Falling, Guns, Ketamine, Mules, Baseball


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Fall To Your Death And Live

Neil Steinberg | Mosaic | 5th June 2017

Alcides Moreno fell 472 feet from a New York skyscraper and lived. But falls from more than 100 feet are almost always fatal. For older people, merely falling over on to a hard surface can kill. Falls are the leading cause of death for the over-60s. “Young people break their wrists because they shoot their hands out quickly when falling. Older people break their hips because they don’t get their hands out quickly enough. You’d much rather break a wrist than a hip” (4,700 words)

Hate The Guns, Love The Movies

Sean O'Neal | AV Club | 2nd June 2017

Can a thinking person reconcile an enthusiasm for gun-violence in the cinema with a horror of gun-violence in real life? Probably not. “Anytime anyone in Hollywood laments our regrettable gun worship, something like Breitbart is there to point out that they made it cool in the first place. Let’s just give them this one: Breitbart is right. We can admit that movies have, at the very least, made gun violence seem more conventional. We’re adults here” (3,030 words)

Is Pharma Research Worse Than Chance?

Scott Alexander | Slate Star Codex | 5th June 2017

The biggest advances in psychopharmacology this century have been in the use of ketamine and MDMA to treat depression and PTSD. We owe these discoveries not to big pharma but to recreational drug users. “Abusers take the vast flood of possible chemicals and select the ones they think will feel good at raves. Psychopharmacologists select the ones they think will treat mental illnesses. How come the abusers’ selection process is better at picking out promising mental health treatments?” (1,400 words)

Mules And Bitcoin

Elaine Ou | Elaine's Idle Mind | 5th June 2017

When wealth was measured in livestock, the common unit of settlement was a cow. “A very pregnant cow is like a bond that’s near maturity. If I lend you a cow, you’d better return a cow plus a baby cow.” But why did the Hittites value a mule at six cows, given that mules are sterile? “Maybe we can think of the mule as a collectible – it commands a higher price because it is rare.” But seriously: The mule was so valuable because it was so useful. It could move stuff around. Like Bitcoin (450 words)

The Balance Of Baseball

Joe Posnanski | Joe Blogs | 5th June 2017

There are times in baseball when pitchers dominate the game, and times when hitters dominate. But always the game finds a new balance. Pitchers ruled in 2013-2014; now hitters are pushing back. “Strikeouts the last two years have absolutely gone bananas. Hitters have decided that they cannot beat pitchers by just putting the ball in play. And so, across baseball, hitters now swing hard and with an uppercut and look to hit the ball out. That’s it. That 2017 baseball” (1,200 words)

Video of the day: The Function Of Music

What to expect:

Conversation with Jad Abumrad of Radiolab about the nature of sound and music (4’08”)

Thought for the day

My point is not that everything is bad, but that everything is dangerous
Michel Foucault

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