Fruit, Maths, Breast, Food, Junk

The Fruits Of Our Eroticism

Koby Omansky | Full Stop | 7th May 2019

Provocative, discursive, elegantly written short essay about literal and metaphorical connections between fruit and sex. PG-13 for anatomically explicit references to melons, aubergines, figs and cherries; and apples, obviously, not to mention bananas. “A study of tweets over a twelve-hour period found that 33 percent of people were using the peach emoji as ‘shorthand for butt’, and 27 percent of people were using the emoji sexually. A mere seven percent meant it for its literal interpretation as fruit” (1,540 words)

The Subtle Art Of The Mathematical Conjecture

Robbert Dijkgraaf | Quanta | 7th May 2019

“Mathematics has elevated the formulation of a conjecture into high art. The most rigorous science cherishes the softest forms. A well-chosen but unproven statement can make its author world-famous, sometimes even more so than the person providing the ultimate proof. Poincaré’s conjecture remains Poincaré’s conjecture, even after Grigori Perelman proved that it is true. A great conjecture must  be non-trivial — that is, not too easy to prove. If a conjecture is proved within a few months, then perhaps its creator should have pondered it a bit longer before announcing it to the world” (1,620 words)

Breast Is Not Best

Laura Frances Callahan | Aeon | 9th May 2019

A philosopher investigates whether mothers should breastfeed their babies. “Breastfeeding seems to be just one more way of giving children an advantage in life. It’s like violin lessons. The dominant narrative says that because breastfeeding benefits your children, you have a responsibility to do it if you can. But, just as we don’t have a responsibility to give to each and every effective charity at every opportunity, we don’t have a responsibility to do each and every thing we could to benefit our kids” (2,900 words)

Ranking Cookbooks By Animal Deaths

Dylan Matthews | Vox | 8th May 2019

Ethicists examine 30 cookbooks by 26 celebrity chefs, and calculate how many animals would have to die to make all of the dishes in each of the books. “By far the deadliest cookbook was Batali’s Molto Gusto, with 620 deaths (5.25 per recipe), driven by its use of 567 baby eels. Rachael Ray 365 No Repeats racks up an astounding 75 chicken deaths. Giada De Laurentiis is the omnivore with the lowest count of all: only 0.19 animal deaths per recipe, and only 20 animals killed throughout her whole book” (748 words)

The Flow Of Things

Adam Minter | Discard Studies | 6th May 2019

On the economics and psychology of the global trade in junk and trash. “There’s a limit to how much outrage activists can generate over how stuff is manufactured. You can only push people so far in terms of guilt. Discards occupy an entirely different emotional ecosystem, especially in developed countries. When a consumer donates something, or drops it into a blue bin, they typically have a reasonable expectation that the objects will be re-used or re-purposed in a way conforming to their values” (2,580 words)

Video: Psychedelic Survey. Michael Pollan introduces a project for crowd-sourcing scientific research into psychedelic experiences. Stunning visuals (1m 30s)

Audio: Karl Ove Knausgård | Conversations With Tyler. Topics include René Girard, Marcel Proust, Edvard Munch, pietism, angels, Soren Kierkegaard — and that is just in the first ten minutes (60m 04s)

”It is very simple to be happy, but it is very difficult to be simple”
— Rabindranath Tagore

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