On Nursery Rhymes, New Organs and Human Happiness

“Nursery Rhymes and Numbers,” a podcast with Alan Stewart at Numberphile

“A team of composers and musicians have joined forces to re-imagine classic nursery rhymes with new counts, timings and tempos. It’s dubbed “Tuplets for Toddlers,” and has been led by Numberphile’s resident composer Alan Stewart.”

“Doctors May Have Found Secretive New Organs in the Center of Your Head,” by Katherine J. Wu in the New York Times

“A team of researchers in the Netherlands has discovered what may be a set of previously unidentified organs: a pair of large salivary glands, lurking in the nook where the nasal cavity meets the throat. If the findings are confirmed, this hidden wellspring of spit could mark the first identification of its kind in about three centuries.”

“Are We Trading Our Happiness for Modern Comforts?,” by Arthur C. Brooks in The Atlantic

“[Y]ou don’t have to be religious (or a Marxist) to see how absurd some of the claims that come out of our hyper-consumerist society are. We are promised happiness with the next pay raise, the next new gadget—even the next sip of soda. The Swedish business professor Carl Cederström argues persuasively in his book The Happiness Fantasy that corporations and advertisers have promised satisfaction, but have led people instead into a rat race of joyless production and consumption.”

The Island That Humans Can’t Conquer Text by Sarah Gilman with Photos by Nathaniel Wilder for Hakai Magazine

“St. Matthew Island is said to be the most remote place in Alaska. Marooned in the Bering Sea halfway to Siberia, it is well over 300 kilometers and a 24-hour ship ride from the nearest human settlements. It looks fittingly forbidding, the way it emerges from its drape of fog like the dark spread of a wing. Curved, treeless mountains crowd its sliver of land, plunging in sudden cliffs where they meet the surf. To St. Matthew’s north lies the smaller, more precipitous island of Hall. A castle of stone called Pinnacle stands guard off St. Matthew’s southern flank. To set foot on this scatter of land surrounded by endless ocean is to feel yourself swallowed by the nowhere at the center of a drowned compass rose.”

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