365/2: 106. Struggling for the shot today.
After a day of digging into Expression Engine programming (changing an existing site’s mobile layout through Foundation 5), my brain is just *not* in a creative space. I liked the pattern against the viga crack, and that’s all.
Nautilus: The Curse of the Unlucky Mummy.
NPR: Play It Again And Again, Sam.
“Musical repetitiveness isn’t really an idiosyncratic feature of music that’s arisen over the past few hundred years in the West. [snip] It seems to be a cultural universal. Not only does every known human culture make music, but also, every known human culture makes music [in which] repetition is a defining element.” Synchronicity again. I’d just been wondering about this. I’ve switched to listening to a ‘smooth jazz’ (no comments) station, in my desperation to escape endless loops of Sweet Child of Mine, Radar Love, Hotel California and Oye Como Va Mi Ritmo (the go-to ‘Latino’ rock standard), thanks to Clear Channel owning wide swaths of broadcast space. Hearing the bass-thump of Radar Love again almost makes me murderous … it comes up on commercial stations multiple times a day.
DiscoverMag: Over the Hill? Cognitive Speeds Peak at Age 24.
“It’s not all bad news for those of us on the wrong side of 24, however. Researchers found that older players compensated for their slower cognitive speed by making the game simpler. For example, older players retain their skill by using more keyboard shortcuts to make up for their motor-speed declines.” Makes me feel a little better.
Global Views on Morality: Pew Research Center’s Global Attitudes Project.
The Verge: Gut feelings - the future of psychiatry may be inside your stomach.
“Probiotics’ potential to treat human behavior is increasingly apparent, but will manufacturers one day toss an anxiety-fighting blend into their probiotic brews? It’s a distinct possibility …” Science should map the gut biome before manufacturers start pushing out ‘beneficial’ blends.
WaPo: France didn’t ban people from checking work e-mail after 6. This is why it should have.
ArtDaily: Germany lifts confiscation order on Nazi-era art hoard after more than two years.
“Gurlitt had said in a media interview earlier this year that he had no intention of giving artworks to potential claimants. But the elderly recluse, who is suffering from a number of health problems, has subsequently taken on a new team of advisors and appears keen to burnish his personal legacy.” We’ll have to wait and see; given his history, I am not hopeful.
Pacific Standard: Half of Americans Believe at Least 1 Conspiracy Theory.
“For many Americans, complicated or nuanced explanations for political events are both cognitively taxing and have limited appeal. [snip] A conspiracy narrative may provide a more accessible and convincing account of political events.” ‘Simple answers’, since the 80’s. Before that, shaggy dog stories.
Pacific Standard: Can You Learn to Judge Creativity?
“A new research paper suggests that amateurs can, indeed, be trained to be better judges of creativity — at least when it comes to children’s paintings.” Reminds me of the time when we were using children’s drawings in a particular company’s PR push … the creative director didn’t feel the drawings were ‘right’ and grabbed crayons and drew over the children’s work to ‘improve’ them. I felt that the children’s work should not have been altered, no matter what permissions had been obtained. Bothers me still.
PacificStandard: Study - Enjoy Life More ... Use Facebook Less.
Yale Daily News: Study explores beliefs about free will.
“The study establishes that people have a greater belief in free will after thinking about others committing immoral actions compared to committing morally neutral actions. This finding suggest that belief in free will is a fluid concept ...”
NY Times: ‘The Rise’ and ‘The Up Side of Down’.
“When we surrender to the fact of death, not the idea of it, we gain license to live more fully, to see life differently … [snip] … to walk down paths of my own choosing, which to some might seem like failure.”
PS Mag: Study Casts Doubt on Superiority of Stradivarius Violins.
“Six of the soloists chose new violins as their hypothetical replacement instruments, while four chose ones made by Stradivari. One particular new violin was chosen four times, and one Stradivarius was chosen three times, suggesting those instruments were the clear favorites.”
CNet: Too much Twitter leads to infidelity and divorce, study shows.
“I found it interesting that active Twitter users experienced Twitter-related conflict and negative relationship outcomes regardless of length of romantic relationship.” Probably boundaries and time-suck.
The Daily Beast: Rashida Jones and the Pornification of Pop.
I agree with Ms Jones. Proof? This photo does more for me than any of the current pop-diva video gyrations. Consider what is ‘not said’, the negative space, along with what is patently obvious. Letting the mind indulge in a little fantasy, rather than leaving nothing to imagination and exposing all in technicolor debauchery and hydraulics, would be my choice.
NPR: ‘In Paradise,’ Matthiessen Considers Our Capacity For Cruelty.
“How has civilization — so called — come this far and people are still designing tools to kill each other? For no other purpose than killing. Why are we doing it? Why are we doing it?”
Later: In a strange synchronicity, it seems Peter Matthiessen passed away today. His books always energize me; indeed, I took In The Spirit of Crazy Horse on my honeymoon, and was so irascible after reading, my new wife made me Fedex it back home from Hawaii. RIP, good sir.
Even later: NY Times, Peter Matthiessen’s Homegoing.
BrandeisNOW: Don’t beat yourself up, you’ll live longer.
“The research illustrates how easy it is for stress to build over time and how a seemingly small daily stressor, such as traffic, can impact a person’s health if they don’t have the right strategies to deal with it.” Find your chill pill and take it regularly.
MattStoller: Sexist Life Magazine Ads from the 1960s.
Yes, well. The farther back you go, the more surprising, I suppose. 1972 and 1973 were the watershed years for women’s rights; when culture shifted in a huge way. When was the last time you heard “male chauvinist pig” in casual conversation? Used to be part of the American vernacular. Ask a kid today what a chauvinist is, and get a blank stare.
The Millions: The 80-page Rule.
BBC: Ketamine ‘exciting’ depression therapy.
Only 28 people in the study. Eight showed results (about a third). I wouldn’t get too excited. And I wouldn’t have put it in the news yet, really, if I were the BBC.
PS Mag: Study - The Downside of Bargain Hunting.
RandsInRepose: How to Write a Book.
“Don’t write a book. Even better, stop thinking about writing a book. Your endless internal debate and self-conjured guilt about that book you haven’t written yet is a sensational waste of your time. My guess is if you took all the time that you’ve spent considering writing a book and translated that into actual writing time, you’d be a quarter of your way into writing that book you’re not writing.
So, stop. It’s the only sure-fire way to begin.”