Ben Babylon

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The 42 Biggest Questions About Life, the Universe, and Everything

In a homage to 'Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy,' two physicists explain the biggest unknowns in science. I’ve summed them up as a tweetstorm.<p>In Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, Douglas Adams’ classic irreverent tour through the universe, a supercomputer named Deep Thought discovers the answer to …

The ultimate morning routine: Get back over 20 hours per week

The traditional 9-5 workday is poorly structured for high productivity. Perhaps when most work was physical labor, but not in the knowledge working …

Time Management

Africa’s tiny opposition parties have a plan to take on the political behemoths in power

South Africa’s main opposition leader Mmusi Maimane tried to visit detained Zambian opposition leader Hakainde Hichilema in May last year. He never got past immigration officials. The trip was an attempt to show that southern Africa’s normally weak political opposition movements can have strength …

Africa

The toxic legacy of Canada's CIA brainwashing experiments: 'They strip you of your soul'

Sarah Anne Johnson had always known the broad strokes of her maternal grandmother’s story. In 1956, Velma Orlikow checked herself into a renowned Canadian psychiatric hospital, the Allan Memorial Institute in Montreal, hoping for help with postpartum depression.<p>She was in and out of the clinic for …

Canadian Government

8 foods a Harvard nutritionist tries to eat almost every day

Want to eat like a nutrition expert? Some food choices pack an especially big nutritional punch.<p>Think of your kitchen as one big tasty medicine cabinet.<p>The right foods in the right amounts can protect your heart, keep your blood sugar stable, help you lose weight and allow you to live longer.<p>Diet …

Jeff Bezos Banned PowerPoint in Meetings. His Replacement Is Brilliant

Narrative memos have replaced PowerPoint presentations at Amazon. Here are 3 reasons why.<p>In his 2018 annual letter, Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos repeated his rule that PowerPoint is banned in executive meetings. What Bezos replaced it with provides even more valuable insight for entrepreneurs …

Public Speaking

The 5 worst things about colleges in America

<i>When parents and teachers urge kids to go to college, they visualize the success stories: kids who graduate on time with marketable degrees. If every</i> …

This Is How Generation Z Will Bypass College

Coming soon(er) to a workplace near you is Generation Z after participating in these education alternatives.<p>School originated to train obedient factory workers but hasn't evolved much since then.<p>Coursera and the University of Phoenix paved the way for people to digitally learn from a distance. …

How I discovered there are (at least) 14 different kinds of love by analysing the world's languages

No emotion, surely, is as cherished and sought after as love. Yet on occasions such as Valentine’s day, we can often be misled into thinking that it …

This is exactly how America tumbles into a constitutional crisis

Reasonable people are saying the US appears to be teetering on the edge of a constitutional crisis, as the system of checks and balances that has kept democracy humming in America for more than 240 years could be on the verge of breaking down.<p>“We’re in absolutely uncharted waters,” Heather …

Donald Trump

The City of the Future

From housing to food, Rotterdam is tackling population-scale problems in creative, sustainable ways, most often powered by advanced technology and a bit of old-fashioned imagination.<p>Some cities are defined by their history and tradition. Rotterdam, on the other hand, is defined by its future. After …

3.5 Billion-Year-Old Fossils Challenge Ideas About Earth’s Start

In the arid, sun-soaked northwest corner of Australia, along the Tropic of Capricorn, the oldest face of Earth is exposed to the sky. Drive through …

The idea that everything from spoons to stones is conscious is gaining academic credibility

Consciousness permeates reality. Rather than being just a unique feature of human subjective experience, it’s the foundation of the universe, present in every particle and all physical matter.<p>This sounds like easily-dismissible bunkum, but as traditional attempts to explain consciousness continue …

How to Fact Check The Atlantic

<i>This article is edited from a story shared exclusively with members of The Masthead, the membership program from</i> The Atlantic <i>(find out more).</i> Atlantic <i>fact-checking editor Yvonne Rolzhausen walks us through her fact-checking routine, a process that continues, sometimes for months, until she and her</i> …

It’s Now Likely Mueller Thinks Trump Obstructed Justice

Thursday’s bombshell news points toward one conclusion: The special counsel has the goods on the president.<p>Thursday’s explosive New York Times story that President Donald Trump ordered the firing of special counsel Robert Mueller last June renewed the public’s focus on the obstruction of justice …

Donald Trump

“This Is Serious”: Facebook Begins Its Downward Spiral

Facebook was always famous for the sign that hung in its offices, written in big red type on a white background, that said “Move Fast and Break Things.” Every time I think about the company, I realize it has done just that—to itself.<p>Years ago, long before <b>Mark Zuckerberg</b> became Mark Zuckerberg, the …

Music's Universal Elements Make 'Mind-Hacking' Pop Songs Possible

Scientists discover elements of songs that are recognizable around the globe.<p>The wonderful website Radio Garden, launched in 2016, allows users to …

The fastest shrinking countries on earth are in Eastern Europe

Eastern Europe is projected to shrink dramatically over the next few decades. What’s worse, most countries are refusing to consider one solution to slow down the incoming demographic disaster.<p>The top 10 countries with the fastest shrinking populations are all in Eastern Europe (with a few in …

Eastern Europe

If you’re using an Android phone, Google may be tracking every move you make

Biking? Google probably knows you are. Up a mountain? It probably knows that, too.<p>The Alphabet subsidiary’s location-hungry tentacles are quietly lurking behind some of the most innovative features of its Android mobile operating system. Once those tentacles latch on, phones using Android begin …

Maps

I Copied the Routines of Famous Writers and It Sucked

Did Balzac really drink 50 cups of coffee a day? Does Murakami actually wake up at 4 AM? For a week, I tried to live like famous writers. It went poorly.<p>“For me writing is like breathing,” the poet Pablo Neruda told the <i>Paris Review</i> in 1971. “I could not live without breathing and I could not live …

35 "Shark Tank" Secrets That Will Fuck You Up A Little

Every contestant has to meet with a psychologist after filming.<p><b>1) Every Shark Tank contestant is required to meet with an on-set psychologist after filming their segment. "They have to make sure we haven't scarred them for life," Mark Cuban says.</b><p>2) Not every deal that gets made on the show actually …

Too Much Music: A Failed Experiment In Dedicated Listening

In Charlotte Zwerin's 1988 film <i>Straight, No Chaser</i>, Thelonious Monk road manager Bob Jones tells a story about Monk appearing on a television show sometime in the late '50s. Monk is asked what kind of music he likes, to which he replies "all kinds." The interviewer, hoping for a "gotcha" moment, …

Vinyl Records

How Marijuana Use Can Alter Brain Function and Induce Psychotic Behavior

Long-term smokers are at a higher risk for negative effects.<p>Smoking marijuana is becoming increasingly legal and mainstream in the United States. …

10 core exercises that are better for your back (and body) than crunches

These exercises protect your back and neck, and target more of your abdominal muscles than crunches alone.<p>The abdominals are a pain point for many gym goers. We habitually grab a mat, get down on our backs and start crunching away with the goal of finally carving out those elusive six-pack abs. But …

Workouts

Sharper State Divide in Congress Seen as ‘New Civil War’

WASHINGTON — A potential backlash from the new tax law and President Trump’s unpopularity in Democratic-leaning states could combine to turn swaths of blue America even bluer in this year’s elections, a development likely to deepen already intense polarization in Congress.<p>Recent retirement …

Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House by Michael Wolff – digested read

‘On election night, Melania wept with despair. Now I’ll have to stay with the creep for another four years, she sobbed’<p>On a snowy January evening in 2017, disgraced head of Fox News Roger Ailes and Donald Trump’s right-hand man Steve Bannon met for dinner in a New York brownstone. “We’ve got a …

Donald Trump

Five Books to Begin Your Meditation Practice

With the growing awareness of the many benefits of mindfulness — enhanced emotional well-being, improved concentration and the reduction of stress …

North Korea's passport is more powerful than most of South Asia's

North Korea is one of the most ostracized countries in the world. But its relatively “weak” passport, in terms of traveling to other countries, remains far more powerful than many of the ones issued by South Asian countries.<p>According to the most recent Henley Passport Index, an annual ranking of …

North Korea

Trump has kept many promises during his first year in office

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump often brags that he's done more in his first year in office than any other president. That's a spectacular …

Health Care