Page 3 of 87

How to organise your fridge

My wife, who is one of the most organised people I know, is nevertheless what I would term a ‘fridge anarchist’. I like order, she puts anything anywhere. Lifehacker agrees with my way of doing things.

Store snacks, leftovers, and other items that get consumed quickly (that could also go bad quickly) on the top shelf. The middle shelves are for dairy, cheeses, cooked meats, and leftovers. The midsection tends to be on the cooler end, so store your milk and eggs here, and they’ll keep longer. If your milk doesn’t fit in the middle section, you can easily rearrange the shelving to accommodate your needs. Items that contain bacteria need to be kept separate to avoid cross-contamination—store these items on the last shelf. The bottom shelf is perfect for raw meat and fish, and should be wrapped or stored in sealed containers. The drawers are for your fruits and vegetables. (Though they can be too moist for mushrooms.)

Source: Organize Your Fridge Like You’re a Goddamned Adult | Lifehacker

A cure for depression and boredom

I love this response to a letter about feeling bored and depressed. The answer is basically “welcome to the world” and that they’re never going to be happier by getting a better job or a bigger apartment.

That these are sad times and it feels bad to live in them is hardly insightful, but lately I’ve been wondering if it’s not so much the sadness but the sameness. Watching wicked people prosper over and over, having the same conversations about powerful men and the consequences they will never face, witnessing suffering that was easily anticipated and avoided, asking again and again what can be done about it and being told again and again, essentially, “nothing.” For a moment, early on in this present calamity, it felt like perhaps this could be a real rupture, but by now it’s clear our response will be more asking and more answering with “nothing,” more suffering, more pointless conversations, more prospering for a few of the expense of the rest.

Source: How Do I Figure Out What I Want When Every Day Feels the Same? | Jezebel

Killer robots are already here

Great.

Kargu is a “loitering” drone that uses machine learning-based object classification to select and engage targets, according to STM, and also has swarming capabilities to allow 20 drones to work together.

“The lethal autonomous weapons systems were programmed to attack targets without requiring data connectivity between the operator and the munition: in effect, a true ‘fire, forget and find’ capability,” the experts wrote in the report.

Source: Military drones may have attacked humans for first time without being instructed to, UN report says | The Independent

Nostalgia, friction, and read/write literacy 

I probably need to revisit this (and the references) but I really enjoyed reading Silvio Lorusso’s essay on computer agency and behaviour.

Alan Kay’s pioneering work on interfaces was guided by the idea that the computer should be a medium rather than a vehicle, its function not pre-established (like that of the car or the television) but reformulable by the user (like in the case of paper and clay). For Kay, the computer had to be a general-purpose device. He also elaborated a notion of computer literacy which would include the ability to read the content of a medium (the tools and materials generated by others) but also the ability to write in a medium. Writing on the computer medium would not only include the production of materials, but also of tools. That is for Kay authentic computer literacy: “In print writing, the tools you generate are rhetorical; they demonstrate and convince. In computer writing, the tools you generate are processes; they simulate and decide.”

Source: The User Condition, Silvio Lorusso

Interoperability for browser plugins

This is good news, especially as I’ve noticed recently a lot of developers of browser plugins just creating stuff for Chrome.

The WebExtensions Community Group has two goals:

  • Make extension creation easier for developers by specifying a consistent model and common core of functionality, APIs, and permissions.
  • Outline an architecture that enhances performance and is even more secure and resistant to abuse.

The group doesn’t want to specify every aspect of the web extensions platform or stifle innovation. Each browser vendor will continue to operate independently with their own policies.

Source: Apple, Mozilla, Google, Microsoft form group to standardize browser plug-ins | AppleInsider

A robot that sticks to ceilings by… vibrating

This is very cool.

Source: Somehow This Robot Sticks to Ceilings by Vibrating a Flexible Disc | IEEE Spectrum

Novelty, brains, and new experiences

We managed to get away for three nights last weekend, but I’m truly, deeply, looking forward to being able to do some of the amazing family trips we’ve done in previous years. Stupid coronavirus.

brain

The neuroscientist Dr. David Eagleman, who’s focused much of his research on time perception, discovered something fascinating about novel experiences: they make time pass by more slowly. In effect, this can make your life feel longer. Think, for instance, about summers when you were a kid versus summers now.

“The only time you really write down memories is when something is novel. For a child, at the end of a summer, they have lots of memories to draw on because so many things are new. The summer seems to have taken forever in retrospect,” Eagleman explained. “But once you’re an adult, you kind of know the rules of the world, so when you get to the end of the summertime, you think, Oh my gosh, where did that disappear to? Why? Because you don’t have any “footage” to draw on. You can’t really remember much in terms of distinguishable memories of the summer because everything else was pretty much routine.”

Source: The Brain-Changing Magic of New Experiences | GQ

Taking breaks to be more human

I have to say that I’m a bit sick of the narrative that we need time off / to recharge so we can be better workers. Instead, I’d prefer framing it as Jocelyn K. Glei does as asking yourself the question “who are you without the doing?”

The point isn’t just that it’s nice to goof off every so often — it’s that it’s necessary. And that’s true even if your ultimate goal is doing better work: Downtime allows the brain to make new connections and better decisions. Multiple studies have found that sustained mental attention without breaks is depleting, leading to inferior performance and decision-making.

In short, the prefrontal cortex — where goal-oriented and executive-function thinking goes on — can get worn down, potentially resulting in “decision fatigue.” A variety of research finds that even simple remedies like a walk in nature or a nap can replenish the brain and ultimately improve mental performance.

Source: How to Take a Break | The New York Times

The farmer uses his plough as his form of work

Someone mentioned this in passing and I looked it up and thought it was neat.

Example of Sator Square

The Sator Square (or Rotas Square) is a two-dimensional word square containing a five-word Latin palindrome. It features in early Christian as well as in magical contexts. The earliest example of the square dates from the ruins of Pompeii, which some scholars attribute to pre-Christian origins, such as Jewish or Mithraic.

Source: Sator Square | Wikipedia

Invisible sculptures are the logical conclusion of NFTs

Speechless.

According to Garau, the sculpture doesn’t not exist per se, rather it exists in a vacuum, Newsweek reports. “The vacuum is nothing more than a space full of energy,” Garau explained. “And even if we empty it and there is nothing left, according to the Heisenberg uncertainty principle, that ‘nothing’ has a weight. Therefore, it has energy that is condensed and transformed into particles, that is, into us.”

Source: Italian Artist Sells Invisible Sculpture for $18,000 | highsnobiety