Weekend Reading 2014-05-03

May 05, 2014 by Gabe | [mmd] |

If you follow me on Twitter, you probably know that my stream is generally sparse except for early morning weekend reading. I'm a big fan of Zite and it's still going strong. Here's what I enjoyed this weekend.

A New Life

Life in Puritan New England was so hard that children who were abducted by Native Americans often refused to come back.

The Weirdest Things You Never Knew About the Making Of Flash Gordon

Ironically, before Lucas made Star Wars, he asked Italian film producer Dino De Laurentiis for the rights to make a film based on the 1930s action and adventure comic strip icon Flash Gordon. De Laurentiis shrewdly denied Lucas' request. In turn Lucas went on to create his own little-known action adventure space epic; Star Wars. After the success of Star Wars, De Laurentiis knew it was time to film his Flash Gordon saga.

Secret Libraries of New York City

From private clubs, to nonprofit societies, to pop up places right out in the streets, here are some of our favorite secret libraries of the city.

Carbon, Avogadro's Constant and the Importance of the Number 12

One of these numbers is Avogadro’s constant. This is currently defined as the number of atoms in 12 grams of carbon-12 and is known to be about 6.02214129 ×10^23. But the exact number depends on the definition of a kilogram, which for the moment is the mass of an arbitrary bar of platinum-iridium alloy hidden in a safe somewhere in Paris.

Drunk PayPal Regrets

According to his Twitter account, Agrawal was at Jazz Fest in New Orleans when he started calling out PayPal employees. He called Christina Smedley, PayPal's vice president of global communications, a "useless middle manager" as well as a "piece of s--t." He then tweeted "People who should be fire from paypal Don Christmas a pool a kick." The name seems to be an autocorrect issue; we couldn't find record of anyone named Don Christmas at PayPal.

Did a U-2 Spyplane Trigger a Software Glitch that froze Los Angeles Air Traffic Control computers?

Anyway, it’s worth noticing that the U-2 has been flying above FL600 for more than 50 years. Other past and current aircraft, including the RQ-4 Global Hawk (also based at Beale), are known to fly above 60,000 feet over Southern California. For this reason it seems at least weird that a U-2 transponder triggered the problem only on Apr. 30.

Extremely dangerous lava surf photography is completely worth the risk

CJ Kale is reportedly the first person ever to photograph lava entering the ocean from the surf, swimming near the scalding water and avoiding lava bombs just a few from where he was standing.

What It Feels Like To Be Old

No. This is what it feels like to be awesome (I assume).

When you get old you feel you can't be bothered because most things don't matter that much. Or not as much as they used to. Or not as much as they ever should have done. I just wish I had known that then when I was younger.

African Bird Steals Food by Stacking Lies Upon Lies

The drongos take advantage. Sometimes, when a babbler or a meerkat finds a particularly tasty looking piece of food, a drongo lies by producing a false alarm call. When that happens, the meerkat drops the food and flees to find cover, leaving the drongo to steal the food, the meerkat none the wiser.

How I Organize Evernote: A Peek Inside My Personal System

(Sorry about the pop-ups)

For example, under my .what Tag, I have nested four additional collections. Under .work , I have four collections. Under .products , I have a set of collection Tags for each of my main product categories.

There you have it. I didn't say it was particularly enriching or novel, but I certainly enjoyed it more than weekend news on the TV. This may or may not be a regular series on Macdrifter.