Concussion, Children, Cameras, Bags, Meth


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Diary Of A Concussion

Elizabeth Lopatto | Verge | 27th September 2017

Life after a head injury suffered in a bicycle crash. “I still felt like myself, but it was kind of like my personality was a set of piano keys and someone had sliced off all the notes you’d ordinarily play with your left hand. I could go on playing with both hands, but only the top half of the keyboard was available. It was apparent, once I was back at work, that my attention span wasn’t what it had been. This is actually common in concussion patients. It’s related to the problems with vision — which makes sense, since attention and vision have a lot to do with each other” (5,660 words)

Programming My Child

David Auerbach | Boston Review | 23rd August 2018

“A few years after leaving Google, I had a daughter, and thus began another long-term engineering project. The stimulus-response cycle is out in the open with a child, and the feedback loop created between parent and child is tight, controlled, and frequently comprehensible. In the first months of her life, I kept a spreadsheet of my daughter’s milestones. Hardware upgrades to her height and weight were ongoing, but I declared a new ‘version’ whenever my wife and I deemed her sufficiently different to appear as though a software upgrade had been installed” (2,950 words)

George Eastman Patents His Kodak Camera

Vaclav Smil | IEEE Spectrum | 28th August 2018

The end of photographic plates, the start of film, and, with it, a century of market dominance. “On 4th September 1888 Eastman was awarded US Patent No. 388,850 for a small, handheld, easy-to-use camera, called the Kodak. It was a wooden rectangular prism 9.5 by 8.3 by 16.5 centimeters covered in smooth black leather. Its 57-millimeter lens had good close-focusing capabilities, allowing the photographer to focus on objects as close as 1.2 meters. You put the film in and advanced it, and after exposing all 50 or 100 frames you rewound it” (710 words)

American Beauties

Rebecca Altman | Topic | 27th August 2018

A history of the plastic bag, initially marketed as a reusable product, but soon repositioned as a disposable product, when manufacturers discovered how many more ‘disposable’ bags they could sell. “The first plastic bags were introduced to consumers in the 1950s to collect trash and carry home dry cleaning. By 1988, about 40 percent of US grocery bags were plastic. By 2003 plastic’s market share was close to 80 percent. Somewhere between 500 billion and 1.5 trillion plastic bags are consumed globally each year at a rate of more than a million a minute” (2,700 words)

The Meth Addict On The Patio

Kim Foster | Nevada Public Radio | 1st July 2018

Notes on the drug culture that is Las Vegas. “In just three months we have seen Charlie and Tessy through a lifetime of crises — temporary sobriety, meth binges, two stints in jail, three moves, one eviction, several religious, end-of-the-world texts on our phones, a dozen different phone numbers and a stay in a psychiatric hospital. Every day brings some kind of cruel surprise, some hardship that would pummel me, but is just business as usual for them. Their lives are a tedious wreckage, and it never becomes more clear than when we eat lunch together” (6,800 words)

Video of the day Debussy And Elephant

What to expect:

An 80-year-old near-blind elephant in Thailand enjoys Paul Baron’s playing of Debussy’s “Clair de Lune” (3m 20s)

Thought for the day

That’s the trouble with losing your mind; by the time it’s gone, it’s too late to get it back
Bill Bryson

Podcast Baby Blue Blood | Radiolab

Latif Nasser talks to Alexis Madrigal and others about horseshoe crabs and their coveted blue blood
(1h 0m 48s)

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