Things Worth Reading (4 March 2017)

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Here’s some things worth reading this week:

Are the 2010s like the 1930s? (The Guardian)
I’m intrigued reading about the Depression, because most first-world living people don’t have a real concept for a world with that kind of scarcity.

The world’s worst flavor was designed in a lab by accident (Tedium)
Apparently Bitrex is everywhere and we don’t even realize it.

Earth In A Suitcase (538)
What would space colonists need to take with them on a trip away from Earth?

Sex, Husbandry and the Infinite Scroll (Design Week Portland)
A piece about real life and navigating spaces in a social media dominant world.

Why do we work so hard? (1843)
Contemplating work.

Reading: The Art of the Restaurateur (Nicholas Lander)
Listening: Quilt – Plaza (LP, 2016)
Luminous, unfiltered, haunting psych-folk that teeters among three dangerously creative mind

The UX of online dating sites: Why You’re Meant To Fail

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Photo of teddy bear staring at another bear on a computer

I’ve been trying to explain to friends for a while why the design of today’s online dating apps don’t work to find them the love they seek. Depending on what you’re looking for, online dating can open a wealth of opportunities and possibilities that your neighborhood simply can’t compete with. One of the things we don’t ask ourselves anymore is whether this bounty of access is really good for us.

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Things Worth Reading (25 February 2017)

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Here’s the headlines:

Bees can train each other to use tools (ArsTechnica)
As an undergraduate, I took an insect biology class because I thought it’d be interesting. I didn’t retain much from those days, but bees and ants and their whole order fascinate me. This story tells what I mostly knew, bees are quite smart and apparently, can learn to use tools and teach other bees to do it too.

The Contestant Who Outsmarted ‘The Price Is Right’ (Esquire)
You probably don’t realize how much I love game shows. This is a story about someone who managed to get a perfect score in the showcase showdown, the first time (and only time to date) it’s ever happened, thanks to a Vegas card-counter. This is a podcast episode waiting to happen for some intrepid show.

Mars Needs Lawyers – (Five Thirty Eight)
Most people don’t realize that the majority of the treaties that govern space were drafted during the height of the space race in the 1960s. As companies continue to invade space, what will determine the rules of engagement as humans colonize space? Maggie Koerth-Baker talks about the need for more space lawyers.

The World’s Worst Skier Had Never Skiied On Snow (NYTimes)
I know a good half of my friends and followers are not regular sports fans, so I love introducing you all to these off-beat sports stories that I don’t think would otherwise end up on your radar. This is about a skiier Adrian Solano of Venezuela and his foray into the Skiing World Championships and his ‘unorthodox’ form. There are lots of warm-weather athletes who participate in cold weather sports despite no one in their country caring about that sport, the lack of training options and opportunities to get sponsorships. This one will be a useful dinner party story.

The Top 40 is anything but (Outline)
A glimpse into the outdated ways that music’s Top 40 charts get determined, radio programming gets dictated and as a result, why it fails to reflect the ways that real people listen to music in modern times.

How A Texas Teen-ager Became NYC’s premier truffle dealer (New Yorker)
Fascinating story of Ian Purkayastha and how he went from a Texas kid to one of the world’s foremost dealers in truffles? Life is a trip, man.

His book is my book rec of the week: Truffle Boy: My Unexpected Journey Through the Exotic Food Underground. 

I Lost My Olympic Dream By A Fraction of A Second (MEL Magazine)
I appreciated this story because I think there are few parallels to losing your dream when it’s not dictated by how hard you work, but by luck, timing and maybe someone being a fraction of a second faster than you were. I think there are not as many real life applications to this when your job is working in an office or something, but I still think it’s worth thinking about in the context of the work we do ever.

Listening: I’m always sharing old music with you all, here’s an oldies playlist I made years ago and it’s quite good.

Watching (Bonus): Speaking of game shows, did you ever hear about the Press Your Luck scandal of the 1980s? It’s about a man who figured out the algorithm and used it to win on the game for well over a month. Here’s the hour-long documentary that’ll be the highlight of your viewing.

Things Worth Reading (2/21/17)

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Here are this week’s articles:

How Albert Woodfox survived solitary (The New Yorker)

Why WNBA players go abroad during their offseason. (The Undefeated)

You’re about to see a big change to food sell-by dates (Washington Post)

How tech campuses hinder diversity (Wired)

How America counts its homeless & why so many are overlooked (The Guardian)

How To Navigate a Museum (NY Times)

Reading: The Happy Marriage (Tahar Ben Jelloun)
Listening: KCRW Eclectic 24 / Colorado Public Radio’s Open Air (via TuneIn Radio)
Watching: Jim Jarmusch’s “Paterson”

Things Worth Reading (2/16/17)

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Anyway, now let’s get to this week’s stories:

Sleep-Deprived Judges Dole Our Harsher Punishments (Harvard Business)
Turns out, justice is often dependent on a good night’s sleep from those exacting the punishments.

McDonalds reinvents the straw (FastCo Design)
Coming to a modern art museum near you, McDonalds new milkshake straw?

10 Stubborn Food Myths That Won’t Die (Lifehacker)
This is an older story that appeared on my radar, but still kinda interesting about the sort of myths that we harbor in the kitchen.

Science Fairs Aren’t So Fair (The Atlantic)
I think any kid that’s participated in a science fair, probably already knew this.

The Nerdy Artisanal Charm of Hand-Drawn Infographics (Wired)
If you’ve spent any time on Tumblr, you know this already. But nonetheless…

Video: In Istanbul, Cats are King (Wall Street Journal)
Soon to be the subject of a documentary, these Istanbul stray cats rule the roost.

Music: This Chance The Rapper cover of a Drake song “No Ways” is pretty great.

Reading: I’m half slogging through Mark Manson’s “The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck: A Counterintuitive Approach to Living a Good Life” via Audible, but I can already tell that I’m not going to be really able to get into it and it’ll be a return for me. I can’t recommend it.

You can send me a book recommendation, I would like to add it to my list.

If you want to subscribe to my podcast where I do this audio versions, you can do that via iTunes or Stitcher to whatever podcast app you use (or just search my name. It’ll come up.)

Things Worth Reading (2/12/17)

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Living with a parent most common young adult living arrangement (Pew)
For the first time in modern history, more young adults in the U.S. are living with parents than any other living arrangement.

Capturing James Baldwin’s Legacy on Screen (The New Yorker)
The documentary, “I Am Not Your Negro” is filling up screens all over the country. It’s an interesting look into the legacy of Baldwin from his own words and juxtaposed against the modern landscape of race in this country.

Toronto man found after 5 years, living in Brazil. (CBC)
Part of his journey to Brazil included periods of walking barefoot, but his family found him after losing touch and worked on finding him help for some struggles.

Joyous African Take The Rails, With China’s Help (NY Times)
China is investing billions in African countries, aimed at precious natural resource deals and creating more jobs for their own citizens. These extends to creating rail access in widespread parts of African countries that were previous inaccessible.

Sisterhood of the Skateboard (NYTimes)
A story I read earlier last year, but wanted to share for the audio edition of this newsletter, about a group of young girls who skateboard through Upper Manhattan and The Bronx.

The Blazer Experiment (99% Invisible)
From a podcast, 99% Invisible, this is a story about the Menlo Park Police department who in 1968 decided to experiment with putting officers in blazers rather than uniforms as a method to improve relations with local populace which was strained at the time.

Book: A Square Meal: The Culinary History of the Great Depression
Music: Priests – Nothing Feels Natural (LP)

Stuff Worth Reading (2/7/2017)

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It’s the February 7th edition of “Stuff Worth Reading” on the #Adulting podcast. I’m your host, Ron Bronson.

So in case you were under a rock for the last episode of the podcast, I announced a change to the format. We’re going to do narration of interesting articles worth reading. If you download the Casts app on iTunes or Android, it will actually link you to the articles listed in the story without you having to subscribe to the newsletter. How cool is that? Other podcast apps might do it, too. I just don’t use them.

You can subscribe to the newsletter version of this podcast episode at Tinyletter.

How to Fail for a Month, A Week or a Decade and Still Be Okay (The Hairpin
This is from 2013, but still had some good bits about the ways to deal with imposter syndrome without ever using that term.

8 Ways To Read More Books in 2017 (Harvard Business)
I read a lot and friends often ask me how I do it. This article dovetails a lot of my own homebrewed reading practices honed over the years.

The Curious Rise Of Secret Facebook Groups (Good)
An article from last August, talking about women in secret FB groups and how they feel safe interacting with people from all over, sharing common interests and bonds despite the bad rap Facebook gets for pretty much everything.

The Secret Taxonomy Behind IKEA Names (Quartz)
Super interesting story behind how IKEA products get their quirky names, for a non-so-quirky reason.

Maybe Just Don’t Drink Coffee (Eater)
This semi-serious screed on the joys and pains of java, made this tea drinker laugh a bit.

What I’ve Read Recently
The Art of Possibility – Rosamund & Ben Zander
At the risk of thinking I’m asking you to read self-help hokum, if you work in the creative industry you probably read this book when it dropped in 2001 or something. But I hadn’t read it in a really long time and appreciated its mantras around mindfulness. Seriously, it’s changing my entire approach to my year. (Though every day is a work-in-progress.) It’s a quick read, too.

Pushout: The Criminalization of Black Girls In Schools – Monique Morris
Books like this can often parade in tropes that end up obscuring their message. Not so, for Dr. Monique Morris’ important work about the ways that public schools marginalize young African-American girls and stigmatize them from the minute they arrive. A lot of these things are structural, but it’s fascinating to think about the unwitting ways that systems are complicit in negatively impacting a wide swath of our population. She offers constructive ideas for moving forward, too. I know it’s not a breezy or fun summer read, but it’s important even if just to skim the stats she provides and the history/backstory too.

The Black Russian – Vladimir Alexandrov
Okay, so I didn’t read this recently. Still, it’s a historical work on Frederick Bruce Thomas, a real-life man who ought to be a movie character. He went from Mississippi, the son of former slaves to one of Russia AND Turkey’s most famous nightclub owners before the revolutions in both countries cost him his fortune. A well-researched book absolutely worth your time.

What I’m Listening To
The barista at my favorite coffeeshop here in Bloomington (Hopscotch Coffee) was listening to some Ghanian highlife music. I knew this because I got into the genre a few months ago. Anyway, he shared his Spotify playlist with me and now I’m sharing it with you. It’ll make your day instantly better, I promise.

I’m also still listening to too much shoegaze. Big surprise. 

Recipe of the Now
Sorry to my vegan followers… but I’ve been craving Hainanese Chicken & Rice since I first heard about it. I bet one of the restaurant here makes it, but I haven’t searched yet because I don’t want my first time to be disappointing. I could make it myself, but I prefer typically with authentic dishes to have them somewhere good first and then go home and make them. But seriously, it’s all anybody is tweeting about these days on my feed — at least among the people I know in bigger cities (probably west coast.)

Shifting Gears (On The Podcast)

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I started the latest iteration of my podcast last year. After a few dozen episodes, I rebooted the idea last summer with a new premise. But in 2017, I think it’s time to do something closer to my interests and frankly, that does a better job of being informational rather than just ranting.

So I’m going to tentatively keep the same name of the podcast (though, if you had ideas for a new name and want to send them to me..there will be a prize.) but the new direction is going to be focused on recent articles from across the world I’ve read. I’ll also share a music recommendation or two and it’s me, so you know there will always be a surprise or two.

I feel like in the era of fake news and alternative facts, having a personally curated news report showing up from someone you (probably) trust, could be a boon. Plus, it’ll get me closer to my own roots. While I work in tech and strategy, I was an economics major and a liberal arts student who has done all sorts of things from lead policy for a non-profit in Wyoming to start a shoe brand. So I feel like giving you a glimpse of the world from my varied perspectives could be useful.

If you want to get the accompanying articles to each episode, you should subscribe to my already existing newsletter for this. I’ve been sending out a curated newsletter of interesting stories to people all over the world for over two years now and this podcast will just become a broader extension of that.

I’m excited about the new shift. You won’t have to resubscribe, you’ll stay subscribed even if the name changes. Stay tuned for the first episode coming early this week. And remember, if you have a naming idea, email me at ron [at] ronbronson [dot com] or find me on Twitter @ronbronson with your ideas.

Thanks for always being so supportive.