Posts about interesting

What Historians Wish people Knew About Drugs

All of this leads to my final big point: “drug problems” are really “society problems.” Consider the current opiate crisis. Do you know when authorities in Ohio, where I reside, became convinced that Ohio had an opiate problem? When opiate deaths began to approach, and then surpassed, the number of car crash deaths in a year. This raises an important question: why are we so tolerant of car-crash deaths, so much so that their frequency has become our baseline for unacceptable accidental death in America?

The Forgotten 'China Girls' Hidden at the Beginning of Old Films

Few people ever saw the images of China girls, although for decades they were ubiquitous in movie theaters. At the beginning of a reel of film, there would be a few frames of a woman’s head. She might be dressed up; she might be scowling at the camera. She might blink or move her head.

But if audiences saw her, it was only because there had been a mistake. These frames weren’t for public consumption. The China girl was there to assist the lab technicians processing the film. Even though the same person’s face might show up in reel after reel of film, her image would remain unknown to everyone except the technicians and projectionists.

For many years photo labs would produce unique China girl images; around a couple hundred women, perhaps more, had their images hidden at the beginning of films. As movies have transitioned from analog to digital, though, the China girls are disappearing.

The Forgotten 'China Girls' Hidden at the Beginning of Old Films

Why paper is the real 'killer app'

Science suggests these traditional types might be on to something. While technology can certainly provide an edge for certain tasks, digital overload is a real and growing concern. A 2010 study by the University of California at San Diego suggests we consume nearly three times as much information as we did the 1960s. And a report by Ofcom in the UK says that 60% of us consider ourselves addicted to our devices, with a third of us spending longer online each day than we intend. So are we doing too much, and are our screens too distracting? Possibly. For instance, many studies indicate that multitasking is bad for us and makes our brains more scattered.

Why paper is the real 'killer app'

Solo Man

When Erden Eruç set off to circumnavigate the globe, rowing alone across three oceans, he didn't know just how much the trip would change him – and his relationships with his friends, family and wife. The story of an epic journey by bike, foot, and boat. And of what is, perhaps, the biggest challenge of all: coming home.

‘No Vacancy’ Signs Are Vanishing From America’s Highways

But a lot has changed since those days. “We don’t really have any customers who want that type of sign anymore,” said Alex Lauretano of the Lauretano Sign Group, a leading sign manufacturer for the hospitality industry. “At one point they were useful—but not anymore, with online booking.” Julie Hall, a spokesperson for AAA, which inspects and rates motels, confirmed that vacancy indicators are on the wane and also cited online booking as a key factor.

‘No Vacancy’ Signs Are Vanishing From America’s Highways

London Is Still Paying Rent to the Queen on a Property Leased in 1211

Earlier this October, at a ceremony at the Royal Courts of Justice, London paid its rent to the Queen. The ceremony proceeded much as it had for the past eight centuries. The city handed over a knife, an axe, six oversized horseshoes, and 61 nails to Barbara Janet Fontaine, the Queen’s Remembrancer, the oldest judicial position in England

London Is Still Paying Rent to the Queen on a Property Leased in 1211

Inside the mind of the octopus

I have always loved octopuses. No sci-fi alien is so startlingly strange. Here is someone who, even if she grows to one hundred pounds and stretches more than eight feet long, could still squeeze her boneless body through an opening the size of an orange; an animal whose eight arms are covered with thousands of suckers that taste as well as feel; a mollusk with a beak like a parrot and venom like a snake and a tongue covered with teeth; a creature who can shape-shift, change color, and squirt ink. But most intriguing of all, recent research indicates that octopuses are remarkably intelligent.

Inside the mind of the octopus

The Hedonic Treadmill

If Only Happiness Were As Easy As Marriage, a Big House, and Kids "People are exposed to many messages that encourage them to believe that a change of weight, scent, hair color (or coverage), car, clothes, or many other aspects will produce a marked improvement in their happiness. Our research suggests a moral, and a warning: Nothing that you focus on will make as much difference as you think."

The Hedonic Treadmill