March 18th – The Day’s Most Fascinating News

Strike That. Reverse It.

How would I describe our relationship with saturated fat? It’s complicated. After years of telling us that saturated fat is linked to heart disease, science is now telling us a different story. From the NYT: “A large and exhaustive new analysis by a team of international scientists found no evidence that eating saturated fat increased heart attacks and other cardiac events.” We may soon see another study with the opposite results, so eat fast.



“Forty-one million IQ points. That’s what Dr. David Bellinger determined Americans have collectively forfeited as a result of exposure to lead, mercury, and organophosphate pesticides.” (And it wasn’t like we had a ton of IQ points to spare.) From The Atlantic’s James Hamblin, here’s a look at the toxins that threaten our brains.

+ “Swallowing a little toothpaste while brushing your teeth will make you feel uncomfortable — swallowing 13 tubes of toothpaste will kill you.” Here’s a handy guide: How Not To Kill Yourself With Household Items.



“Russia was not just robbed — it was robbed in broad daylight.” That’s how Vladimir Putin described Crimea’s history as part of Ukraine. And today, at least according to his treaty signing, Russian has taken Crimea back.

+ Christopher Dickey explains why Putin did it: “The bitterness in his narrative was palpable as he described more than two decades of humiliation at the hands of American and European governments that treated his country like a second- or even third-rate power. For him and for many of his people, whatever their other rationales may be, winning back Crimea is about winning back pride.”

+ Crimea is “a region that has huge significance in the Russian psyche.” BBC on the Crimea of Russia’s imagination


Since You Asked…

“For me, that is the simple explanation why it turned and headed in that direction. Smart pilot. He just didn’t have the time.” From pilot Chris Goodfellow, a startlingly simple theory about the missing Malaysia Airlines jet.

+ Thailand’s military said its radar detected a plane that might have been Malaysia Airlines Flight 370, but it didn’t share that information over the past ten days because no one specifically asked for it.

+ Here are are some of the big mistakes made by Malaysia so far.

+ “I’m no expert but up close this does look like a plane and an oil slick.” So said Courtney Love, who like millions of others, has joined in the speculation about where the plane could be. (The real news here is that Love broke ranks with all the other pundits by admitting that she’s no expert.)


Rabbit At Work

FastCo’s Sarah Kessler spent a month as “a micro-entrepreneur touted by companies like TaskRabbit, Postmates, and Airbnb. Instead of the labor revolution I had been promised, all I found was hard work, low pay, and a system that puts workers at a disadvantage.” So basically, it was like all other jobs.


They Are What You Wear

Google has officially announced Android Wearables and given us a glimpse of what the Google-powered smartwatches will look like. (Finally, a solution for those times when pulling your phone out of your pocket seems like too much effort.)

+ I wasn’t flipping off the driver who just cut me off, I was just changing the radio station.


Real Scientists of Palo Alto

Syndicated from Kottke: I love this video. Love love love. Chao-Lin Kuo surprises Andrei Linde and his wife with the news that gravitational waves were detected, proving Linde’s theory of an inflationary universe.

+ Wired: “The physics world was on fire yesterday after an announcement that astronomers had detected a signal from the beginning of time. This is exactly as cool as it sounds.”


The Path to Happiness

Looking for the shortest route to a happier life? Try heading towards Switzerland. Here are nine charts that tell you where life is pretty terrific.


When the Juggling Stops

“The greatest juggler alive, maybe of all time, is a 40-year-old Floridian named Anthony Gatto. He holds 11 world records, has starred for years in Cirque du Soleil, and has appeared as a child on The Tonight Show, performing in a polo shirt and shorts, juggling five rings while balancing a five-foot pole on his forehead.” In Grantland, Jason Fagone helps you to answer a question you never knew you had: How did the greatest juggler in the world end up working in concrete?


The Bottom of the News

“Don’t talk a lot if you have high status. People will assume you’re competent and when you talk, they will listen to you.” That’s one piece of leadership advice. Here’s another: Dress like a slob, especially in places where most people are dressed well.

+ Here’s an amazing collection of winning shots from the Sony Photography Awards.

+ “That year I went from being a poor high school dropout who toured in vans to have fun and worked manual labor to buy pot, to recording that album. When you’re standing in front of 50,000 people at Reading and they’re singing along with every word, it’s hard not to look out and think, How the f**k did this happen?” A brief oral history of the early days of Nirvana.

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