Blurt!Commonplace Book

“In other words, when you see a new word starting with ‘gi,’ your previous exposure to ‘gi’ words is basically telling you to flip a coin—it’s just as likely that you’ll decide to pronounce it with a hard g as with a soft g.” (Gretchen McCulloch, “Why the Pronunciation of GIF Really Can Go Either Way”) (it’s a hard g)

Mar. 7, 2020, 10:45pm

“This single discarded piece of ancient chewing gum tells us that the ancient woman … was probably lactose intolerant, ate duck and hazelnuts, and may recently have had pneumonia. She also had blue eyes, dark brown hair, and dark skin.” (Kiona N. Smith, “Ancient ‘chewing gum’ contains a 5,700-year-old genome”)

Mar. 7, 2020, 10:34pm

“These cancer-killing immune cells were also obtained from at least two individuals, suggesting that they may be present in all humans. Yet humans regularly suffer from cancer, so there’s clearly something that keeps them from doing their job.” (John Timmer, “One immune cell type appears to attack any type of cancer”)

Mar. 7, 2020, 10:28pm

“Over the course of many decades, Asimov groped or engaged in other forms of unwanted touching with countless women, often at conventions, but also privately and in the workplace.” (Alec Nevala-Lee, “Asimov’s Empire, Asimov’s Wall”)

Mar. 7, 2020, 10:21pm

“If you approach the 2017 [Astros] scandal with this data-driven model of team success in mind … Luhnow’s job in Houston becomes just another McKinsey engagement.” (David Roth, “The Smartest Guys in the Clubhouse”)

Mar. 7, 2020, 10:00pm

“There are now nine women in the preppers’ group chat, soliciting advice and swapping tips on how to best package goods for Amazon. … [E]very day Roundup [Montana] receives 3,000 to 4,000 Amazon-bound packages — about double the number of people who actually live there.” (Josh Dzieza, “The Everything Town in the Middle of Nowhere”)

Mar. 7, 2020, 8:57pm

“It seemed as if one person or group might have created numerous phony accounts to run a much larger Airbnb operation. If that proved true, it meant whoever ran the five accounts I’d located was controlling at least 94 properties in eight different cities.” (Allie Conti, “I Accidentally Uncovered a Nationwide Scam on Airbnb”)

Mar. 7, 2020, 8:49pm

“Dunne and her colleagues found traces of 3,000-year-old fatty acids from ancient milk still clinging to the insides of the vessels. … The amount of material the archaeologists found suggested that the vessels had seen a lot of use—or had been filled with milk before being placed in the children’s graves.” (Kiona N. Smith, “Ancient sippy cup may hold clues about agriculture’s spread in Europe”)

Mar. 7, 2020, 8:26pm

“In 2001, a senior Boeing engineer named L. Hart Smith published a paper criticizing the business strategy behind offshoring production, noting that vital engineering tasks were being done in ways that seemed less costly but would end up destroying the company.” (Matt Stoller, “The Coming Boeing Bailout?”)

Mar. 7, 2020, 8:20pm

“[O]ne slab sinking below the Mantle Transition Zone can create a mantle undertow that squeezes up mountains on an entirely different plate, 660 kilometers above it. This new level of tectonics now makes sense of other geological puzzles.” (Howard Lee, “Plate tectonics runs deeper than we thought”)

Mar. 7, 2020, 8:11pm