1) My favorite use for “big data”? Baby name analysis. Here’s a cool analysis of trendy baby names, i.e., names that burned bright, but for a short period. Here’s to you Ashley, Linda, Jason, and Mark.
2) I did not know that almond milk has become a thing among hipsters. I am a regular soy milk drinker because I simply like it’s taste better than low-fat milk and it has a similar health profile. I’ve never used almond milk because, despite almonds being full of protein, almond milk is strangely devoid of it.
A single ounce (28 grams) of almonds—nutrition info here—contains six grams of protein (about an egg’s worth), along with three grams of fiber (a medium banana) and 12 grams of monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats (half an avocado). According to its label, an eight-ounce serving of Califia almond milk offers just one gram each of protein and fiber, and five grams of fat. A bottle of Califia delivers six eight-ounce servings, meaning that a handful of almonds contains as much protein as the mighty jug of this hot-selling beverage.
What this tells you is that the almond-milk industry is selling you a jug of filtered water clouded by a handful of ground almonds.
3) Very thorough look at what the research on bed-sharing with you baby does and does not tell us. I think a very telling point is that the research groups together those who do it haphazardly with those who do it on purpose and these are very different groups. All of our children slept in our bed some as infants because when you are breast feeding in the middle of the night, that’s just way easier.
4) Nice to see Weird Al getting so much love with his new videos. This post makes a case for “Smells like Nirvana” as his finest work. Nice post I’m pretty partial to Amish Paradise, myself:
5) I hate tipping. I’m a reasonable tipper, but I totally object to the concept of it for most all cases. And I am right to, writes Brandon Ambrosino in Vox. There was also a nice Freakonomics podcast last year on just how foolish the practice really is.
6) I love Yahoo Tech (formerly NYT) Technology writer David Pogue. It’s pretty amusing the silly question people write to him with, as he explains in this video. The best part is I found out about Let Me Google that for You. So need to use this site with my students.
7) Loved this video on how dark matter forms the invisible structure of the universe.
8) I kind of like how Vox has taken to debunking popular myths/misconceptions about social science and such. Here, they render the Myers-Briggs (i.e,. I’m an ESTJ) harmless. Not new, though– Gladwell wrote about these same problems a decade ago. In a similar vein, they nicely summarize the long-existing evidence that sugar does not make kids hyper.
9) How becoming a father changes your brain.
10) I think the idea of “bandwith poverty” is really important. Excellent NPR story on the matter. It is really cognitively demanding to be poor.
11) Want to learn better? Test, test, test (or quiz, quiz, quiz).
12) No, it will never become law, but I love the idea of this legislation that simply says that abortion clinics should simply be regulated in the same way as all other clinics that provide outpatient medical services.
13) 50 state-themed lego dioramas. Awesome.
14) The secret of effective motivation.
15) Yet more evidence that if you really want less teen pregnancy and less abortion, you should want more free/low-priced IUD’s.