Posts Tagged "compelling read"

Slime Memory

“To reach some food, they had to crawl over a bridge that was laced with repellents like salt or coffee. At first, the molds were clearly repulsed, and were slow to ooze across. With more repetitions, they became habituated; they got used to the chemicals, started ignoring them, and moved faster.”

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The Hidden Life of Trees

[Trees] can count, learn and remember; nurse sick neighbors; warn each other of danger by sending electrical signals across a fungal network known as the “Wood Wide Web”; and, for reasons unknown, keep the ancient stumps of long-felled companions alive for centuries by feeding them a sugar solution through their roots.

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Why We Keep Playing the Lottery

“Fantasizing about winning the lottery activates the same parts of our brains that would be activated if we actually won, notes Daniel Levine, professor of psychology at the University of Texas at Arlington, and an expert on decision theory and neural networks. Picturing ourselves in a limo activates visual areas of the brain, while imagining the clink of champagne glasses lights up the auditory cortex.”

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A Love Letter to Tokyo’s Buildings Using Animated GIFs

“Spending two whole days there, we finally learned the dread and discomfort of living in a capsule hotel. It was wonderful, apart from the occasional shakeup and earthquake panic you’d feel when your neighbour decides to move his capsule four floors up, at 5 AM. He was courteous enough to leave a box of chocolate with an apology to his neighbouring capsules.”

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The Unravelers

“A loose thread is a metaphor. Some examples of ‘loose threads’:

Men with blue eyes. Men with green eyes. Bartenders with any-colored eyes. Bridge railings. Walks late at night. Perfectly cut lines of cocaine. Married men with blue or green eyes. A full bottle of pills, up or down. Credit cards. Airports, train platforms, bus stations, parking garages. The fourth glass of wine.”

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Forget San Andreas: Why You Should Be Worried About the Cascadia Subduction Zone

“When the next full-margin rupture happens, that region will suffer the worst natural disaster in the history of North America. Roughly three thousand people died in San Francisco’s 1906 earthquake. Almost two thousand died in Hurricane Katrina. Almost three hundred died in Hurricane Sandy. FEMA projects that nearly thirteen thousand people will die in the Cascadia earthquake and tsunami.”

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Pollution, “Wumai,” and Beijing’s Airpocalypse

“Reception classes stay indoors when the air quality index (AQI) hits 180 – measured on an official scale of 500 by various sensors across the city. For primary kids the limit is 200, while the eldest students are allowed to brave the elements up to 250. Anything above 300 and school trips are called off. The World Health Organisation, meanwhile, recommends a safe exposure level of 25.”

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The Definitive History of the West Wing

“It’s the most satisfying thing I’ve ever done. Every now and then I’ll see an episode somewhere and I’m just intrigued by it. We actually did that and I was actually a part of it! I think it came at a time and it occupied a space that it might not have been possible to do before or since.”

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