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Five Things – 11-03-17

Posted on 3 mins read

Jeff Speck: The walkable city—TED

A great overview of the benefits of living in a walkable city, including: save money, live healthier, and have a better outcomes for the environment. I’ve long been a proponent of urban design which is based around removing traffic from urban environments like the Barcelona Superblocks, and Congestion Pricing within city streets. And Speck’s points point to why. A denser city where people walk or use other human powered locomotion tend to end up being a city that everyone wants to live in.

The biggest threat facing middle-age men isn’t smoking or obesity. It’s loneliness.—Boston Globe

Loneliness has been show in many studies now to be one of the biggest contributors to shorter lives for males. From statistics of males dying shortly after their spouses (while female spouses tend to live a lot longer), to studies showing that people who have strong social lives tend to live longer than the average person. 

When it comes to males however, the trend has been towards isolation as they get older. So organising time to hang out is important, and ensuring you’re doing an activity is an even better bonding experience, as my favourite quote from the article says:

When female friends are talking to each other, they do it face to face. But guys stand side by side, looking out at the world together.

Social Media’s Silent Filter—The Atlantic

An interesting look at how commercial content moderation (where people look at the content that is automatically or manually flagged by the users of a platform) can have an interesting effect on the content that sees the light of days on the platforms that use it.

A great example from the article is how violent imagery (normally banned on the platform) was allowed to appear in the case of Syria, but not in other instances where it may have helped communicate what was happening in a local conflict. It’s a hard subject to give answers for, but you all should be aware that it is happening.

How I Got My Attention Back—Backchannel

Craig Mod does a great job exploring a feeling that has been creeping up on me for the last few years. And he has some good suggestions at how to tackle it. The good thing is that unlike many of the people who write these types of posts, he notes that for many people completely disconnecting is unreasonable, as they need the internet to do their work, but I agree that limiting it is a good idea.

This Picture Has No Red Pixels—So Why Do the Strawberries Still Look Red?—Motherboard

Just a fun one to finish up this weeks edition; an explanation on why the strawberries in the picture look red to our eyes even though the individual pixels are actually grey or green.