Tuesday, March 24th, 2015


You Snooze, You Lose

For the past few years we've been reminded of the vital importance of getting enough sleep. Well here's an update: Wake up. A new study suggests that an overly long night's sleep could be just as bad for you as not getting enough. Maybe Shakespeare was aware of the risks of sleep when he wrote Hamlet's most famous soliloquy: "Aye, there's the rub. For in that sleep of death, what dreams may come." At this point, anyone who's been following the news on this topic can dream of nothing but sleep studies.

+ In The Verge, Gregory Ferenstein explains how he (and Corey Hart) keep screens from causing insomnia.


Germanwings Crash

"The whole city is shocked, and we can feel it everywhere." That was Bodo Klimpel, the mayor of the German city of Haltern where 16 students and 2 teachers were among the 150 victims of a Germanwings plane crash in France. The flight data recorder has been recovered. Here's the latest from CNN.


Allies Like Us

Last night, the WSJ broke a story indicating that Israel had spied on talks between the U.S. and Iran. That part of the story is controversial (although, we've learned from the Snowden leaks that allies regularly spy on one another). But as WaPo reports, there's a bigger issue described here by a senior official: It's "one thing for the U.S. and Israel to spy on each other. It is another thing for Israel to steal U.S. secrets and play them back to U.S. legislators to undermine U.S. diplomacy."


Ego, Superego, and Grid

There was a ton of news about the Sony hack. And rightly so. But if you talk to government officials in the know, they'll tell you that those kind of hacks are small time compared to the risk of an attack on a major electrical grid. As Cheryl LaFleur explains, "It's one of those things: One is too many, so that's why we have to pay attention." And paying attention means guarding against everything including hacks, bullets, and broken locks.

+ ISIS recently released a hit list of American service members that included their personal information. How did they get it? They Googled.


Do Not Enter

According to the NYT, Facebook is in talks to host news sites' content. "Such a plan would represent a leap of faith for news organizations accustomed to keeping their readers within their own ecosystems, as well as accumulating valuable data on them."

+ From me: It's a leap they shouldn't take.


Revenge of the Gerd

"One of the principles driving the $61 billion weight-loss industries is the notion that fat is inherently unhealthy and that it's better, health-wise, to be thin, no matter what you have to do to get there. But a growing body of research is beginning to question this paradigm." I'm sure there's more to this Slate story by Harriet Brown, but my Tater Tots are ready.

+ And here's Brown in The Atlantic: How obesity became a disease. And, as a consequence, how weight loss became an industry.

+ Koreans are making big money by binge eating on the Internet. I've trained my whole life, but I had no idea one could go pro.


Slide Sharing

"What could be a solution that provides sort of universal slipperiness?" That was a question that led some MIT researchers to come up with a product that will be marketed as LiquiGlide. And you may never have to wait for the ketchup again.


Shaking Off The Signs of the Times

"Everyone makes mistakes ... It hurt on my part, but he hurt even more. If it was me, I would want to take that back. I know how hard he's worked. Why not give him a second chance?" That was Little League World Series heroine Mo'ne Davis after hearing reports that an offensive tweet about her got a Bloomsburg University first baseman kicked off the team. She is so cool. I can't decide if I want to adopt her or just recruit her to pitch for my son's baseball team this weekend.


Walking the Walk

Paul Salopek is a journalist working on a pretty big story. He's trying to retrace humankind's migration out of Africa. That will require some shoe leather (about 21,000 miles' worth). It might also require a lawyer. He's been stopped by security forces 42 times.


The Bottom of the News

The other day, I asked a guy working at an Apple Store about the biggest adjustment he'd have to make once they start selling watches. He said, "I'm gonna have to touch people's wrists." That's just one change required as the company goes from selling tech to selling fashion.

+ "Square-dancing represents the collective aspect of Chinese culture, but now it seems that the overenthusiasm of participants has dealt it a harmful blow with disputes over noise and venues." NYT on the public dancing controversy in China.

+ The X-Files is making a comeback.

+ Wired's Clive Thompson: The most important thing on the Internet is the screenshot. (At least, it's the most important thing I don't view in incognito mode.)