Web Miscellany: Compilation #77

Hello dear friend! How are you? How has you week been? My boyfriend has been playing the piano quite a lot this week, and it makes my heart swoon every time I hear a melody from across the house (lately, it has been Scarborough Fair and a tune from the game Final Fantasy). The other day, I saw a huge shooting star–so large and explosive that I was sure it was a plane in distress. Nature is truly spectacular, even when tucked in amongst the urban sprawl–perhaps especially so. After two weeks of miserable tired-but-wired insomnia, I suspected the culprit was a new brand of resveratrol. Lo and behold, I slept soundly after stopping the supplement. Finally, after much dawdling, I filed my taxes and scheduled an appointment with my allergist to discuss vaccine options.

What are your plans for the week ahead? I’ll be making my niece a fabric softbook version of Emily Winfield Martin’s The Wonderful Things You Will Be. I had never been too fond of kids, but my best friend’s little one has cracked my heart wide open and I already love her so much. We continue to wage a Caddyshack-esque war on the ground squirrels, who are now eating the plastic storage tubs and perlite in the storage closet. The hose is not deterring the little rascals and I’m not quite ready to resort to my father-in-law’s recommendation–the fatal delicacy of Double Bubble gum.

I hope that your weekend and the week ahead are filled with hope, and that you and your loved ones continue to stay safe and healthy. Here are a few links from around the web. Feel free to share anything interesting you’ve stumbled upon in the comments.

  1. Food for thought: “Home is not where you are born; home is where all your attempts to escape cease.” ― Naguib Mahfouz
  2. From the archives: Technological Advancement and Future Job Markets. “The world is moving at a fast pace and we each have a personal responsibility to remain aware of new technologies, and to predict the trajectory of those technologies. It’s a daunting task but understanding the modern world in the context of your personal skills and interests will help you carve out a niche in which you might competently compete for available jobs and bring something unique to the table. Ignorance and stagnation will surely set us up for failure.”
  3. Product recommendation: For honorary members of the itty bitty titty committee, Timpa Lingerie is the best fitting and sexiest bra I’ve found as a small-busted woman. They were recommended to me about four years ago and I will never go back to gaping black holes from Victoria’s Secret. Be sure to size up, as the French brand runs small (e.g., if you typically wear 32A, a 34B should fit you well).
  4. On engineering pasta: The newly invented pasta shape lends itself to maximum sauce adherence, ease of capture via fork, and how satisfying it is to sink your teeth into. I can’t eat pasta, but I adobe that people are thinking about such things!
  5. On facial features & personality: “There is ample evidence that morphological and social cues in a human face provide signals of human personality and behavior…. The findings strongly support the possibility of predicting multidimensional personality profiles from static facial images using artificial neural networks (ANNs) trained on large labelled datasets.” I worked on one of the referenced studies 12 years year and am fascinated that the countless hours of manual rating can now be completed by AI.
  6. Sewing stuff: I love this color wheel tool and am bookmarking these free sewing patterns for later.
  7. Incredible Photography: The Winners of the 2020 World Nature Photography Awards
  8. On Friendship: A psychologist’s fascinating study of friendship finds that the quality of our relationships determines our health, happiness and chance of a long life.
  9. On the nature of reality: “Moreover, as we’ve seen earlier, there is something dissociative processes look like in the brain of a patient with DID. So, if some form of universal-level DID happens, the alters of universal consciousness must also have an extrinsic appearance. We posit that this appearance is life itself: metabolizing organisms are simply what universal-level dissociative processes look like.” Mind blown. I would have never guessed that the different personas within one’s dissociative identity disorder show up differently on an fMRI.
  10. Comparing vaccines: Vox made a clear and concise video about why comparing vaccine efficacy rates is difficult — trials were done in different countries with different variants under different conditions with different levels of disease — and why protection against severe illness, hospitalization and death is a better way to compare and evaluate these vaccines. I’m personally ineligible for the mRNA vaccines due a PEG allergy, so I appreciated this information.

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