Reading should not carry a health warning

This is probably the first time in history that young readers themselves are demanding protection from the disturbing content of their course texts, yet reading has been seen as a threat to mental health for thousands of years.

Have Bad Handwriting? The U.S. Postal Service Has Your Back

The U.S. Postal Service has a massive 78,000-square-foot branch, tucked away in the Utah capital, that deciphers illegible addresses. On a normal day, about 5 million pieces of mail are funneled through this branch, but as it creeps closer to December the number can be as high as 11 million.

A Moss Girl’s Guide to Japanese Moss Viewing

For centuries, moss was seen as merely a decorative supplement to the craft of Japanese bonsai and landscape gardening.Today, however, it has increasingly become a subject of intense enthusiasm in its own right, with a growing number of “moss viewers” setting out with cameras and magnifying glasses to discover the wonders it has to share.

The Linguistics of ‘YouTube Voice’

“You get the same kind of thing in other high-energy sales pitches,” he wrote to me in an email. “I guess the purest form of this style is the carnival barker.” It’s less intense on YouTube, of course, where the audience chooses to click on a video—the speaker isn’t trying to grab the attention of people who just happen to be walking by, chewing on their cotton candy.

How microcredit has hurt the poor and destroyed informal business

The microcredit movement thus helped plunge large numbers of black South African’s into deeper over-indebtedness, poverty and insecurity. At the same time, not coincidentally, a tiny white elite became extremely rich by supplying large amounts of microcredit to black South Africans.