Vol 2.18 | 05.03.19

Read time: 2 minutes


“Brain Resuscitation”

Used to be that a person would be declared “dead” when a lack of a pulse showed their heart had stopped beating. Thanks to modern understanding and things like CPR, that’s no longer necessarily the case. Now, scientists at Yale are working on doing the same thing for the brain.


2Runner’s Heart vs Swimmer’s Heart

The adaptability of human physiology to even the most subtle of environmental factors will never cease to amaze me.

Since swimmers exercise in a horizontal position, he says, their hearts do not have to fight gravity to get blood back to the heart, unlike in upright runners. Posture does some of the work for swimmers, and so their hearts reshape themselves only as much as needed for the demands of their sport.

3The Bizarre World of ASMR

This is a bit of an unintentional follow-up on an item from last week. While reading about the myriad of child social media “kidfluencers,” I kept coming across the acronymn “ASMR” in reference to a certain type of videos. It’s not that making ASMR videos is exclusively the domain of kid YouTubers — far from it. But the weirdness that is ASMR videos gets truly bizarre when it adults racking up millions of views (and the ad cash that comes with that level of views) on videos of a child whispering softly and eating weird things.


4Maybe Communication Shouldn’t Be So Easy

When you reduce the friction of something to essentially zero, you not only make it easy to do that thing once — you make it easy to do it a thousand times. This is the problem besieging the attention spans of white-collar knowledge workers everywhere. First with email, and now with group chat platforms like Slack, the ease with which anyone can communicate with anybody else means communication is more efficient to do, but nobody is enjoying the benefit of the time saved by doing it less.

5“$44 billion over budget and 13 years behind schedule”

There are cautionary tales about being unwilling to kill a project because of the inertia of chasing sunk costs, and then there’s the jaw-dropper of a boondoggle that is California’s high-speed rail project.