"A diet rich in meat, eggs, milk and cheese could be as harmful to health as smoking, according to a controversial study into the impact of protein consumption on longevity."
Do you think future generations will look back at us in horror and disgust because standards will have evolved to the point where we seem like savages for not having erected giant roadside memorials honoring the tragic highway chicken fatalities that happen along our nation's arteries with regrettable frequency? It's a trick question, because the odds are there aren't going to be very many future generations, and even if we somehow do survive as a species for another hundred years I am pretty sure the direction in which our sensibilities are headed is going to be one where we only express emotions about those who can do something for [...]
Moments after hearing about the death of 94-year-old singer and activist Pete Seeger, June Atley, 39, sat on her Chapel Hill, NC porch reminiscing about growing up with 70s-era union rep parents. Pete Seeger—whose five-string banjo twanged out the backdrops to the civil rights, social justice and labor movement—provided the family soundtrack. “I remember sitting in the back of our Volvo station wagon belting out 'Bring ‘Em Home' and 'Wimoweh,'" Atley says. “Pete Seeger was a hero to me, and I’m going to start living in a way that respects that.” Atley works in software marketing, but she’s going to cut back her hours so she can start volunteering at [...]
Vitamins are worthless and don't do anything to make you even a little bit better, but the alternative is "not smoking, eating well and getting adequate exercise," so it's probably just easier to keep throwing money away and kidding yourself that the supplements are working. You realize you're going to die either way, right?
"The earliest sunset really comes in the first week in December, and the latest sunrise occurs in early January. Yet December 21 really is the shortest day of the year. Why?" —Click the link to get the Science stuff on solstices and orbital curvatures and whatever; the important thing to take away here is that the days of early darkness are over! I mean, in the sky. In your own life darkness will continue to come earlier with each passing page of the calendar until you wake up in the morning to discover that it is dark in your soul already and the sun [...]
"I’ve never understood about boredom. I realise that with time and repetition all pleasures can run out. Yelling in our cots and watching them come to hover over us anxiously; sex; TV; reading; long walks on frosty afternoons if that is the sort of thing you like; drugs, even; everything palls, eventually. But how can anyone be bored when there’s always death to think about? Every day. Every hour. Don’t you?"
Lately when I have been laying awake in bed as dawn comes on and wishing there were some way it would all simply cease I have shifted my final fantasy from a giant sheet of ice that freezes me forever to an asteroid that appears without warning and suddenly puts an end to everything (I blame Elizabeth Kolbert for putting this beautiful dream in my head). Unfortunately, one cannot sustain thoughts of personal extinction forever; the mind tends to drift, and this morning my reverie of eradication was interrupted by my [...]
The ground beneath your feet is pitted and wrecked, the mighty towers in which you took so much pride rain death down on the heads of those passing below, and yet another massive storm wends its way toward your desolate environs. Look upon the ruin that you call your city and despair, New York. This is what happens when you let the Democrats back into Gracie Mansion.
"Top designers are pouncing on the celebrity bonanza surrounding Philip Seymour Hoffman’s death by sending out photos of stars wearing their brands while paying their respects to the legendary actor."
"He was a 'happy-go-lucky' guy who was notorious for spicing up life on benefits in the medieval Belgian town of Ghent by strolling into a restaurant, calmly ordering lobster washed down with the finest brandy or some other gastronomic delight and then walking out without paying the bill." You'll never believe what happened next!
So when you are home the week after next for the holidays are you planning to discuss the recent contretemps on smarm with your family? How you do think everyone around the Christmas table feels about Upworthy's multiple algorithms that repackage content in an attempt to get it trafficked on Facebook? Do you expect a lot of debate about what Twitter is doing with its block function in the wake of the IPO? Of course not. That would be insane. There are maybe a couple thousand people who care about any of that stuff and you know most of them. [...]
"The snowy owl — widely familiar to children as Hedwig, the beloved pet of boy wizard Harry Potter — was added to the kill list after one of them, nesting on top of a taxiway sign on an airport runway and got sucked into an airplane turbine."
Tikker is a normal-enough looking digital watch. Nobody needs to know that every time you glance down to check the time, you’re also checking on your death. It’s “the watch that counts down your life."
Unlike Tikker, ALARMclock has a sleek, faux-retro design, with simplistic LED display. Upon waking, the prototype tells you how much money and how many social network “friends” you have, along with how many days left you have to live based on fairly common demographic information. It's “the stuff that matters the most to the most people," according to designer Al Kelly.
Tikker received almost $100,000 in its Kickstarter funding that ended early [...]
"Goat No. 11765 spent the last few days of her life foraging on a hillside near Shandon, a pretty town on the central coast of California. On the morning of May 2, 2012, she was placed in a truck and moved to a pen for goats in poor health. A few hours later, a Department of Agriculture inspector watched her struggle in the afternoon heat and, before the accompanying veterinarian could put her down, the goat died." —I am not going to pretend that this in an upbeat piece that will make you feel better about life, but so few of them are anyway that you may as well go [...]
"You've got these runway lights, and you are looking at them, and they're saying: 'Come to me, come to me. I will let you land.' They're like the sirens of the ocean." —I was talking to a friend the other night and I brought up my embarrassing but shockingly firm superstitious belief that we are all born with so many airline flights to our name and when we reach our appointed number that is when our plane goes down. It's an absurd theory on its face—the idea that not only is there some higher agency which controls our fate but that it also keeps a ledger of our travel arrangements—but [...]
Sometimes when we walk through the mall, my boyfriend Scott will whisper: “How many people here do you think have held a human heart?” Or: “Do you think that guy ever removed a brain?” Scott has held a human heart and he says it's heavier and whiter than you would think. He will remove a brain from a female cadaver in March.
Scott is in his second year of pre-med. He, along with two other students, based on their high grades in anatomy class, are the body preppers for this semester’s anatomy lectures. The dissections are supervised by two part-time anatomy professors. One practices as a physician’s assistant, [...]
So it's the Holidays again, which means everyone's going to come at you bitchin' about family. Let me throw my hat in the ring as a member of that (sizable) contingent. My mother and her husband live near where I grew up, about a seven-hour drive from where I live now. My father and his wife live out of state; I only see them twice a year or so. My two younger sisters both moved far out of state (to the same town no less) with their children within the past year and a half. The reason for this background—I'm the "only one left" close to visit my [...]
• Slush-planing delivery bicyclist.
• The rising up of New York City's ever-growing underclass.
• Ice skate to the face.
• Trampled by sleet-encrusted fourth-grade class trip on subway platform.
• Molten hot chocolate.
• Snow sharks.
"Among men who suffer from certain types of insomnia — difficulty falling asleep and non-restorative sleep in particular — there is a slight increase in risk of death from heart-related problems, according to a new study by researchers at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston."