Archive for November 2009

#  Vinegar: Diabetes Cure? →

November 24th, 2009 at 19:23 // In Worth Knowing 

Obviously not, but this is the most interesting “Really?” article I’ve seen in months:

…when healthy subjects consumed about 4 teaspoons (20 milliliters) of white vinegar as a salad dressing with a meal that included white bread with a little less than 2 ounces (50 grams) of carbohydrates, there was a 30 percent reduction in their glycemic response, or rise in blood sugar, compared with subjects who had salad with a dressing made from neutralized vinegar.

#  America’s Tube →

November 23rd, 2009 at 18:25 // In Worth Seeing 

Cameron Booth set out to make a map of America’s Interstate highway system in the style of H.C. Beck’s famous map of the London Underground. Unlike other versions — I linked one here — he strived for the ideal compromise of geographic accuracy and simplicity of presentation, and it’s fair to see he’s made the best one the internet’s seen. The big version; and some details on the forthcoming hardcopy.

(via kottke)

#  On Sesame Street

November 17th, 2009 at 16:50 // In Worth Knowing 

Three historical facts relating to Sesame Street you may be interested in:

  • In 1971, John Holt said Sesame Street sucks. Obviously, I’m oversimplifying. What he has to say about it’s over-ambition and the problems of structured learning are both very good. (via @longreads)
  • In 2009, Samantha Shapiro reports the Palestinian version of the show has struggled to live up to it peace-building ambitions. Though the first version of the program, made almost a decade ago, had actual footage — if consciously selected for a lack of Jewishness — from the Israeli version, the current version has completely abandoned the idea.
  • In 2004, the Kosovar version had similar problems. That’s documented well in The World According to Sesame Street, though it does a slightly better job covering the simultaneous creation of the Bangladeshi version.

#  Mars from Above →

November 11th, 2009 at 19:49 // In Worth Seeing 

If you’re tired of all those satellite pictures of the Earth I keep posting, how about everyone’s second favorite planet?

#  Welcoming the Invaders →

November 4th, 2009 at 20:20 // In Worth Considering 

The idea that any “invasive,” which is to say non-native at the time that people started cataloging an ecosystem, species of plants or animals is clearly bad and dangerous always stuck me as a little silly. Surely there are clear-cut edge cases — Australia’s rabbits spring immediately to mind — but Rebecca Tuhus-Dubrow explains how they’re clearly not all bad.

Tamarisk, a Eurasian shrub, is your classic invasive species—designated one of America’s “least wanted” plants by the National Parks Service. … A few years ago, the USDA let loose thousands of leaf-eating Asian beetles in order to sic them on tamarisks, which die from the defoliation.

But these efforts to oust the intruder have encountered a glitch. It turns out that a charismatic endangered bird—the southwestern willow flycatcher—is known to nest in the offending shrubs.

#  On “Born to Run” →

November 3rd, 2009 at 18:48 // In Worth Reading 

I’ve been saving this Slate piece, which you probably saw the first time, for over a month. I finally read it and it just about met my hopes for it.

“After it was finished? I hated it! I couldn’t stand to listen to it. I thought it was the worst piece of garbage I’d ever heard.”