Smile!!, stop donating

7/22 - What's Next

Hey there — hope you have a great week.

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Articles to Read.

I'm begging you: Stop donating canned goods to food banks

It’s one of the most cherished practices of the holiday season, and it may also be unwittingly robbing resources from some of our most important charities. I’m talking, of course, about donating canned goods to holiday food drives.

Now don’t get me wrong. Donating to charity is a good thing, particularly during the holidays, when many charities budget for yuletide donations. But, the simple rules of economics are begging you: Give money to food banks, rather than food.

Canned goods have a particularly low rate of charitable return. They’re heavy, they’re awkward and they can be extremely difficult to fit into a family’s meal plan. Worst of all, the average consumer is buying their canned goods at four to five times the rock-bottom bulk price that can be obtained by the food bank itself.

Why did we wait so long for the bicycle?

The bicycle, as we know it today, was not invented until the late 1800s. Yet it was a simple mechanical invention. It would seem to require no brilliant inventive insight, and certainly no scientific background.

Why, then, wasn’t it invented much earlier?

The quality of roads is relevant, but not really the answer. Bicycles can be ridden on dirt. I don’t think horses explain it either. A bicycle, from what I’ve read, was cheaper to buy than a horse, and it was certainly cheaper to maintain (if nothing else, you don’t have to feed a bicycle).

The key insight was to stop trying to build a mechanical carriage, and instead build something more like a mechanical horse.

Why airplane windows have round corners

Airliner window

If you’ve ever had the window seat on an airliner, you’ve probably noticed that the corners of the window were rounded instead of squared. Ever wondered why?

The answer is simple: to keep that window from killing you.

It turns out, the investigators found, that when an aircraft’s interior is pressurized and de-pressurized repeatedly, over and over again for many months, the strength of that aircraft’s metal body slowly weakens — a phenomenon that became known as metal fatigue. And when the holes you cut into that body to hold windows have sharp corners like squares do, thanks to a process called stress concentration the weakness builds up much faster in those sharp corners than it does elsewhere. Eventually cracks start to form in those corners, one of those cracks gets wide enough to let the pressurized air in the cabin rush out, and… boom.

The helicopter team that films the Tour de France is one of a kind

The real action is with the AS355 camera helos. Flying at anywhere from 500 feet (150m) to literally one foot (30cm) above the ground, they bring viewers amazingly close to the riders while trying not to interfere with the race. HdF has developed special procedures with the French civil aviation authority, allowing not only extreme low-altitude flight but a lateral separation of just 500 feet from the course.

Why I’m turning my son into a cyborg

illustration of a child as a cyborg

But the more I experimented, the more I realized that I didn’t want to “cure” my son’s autism. I didn’t want to lose him and his wonderful differences. SuperGlass became a tool to translate between his experience and us neurotypicals (a scientific term that means “your brain is boring”). It didn’t level the playing field—it just gave him a different bat to play with.

In an era where jerks like me are building AIs to replicate human tasks, your value to the world will become what makes you uniquely human. The more different you are, the more valuable you become. My son is therefore priceless. That said, there was still a question nagging at me: How could I make sure I was helping these kids navigate a sometimes alien world, rather than making them the aliens themselves?

How climate change can fuel wars

Droughts are already making conflict more likely. As the world gets hotter, mayhem could spread.

On the outskirts of Baga Sola, a small town in Chad not far from the border with Nigeria, is a refugee camp called Dar es Salaam. The name means “haven of peace”, but the surrounding area is an inferno of war, spilling across the borders of four countries: Chad, Nigeria, Niger and Cameroon. Some 2.4m people have been forced to flee the fighting.

Animation Is Eating The World

Bart Simpson, Mickey Mouse, Pikachu, Hello Kitty, Winnie The Pooh

We're now at the beginning of what I believe to be another animation boom that will be unparalleled in scalability, profitability, and global influence versus any other time in history. The history of animation teaches us lessons in evolving creation, technology, distribution, and scale that breeds new business models and more importantly new characters. The characters we fall in love with today could live on for decades as Mickey Mouse, Charlie Brown, Fred Flintstone, Pikachu, and Homer Simpson all have.

But to truly understand an industry and medium as dynamic as animation, it is important to start from the beginning.

More to Check Out: 
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- Foreign purchases of American homes plunge 36% as Chinese buyers flee the market
Avoid artificial stupidity
Wall Street’s Trading Desks Endure Worst First Half in a Decade
- Why cancelled Prime Account


My Update.

  • And another week is gone. If you have been following for the past few months, you’d know that I am busy working on a company. More to share soon, but I can tell you I am learning a ton about becoming a better person, learner, and problem-solver. I think the biggest growth has come from changing my orientation…I hope to build something that will last for several decades. This is rare, hard, and valuable. I am sprinting…but knowing this is a marathon.

  • Focusing!

    Thanks so much for reading! Find me on twitter : )