9. The face of distracted driving. Crushing interviews of families who lost a loved one to fatal texting-while-driving accidents. Put down the phone–whoever, and whatever the message is, it can wait.
  10. Entrepreneurship is not a job from Seth Godin. Ultimately, “the work is to solve problems in a way that you’re proud of.”
  11. The Bail Project. “The Bail Project is an unprecedented national effort to combat mass incarceration by disrupting the bail system, one person at a time. Building on the success of The Bronx Freedom Fund, this revolving bail fund will pay bail for those who can’t afford it, helping people who would otherwise languish in pretrial detention. It responds to the immediate needs of those locked up — preventing the human cost to individuals, families and communities — while also addressing the economic and racial disparities of the money bail system.”
  12. A suspect in the Golden State Killer murders was arrested, based largely on DNA evidence that was apparently obtained in part through creating a dummy profile on a heredity website. Mathematician Cathy O’Neil believes data scientists should adhere to a Hippocratic oath because “we have a total disconnect between the people building the algorithms and the people who are actually affected by them.”
  13. Jessica Lahey on the Art of Manliness Podcast making the argument that the best gift you can give you children is failure. Child-rearing versus parenting, crappy science fair projects, duties over chores, and accepting your kids’ questionable friends. Fantastic listen, and I’m not even a parent!
  14. Amanda Palmer reads “The Mushroom Hunters”, a poem by her brilliant husband Neil Gaiman. While primitive men hunted wild beasts, women served as scientists, discerning which mushrooms would feed them, kill them, or show them gods. Scroll down for video, audio and transcription.
  15. At the F8 conference, Mark Zuckerberg discussed a “Clear History” option on Facebook, stating that, “It’s something privacy advocates have been asking for — and we will work with them to make sure we get it right.” Good news, if they follow through on this initiative.

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