Jaguars, Choking, Genius, Richard Feynman, Putin


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Jaguars In The Age Of Humans

Nadia Drake | Atlantic | 4th May 2018

Diary of a journey into the Amazon on the trail of jaguars. “In an instant, I registered that, yes, the bathroom trail we had cut through the jungle was indeed occupied by a member of the largest cat species in the Americas. She was so close that if she launched herself at one of us, it would be game over in seconds. Everyone hopes to see one of the spotted cats when they visit this part of Peru, but this was the first time I’d been jaguar’d out of the damn bathroom” (3,100 words)

What To Do If You Find Yourself Choking

Calle Hack | Takeout | 13th May 2018

News you can use. Better still, chew slowly. “When you get a piece of food lodged in your trachea, your body assumes you’re drowning and it forcefully clenches itself closed, to help you survive. But you’re not drowning, and you’re also not getting oxygen to your brain. So you will need to start performing abdominal thrusts on yourself. And you can’t be meek about this. Make a fist with one hand, place it above the navel, and use your hand to thrust your fist up and in to your abdomen” (914 words)

Genius As Circumstance

Yuval Sharon | LARB | 14th May 2018

An opera director tells how it feels to receive a MacArthur genius grant. The foundation calls you up on the telephone four weeks ahead of the public announcement. You are supposed to keep the news secret, telling at most a family member. The words “genius grant” are never used in the documentation. The award is described, simply, as a fellowship, which is a much more comfortable term, since calling yourself a genius went out of fashion in the days of Richard Wagner (1,540 words)

Richard Feynman At 100

Paul Halpern | Nature | 8th May 2018

Affectionate sketch of the late, great, physicist and explainer. “Through his diagrams, which depict positively charged positrons as electrons moving backward in time, Feynman portrayed the gamut of possible modes of interaction in a weighted tally called ‘sum over histories’. In his brilliant vision quantum reality is a cloud-like smear of particles’ possible paths, as if a commuter from Essex to London could travel the entire route by train, coach, car and bicycle simultaneously” (1,250 words)

Putin’s Language

Michele Berdy | Moscow Times | 11th May 2018

Whatever happened to the trash-talking President Putin who promised to “waste terrorists in the outhouse” and invited his critics to come to Russia to have their private parts amputated? Once he was a fount of folkloric phrases and oblique obscenities that left even his official translators spluttering. For some reason he has cleaned up his act. “With all due respect, I must say: Vladimir Putin has turned into a boring speaker. There hasn’t been even a tinge of the risqué from his lips in years” (1,202 words)

Video of the day Google Duplex Demo

What to expect:

Google CEO Sundar Pichai demonstrates how Google Assistant can make phone calls on your behalf (4’11”)

Thought for the day

I doubt alcohol kills more people than it creates
John Lefevre

Podcast Adam Grant | Revisionist History

Malcolm Gladwell talks to psychologist Adam Grant about work and workplaces
(52m 04s)

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