Wednesday, October 23rd, 2013


The Inside Job

The introduction of antibiotics dealt a serious blow to the bacteria that attacks our bodies. But it wasn't a deadly one. And different forms of bacteria have spent the last few decades evolving. Some of these "superbugs" are now totally resistant to antibiotics, and they are basically teaching other bacteria how to resist them as well. Here's a great overview of the problem from Fresh Air's Terry Gross and journalist David Hoffman: Antibiotics Can't Keep Up With Nightmare Superbugs. "In the period before World War II ... people that got infections, they had to cut it out. They had to cut off limbs, cut off toes, because there weren't antibiotics. And oftentimes, when people talk about the fact that we might have to go back to a pre-antibiotic age, that's what they mean -- that a simple scrape on the playground could be fatal."

+ And here's a Frontline special (available for viewing online): Hunting the Nightmare Bacteria. The contents of this documentary were summed up well by my friend Mera, who follows health trends as closely as anyone I know: "Now there's a strain or two that have arrived in the States that can teach our local pansy-assed bacteria how to become antibiotic resistant. It's enough to make me want to wrap the family in saran."


Where are the Women?

The computer technology business has never been bigger. So it makes sense that a lot more college students are looking to major in computer science. But since 1990, the percentage of computer science degrees awarded to women has actually fallen.

+ Maybe all the women are getting degrees in petroleum engineering. That's currently the most lucrative college major. From NPR, here are the most and least lucrative college majors, in 2 graphs.

+ I wonder if the federal government just needs a big delete button to solve the woes being experienced by the health care site. Look at the lines of code it uses in comparison to other popular software. The coding may have been weak. But almost no site has to launch with millions of users. It's tough to beta test for that scenario.


The Joy(less) Stick

According to his statistical scorecard, Brandon Bryant had logged about 6,000 hours of flight time, flown hundreds of missions, and had killed a total of 1,626 enemies. And he did all that without ever leaving Nevada. From GQ: Confessions of a Drone Warrior.


Go Pump Yourself

Listening to music can lead to a more productive workout. But if you're looking to get pumped up, there's something even more effective than listening to music. Making it.


Pulling Strings

"But while we were having fun, we happily and willingly helped to create the greatest surveillance system ever imagined, a web whose strings give governments and businesses countless threads to pull, which makes us…puppets." From The NY Review of Books: Are We Puppets in a Wired World? Browser tracking software has definitely turned each of us into the Cookie Monster.


Textual Healing

In Stockholm, when someone calls for emergency services, a text message is automatically sent to everyone within 500 meters who happens to know CPR.


Shaking the World

No first game of any World Series will ever be as memorable as the one in 1989 (I hope). From Grantland, here's an excellent oral history of the 1989 World Series, which was dominated by the Oakland A's -- and devastated by the Loma Prieta earthquake. "My brother was in the upper deck. He'd gotten up to get a hot dog. When he came back, part of the roof had fallen in his seat."

+ If you build it, will they watch? That's just one of the questions about the 2013 World Series. Last year's TV ratings were the worst ever. Here are five things to know about this World Series.


The Name’s Bond. Jim Bond.

Ian Fleming died almost fifty years ago. But there are still novels being written that feature James Bond as the lead character. And he's not alone. Many leading characters are outliving their creators.


Rescinded Invitation to a Beheading

It looks like the folks at Facebook changed their minds. Beheading videos are no longer allowed on the site. Now if they can just get rid of those images superimposed with inspirational quotes...


The Bottom of the News

In the small town of Barbacaos in southwest Colombia, the bumping has stopped until the bumpy roads are repaired. In what is being called the crossed legs movement, women have stopped having sex with their significant others until someone improves the conditions on the road that connects the town to the rest of Colombia. I'm a steamroller baby...

+ The Hollywood saga surrounding the Entourage movie sounds a whole lot like an episode of Entourage.

+ A Quora thread asked people to share the most amazing photograph they've ever taken. The results are pretty cool.

+ 27 actors who got their big break on Miami Vice.