1. The Story of Ian and Larissa



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2. Top 10 Most Read Books in the World



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3. The Frequent Fliers Who Flew Too Much
There are frequent fliers, and then there are people like Steven Rothstein and Jacques Vroom.

Both men bought tickets that gave them unlimited first-class travel for life on American Airlines. It was almost like owning a fleet of private jets.

Passes in hand, Rothstein and Vroom flew for business. They flew for pleasure. They flew just because they liked being on planes. They bypassed long lines, booked backup itineraries in case the weather turned, and never worried about cancellation fees. Flight crews memorized their names and favorite meals.

Each had paid American more than $350,000 for an unlimited AAirpass and a companion ticket that allowed them to take someone along on their adventures. Both agree it was the best purchase they ever made, one that completely redefined their lives.


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4. The Economics of Kidnapping

If the pirate knows for an absolute fact that the hostage's people simply can't raise more than a million dollars then it would be pointless for them to demand two million dollars. Of course there is an issue of information asymmetry in that the hostage's party has much better information on its assets than do the pirates and so the pirates may be skeptical of the hostage's party pleading poverty (especially if the hostage has foolishly told them how much money they can get). We see this at work in the TAL story's point that kidnapping insurance holds the condition that you can't tell anyone you have kidnapping insurance.



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5. The Age of Microcelebrity

Microcelebrity is the phenomenon of being extremely well known not to millions but to a small group --- a thousand people, or maybe only a few dozen. As DIY media reach ever deeper into our lives, it's happening to more and more of us. Got
a Facebook account? A whackload of pictures on Flickr? Odds are there are complete strangers who know about you --- and maybe even talk about you.


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6. Infograph of the Week: How to Nap

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7. Weird News of the Week: Real Life Norman Bates Impersonates Dead Mom for 6 Years

"I held my mother when she was dying and breathed in her last breath, so I am my mother," Parkin told detectives.

In the trial now nearing conclusion in Brooklyn Supreme Court, 51-year-old Parkin is being presented by the prosecution as a kind of Norman Bates for our time, armed not with a knife, but a pen, seeking not blood, but money. Rather than terrorize a rundown motel, Parkin is accused of dressing up like his dead mom, Irene Prusik, to perpetuate an intricate series of frauds over a six-year period involving a $2.2 million Park Slope brownstone and a $990,000 mortgage, as well as $115,000 in Social Security and other government payments.

The evidence against him includes a film made not by Alfred Hitchcock, but by investigators with the Brooklyn D.A.'s office using a buttonhole camera. It was screened on Wednesday before jurors, who seemed greatly entertained as they watched a figure in a red top slumped at the end a sofa wearing an obvious blonde wig, lipstick, blackout sunglasses, and an oxygen mask.


(Via: Neatorama)

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8. Boy Scouts now offer badge for "speaking" in Morse Code

Morse Code joins languages like Spanish, French, Italian, German, Japanese, Arabic, Chinese, Hebrew, Sign Language, and several others as interpreter strips available for wear on Scout uniforms (above the right pocket).

To get a typical interpreter strip, you must carry on a five-minute conversation, translate a two-minute speech, write a letter in the language, and translate 200 words from the written word.


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9. Vidal Sassoon, Streetfighter

In 1947, the fascists again began menacing London, this time under the tutelage of Jeffrey Hamm, head of an organization of thugs calling themselves the "Association of British Ex-Servicemen." For Sassoon, this was not a fate to be accepted lying down.

As a response to Hamm's provocations, a gathering of young Jews known as the 43 Group---named for the number of people in the room at their founding---announced that the fight back had begun. Among them was the slender, if wiry, Sassoon. As Hamm's followers gathered on street corners bellowing that "not enough Jews were burned at Belsen," Sassoon and his comrades, armed with knives, coshes, and knuckledusters, set about breaking up fascist meetings. In another interview, Sassoon remembered turning up for work one morning with a black eye. "I just tripped on a hairpin," he explained to the worried customer who had just settled into a barber's chair for a haircut.


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10. D. A. Carson on Redeeming the Culture:

Redemption terminology in the NT is so bound up with Christ's work for and in the church that to extend it to whatever good we do in the broader world risks a shift in focus. Not for a moment do I want to deny that we are to serve as salt and light, that exiles may be called to do good in the pagan cities where Providence has appointed them to live (Jer 29), that every square foot of this world is under Christ's universal reign (even though that reign is still being contested), that the nations of the world will bring their "goods" into the Jerusalem that comes down from above. But many of those who speak easily and fluently of redeeming the culture soon focus all their energy shaping fiscal and political policies and the like, and merely assume the gospel. A gospel that is merely assumed, that does no more than perk away in the background while the focus of our attention is on the "redemption" of the culture in which we find ourselves, is lost within a generation or two. At the same time, I worry about Christians who focus their attention so narrowly on getting people "saved" that they care little about doing good to all people, even if especially to the household of God. Getting this right is not easy, and inevitably priorities will shift a little in various parts of the world, under various regimes. Part of the complexity of the discussion, I think, is bound up with what the church as church is responsible for, and what Christians as Christians are responsible for: I have argued that failure to make this distinction tends to lead toward sad conclusions.


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11. In Case of Emergency, Eat This Book

Land Rover in the United Arab Emirates printed 5,000 edible copies of a desert survival guide. Twenty-eight pages of potato-based starch paper have a slightly sugary taste from the glycerin-based ink and are bound by a spiral that can be used as skewers. The book comes in a reflective cover that can be used to send help signals.


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12. Animal Video of the Week: Cat vs. Automatic Feeder






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13. Licorice: The Candy That Fights Diabetes
A new treatment for diabetes may have just been identified from the most unlikely source: the basic ingredient of a candy.

Licorice root, the raw material for licorice candy, has now been hailed as containing substances with an anti-diabetic effect. These molecules reduce blood sugar and possess anti-inflammatory properties.

And even more important: they are extremely well tolerated by the human body.



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14. Health Tip of the Week: Soothe Sore Throats by Eating a Few Marshmallows


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15. An 'evil' clown who stalks and threatens kids is being hired by parents as a birthday treat

Dominic Deville stalks young victims for a week, sending chilling texts, making prank phone calls and setting traps in letterboxes. He posts notes warning children they are being watched, telling them they will be attacked. But Deville is not an escaped lunatic or some demonic monster. He is a birthday treat, hired by mum and dad, and the 'attack' involves being splatted in the face with a cake.



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16. Study of the Week: 42% of American adults will be obese by 2030


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17. Blind dog gets his own guide dog

It was a rough life for Tanner, a blind Golden Retriever suffering from epilepsy --- until he found a four-legged friend to be his eyes.

Blair, a 1-year-old Black Labrador with a troubled past, grabs hold of Tanner's leash and leads him around the Tulsa, Okla. animal hospital they call home, staff there told the Daily News on Monday.


(Via: Neatorama)

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18. The 10 Most Economically Powerful Cities in the World


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19. If You Find Bigfoot in Texas, You Can Legally Kill Him
An exotic animal is an animal that is non-indigenous to Texas. Unless the exotic is an endangered species then exotics may be hunted on private property with landowner consent. A hunting license is required. This does not include the dangerous wild animals that have been held in captivity and released for the purpose of hunting, which is commonly referred to as a "canned hunt".


(Via: Neatorama)

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20. When signs don't work:

"Children at play" signs and the like are absolutely ineffective in changing a driver's behavior, and studies of drivers through school zones show they were driving much faster than they remember. It's been argued that signs allow us to basically stop thinking, and in certain places experiments have been done in which they've been removed, with no negative safety effects.


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21. How full-grown trees are dug up and transplanted


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22. What Would Happen If You Put Your Hand In the Large Hadron Collier?

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23. Put Away The Bell Curve: Most Of Us Aren't 'Average'

The bell curve powerfully shapes how we think of human performance: If lots of students or employees happen to show up as extreme outliers --- they're either very good or very bad --- we assume they must represent a skewed sample, because only a few people in a truly random sample are supposed to be outliers.

New research suggests, however, that rather than describe how humans perform, the bell curve may actually be constraining how people perform. Minus such constraints, a new paper argues, lots of people are actually outliers.


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24. 9 Things You Didn't Know About Benjamin Franklin

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25. Hindus want to take back yoga
A Hindu organization is fighting to take back yoga, saying that America's version of the practice has lost its meaningful roots.

The Hindu American Foundation launched the "Take Back Yoga" campaign not to convert Westerners to Hinduism or urge them to cease practicing it altogether, but to remind people that yoga is rooted in Hindu philosophy.


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26. How Much Sleep Do You Really Need?

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27. The Last Traffic Jam

The average U.S. citizen completely ignores the regularity with which the automobile kills him, maims him, embroils him with the law and provides mobile shelter for rakes intent on seducing his daughters. He takes it into his garage as fondly as an Arab leading a prize mare into his tent. He woos it with Simoniz, Prestone, Ethyl and rich lubricants---and goes broke trading it in on something flashier an hour after he has made the last payment on the old one.




To a great mass of Americans, the automobile not only represents the keystone of happiness and the hallmark of success but is the only unshifting goal in a baffling world. Millions who live unscarred through the jalopy or adolescent stage of life toil for decades to progress from Ford to Pontiac, from Pontiac to Buick, and cannot die happy unless guaranteed delivery to the grave in a Packard or Cadillac hearse.


Packard? Yep. This familiar rant is from a Time magazine article dated December 15, 1947.

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28. How-To of the Week: Read a patent in 60 seconds

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29. How many stamps does it take to mail a child?

After parcel post service was introduced in 1913, at least two children were sent by the service. With stamps attached to their clothing, the children rode with railway and city carriers to their destination. The Postmaster General quickly issued a regulation forbidding the sending of children in the mail after hearing of those examples.


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30. 20 rules to live by for cheapskates

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31. Jesus' Method of Leadership Training

Jesus did not give his students a leadership template to follow, he gave them a mission to complete His final leadership instruction was to "Go make disciples". He left the how, where, when completely up to them


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32. Top 10 Literary Works in the Comic Book Medium



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33. How to Survive a Robot Uprising


Joe Carter is an editor for The Gospel Coalition and the co-author of How to Argue Like Jesus: Learning Persuasion from History’s Greatest Communicator. You can follow him on Twitter.

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Joe Carter


Joe Carter is an editor for The Gospel Coalition and the co-author of How to Argue Like Jesus: Learning Persuasion from History’s Greatest Communicator. You can follow him on Twitter.

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