You’re not going to read this

In the midst of the Twit­ter argu­ment, Tony Haile, CEO of Chart­beat, which mea­sures real-time traf­fic for sites like Upwor­thy, dropped a bomb: “We’ve found effec­tively no cor­re­la­tion between social shares and peo­ple actu­ally read­ing,” he wrote.

Thinnest glass ever is just two atoms thick. Does it shatter?

Nor­mal, every­day bulk glass is mil­lions and mil­lions of atoms thick, so when you try to look through it, you just see a mess — there are atoms every­where,” Muller said. “But this stuff is so thin, none of the atoms overlap.”

Reading to Have Read

For Spritzers, com­pre­hen­sion isn’t a lost virtue so much as an unshoul­dered bur­den. For today’s over­whelmed con­tent con­sumers, what could be bet­ter than expe­ri­enc­ing the sen­sa­tion of read­ing with­out the incon­ve­nience of understanding?

Happiness and Its Discontents

I sus­pect that beneath our society’s des­per­ate attempts to min­i­mize risk, and to pre­scribe hap­pi­ness as an all-purpose anti­dote to our woes, there resides a wretched impo­tence in the face of the intrin­si­cally inse­cure nature of human exis­tence. As a soci­ety, we have arguably lost the capac­ity to cope with this inse­cu­rity; we don’t know how to wel­come it into the cur­rent of our lives.

Talking Past Our Obsessions: A Case for Reading Generously

It took me a while, but in the past cou­ple of years I’ve come to accept that some of the books and films I love most are beyond criticism.

Not because they’re so inno­v­a­tive or so unique that they demand an entirely new ana­lyt­i­cal frame­work (they aren’t, they don’t). And it’s cer­tainly not because I think they’re flaw­less. Instead it’s because, to the less pas­sion­ately devoted, these works are self-indulgent, unques­tion­ably minor, and hope­lessly ado­les­cent. So I’m afraid to take them apart to see how they work.

Crash: A Tale of Two Species

Horse­shoe crab blood has not only become a key weapon in our med­ical arse­nal, it has also become big busi­ness. On the world mar­ket, a quart of horse­shoe crab blood has a price tag of an esti­mated $15,000, lead­ing to over­all rev­enues from the LAL indus­try esti­mated at U.S. $50 mil­lion per year. But that pales in com­par­i­son to its value to the phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal industry.

The World of the Rings

Tolkien was very con­sciously and delib­er­ately fol­low­ing the lit­er­ary tra­di­tion that flows down to us from Sid­ney through Dr. John­son and C. S. Lewis. As a result, Tolkien delib­er­ately gave us char­ac­ters that strike some moderns—including Peter Jackson—as too good to be true.