weekly (weekly)

  • It was only a matter of time.

    “In Europe, one vast colony of Argentine ants is thought to stretch for 6,000km (3,700 miles) along the Mediterranean coast, while another in the US, known as the “Californian large”, extends over 900km (560 miles) along the coast of California. A third huge colony exists on the west coast of Japan.

    The enormous extent of this population is paralleled only by human society
    Entomologists reveal the ant colony’s true size
    While ants are usually highly territorial, those living within each super-colony are tolerant of one another, even if they live tens or hundreds of kilometres apart. Each super-colony, however, was thought to be quite distinct.
    But it now appears that billions of Argentine ants around the world all actually belong to one single global mega-colony.”

    tags: science ants colony weekly

  • ““Most people are other people. Their thoughts are someone else’s opinions, their lives a mimicry, their passions a quotation.” — Oscar Wilde

    tags: weekly wilde quote passion imitation mimicry

  • “Poet William Mickle regretted that he could not remember the poetry he composed in his dreams, which he said was “infinitely superior to anything he produced in his waking hours.” But his wife recited two lines he had spoken in his sleep:

    By Heaven, I’ll wreak my woes
    Upon the cowslip and the pale primrose.

    Robert Browning dreamed that he attended a performance of Richard III and heard a line “immensely finer than anything else in the play. … When I woke I still had hold of the stupendous line, and it was this:

    ‘And when I wake my dreams are madness — Damn me!’””

    tags: sentences dream english poetry words weekly creativity dreams

  • Rats in a box.

    “According to a 2008 article in the New Yorker, close buttons don’t close the elevator doors in many elevators built in the United States since the 1990s. In some elevators the button is there for workers and emergency personnel to use, and it only works with a key. The key-only settings isn’t always active though, as the blog Design with Intent asserts. Each elevator is different. In some, the emergency function requires a long-press of several seconds longer than the average user attempts. The website, The Straight Dope, investigated the issue in 1986 by asking elevator companies and elevator repairmen directly. According to their investigation, “The grim truth is that a significant percentage of the close-door buttons in this world…don’t do anything at all.” The reasons cited were that the button was never wired up, or that it was set to a delay, or was deactivated by the owner, or it broke long ago and no one ever complained because the doors eventually close whether or not you press the buttons.

    tags: placebo buttons conditioning psychology weekly

    • The city deactivated most of the pedestrian buttons long ago with the emergence of computer-controlled traffic signals, even as an unwitting public continued to push on, according to city Department of Transportation officials. More than 2,500 of the 3,250 walk buttons that still exist function essentially as mechanical placebos, city figures show. Any benefit from them is only imagined.
  • Wonder what this would look like with words around certain concepts. I sometimes binge read serial novels and you see the same phrases popping up repeatedly. I don’t know how often this happens in “better” works because I can’t recall reading any in the same way.

    tags: poster clichés movie cliche english weekly

  • “‘Carpe diem’ doesn’t mean seize the day — it means something gentler and more sensible. ‘Carpe diem’ means pluck the day. Carpe, pluck. Seize the day would be ‘cape diem,’ if my school Latin servies. No R. Very different piece of advice.

    tags: word choice vocabulary quote carpe diem english weekly

  • “WHAT IS A FATALISTIC DOG?

    A dog who has adopted fatalism as a worldview.

    Does your dog not hopefully check his food bowl between meals?
    Does your dog no longer beg for table scraps?
    Does your dog mope on the floor, couch, or bed?
    Does your dog quietly accept a whisker pulling by small children?
    Does your dog fail to chase its own tail, as if assuming it will only get away in the end anyway?

    tags: weekly dog philosophy english fatalism

  • ““So you see, when you give up on the idea of a one true “at rest”, then you have to give up on the idea of a one true time as well! And even that is not the end of it. If you lose your one true way to see time, then you also lose your one true way to see size and your one true way to see mass. You can’t talk of any of that, if you don’t also say what it is you call “at rest”. If you don’t, then Bert or Dana can pick an “at rest” that isn’t the same as what you used, and then what they will get for time and size and mass won’t be the same.

    tags: albert einstein theory relativity words four letters restriction English science weekly

  • “War and Peach: An ambitious, sweeping, and impeccably detailed frozen treat of truly epic proportions, with so many ingredients that you’ll forget most of them existed by the time you’re halfway through your cone. Not easy to get through without a headache, but if you make it, you can brag about finishing it for the rest of your life.”

    tags: books ice cream english project weekly

  • “In Japan, where palm reading remains one of the most popular means of fortune-telling, some people have figured out a way to change their fate. It’s a simple idea: change your palm, change the reading, and change your future. All you need is a competent plastic surgeon with an electric scalpel who has a basic knowledge of palmistry. Or you can draw the lines on your hand with a marker and let him work the magic you want.”

    tags: future palm causation weekly

  • tags: weekly parenting tracking dystopia grades

    • It occurred to us that while our baby daughter couldn’t communicate directly beyond crying, we could have a deeply intimate, beneficial conversation with her through data. We realized that we could quantify and study her in an attempt to optimize all of her development.

         

            

        

                

          

    • “Everything looks good,” the pediatrician said. We had a healthy, alert kid.

         

            

          

      “If you were to assign us a number, say one to 10, to tell us how she’s doing, what would you give us?” my husband asked him.

         

            

          

      “I don’t have any concerns, really …” the pediatrician answered.

         

            

          

      “Right, but if you look at all of her data and where she is right now compared to where other kids are at the same age, what do you think?” I pressed, handing him our giant binder of spreadsheets again. “Is there a way we can optimize her development?”

         

            

          

      “What about just a letter grade? Is she a C+ or a B?” my husband interjected.

         

            

          

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Comments on this post

  1. jinjer said on August 4, 2013 at 8:51 am

    Re: It was only a matter of time.

    Funny how time continues to move on, eh? The article you referenced was from 2009, and there is already one split in the colony that I know of, mentioned in this radio program. I look forward to seeing how the whole mega-colony drama plays out. On a anecdotal level, I saw a dramatic drop in ant colony invasions into my house in 2011 vs. 2009.

    • Tom Woodward said on August 4, 2013 at 6:46 pm

      I do need to pay more attention to dates but I’m happier to have your comment. Thanks for the clarity.

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