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Adrienne St. Aubin

People who know about plumbing: any idea what could cause a shower to suddenly stop working (and just dribble) when the apartment's other taps are working fine?

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Long but fascinating article about the lifestyle on a tiny Greek island whose population experiences outstanding longevity.

"If you pay careful attention to the way Ikarians have lived their lives, it appears that a dozen subtly powerful, mutually enhancing and pervasive factors are at work. It’s easy to get enough rest if no one else wakes up early and the village goes dead during afternoon naptime. It helps that the cheapest, most accessible foods are also the most healthful — and that your ancestors have spent centuries developing ways to make them taste good. It’s hard to get through the day in Ikaria without walking up 20 hills. You’re not likely to ever feel the existential pain of not belonging or even the simple stress of arriving late. Your community makes sure you’ll always have something to eat, but peer pressure will get you to contribute something too. You’re going to grow a garden, because that’s what your parents did, and that’s what your neighbors are doing. You’re less likely to be a victim of crime because everyone at once is a busybody and feels as if he’s being watched. At day’s end, you’ll share a cup of the seasonal herbal tea with your neighbor because that’s what he’s serving. Several glasses of wine may follow the tea, but you’ll drink them in the company of good friends. On Sunday, you’ll attend church, and you’ll fast before Orthodox feast days. Even if you’re antisocial, you’ll never be entirely alone. Your neighbors will cajole you out of your house for the village festival to eat your portion of goat meat."

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Philip Glass on the difference between his previous and current work:
"I don’t mean to give you a Zen koan, but the work I did is the work I know, and the work I do is the work I don’t know. That’s why I can’t tell you, I don’t know what I’m doing. And it’s the not knowing that makes it interesting."

From a short but sweet piece on collaboration (even if you don't care for his music it's worth a read):

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My thoughts on Estonia's recent announcement about teaching schoolkids computer science...
Google Public Policy & Government Relations Analyst +Adrienne St. Aubin writes about lessons the US and other countries can learn from Estonia's plans to teach kids how to write code starting in the first grade. 

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In which I make friends with a llama (a video from a few months ago).

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Michaelo Pollan on how California’s Proposition 37, which would require that genetically modified (G.M.) foods carry a label, has the potential to change the politics of food not just in California but nationally too:

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A mindblowing exchange during a taxi ride in SF this afternoon made me wonder if I might be the victim of an elaborate Uber marketing scheme designed to teach me that regular taxis are infernal places that exist in a strange realm beyond logic. 

Me: Could you turn on the AC please?
Cabbie: This is an old cab, there's no AC. You can roll down your window...and I suppose I can turn off the heater.
Me: YOU HAVE THE HEAT ON?! This is the hottest day of the year.
Cabbie (grumpily, while wearing hooded sweatshirt): I was cold.

I was baffled by this conversation. Are there drugs that could cause someone to feel cold in 90-degree weather? Could this person be a sadist? Or have some kind of sweat fetish? 

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New research suggests creativity is linked to longer life!

One possible reason creativity is protective of health is because it draws on a variety of neural networks within the brain, says study author Nicholas Turiano...“Individuals high in creativity maintain the integrity of their neural networks even into old age,” Turiano says—a notion supported by a January study from Yale University that correlated openness with the robustness of study subjects' white matter, which supports connections between neurons in different parts of the brain.

One might also guess it's also linked to happier life (would be interested if anyone has good data on that part).
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