Losing Laura | Peter DeMarco | Boston Globe | 03 November 2018
“Laura made it to the doorstep of the emergency room that day, on her own two feet. She stared through a plate-glass window into the emergency room waiting area — she could see the red-and-white emergency room sign inside — but she could not get in. To her dismay, the door was locked. Her attack intensifying, she called 911, telling the operator she was right there but could not get in. Help was just a few feet away, on the other side of that door. But, incredibly, that help never came. This is the story of how my wife’s life was wasted by the actions of people whose job it is to save lives”
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2 days ago
In Defence Of Designer Babies | Ilya Somin | Reason | 11 November 2018
Using genetic engineering to produce smarter and stronger babies may lead to repugnant and unfair outcomes — but leaving genetics to nature already leads to repugnant and unfair outcomes. “Imagine that, thanks to technology, the Jones family has a child free of the Down Syndrome or Tay-Sachs Disease that might otherwise have afflicted her. She grows up to be a successful scientist. Others benefit from the discoveries she makes. If you multiply that effect over thousands of cases, it is clear that designer babies can have a great positive impact, even if the technology is not universally available”
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2 days ago
The Best Chemistry Books | Michelle Francl & Caspar Henderson | Five Books | 05 November 2018
Interview. Computational chemist Michelle Francl talks about her work on the structure of molecules, and recommends recent books about water, Marie Curie, spoons, poison, and asparagus. "If you make a spoon from pure gallium, it looks and feels much like a stainless steel spoon, but if you use it to stir your tea, it will seem to vanish before your eyes. It is literally melting. Gallium’s melting point is only 86°F (30°C) and if you pour out the tea you’ll find a pool of silvery liquid gallium at the bottom"
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4 days ago
Mail-Order Homes | Josh Jones | Open Culture | 29 October 2018
A century ago Americans could buy anything from the Sears catalogue — even houses. In its first year of production, 1908, Sears sold only one model, number 125, an Eight-Room Bungalow Style House for $945, advertised as “the finest cottage ever constructed at a price less than $1500”. But business soon picked up. "Between 1908 and 1939, Sears sold 70-75,000 houses in 447 different styles all over the country. What’s even more extraordinary is that 50% of these were built by the homeowners themselves. Local builders purchased homes from Sears to market their services to potential customers.”
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13 days ago
iPhones are hard to use | Joe Clark | Fawny | 22 October 2018
iPhone users, prepare to be gripped. Android users, pass by on the other side. “iPhone owners know how to force-quit apps. They know how to set a ringtone and choose atrocious wallpaper. That’s it. People don’t know that they can swipe up or down from top or bottom of screen. I never see anybody turn wifi on or off that way (it’s almost always through Settings). They don’t know what Control Center and Notification Center are by name. They also don’t know what their iSight camera is. They don’t know what Springboard is, and shouldn’t have to. But do they know what the home screen is?
21 days ago
Biggles FRCA | Grant Hutchison | The Oikofuge | 31 December 2015
First published in Today’s Anaesthetist Vol.13 No.4 July/August 1998. "The whole point of a plane is that it is designed to fly, and if it’s not working properly then you don’t take it off the ground. Human beings, in contrast, are not designed to be anaesthetized, and are often not working properly when the occasion arises. They are also rather poorly provided with back-up systems and spares, and frequently have long histories of inadequate servicing. So if giving an anaesthetic is like flying a plane, then this must be what flying a plane is like."
medicine 
24 days ago
Herschel, the Very Hungry Sea Lion | Katharine Gammon | Hakai | 16 October 2018
It’s dangerous to blame the decline of one species on a single predator. We humans like to do it anyway.
24 days ago
The FBI Of The National Park Service | Rachel Monroe | Outside | 16 October 2018
The most horrible of crimes can happen in the most beautiful of places. When they happen in America’s national parks, the special agents of the Park Service Investigative Services Branch swing into action. “Many people fall to their deaths in national parks every year. But as Faherty dug deeper, several things struck him as strange. For instance, how Harold insisted he’d given his wife CPR, but her lipstick had been unsmudged when he arrived on scene. Faherty asked Harold about his previous marriage. His first wife had died in an accident, Harold said. He was reluctant to talk about it”
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26 days ago
Consider The Wombat | Katharine Rundell | LRB | 04 October 2018
A wombat, though barely two feet tall, can outrun Usain Bolt, fell a grown man, and crush a predator with its hard bottom. Bounty hunters and over-grazing in Australia brought the northern hairy-nosed wombat close to extinction by 1982, when a census found just 30 survivors. Last year the population had ticked up to 251. Theodore Adorno, a lifelong wombat lover, lobbied Frankfurt Zoo to buy a pair. Dante Gabriel Rossetti kept two wombats in the garden of his London house as part of a private menagerie which also included kangaroos, racoons, and a toucan that he trained to ride a llama
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5 weeks ago
The Inside Story Of The Trump Transition | Michael Lewis | The Guardian | 27 September 2018
“Bannon and Christie explained federal law to Trump. The nominees were expected to prepare to take control of government. The government supplied them with office space, the campaigns paid their people. To which Trump replied: ‘I don’t give a f—k about the law. Shut down the transition’. Here, Christie and Bannon parted ways. Christie thought that Trump had little chance of running the government without a formal transition. Bannon wasn’t so sure if Trump would ever get his mind around running the federal government; he just thought it would look bad if Trump didn’t at least seem to prepare”
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6 weeks ago
The Child-Abuse Contrarian | David Armstrong | New Yorker | 26 September 2018
The renowned scientist Michael Holick is convinced that “thousands, if not tens of thousands,” of parents worldwide have been falsely accused of fracturing their children’s bones. “It’s just terrible,” he said. “I feel so sorry for these parents.”
7 weeks ago
Comparative Advantage In Math and Science | Alex Tabarrok | Marginal Revolution | 17 September 2018
The economic idea of comparative advantage may help to rationalise why women remain under-represented in maths and sciences. Girls in school tend to do better at maths and sciences than boys do; but they tend to do even better at humanities. So if students pursue what they do best, which is a reasonable course of action, a girl might say: “I got an A+ in English and a A- in math, so I should do English”. A boy might say: “I got a B+ in Math and a B- in English, so I should do Math”
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7 weeks ago
Henry | Rob Delaney | Medium | 17 September 2018
Rob Delaney's reflections on Henry's diagnosis of a brain tumor and the treatment that ensued.
8 weeks ago
Everything You Know About Obesity Is Wrong | Michael Hobbes | The Huffington Post | 19 September 2018
“Years from now, we will look back in horror at the ways we addressed the obesity epidemic, and the barbaric ways we treated fat people — long after we knew there was a better path. For 60 years, doctors and researchers have known two things that could have improved, or even saved, millions of lives. The first is that diets do not work. Not just Paleo or Atkins or Weight Watchers or Goop, but all diets. it’s time for a paradigm shift. We’re not going to become a skinnier country. We still have a chance to become a healthier one”
8 weeks ago
A Cardiologist’s 9/11 | Sandeep Jauhar | Nautilus | 13 September 2018
“Cadavers had always made me feel queasy. In the near corner was a group of doctors and nurses, and next to them was a plastic stretcher. Behind the group was a wooden table where a nurse and two medical students were sitting grim-faced. They were covered in grime, but you could still make out the reds and oranges and yellows. In the far corner, next to a blown-out door, was a pile of orange body-bags. Soldiers were standing guard. In the dressing room were stacks of unused body-bags”
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8 weeks ago
The French In Afghanistan | Olivier Schmitt | War On The Rocks | 10 September 2018
Review of ‘Jonquille, Afghanistan 2012’, by Jean Michelin, a serving French soldier. “For those Americans who can read French, the book will be interesting not only for its literary qualities, but also because it gives an insight into the French way of war in Afghanistan. Notably, it shows how armed forces with much less logistical support and available means than the U.S. military effectively organize themselves for expeditionary warfare”
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8 weeks ago
Speech Can Bury Democracy | Zeynep Tufekci | Politico | 05 September 2018
A wealth of wisdom in six paragraphs. “We thought that, as speech became more democratized, democracy itself would flourish. As more and more people could broadcast their words and opinions, there would be an ever-fiercer battle of ideas — with truth emerging as the winner, stronger from the fight. But it is increasingly clear that more speech can in fact threaten democracy. The glut of information we now face, made possible by digital tools and social media platforms, can bury what is true, greatly elevate and amplify misinformation and distract from what is important”
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9 weeks ago
I Don’t Like Parenting | Erik Vance | Last Word On Nothing | 03 September 2018
“Don’t get me wrong, I like being a parent. I definitely love my kid. But the actual work of child-rearing, I don’t know that I like it. I am aware that this might make me a bad person. Playing with my child isn’t what I expected. I envisioned throwing a baseball, wrestling, teaching him to rock climb. But my kid can barely catch a rubber ball thrown from five feet away, let alone shag fly balls. The notion that I am too selfish to be a great father has occurred to me. But now that I have a little rabid chimpanzee to call my own, this thought returns with increasing frequency”
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9 weeks ago
The Smell Of Fear | Preet Bano Singh & Valentina Parma | OUP Blog | 08 September 2018
Dentists can smell their patients’ fear, albeit subconsciously. The fear makes them nervous. They perform worse. As Tyler Cowen might say: Solve for the equilibrium. “We recruited two groups of dental students: the first volunteered to donate their body odors; the second performed a series of dental tasks on mannequins under the exposure of different odors. Body odors were collected under two conditions – from donors during a frontal lecture, with minimal involvement on their side, and during a clinical dental session which was likely to induce stress body odors”
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9 weeks ago
What The British Did To India | Omer Aziz | LARB | 01 September 2018
Shashi Tharoor explains colonialism from the receiving end. The exploitation of India made Britain one of the richest countries in the world, and left India one the poorest. “Before the British occupation, India was a culturally and economically prosperous civilization. According to economist Angus Maddison, in the 18th century India accounted for 23 percent of the world’s GDP, a percentage greater than all of Europe combined. By the time the British packed up their things and sailed home in 1947, that number had fallen to under three percent”.
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10 weeks ago
The New Science Of Seeing Around Corners | Natalie Wolchover | Quanta | 30 August 2018
“In their first paper, Freeman and Torralba showed that the light on the wall of a room, filmed with an iPhone, can be processed to reveal the scene outside the window. Last fall they reported that they can spot someone moving on the other side of a corner by filming the ground near the corner. This summer, they demonstrated that they can film a houseplant, then reconstruct a three-dimensional image of the rest of the room from the shadows cast by the plant’s leaves. Or they can turn the leaves into a visual microphone, magnifying their vibrations to listen to what’s being said”
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10 weeks ago
Programming My Child | David Auerbach | Boston Review | 23 August 2018
“A few years after leaving Google, I had a daughter, and thus began another long-term engineering project. The stimulus-response cycle is out in the open with a child, and the feedback loop created between parent and child is tight, controlled, and frequently comprehensible. In the first months of her life, I kept a spreadsheet of my daughter’s milestones. Hardware upgrades to her height and weight were ongoing, but I declared a new ‘version’ whenever my wife and I deemed her sufficiently different to appear as though a software upgrade had been installed”
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11 weeks ago
Biopharma Investing | Martin Shkreli | Martin Shkreli | 12 August 2018
Martin Shkreli may have done some bad things in his life, but right now, in jail, he is writing some good things. This note includes hypothetical interview questions for a person seeking a job in the pharmaceutical industry; a review of “The Acquirer’s Multiple” by Tobias Carlisle; and notes on a recent academic paper about asthma. “The number of people who tell me they have statistical experience or chemistry experience only to swing and miss a softball technical question is large. If you can fluster someone with a softball, they’re probably not a good fit”
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11 weeks ago
The Algorithmic Trap | David Perell | David Perell | 27 August 2018
All around, I’m struck by disappearing diversity. The world is becoming optimized for the dominant aesthetic of the internet. I swear: every trendy, optimized-for-algorithms place has the same lights, the same chairs, and the same damn avocado toast.
11 weeks ago
Searching | David Wolman | Outside | 24 August 2018
Avery Shawler left her Idaho apartment one morning in 2016 to hike a prominent peak. But the day outing quickly took a turn for the worse, and Shawler would end up needing a lot of luck—and all her backcountry skills—to make it home alive.
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11 weeks ago
What Makes a Team Great? | Ben Rowen | The Atlantic | 18 June 2018
Inside the wide-ranging search—led by economists and psychologists—for the elixir that turns good squads into great ones
11 weeks ago
A Few Words About Fake Breasts | Nell Boeschenstein | Granta | 20 August 2018
Memoir of a double mastectomy, undertaken after the writer discovers an inherited genetic susceptibility to breast and ovarian cancer. “Ever since that phone call you have been afraid to touch them. You have been afraid of what unfun your funbags might contain. One day, trying to conquer this fear, you feel a lump and go rushing to your doctor who palpates the breast and professes she cannot feel a thing. You are beginning to wonder whether this new knowledge is starting to drive you a little mad. You decide to cut them off”
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12 weeks ago
Ode To Gray | Meghan Flaherty | Paris Review | 21 August 2018
“The color gray is no one’s color. It is the color of cubicles and winter camouflage, of sullage, of inscrutable complexity, of compromise. It is the perfect intermediate, an emissary for both black and white. It lingers, incognito, in this saturated world. It is the color of soldiers and battleships, despite its dullness. The color of industry and uniformity. It brings bad weather, augurs bleakness. It is the color other colors fade to, once drained of themselves. It is the color of old age”
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12 weeks ago
Snowbound | Doug Robinson | Outside | 16 August 2018
Winter storms come early to northern New Mexico, blanketing the area with several feet of snow. A veteran hiker is caught unprepared on the Continental Divide Trail. Freezing and running out of food, he scrapes his way to a campground latrine, holes up inside, and prays for help to arrive, nourished only by a store of horse-feed found at the camp. “Dec 17th. Clear but frigid. I’m still here and fighting. Gonna try to melt water by body heat. Actually don’t feel too bad. Have to stay in sleeping bag all day eating one oat at a time. Wonder how long I’ll last”
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12 weeks ago
California Burning | William Finnegan | NYRB | 16 August 2018
The world is getting “hotter and more flammable”. Nine of the ten biggest forest fires in American history have occurred since 2000. Early last month there were 29 “large uncontained fires” burning across the United States. The best policy is generally to let a forest fire burn; fire is Nature’s way of thinning out the forest. But doing so upsets local residents, and politicians, who insist that fires are put out. The result is a build-up of “dangerous, unhealthy forests, fueling more terrible fires, many of which will need to be fought”
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august 2018
What Trauma Docs Know | Kim Bellware | Chicago Magazine | 03 August 2018
Notes from conversations with trauma doctors at Chicago hospitals, where gunshot and knife wounds make up almost one-third of Level 1 admissions. “Younger patients are ridiculously resilient. They can be shot 20 times, you give them 50 units of blood, and they walk out of the hospital”. “We don’t take the bullets out. If we find them, great. But they’re like splinters, they work their way out eventually”. “Nobody gets shot just once anymore. Everybody is shot four or five times”
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august 2018
Cormac McCarthy’s Existential Westerns | Rachel Kushner | New Statesman | 25 July 2018
“Even when lost, McCarthy’s cowboys don’t doubt, or hope, or suspect, or wonder. Instead they are defined by know-how, as Heidegger might put it. They roll their own and strike anywhere, but mostly off a thumbnail. They rope and break wild horses. And the reader too acquires skills, such as reading beautifully worked prose that has no commas. They go without beds. We go without commas, and feel liberated”
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august 2018
Flying Saltshakers Of Death | Ed Yong | The Atlantic | 30 July 2018
Annals of parasitism. “Imagine emerging into the sun after 17 long years spent lying underground, only for your butt to fall off. That ignominious fate regularly befalls America’s cicadas”. The predator is a fungus called Massospora, which grows inside the cicada, consumes its organs, and converts the rear third of its body into a mass of spores which go on to infect more cicadas. It also doses the cicada with mind-altering drugs — psilocybin and amphetamine. “Perhaps that’s why “the cicadas walk around as if nothing’s wrong even though a third of their body has fallen off”
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august 2018
The Strange Case Of Jean Harris | Gina Wohlsdorf | Crimereads | 07 August 2018
“Jean Harris was in a seriously embattled position at work, she was addicted to prescription meth, and her boyfriend of a decade and a half was slo-mo dumping her for a twinkie he had on the side. If she’d just outlined all that for the jury, and followed it by saying, ‘Then I lost it and shot him’, she’d have been a free woman in a couple of years. This is not even debated, anywhere, in the ridiculously plentiful literature on Jean Harris’s case. Here’s what she said instead”
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august 2018
Cancer Progress | Scott Alexander | Slate Star Codex | 01 August 2018
President Nixon declared “war on cancer” in 1971. How is the war going? For a war of attrition, quite well. The overall incidence of cancer, and death rates from cancer, have been declining in America since 1990, after rising steadily until that time. But why the improvement? Is it because science has been finding new cures for cancers? Or are we seeing the effects of better diagnostic techniques that catch cancer earlier, and of social policies — smoking bans, notably — that make cancer less likely?
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august 2018
Does Your Airline Still Cross Seatbelts | Alex Dichter et al | McKinsey | 03 August 2018
Those quirks of airline behaviour that puzzle all frequent flyers? They puzzle management consultants too. “Cabins where all the belts are lined up across the seats have a look of uniform neatness, but the price is high: at perhaps two seconds a belt, an airline with 100 aircraft can expect to spend quite a lot of money on this routine. Only the first few people boarding aircraft observe the neatness your product team admires, and even then only if they are really tall”
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august 2018
Postcards from the Edge | Justin Nobel | Topic | 02 August 2018
The Berkeley Pit is a gorgeous, toxic former mining site in Montana that’s beloved by tourists. But unless it’s cleaned up soon, it could become the worst environmental disaster in American history.
august 2018
Here’s Why It’s So Impossible to Get Reliable Diet Advice From the News | Emily Oster | Slate | 02 August 2018
What’s good for you seems to change every week. Maybe we should stop blaming the media and look at the studies underneath the stories, too.
august 2018
The Disgusting Colour | Kelly Grovier | BBC | 01 August 2018
Purple is “a contradiction of a colour”, combining the noblest of aspects with the basest of origins. Associated since antiquity with royalty and luxury, purple was distilled from the anal mucus glands of sea-snails. “It took tens of thousands of desiccated hypobranchial glands, wrenched from the calcified coils of spiny murex sea snails before being dried and boiled, to colour even a single small swatch of fabric, whose fibres, long after staining, retained the stench of the invertebrate’s marine excretions”
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august 2018
Hospitals know how to protect mothers. They just aren’t doing it. | Alison Young | USA Today | 27 July 2018
Every year, thousands of women suffer life-altering injuries or die during childbirth because hospitals and medical workers skip safety practices known to head off disaster, a USA TODAY investigation has found.
august 2018
The History Of Orange | David Scott Kastan & Stephen Farthing | Literary Hub | 27 July 2018
“Orange seems to be the only basic color word for which no other word exists in English. There is only orange, and the name comes from the fruit. Tangerine doesn’t really count. Its name also comes from a fruit, a variety of the orange, but it wasn’t until 1899 that ‘tangerine’ appears in print as the name of a color — and it isn’t clear why we require a new word for it. This seems no less true for persimmon and for pumpkin. There is just orange. But there was no orange, at least before oranges came to Europe”
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july 2018
Barbearians at the Gate | Matthew Hongolitz-Hetling | The Atavist | 01 July 2018
A journey through a quixotic New Hampshire town teeming with libertarians, fake news, guns, and—possibly—furry invaders.
july 2018
How an Ex-Cop Rigged McDonald’s Monopoly Game and Stole Millions | Jeff Maysh | The Daily Beast | 28 July 2018
Jerome Jacobson and his network of mobsters, psychics, strip club owners, and drug traffickers won almost every prize for 12 years, until the FBI launched Operation ‘Final Answer.’
july 2018
Meet The Anarchists Making Their Own Medicine | Daniel Oberhaus | Motherboard | 26 July 2018
“A pair of single use Mylan epipens can cost over $600 and the company’s generic version costs $300 per pair. In response, Four Thieves published the instructions for a DIY epipen online that can be made for $30 in off-the-shelf parts and reloaded for $3. Shkreli drove the price of the lifesaving HIV medicine Daraprim sells up to $750 per pill. So Four Thieves developed an open source portable chemistry lab that allows anyone to manufacture their own Daraprim for just 25 cents apiece”
from instapaper
july 2018
The Value of a Bear | Gloria Dickie | The Walrus | 18 April 2018
Why some Indigenous communities in BC won’t rejoice over the NDP’s decision to ban the grizzly hunt
july 2018
Genes And Staying In School | Ed Yong | The Atlantic | 23 July 2018
We have a pretty good idea of the genes associated with gains from education. There are almost 1,300 of them, and they all interact. They predict nothing about educational outcomes for the individual, but they are the strongest indicator available about the outcome of education for large groups — an 11 per cent weighting, against 7 per cent for household income. How do scientists deal with this knowledge? At the moment, by ignoring it, for fear of being tagged as eugenicists
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july 2018
The Challenge Of “Chronic Lyme” | Rachel Pearson | NYRB | 25 July 2018
Lyme disease is real enough, and can be treated effectively with antibiotics. “Chronic Lyme” is another matter. It describes “a constellation of enduring symptoms — joint pain, fatigue, muscle pain, brain fog, fevers, blurry vision, and much more” in a person who “attributes these symptoms” to Lyme disease, but who “may have no plausible laboratory, clinical, or epidemiological evidence of exposure to the bacterium”. The bad doctor exploits such a patient. What does the good doctor do?
from instapaper
july 2018
The Waiting Room | Christian Allaire | Hazlitt | 24 July 2018
Notes from a detention room at JFK, where a Canadian passport holder waits for TSA officials to recognise that, as a First Nations citizen, he is entitled to live and work in the US. “I wish I could say this is my first time here, but it isn’t. I’ve sat in this exact chair about five times. I brace myself for the long line of questioning. The TSA officer continues to stare at me. I pause and catch his gaze. ‘Sorry’, he says. ‘I’ve never seen an Indian so pale'”
from instapaper
july 2018
Assignment Baghdad | Geoff Manaugh | The Daily Beast | 22 July 2018
When grad students were asked to collect floor plans for buildings in Baghdad in the fall of 1990, were they helping preserve Iraqi culture—or to find targets for U.S. smart bombs?
from instapaper
july 2018
Shopping List For The 1% | Andy Beckett | The Guardian | 19 July 2018
A brief history of How To Spend It, the weekly glossy for the super-rich published by the Financial Times. “The magazine usually has between 80 and 100 pages. About half of them are advertisements, for the biggest global luxury brands and for more singular commodities, such as art and property. The other pages are a gleaming parade of articles – not always easy to tell from the ads – about the most expensive fashion, travel, food, interior design and other consumer goods imaginable”
from instapaper
july 2018
What Does Childbirth Feel Like? | Nell Frizzell | The Guardian | 18 July 2018
“Pushing out a baby, the final stage, was – and please believe me when I say this – wonderful. After two days of contractions – a feeling that I was getting nowhere, the almost unbearable wait punctuated by the unrelenting crashing waves of pressure – to realise that I was finally going to evacuate was brilliant. Suddenly, I didn’t care where I was, who was with me, what happened. I could have pushed that baby out in the middle of a Lidl car park. This pushing was familiar, innate. Not unlike a shit, of course, but somehow phenomenal in its scale”
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july 2018
Could the Furosemide Stress Test clarify resuscitative goals? | Josh Farkas | PulmCrit | 16 July 2018
The furosemide stress test (FST) is a protocolized furosemide challenge, which has been shown to predict whether patients are likely to progress towards advanced AKI and dialysis.
medicine 
july 2018
The Strange and Curious Case of the Deadly Superbug Yeast | Maryn McKenna | Wired | 13 July 18
Candida auris — a pathogen that resists almost all of the drugs developed to treat or kill it is moving rapidly across the world, and public health experts are stymied how to stop it.
july 2018
Looking Up To Reacher | Sam Leith | TLS | 10 July 2018
“If there were some sort of prize for Most Widely Admired Thriller Writer, Lee Child would win it time and again. Why, in a crowded field, does Child’s work so thoroughly outpace the rest? The novels star a former military policeman called Jack Reacher who travels alone around the United States with only the clothes he stands up in, a cashcard and a folding toothbrush. Reacher is a moral agent but he isn’t animated, most of the time, by an active desire to do good. His resting state is one of mild curiosity”
from instapaper
july 2018
Melatonin: Much More Than You Want To Know | Scott Alexander | Slate Star Codex | 10 July 2018
The neurohormone Melatonin, sold freely as a dietary supplement in America, is an effective sleeping pill. “My totally unprincipled guess is that melatonin is about half as strong as Ambien. It also has about a hundred times fewer side effects, so there’s definitely a place for it in sleep medicine”. The optimal dose is 0.3 milligrams. Steer clear of the 10mg pills sold at pharmacies. High doses of Melatonin stay in your system all day, and your body just gets used to it
from instapaper
july 2018
Is America Ready for a Global Pandemic? | Ed Yong | The Atlantic | 02 July 2018
The epidemics of the early 21st century revealed a world unprepared, even as the risks continue to multiply. Much worse is coming.
july 2018
Standoff | Jamie Thompson | Dallas Morning News | 02 February 2018
How the Dallas SWAT team cornered and killed the July 7 police shooter
july 2018
The Obsessive Search for the Tasmanian Tiger | Brooke Jarvis | New Yorker | 02 July 2018
Like the dodo and the great auk, the Tasmanian tiger is more renowned for the tragedy of its death than for its life, about which little is known. Enthusiasts hope it will be a Lazarus species—an animal considered lost but then found.
july 2018
How the Dallas Cowboys Built a World-Class Art Collection for Their Fans | Felix Salmon | Departures | 29 June 2018
Dallas Cowboys owners Gene and Jerry Jones built a world-class art collection not for themselves but for 2 million fans.
july 2018
The Miraculous True Story of the Dog Who Lived | Eric Wagenknecht & Tess Strokes | Outside | 05 July 2018
It was just another beautiful day in the mountains for the author and his one-year-old Australian shepherd, Merle, when their lives changed in an instant
july 2018
A Real Emergency | Elizabeth Rosen | Hazlitt | 27 June 2018
Life as an ambulance-crew paramedic. “A series of laws prevents me from ‘patient abandonment’, which is what it’s legally called if I were to sit down with her and say: ‘Honey, you’ve called us nine times in the last four days. You got kicked out of the emergency room this morning for spitting on a nurse. You got kicked out of your last shelter for fighting a guard. You don’t even have a medical complaint. The emergency room is supposed to be for people who are dying, you know, faster than you'”
from instapaper
july 2018
The Hunt for Wonder Drugs at the North Pole | Kea Krause | The Atlantic | 17 April 2018
In a race against antibiotic resistance, a Norwegian research team sails into the Arctic darkness
july 2018
The Real Story of Donald Trump Jr. | GQ | Julia Ioffe | 27 June 2018
All he ever wanted was to make his dad proud, but things have never turned out quite right for Donald Trump Jr. Even now, despite finding his purpose as a bombastic star of the far right, Junior’s personal life is in shambles and the specter of Robert Mueller looms large.
july 2018
The Strange Brain Of The Solo Climber | J.B. MacKinnon | Nautilus | 28 June 2018
Alex Honnold scales sheer rock faces, thousands of feet high, without ropes or protective equipment of any kind. He may be history’s greatest-ever free solo climber. To call him fearless is not just a figure of speech. His brain does have an amygdala, a “fear centre”, but MRI scans show that nothing seems to activate it. “Where there is no activation, there probably is no threat response. Honnold really could be feeling no fear up there. None at all. None whatsoever”
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july 2018
The Surprising History (and Future) of Fingerprints | Chantel Tattoli | The Paris Review | 15 May 2018
Scientists describe the basic patterns of fingerprints in terms of arches, whorls, and loops. (Seventy percent of a fingerprint is made up of loops.) Closer features include dots, lakes, islands, spurs, crossings, and bifurcations. It is true that every print is unique to every finger, even for identical twins, who share the same genetic code. Fingerprints are formed by friction from touching the walls of our mother’s womb. Sometimes they are called “chanced impressions.”
june 2018
Consider The Lemur | Katherine Rundell | LRB | 28 June 2018
“It is probably best not to take advice direct from the animal kingdom – but lemurs are, I think, an exception. They live in matriarchal troops, with an alpha female at their head. When ring-tailed lemurs are cold or frightened, or when they want to bond, they group together in a furry mass known as a lemur ball. They intertwine their tails and paws, and press against one another’s walnut-sized swiftly beating hearts. To see it feels like an injunction of sorts: to find a lemur ball of one’s own”
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june 2018
pH-guided fluid resuscitation & BICAR-ICU | Josh Farkas | PulmCrit | 27 June 2018
The fact that bicarbonate appears to be clinically beneficial further bolsters the concept that NAGMA is detrimental. Essentially, the BICAR-ICU trial is the flip side of the SMART and SALT-ED trials.
medicine 
june 2018
How To Get Away With Fraud | Dan Davies | The Guardian | 28 June 2018
“The way most white-collar crime works is by manipulating institutional psychology. That means creating something that looks as much as possible like a normal set of transactions. The drama comes later, when it all unwinds. One point that comes up again and again when looking at famous and large-scale frauds is that everything could have been brought to a halt at a very early stage if anyone had taken care to confirm all the facts. But nobody does. There are just too bloody many of them”
from instapaper
june 2018
An Expensive Way To Fight ISIS | William Langewiesche | The Atlantic | 28 June 2018
Deadpan, action-packed account of one night last year when America sent three B-2 stealth bombers to flatten 100 ISIS fighters in the Libyan desert. “The plan was for the B-2s to drop a 500-pound bomb on every one of those fighters. The idea of using Air Force heavy bombers prevailed because of their ability to deliver dozens of self-steering, individually targeted bombs; then to linger in the vicinity, waiting for surveillance assessments from the drones; and if necessary to deliver more bombs”
from instapaper
june 2018
Hospitalism | Sarah Perry | LRB | 27 June 2018
On the career of Joseph Lister, 19C surgeon, pioneer of antiseptics, and, by his own account “the only man who ever stuck a knife in Queen Victoria.” In Lister’s day, a maverick doctor was free to experiment. “Treating a child whose leg had been shattered by a cart, he faced a choice: whether to amputate to forestall the inevitable gangrene, or to test his theory that carbolic acid could prevent infection. Lister put carbolic acid to the test. Some weeks later the boy walked out of the hospital”
from instapaper
june 2018
Methylene Blue Infusions | Steve Curry | Tox and Hound | 22 June 2018
Continuous Methylene Blue Infusions for Treating Recurrent Methemoglobinemia
medicine 
june 2018
A Rattle With Death | Kyle Dickman | Outside | 20 June 2018
What it’s like to get bitten by a very large rattlesnake. “Each of the half-dozen doctors I saw told me this was either the first snakebite they’d ever seen or the worst. Poison Control, which the nurses called every two hours, guided my care. My leg, from toe to hip, turned black and yellow and eventually swelled to 24 inches, more than twice its normal circumference. My blood chemistry mimicked a pattern the nurses compared to that of drug-overdose patients”
from instapaper
june 2018
This Is A Nuclear Bomb | Alex Wellerstein & Ferris Jabr | New York | 12 June 2018
How terrorists might smuggle a nuclear bomb into New York, and what would happen if they detonated it. “A ten-kiloton bomb would be only seven feet long and weigh about 1,000 pounds. It would be simple to transport such a device to America aboard a container ship, just another unseen object in a giant metal box among millions of other metal boxes floating on the ocean. Even a moderate amount of shielding would be enough to hide its radioactive signature from most detectors at shipping hubs”
from instapaper
june 2018
Curiosity and What Equality Really Means | Atul Gawande | New Yorker | 02 June 2018
"Most of all, you will be given trust to see human beings at their most vulnerable and serve them. That trust is earned because of your values, your commitment to serving all as equals, and your openness to people’s humanity. The renewal of these values is why we’re all so grateful to be here—and so grateful that you will carry those values on, beyond us."
june 2018
Forty-Five Things I Learned In The Gulag | Vladimir Shalamov | Paris Review | 12 June 2018
Notes from 15 years in Soviet labour camps. “A man becomes a beast in three weeks, given heavy labor, cold, hunger, and beatings The main means for depraving the soul is the cold.” “There is only enough flesh on a hungry man for anger: everything else leaves him indifferent”. “The world should be divided not into good and bad people but into cowards and non-cowards. Ninety-five percent of cowards are capable of the vilest things, lethal things, at the mildest threat”
from instapaper
june 2018
Mutually Nonconsensual Sex | Caitlin Flanagan | The Atlantic | 01 June 2018
“Is it possible for two people to simultaneously sexually assault each other? This is the question — rife with legal, anatomical, and emotional improbabilities — to which the University of Cincinnati now addresses itself, and with some urgency. The one important thing you need to know about the case is that according to the lawsuit, a woman has been indefinitely suspended from college because she let a man touch her vagina. What kind of sexually repressive madness could have allowed for this to happen?”
from instapaper
june 2018
Monty Hall In The Wild | Jacob Falkovich | Put A Number On It | 03 June 2018
Let’s assume you are familiar with the problem — if not, it is explained here, and you will never be able to unthink it. This is about pigeons. “You know who does really well on the Monty Hall problem? Pigeons. At least, pigeons quickly learn to switch doors when the game is repeated multiple times and they can observe that switching doors is twice as likely to yield the prize. You know who fails miserably at playing the iterated Monty Hall game? Humans. While pigeons quickly converge on switching always, humans don’t learn at all”
from instapaper
june 2018
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