Weekly Web Harvest for 2016-10-02

  • The mystery of the ‘ghost trees’ may be solved – SFGate

    Redwoods can also clone themselves, further complicating scientists’ understanding of them. Vast rings of related plants communicate via their roots, and during the hard months of winter and early spring, they’ll distribute nutrients evenly among themselves. Scientists have spilled dye onto trees at one end of a grove and traced it through the root network all the way to the other side.
    “Most people, when they come to the redwood, they look up at the canopy,” Kuty says. “But down is where the action is.”
    This collaboration lasts only until summer comes. Then every tree, sprout and branch must fend for itself. Those that can’t photosynthesize enough sugar are cut off from the shared root system and discarded during what’s known as the autumn “needle drop.”

  • Douglas Coupland: ‘I’m actually at my happiest when I’m writing on a plane’ | Books | The Guardian

    There’s a kind of existential heebie-jeebies that accompanies the abandonment of routine: what if I lose my skills and they never come back? What if I become too fragmented? What if the forces of the future I’m trying to depict crush me like a bug? But then, nothing ventured, nothing gained.

  • Live asynchronously.

    If your job requires even an ounce of creativity, you’ll do your best work in one of these flow states.
    And yes, you can reach a flow state in an open plan office, with noise cancelling headphones cranked up to 11. But it’s a lot easier when you’re in a quiet, comfortable room by yourself.
    So Mihaly figures out that task switching utterly devastates your productivity. Something as mundane as getting a text message about dinner will completely wipe out all those things you’re juggling in your working memory. It will knock you out of your flow state.
    Most of Mihaly’s fellow researchers agree. There’s a serious cost to switching between tasks.

    h/t D’Arcy

  • Speak, Memory ~ Stephen Downes

    What I wonder is: could my avatar earn a living? Would it have to, in order to stay switched on?

  • google spreadsheet – Create column containing a list of words (unique) used in the sentences that appear in another column? – Stack Overflow

    This was a slick solution . . .

    =QUERY({C:C,C:C},”select Col1, count(Col2) where Col1 ” group by Col1″,1)

  • html – Soundcloud embedded player on mobile – Stack Overflow