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August 7 · Issue #129 · View online
A weekly eclectic collection of articles, news, interests and curiosities lovingly curated for you

Japanese illustrator Shimakawa
Japanese illustrator Shimakawa
Heart vs Mind.. by Stefano Skoul
Bedtime Reading
A few of days ago I finished work, grabbed my laptop, drove straight to the port and hopped on a short ferry ride to my summer destination. This has been an exceptionally stressful winter but the promise of a short vacation where the only serious concern is the weather will surely enable the appropriate chemical reactions in the mind and body. Recharge.
My plan is fairly simple. Read 3 to 5 books in the next couple of weeks and hopefully enough articles to be able to write up another letter for you. If I don’t you ll know that the stars were not properly aligned.
I already read Normal People by Sally Rooney which is basically a story of inescapable love between two people and am currently reading Someone Who Will Love You In All Your Damaged Glory by Raphael Bob Waksberg. Raphael is the creator of Bojack Horseman which I have repeatedly asked you to watch and I do hope you have listened to me. His first book is a collection of short stories about love, but mainly about how the brain of a writer that is wired differently than the rest of us and who grounds himself mainly with dark humor, observes love. Both books are highly recommended in that they attempt to answer the same question. Is it worth it? To be fair, your answer is as good as any. While you ponder the known unknowns let me quickly share some links.
On my last letter I shared a link about the unexpected recovery of plants around Chernobyl which I found extraordinary. Kafka emailed me pointing out an older article about scientists conducting experiments to try to understand this little unknown area. Plants have no central brain, yet their behaviour suggests intelligence. How is that so? It would seem that plants do exhibit swarm like behaviour, like being part of a distributed intelligence rather than a central one although I am oversimplifying things. Certainly more research is needed, yet many believe this borders on parapsychology rather that neurology. In any case it seems something is there. The intelligent plant.
While we are on the subject of plants, here is another story that grabbed the news the last week. When I was a kid my grandma used to buy us this gum, which was basically unchewable. We asked for bubblegum but this is all she bought us. She said its good for your stomach. A hard natural resin, often sold untreated, we would chew what basically felt like a small pebble, eventually turning into soft white gum. Mastic gum. Today this little resin has many known health properties and scientist are looking into more claims. The only problem is it only grows in a small part of an Chios, an island in Greece. Could this be the new wonderdrug?
One last link on the same subject. When a tree falls it decomposes, eventually becoming earth. So a question I have never asked myself is where does all the coal come from?
OK a few more links for you to appear smart at dinner parties in no particular order. When we were kids we used to play D&D and basically not mention it to anyone for fear of appearing uncool. Geeky. One generation and a few mega hit tv shows later and being a geek is the new black. So much so that you can actually earn money on your twitch stream and being a pro dungeon master hosting games for 500 a pop. Who knew…
An Israeli lander crashes on the moon infesting it with hybernated tardigrades. If this is not day zero of the coming mutant space creature invasion I don’t know what is.
Carbonation used to be reserved for fizzy sugary drinks and a small premium water category but over the years it’s turning into a mega industry in itself. Consumers are looking for the next health conscious consumption habit and are starting to turn this into a mega billion market. The Seltzer bubble.
Eye Candy
Citlik House
The Great Hack
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