Summary of “3 Public Speaking Tips Inspired by Stand-Up Comedy”

In addition to presenting in my classes, I typically give a talk per week in front of groups.
If you give a bad talk, you worry that the stench of that talk will stick to you for the rest of your life.
Your audience will forget most of your talk soon after you give it.
Once you realize that the downside of speaking is really not so bad, it gets easier to give talks.
Work It Out on the Road. Once you start giving public talks, you’re likely to speak on the same topic several times.
Take advantage of opportunities to give several talks on the same topic.
Your talks should get better over time not only because you are more practiced at giving them but also because you have edited them based on feedback.
In my book Smart Thinking, I talk about the observation that people remember roughly three things about any experience they have.

The orginal article.

Summary of “How Did the Climate Apocalypse Become Old News?”

The New York Times has done admirable work on global warming over the last year, launching a new climate desk and devoting tremendous resources to high-production-value special climate “Features.” But even their original story on the wildfires in Greece made no mention of climate change – after some criticism on Twitter, they added a reference.
Over the last few days, there has been a flurry of chatter among climate writers and climate scientists, and the climate-curious who follow them, about this failure.
In perhaps the most widely parsed and debated Twitter exchange, MSNBC’s Chris Hayes – whose show, All In, has distinguished itself with the seriousness of its climate coverage – described the dilemma facing every well-intentioned person in his spot: the transformation of the planet and the degradation may be the biggest and most important story of our time, indeed of all time, but on television, at least, it has nevertheless proven, so far, a “Palpable ratings killer.” All of which raises a very dispiriting possibility, considering the scale of the climate crisis: Has the end of the world as we know it become, already, old news?
The news about what more to expect, coming out of new research, only darkens our picture of what to expect: Just over the past few weeks, new studies have suggested heat in many major Indian cities would be literally lethal by century’s end, if current warming trends continue, and that, by that time, global economic output could fall, thanks to climate effects, by 30 percent or more.
When you think about it, this would be a very strange choice for a producer or an editor concerned about boring or losing his or her audience – it would mean leaving aside the far more dramatic story of the total transformation of the planet’s climate system, and the immediate and all-encompassing threat posed by climate change to the way we live on Earth, to tell the pretty mundane story of some really hot days in the region.
As NPR’s science editor Geoff Brumfiel told Atkin, “You don’t just want to be throwing around, ‘This is due to climate change, that is due to climate change.'”.
Wildfires are “Not caused by climate change” only in the same way that hurricanes are not caused by climate change – which is to say they are made more likely by it, which is to say the distinction is semantic.
They won’t be, and the longer-view story is much more harrowing: not just more months like July, but an unfolding century when a month like this July has become a happy memory of a placid climate.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Purple Pain”

The history of the color purple begins neither with royalty nor riches, but with a snail.
In the Mediterranean circa 1000 BCE, purple was gold.
The purple demanded more than 10,000 snails for every gram of dye, an expensive and laborious recipe.
The enforcement of who could flaunt purple dye and who would be put to death for wearing it is an early example of sumptuary law, the expression of ritual and right through fashion.
A son born of a king would be porphyrogenitos – born in the purple.
In misleadingly benign bottles, marked as aspirin, the Purple One hid a secret: an addiction to fentanyl, a narcotic derived from the same plant as Oxycontin.
Millennia before entrepreneurial mariners harvested snails along the banks of the Mediterranean, a civilization lodged between the Tigris and Euphrates rivers cultivated a species of brilliant purple flower.
What better place than an empty theater to lock lips in, frenching to Purple Rain? I wasn’t going to miss a midnight screening and, with it, the chance to smooch another melancholic twentysomething.

The orginal article.

Summary of “These are the best songs to dance to, according to computer science”

Those songs are among the most “Danceable” number-one hits in the history of pop, according to new research from Columbia Business School and French business school INSEAD, using data from Billboard and audio-tech company Echonest.
Developed by students at the MIT Media Lab and owned by Spotify, Echonest uses digital processing technology to identify attributes of songs, such as valence, instrumentation, and key signature.
The company created a proprietary algorithm to determine the “Danceability” of a song based on its tempo and beat regularity.
The calculation emphasizes the ability to dance throughout the whole song, so a bridge that even briefly changes the mood is highly penalized.
Although they were able to calculate danceability for more than 90% of Billboard-ranked songs, Taylor Swift’s album 1989 was not available from Echonest at the time.
The purpose of the research-published in the American Sociological Review and beautifully explained here by data scientist Colin Morris-was not to rank the most danceable mega-hits; it was to identify song features that could be predictive of mega-hits.
Researchers found that top-ranked songs tended to have more difference from past hits than lower-ranked songs, defying the trope that popular songs are just copies of other popular songs.
Still, the optimal pop song should be only slightly off the beaten bath.

The orginal article.

Summary of “The NBA Is a Cold World for Non-superstars”

As the league’s popularity surges, NBA players seem to have more power than ever.
Though every NBA roster carries at least 13 players, the league is increasingly being shaped by only a handful of superstars.
What does a player “Deserve”? It’s a question that’s being debated not just in the NBA, but in other sports like the NFL, where contracts are shorter and come with a lot less guaranteed money.
Most NFL players can lose their status in an instant, given that very few non-QB players are irreplaceable.
Players’ power has an unpalatable side effect on their peers: It limits the agency of other, non-superstar players.
All players like DeRozan could do was speak out after the fact.
Though Kawhi’s situation feels like a once-in-a-blue-moon scenario given how long and thorny it became, it won’t be long before another player exerts his superstar power.
Recent CBA negotiations have stopped short of abolishing the max contract, with the league and the players union choosing instead to distribute the money that would surely go to the likes of LeBron and others to the rest of the non-superstar players.

The orginal article.

Summary of “How Did the Climate Apocalypse Become Old News?”

The New York Times has done admirable work on global warming over the last year, launching a new climate desk and devoting tremendous resources to high-production-value special climate “Features.” But even their original story on the wildfires in Greece made no mention of climate change – after some criticism on Twitter, they added a reference.
Over the last few days, there has been a flurry of chatter among climate writers and climate scientists, and the climate-curious who follow them, about this failure.
In perhaps the most widely parsed and debated Twitter exchange, MSNBC’s Chris Hayes – whose show, All In, has distinguished itself with the seriousness of its climate coverage – described the dilemma facing every well-intentioned person in his spot: the transformation of the planet and the degradation may be the biggest and most important story of our time, indeed of all time, but on television, at least, it has nevertheless proven, so far, a “Palpable ratings killer.” All of which raises a very dispiriting possibility, considering the scale of the climate crisis: Has the end of the world as we know it become, already, old news?
The news about what more to expect, coming out of new research, only darkens our picture of what to expect: Just over the past few weeks, new studies have suggested heat in many major Indian cities would be literally lethal by century’s end, if current warming trends continue, and that, by that time, global economic output could fall, thanks to climate effects, by 30 percent or more.
When you think about it, this would be a very strange choice for a producer or an editor concerned about boring or losing his or her audience – it would mean leaving aside the far more dramatic story of the total transformation of the planet’s climate system, and the immediate and all-encompassing threat posed by climate change to the way we live on Earth, to tell the pretty mundane story of some really hot days in the region.
As NPR’s science editor Geoff Brumfiel told Atkin, “You don’t just want to be throwing around, ‘This is due to climate change, that is due to climate change.'”.
Wildfires are “Not caused by climate change” only in the same way that hurricanes are not caused by climate change – which is to say they are made more likely by it, which is to say the distinction is semantic.
They won’t be, and the longer-view story is much more harrowing: not just more months like July, but an unfolding century when a month like this July has become a happy memory of a placid climate.

The orginal article.

Summary of “The emotionally intelligent way to resolve disagreements faster”

What should you do? What you should’ve done much earlier: Find something-anything-to agree on, as long as it’s meaningful.
You might agree with your senior engineer’s concerns and say to her, “I agree. It would make a lot of sense to get real user testing at this stage on our basic features before we put a lot more energy into other things. Let’s find a way to do that without a public launch. I need to also make sure we protect the brand experience.”
When you find a way to agree with something other than the solution to the problem you’re debating, you can shift the frame of the conversation to include a factor you both see as true and relevant.
Not only does finding something to agree on fulfill both of these psychological needs, but research also suggests that people tend to automatically reciprocate.
Wait, though: What if agreeing makes you look like a pushover? What if the other person really is to blame for something-will you be letting them get away with it? And if you give a little ground, won’t they just take more? These are all important concerns.
The fact is that they remain liabilities whether or not you find something in their argument to agree with; acknowledging common ground doesn’t totally invalidate your argument.
You can agree and remain very strong about what matters to you.
Agreeing tends to bring out the best in other people, but it can also bring out the best in you.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Senator Ron Wyden reckons with the internet he helped shape”

In his more than two decades as a senator since then, Wyden has continued to be a staunch defender of internet freedoms, introducing net neutrality legislation as far back as 2006 and spearheading the congressional fight over SOPA/PIPA, a legislative battle that ignited the internet and helped set the modern playbook for digital activism.
I think there was an awareness of the fact that there might be significant privacy issues, but I don’t think anybody was talking about an Exxon-Valdez of privacy the way people talk about it today,” Wyden says.
I think historians are completely in agreement that this is the law that made the internet what it is today.
I’ve already made it clear: I think the public has a right to control their own data.
If Facebook is allowed to get through this with glorified business as usual, and cozy, gauzy ads on TV about how this is not going to be Facebook anymore, I think we will see more of what we’ve seen the last few years: the milking of peoples’ data for private profit.
One thing we hear a lot from Facebook is, “We messed up, but we’re trying to improve.” When you hear that, do you think that’s sincere?
As you know, we think we’re in a pretty strong position in terms of the legal system.
We can always look at good ideas from elsewhere, but I think the steps that I outlined – three or four, in particular – and then having a federal agency – my gut tells me the Federal Trade Commission – riding point on it, constitute the best steps for us today.

The orginal article.

Summary of “The complicated truth about a cat’s purr”

Part of the mystery around the purr is that we often only notice cats purring “When we tickle them in places that they like to be tickled”, says Debevere.
“All cats are different, some never purr and some will purr constantly,” she says.
This may persist with some adult cats who purr as they feed – or who purr beforehand as they try and convince a human it’s dinner time.
“The more science has delved into the purr, the more it seems to have uncovered.”Researchers have recorded ‘ordinary purrs’ and purrs that were soliciting food from their owners,” says Celia Haddon, an author and cat behavioural expert.
“Sam Watson, the scientific officer at the UK’s animal charity the RSPCA, says there is still little understanding of how cats purr amongst each other in the wild, though it’s apparent that they will purr as they groom each other.”There could be one for ‘I want that’, another for ‘Let’s share resources’.
Petting a cat has long been seen as a form of stress relief – cat ownership could cut the risk of stroke or heart disease by as much one-third.
“The physiological benefits aside, we’ve always responded to purring’s psychological effects. It calms us and pleases us, like watching waves against a beach. We respond to a cat’s purr as a calming stimulus and may have even genetically selected cats with more propensity to purr.”
Ultimately, the quest to define the meaning of a purr may benefit from getting to know cats’ body language better – from the periscope tail of a friendly cat in sociable mood to the wide eyes and bent-back whiskers of a cat in fight mode.

The orginal article.