‘The subject of a good tragedy must not be realistic.’ –Corneille

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[Yahoo C.E.O. Marissa] Mayer also had a habit of operating on her own time. Every Monday at 3 p.m. Pacific, she asked her direct reports to gather for a three-hour meeting. Mayer demanded all of her staff across the world join the call, so executives from New York, where it was 6 p.m., and Europe, where it was 11 p.m. or later, would dial in, too. Invariably, Mayer herself would be at least 45 minutes late; some calls were so delayed that Yahoo executives in Europe couldn’t hang up till after 3 a.m. […]

Within weeks of becoming C.E.O., she received an email from Henrique de Castro, the fashionable Portuguese president of Google’s media, mobile and platforms businesses. […] Over dinner, de Castro impressed Mayer with his knowledge of Yahoo’s business and his specific proposals for building it. For several mornings in a row, the two exchanged emails to negotiate de Castro’s salary. Every night, Mayer would make an offer, only to wake up to a reply with a list of more conditions. Eventually de Castro negotiated himself a contract worth around $60 million, depending on the value of Yahoo stock. […] Despite the board’s urging, Mayer opted against vetting Henrique de Castro. As a result, she was unaware that de Castro had a poor reputation among his colleagues in Google’s advertising business. Many had derisively called him the Most Interesting Man in the World, in reference to the satirically fatuous spokesman for Dos Equis beer. […] Advertising revenue declined in every quarter since he was hired. Within a year, Mayer had personally taken control of Yahoo’s ad team. De Castro would leave the company in January 2014. For about 15 months of work, he would be paid $109 million.

{ NY Times | Continue reading }

Every day, the same, again

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NY City council votes to ban sale of bunnies by pet shops. The bunny ban is part of a larger legislative package also regulating the sale of dogs and cats in pet stores. [more]

Scientists locate ‘homing signal’ in the brain, explaining why some people are better navigators

Balancing on one leg may indicate if a person is at risk of dementia or stroke, a study has found.

Researchers have identified a neural circuit in the mouse brain that controls attention and sensory processing, providing insight into how the brain filters out distractions

Bankers not as dishonest as purported

The Conventional Wisdom On Oil Is Always Wrong

Uber Seeks to Patent “Surge Pricing”

Fundamental plot arcs, seen through multidimensional analysis of thousands of TV and movie scripts

quantum physics is less complicated than we thought. Researchers has proved that two peculiar features of the quantum world previously considered distinct are different manifestations of the same thing.

A Brief History of Pubic Hair in Art

Expressions to avoid

Oscar selfie

‘To do nothing is sometimes a good remedy.’ –Hippocrates

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We all know that exercise can make us fitter and reduce our risk for illnesses such as diabetes and heart disease. But just how, from start to finish, a run or a bike ride might translate into a healthier life has remained baffling.

Now new research reports that the answer may lie, in part, in our DNA. Exercise, a new study finds, changes the shape and functioning of our genes, an important stop on the way to improved health and fitness. […]

Epigenetics [is] a process by which the operation of genes is changed, but not the DNA itself. Epigenetic changes occur on the outside of the gene, mainly through a process called methylation. In methylation, clusters of atoms, called methyl groups, attach to the outside of a gene like microscopic mollusks and make the gene more or less able to receive and respond to biochemical signals from the body.

Scientists know that methylation patterns change in response to lifestyle. Eating certain diets or being exposed to pollutants, for instance, can change methylation patterns on some of the genes in our DNA and affect what proteins those genes express. Depending on which genes are involved, it may also affect our health and risk for disease. […]

The volunteers pedaled one-legged at a moderate pace for 45 minutes, four times per week for three months. […] More than 5,000 sites on the genome of muscle cells from the exercised leg now featured new methylation patterns. Some showed more methyl groups; some fewer. […]

Most of the genes in question are known to play a role in energy metabolism, insulin response and inflammation within muscles. In other words, they affect how healthy and fit our muscles — and bodies — become.

They were not changed in the unexercised leg.

{ NY Times | Continue reading }

photo { David Hasselhoff, The SpongeBob Squarepants Movie, 2004 }

related { Phobias may be memories passed down in genes from ancestors }

‘In the secret parts of fortune? O, most true; she is a strumpet. What’s the news?’ —Shakespeare

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Yesterday, Instagram began the process of getting rid of all the spam accounts in its system, which has proved to be really embarrassing for all the people who bought a load of spambots to make themselves look more popular than they are. […]

37-year old rapper Ma$e got caught with an awful lot of imaginary friends. He saw an alarming drop in followers, from 1.6 million to 100,000. Unable to confront the idea that everyone knew he’d bought them from a site like Buzzoid at a rate of $3 for 100 followers, Ma$e subsequently deleted his account. […]

Other big names hit by the cull include Justin Bieber, Ariana Grande, Barack Obama and Kim Kardashian.

{ Dazed | Continue reading }

‘That something is irrational is no argument against its existence, but rather a condition for it.’ –Nietzsche

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With the First Amendment, you’re never protecting Jefferson; it’s usually protecting some guy who’s burning a flag or doing something stupid. […]

Here’s the brilliant thing they did. You embarrass them first, so that no one gets on your side. After the Obama joke, no one was going to get on the side of Amy, and so suddenly, everyone ran for the hills.

{ George Clooney/Deadline | Continue reading }

photo { Christopher Morris }

Baby baby baby, look to the sky, seeking to find, the third eye

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Impending fatherhood can lower two hormones–testosterone and estradiol–for men, even before their babies are born, a new University of Michigan study found.

Other studies indicate that men’s hormones change once they become fathers, and there is some evidence that this is a function of a decline after the child’s birth. […]

Expectant mothers experience significant hormone changes throughout the transition to parenthood, but less has been known about the prenatal hormone changes among soon-to-be fathers.

Women showed large prenatal increases in all four hormones, while men saw declines in testosterone (which is associated with aggression and parental care) and estradiol (which is associated with caregiving and bonding). No changes were found in men’s cortisol (a stress hormone) or progesterone (which is associated with social closeness and maternal behavior).

{ EurekAlert | Continue reading }

sculpture { Duane Hanson, Old Man Playing Solitaire, 1973 }

Maître d’: Ah, good afternoon, sir; and how are we today? Mr Creosote: Better.

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Far more attention has been paid to the microbes in our feces than the microbes in our food. […]

We characterized the microbiota of three different dietary patterns in order to estimate: the average total amount of daily microbes ingested via food and beverages, and their composition in three daily meal plans representing three different dietary patterns.

The three dietary patterns analyzed were: (1) the Average American (AMERICAN): focused on convenience foods, (2) USDA recommended (USDA): emphasizing fruits and vegetables, lean meat, dairy, and whole grains, and (3) Vegan (VEGAN): excluding all animal products. […]

Based on plate counts, the USDA meal plan had the highest total amount of microbes, followed by the VEGAN meal plan.

{ PeerJ | Continue reading }

Thus I enforce thy rotten jaws to open, and in despite I’ll cram thee with more food!

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In a recent study, Mann and some colleagues induced a bad mood in 100 college students by making them watch clips from sad movies. They then fed half the students their favorite comfort food, while the other students ate food they enjoyed, but wouldn’t consider comfort food.

Once the students had finished eating, the researchers asked the students how they felt. It turns out all the students felt better, regardless of what they had eaten.

In another experiment, Mann had half the kids eat comfort food, and the other half eat nothing. After a few minutes, both groups felt equally better. The comfort food had no effect on mood.

{ NPR | Continue reading }

photo { Tania Oldyork }

Doomed for a certain term to walk the night, and for the day confined to fast in fires

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via { Paul Soulellis }

‘My tears are salt water.’ –Tom Waits

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The process is called reverse osmosis (RO), and it’s the mainstay of large-scale desalination facilities around the world. As water is forced through the membrane, the polymer allows the water molecules to pass while blocking the salts and other inorganic impurities. Global desalination output has tripled since 2000: 16,000 plants are up and running around the world, and the pace of construction is expected to increase while the technology continues to improve. […]

Seawater desalination, in fact, is one of the most expensive sources of fresh water. The water sells—depending on site conditions—for between $1,000 and $2,500 per acre-foot (the amount used by two five-person U.S. households per year). Carlsbad’s product will sell for around $2,000, which is 80 percent more than the county pays for treated water from outside the area. […]

Already, some 700 million people worldwide suffer from water scarcity, but that number is expected to swell to 1.8 billion in just 10 years. Some countries, like Israel, already rely heavily on desalination; more will follow suit. In many places, “we are already at the limit of renewable water resources, and yet we continue to grow,” says John Lienhard, a mechanical engineer and director of the Center for Clean Water and Clean Energy at MIT. “On top of that we have global warming, with hotter and drier conditions in many areas, which will potentially further reduce the amount of renewable water available.”

{ Technology Review | Continue reading }

art { Evander Batson }

Every day, the same, again

2321.jpgA Dutchman’s plan to propose to his girlfriend has ended with a mobile crane smashing the roof of a house and forcing the evacuation of two others

Outgoing, sociable people also have the strongest immune systems, a new study finds.

Men Who Love Spicy Food Have More Testosterone

There are ways to replace those bad habits with good ones… and all it takes is 66 days.

A 52 year old woman suffered from a strange problem: she saw dragons wherever she looked.

“Mondegreen” means a misheard word or phrase that makes sense in your head, but is, in fact, entirely incorrect.

How Birds Lost Their Teeth

An In-Depth Analysis of a Piece of Shit: Distribution of Schistosoma mansoni and Hookworm Eggs in Human Stool

A Brief History of Investment Banking from Medieval Times to the Present

A new method for mapping how information flows around the globe identifies the best languages to spread your ideas

Modern art was born from a desire to destroy kitsch, but time and again it is drawn back to its lure

Nobody can say exactly when the trend first started, but in 2014 we saw the first major outbreaks of bogus data distributed by private companies just so it would go viral online.

Can the umbrella be improved?

The saltine cracker challenge

Robot flies to Germany as airline passenger from Los Angeles

She had a floppy head of marshmallow orange curls like a muppet, and she had this allover soft—but not fat—body

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quote & photo { Chelsea G. Summers }