Friday, October 16, 2015

Batch of links

- I’ve been meaning to post this link for the longest time! I’ve been to London on several occasions and was always impressed with how well the cabs drivers know the city – I don’t think there are more knowledgeable drivers anywhere, actually. It’s because cab drivers there have to pass an exam to prove they know all the streets by heart. This is all the more impressive given the number of streets in London as well as the way they are laid out. So anyway, this New York Times article describes the process in detail, and I come away from it thinking that these knowledgeable drivers are still relevant even in the era of GPS devices.

- Admittedly, this has been in my links for a while as well, but better late than never. A tweet by Seth Rogen led me to an article titled Back hair surpasses pubic hair as the most political hair (more evidence here; and here’s a video with actual data on people’s preferences regarding pubic hair), which then led me to an even more interesting article: In defense of hairy women. Did you notice how I wrote this whole thing without once making a bad joke about a hairy topic? That took a lot of self-restraint, let me assure you.

- People who know me know how much it irritates me when I hear the word “literally” being misused. Sure, some dictionaries now accept “figuratively” as one of its meanings (essentially saying that its antonym is a synonym!), but my retort to that is that you should choose prescriptive dictionaries over descriptive ones.

- Our use of little words can reveal certain interests. This isn’t just about filler words like “uh” or “like”, but also function words like “I”, “the” and “that”. Researchers were able to predict which people would date and form longer lasting couples, who was lying, and what the power dynamic was between two people simply based on their use of little words.

- I don’t know if, in the future, all households will have a Glowforge, but I sure hope so.

- I listened to a very interesting podcast (in three episodes) about infidelity. Dear Sugar tackled the issue – it happens in a whopping 85% of relationships, be it emotional or physical infidelity. Part 1 deals with the betrayed, part 2 deals with the betrayers, and part 3 has an interview with Esther Perel, a relationship therapist specialized in infidelity.

- An interesting article about a 93-year-old woman who has spent her entire life in the same building in NYC (she was born in the basement). It reminded me of A Tree Grows in Brooklyn.

- And even though the Engineer sometimes thinks I’m overreacting, this is why I always shred my boarding pass (along with just about anything else that has my personal information).

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