Eating Way Too Much Rice Almost Doomed Japan's Imperial Navy
Here's what occurred.
Medicine, biology, history and politics all in one. This was a great read!
"Twenty years after Takaki had eradicated beriberi from the navy, Japan faced Russia in the Russo-Japanese War from 1904 to 1905. The army hospitalized 250,000 soldiers with beriberi, 27,000 of whom died. The shocking toll ended the army’s resistance. In the middle of the war in February 1905, Gen. Masatake Terauchi ordered the army to mix barley with its rice."Posted on 2019-05-28T14:36:13+0000
Running Out of Children, a South Korea School Enrolls Illiterate Grandmothers
As the birthrate plummets in South Korea, rural schools are emptying. To fill its classrooms, one school opened its doors to women who have for decades dreamed of learning to read.
Investing in the Podcast Ecosystem in 2019
In the world of podcasting, the flywheel is spinning: new technologies including AirPods, connected cars, and smart speakers have made it much easier for consumers to listen to audio content, which…
Super in depth analysis on podcasting. Love the data and the conclusionsPosted on 2019-05-25T08:10:42+0000
Men Cause 100% of Unwanted Pregnancies
Our conversation about abortion places the burden of responsibility on women. I argue men are the root cause.
Can’t pick out even a single thing to quote because this is all so good. Each paragraph and point is so heavy hittingPosted on 2019-05-21T05:06:10+0000
How a cheap, brutally efficient grocery chain is upending America's supermarkets
Aldi, a discount grocery chain, is on an aggressive growth spurt in the United States, pressuring even Walmart on low food prices.
"With smaller grocers disappearing, there’s probably room for both Walmart and Aldi to pick up the pieces, Vu added. In the meantime, Aldi will keep leading the price wars, putting pressure on the bigger players, too.
"They're incredibly successful," he said. "We haven't seen a disrupter in the grocery space like this in a long time.""Posted on 2019-05-19T04:48:58+0000
Using Rust to Scale Elixir for 11 Million Concurrent Users
Must. Go. Faster.
Some really cool scalability work; and cool data structures!Posted on 2019-05-18T19:33:24+0000
MSVC can’t handle move-only exception types
Here’s my second post from C++Now 2019! On Friday morning, Andreas Weis gave a very good summary of how exception handling works in C++. I particularly liked that he didn’t just focus on the Itanium ABI (as I would certainly have been tempted to do), but showed in-depth knowledge of how exceptio...
Learnt more about C++ than I ever thought I'd want to know.
If you're curious about how exception handlers are implemented under the hood and why you might want to avoid move-only exceptions in cross platform code...Posted on 2019-05-12T08:23:28+0000
On Code Reviews
Code reviews are a really important part of the engineering process. However, they can become onerous, especially with certain attitudes…
Worth reading for anyone that's getting started, or an expert on, code reviews.
"Frequently the root cause of code review thrash is the issue of trust. If a lack of trust is involved, it does not matter how good the code is. This is especially true when author is changing code that someone else feels ownership over."Posted on 2019-05-12T08:20:34+0000
The Peculiar Blindness of Experts
Credentialed authorities are comically bad at predicting the future. But reliable forecasting is possible.
Interesting take on specialists versus generalists, and how having too narrow a worldview can be harmful. It’s a plug for a book, but still worth reading.
“Unfortunately, the world’s most prominent specialists are rarely held accountable for their predictions, so we continue to rely on them even when their track records make clear that we should not. One study compiled a decade of annual dollar-to-euro exchange-rate predictions made by 22 international banks: Barclays, Citigroup, JPMorgan Chase, and others. Each year, every bank predicted the end-of-year exchange rate. The banks missed every single change of direction in the exchange rate. In six of the 10 years, the true exchange rate fell outside the entire range of all 22 bank forecasts.”Posted on 2019-05-12T06:27:34+0000
New Harvard Study Shows the Dangers of Early School Enrollment | Kerry McDonald
“Our findings suggest the possibility that large numbers of kids are being overdiagnosed and overtreated for ADHD," said Timothy Layton, an assistant professor of health care policy at Harvard.
“New findings by Harvard Medical School researchers confirm that it’s not the children who are failing, it’s the schools we place them in too early. These researchers discovered that children who start school as among the youngest in their grade have a much greater likelihood of getting an ADHD diagnosis than older children in their grade. In fact, for the U.S. states studied with a September 1st enrollment cut-off date, children born in August were 30 percent more likely to be diagnosed with ADHD than their older peers.”
This article summarizes a new study into early childhood development and the educational system. The results are stark...Posted on 2019-05-11T19:00:40+0000
A Victory for Female Athletes Everywhere - Quillette
The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) this week upheld the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) regulations governing eligibility for the women’s category in international elite athletics competition. In effect, CAS decided the question “who is a woman” for purposes of ...
“Doriane Coleman is a Professor of Law at Duke Law School. As an 800m runner, she became the U.S. National Collegiate Indoor Champion in 1982, and the Swiss National Champion in 1982 and 1983.”
Counter point to the piece I shared the other day.Posted on 2019-05-10T04:01:44+0000
The Truth About Dentistry
It’s much less scientific—and more prone to gratuitous procedures—than you may think.
This article goes into the (mal)practice of dentistry in the US. Interesting take both on a case of fraud, and on the history and development of dentistry in the country.
“The uneasy relationship between dentist and patient is further complicated by an unfortunate reality: Common dental procedures are not always as safe, effective, or durable as we are meant to believe. As a profession, dentistry has not yet applied the same level of self-scrutiny as medicine, or embraced as sweeping an emphasis on scientific evidence. “We are isolated from the larger health-care system. So when evidence-based policies are being made, dentistry is often left out of the equation,””Posted on 2019-05-10T02:49:44+0000
On the Trail of the Robocall King
An investigator set out to discover the source of one scammy robocall. Turns out, his target made them by the millions.
Really engrossing. And a topic dear to my heart since robocalls are the reason my phone is always on silent.
"In the past few years, there hadn’t been much that Democrats and Republicans in Congress could agree on. Health care, immigration, taxes, deficits—every debate, every topic and idea was us vs. them. Here, finally, was an issue that perfectly bridged the partisan divide: a burning hatred of robocalls."Posted on 2019-05-09T05:13:10+0000
Bomber targets police outside Sufi shrine
At least nine people die in a bomb attack next to a major shrine in the Pakistani city of Lahore.
Senseless violence :(
I hope all those I know from Lahore are safe, along with their families and friends.Posted on 2019-05-08T18:04:58+0000
Announcing WSL 2 | Windows Command Line Tools For Developers
WSL 2 is a new architecture that allows for dramatic file system performance and full system call compatibility in WSL using a Linux kernel.
I am unreasonably excited by this.
I finally set up WSL *yesterday* on my desktop so I could more easily work on side projects, and the performance difference was noticeable.
I did get 2 BSoD's that were reliably reproducible, but along with this and VSCode's remote - WSL support it was really great to develop on windows. Something I never thought I'd say in a long time.Posted on 2019-05-06T21:55:37+0000
The Friendship That Made Google Huge
Coding together at the same computer, Jeff Dean and Sanjay Ghemawat changed the course of the company—and the Internet.
This was an engrossing human interest story. Not only does it cover a decades long friendship, it goes into the early days at Google, a bunch of technical material, and how productive focus time can be.
"At Google, Jeff is far better known. There are Jeff Dean memes, modelled on the ones about Chuck Norris. (“Chuck Norris counted to infinity . . . twice”; “Jeff Dean’s résumé lists the things he hasn’t done—it’s shorter that way.”) But, for those who know them both, Sanjay is an equal talent. “Jeff is great at coming up with wild new ideas and prototyping things,” Wilson Hsieh, their longtime colleague, said. “Sanjay was the one who built things to last.” In life, Jeff is more outgoing, Sanjay more introverted. In code, it’s the reverse. Jeff’s programming is dazzling—he can quickly outline startling ideas—but, because it’s done quickly, in a spirit of discovery, it can leave readers behind. Sanjay’s code is social."Posted on 2019-05-06T00:00:14+0000
The scrutiny over Caster Semenya's body is a study in racism, sexism, and transphobia
Transphobes are calling this a win, even though Caster Semenya is cisgender.
"People angered by this ruling point out that when a white man had a natural genetic advantage, it was praised, while a Black woman is being punished for hers. "Posted on 2019-05-05T17:16:11+0000
💸 What does Unsplash cost in 2019?
What does it cost to run a site with tens of millions of users and billions of photos viewed per month? $10,000? $100,000? $500,000?
Interesting read into what the various bills and hosting costs are when running your own software company.
"Hopefully getting a behind-the-scenes look at what it costs to run a site like Unsplash will help you with your own business, or at least give you a better understanding of what’s involved."Posted on 2019-05-04T21:08:08+0000
Remote Development with Visual Studio Code
VS Code remote support for WSL, Containers, and SSH
I've been wanting this for so long. This is really exciting!
"An interesting pattern emerged during these conversations. We saw many developers trying to use VS Code to develop against containers and remote VMs configured with specific development and runtime stacks, simply because it is too hard, too disruptive, and in some cases impossible, to set up these development environments locally."Posted on 2019-05-04T19:12:36+0000
A Conspiracy To Kill IE6 • Chris Zacharias
The bittersweet consequence of YouTube’s incredible growth is that so many stories will be lost underneath all of the layers of new paint. This is why I wanted to tell the story of how, ten years ago, a small team of web developers conspired to... | Chris Zacharias | Founder of imgix. YCombinator ...
This was one of the most cool tech stories I've read in a while. Hacker mindset at its finest.
"We somehow got away with our plan to kill IE6 without facing any meaningful corrective action. Few people even knew we were involved at all and those that did, did not want to bring attention to it or risk encouraging similar behavior. At a beer garden in San Francisco, our boss, winking his hardest, made us swear to never do anything like this again."
Would be interesting to see someone attempt something similar now at e.g. Google. Seems impossible.Posted on 2019-05-03T03:07:46+0000