I am an incessant reader. I am a non-discriminating reader: long-form, essays, infographic-format, books, poetry, I like it all. I collect words and ideas in my Evernote account and re-visit them often. Without words, there is little language and without a command of language, there is not much different between us and the other animals. I read on a diverse set of topics, but human psychology, economics, philosophy, health, tech, how-tos and neuroscience draw me in most often.
These are the most interesting articles that I’ve read this week:
What Romance Really Means After 10 Years of Marriage from New York Magazine
Undoubtedly your definition of marriage will depend on the culture in which you were raised. Two people raised within the same culture also have differences, as we are heavily influenced by the models our parents create for us. For me, as I am still figuring it out (and unmarried), a marriage is something like a working partnership. Two people have an idea of how they want to live their lives and their visions align with enough harmony (the word “synergy” also comes to my business school trained mind) that they think they can support one another and create something fun and fulfilling together. That means going through the everyday nonsense of survival together, which is annoying and probably not all that interesting, for the long haul. I loved the playful and frank descriptions the writer shared from her 10-year-old marriage.Excerpt:
But once you’ve been married for a long time (my tenth anniversary is in a few months!), a whole new kind of romance takes over. It’s not the romance of rom-coms, which are predicated on the question of “Will he/she really love me (which seems impossible), or does he/she actually hate me (which seems far more likely and even a little more sporting)?” Long-married romance is not the romance of watching someone’s every move like a stalker, and wanting to lick his face but trying to restrain yourself…After a decade of marriage, if things go well, you don’t need any more proof. What you have instead — and what I would argue is the most deeply romantic thing of all — is this palpable, reassuring sense that it’s okay to be a human being. Because until you feel absolutely sure that you won’t eventually be abandoned, it’s maybe not 100 percent clear that any other human mortal can tolerate another human mortal. The smells. The sounds. The repetitive fixations on the same dumb shit, over and over. Even as you develop a kind of a resigned glaze of oh, this again in, say, marital years one through five, you also feel faintly unnerved by your own terrible mortal humanness.
Is Your Workout Not Working? Maybe You’re a Non-Responder from The New York Times
(A summary of) Another study that reminds us that behind our skins is a complex system of hormones, organs, muscles, run by the mind and our genetics. And, as a result, each system is a little different from the next. Every body will not have an identical response to physical exercise. When explained that way, customizing exercise seems obvious, but how frequently do we look at the people in our lives and wonder why we cannot accomplish the same results?
Neanderthals Were People, Too from The New York Times
Really interesting article on our historical understanding the “Neanderthal”. Upon the first known discovery of Neanderthal remains, the scientific community struggled to understand who the neanderthal was and what its existence implied for the what they knew about the contemporary human. So, as is not infrequently the case, scientists appealed to their culture-driven understanding of what a Neanderthal’s existence might be like given their appearance.
Then, having reassembled the Neanderthal this way, Boule insulted it. This “brutish” and “clumsy” posture, he wrote, clearly indicated a lack of morals and a lifestyle dominated by “functions of a purely vegetative or bestial kind.” A colleague of Boule’s went further, claiming that Neanderthals usually walked on all fours and never laughed: “Man-ape had no smile.” Boule was part of a movement trying to reconcile natural selection with religion; by portraying Neanderthals as closer to animals than to us, he could protect the ideal of a separate, immaculate human lineage.
The Economics of Sleep – Part 2 Transcript from Freakonomics Radio
This gets interesting towards the second half, where they explain their learnings from a natural experiment set-up to contrast the sleeping habits and earnings of two towns (Huntsville, AL and Amarillo, TX) that are at the eastern and westernmost ends of the Central Time Zone in the U.S. The two towns are in the same time zone but daylight reaches and leaves them at different times as they are nearly 1,000 miles apart. Some of the takeaways are too sweeping but sleep is an interesting factor to consider, as it affects us over the long-run.
Healthy Kale Egg Breakfast Muffins by Taste and See
I LOVE eggs. They are just such a perfect food – impossible to mess up, versatile (fry, bake, scramble, savory, sweet) and nutritious (I was very happy when research a few years ago started to show that eggs do not drive up your cholesterol). I don’t like to work with kale in my kitchen so I would sub spinach in these but these are delicious and convenient. And, you can customize them to your heart’s content. I would bake them with hot sauce in the mix.
A Superbug Resistant to Every Available Antibiotic in the U.S. Kills Nevada Woman from PBS
Infectious diseases scare me far more than other illnesses, even those that are chronic, because their behavior within my body is much less predictable. Article includes a brief educational video from Stat News on what the meaning of the term “suberbug” is – definitely work watching. Sorry for the icky picture.
Vaccine Critic Robert Kennedy Says He Will Chair Trump’s Vaccine Safety Panel from Stat News
This is problematic because bringing a man who does not appreciate that science tries to solve large problems that we cannot immediately address with deductive experimental methods with lots of experiments over time, poking and prodding through our complex natural world cannot have say on policies that protect science / scientists’ work that protects our well-being. Ugh.