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  • The Best Self-Help Books of the 21st Century

    I appreciated this list of 21 Books for a Better You in the 21st Century from Kelli María Korducki, filled with books that help the self without necessarily being quote-unquote self-help books. Here are a few selections I found interesting:

    The Body Is Not an Apology by Sonya Renee Taylor. “Taylor argues that our personal bodily hang-ups — and the beauty standards that inform them — are manifestations of internalized inequality. By lending credence to unjust strictures, our self-hate...


  • Radioactive Diamond Batteries That Last for Thousands of Years

    A pair of researchers from the University of Bristol have formed a company called Arkenlight to try to make diamond batteries out of nuclear waste that can potentially power devices for thousands of years. The betavoltaic batteries work by releasing beta radiation, which excites semiconductor material to produce electricity. These types of batteries don’t put out much power — they can’t replace your iPhone battery for example — but they do their thing for a loooong time.

    Arkenlight is focused...


  • Some Oddball Stress Reset Exercises for 2020

    It’s 2020 and you’re probably stressed out about something. Or many somethings. Multiplicative intersectional stress. Clinical psychologist Jenny Taitz wrote a short piece for the NY Times about five different techniques you can use to “reset” your stress. These aren’t substitutes for doing the long-term hard work of managing your emotional life, but they can be helpful for moving back into the yellow or green should you find yourself temporarily in the red.

    Along with breathing and listening...


  • Using Conservative Logic to Defend History’s Greatest Monsters

    Greg Larsen on Twitter this morning:

    Name someone who is universally agreed to be evil (genocidal dictator, serial killer etc) and I’ll defend them and their actions using conservative logic.

    Here are some of his responses, starting with serial murderer John Wayne Gacy:

    Great now the left is trying to besmirch a man who literally worked at CHILDREN’S HOSPITALS helping to cheer up sick kids by being a clown! Is there any low that the left won’t sink to, attacking a children’s entertainer? It’s...


  • Thinking About Pandemic Risk: “All Our Behavior Adds Up”

    This short article by Dr. Aaron Carroll about Covid-19 and risk is excellent. I want to quote the entire thing here, punctuated only by increasingly emphatic YESes and THISes, but I will refrain. Somewhat.

    Too many view protective measures as all or nothing: Either we do everything, or we might as well do none. That’s wrong. Instead, we need to see that all our behavior adds up.

    Each decision we make to reduce risk helps. Each time we wear a mask, we’re throwing some safety on the pile. Each...


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  • Grief and Witness in a Pandemic Ravaged Country

    For Vanity Fair, novelist Jesmyn Ward writes about losing her husband just before the pandemic descended on America. She begins:

    My Beloved died in January. He was a foot taller than me and had large, beautiful dark eyes and dexterous, kind hands. He fixed me breakfast and pots of loose-leaf tea every morning. He cried at both of our children’s births, silently, tears glazing his face. Before I drove our children to school in the pale dawn light, he would put both hands on the top of his head...


  • Oliver Burkeman’s Eight Secrets to a (Fairly) Fulfilled Life

    For the past decade, Oliver Burkeman has written an advice column for The Guardian on how to change your life. In his final column, he shares eight things that he’s learned while on the job. I especially appreciated these two:

    When stumped by a life choice, choose “enlargement” over happiness. I’m indebted to the Jungian therapist James Hollis for the insight that major personal decisions should be made not by asking, “Will this make me happy?”, but “Will this choice enlarge me or diminish me?”...


  • “The Desperate Fight to Save His Family Ends in Tragedy”

    My god, this story of a man named Chris Tofte trying to save his family from the Oregon wildfires. (Maybe don’t read this if you’re feeling emotionally fragile right now