Sunday, 28 September 2014

September Reading

I do read an awful lot of random stuff, online and off.

I tend to share links to interesting articles and essays when I come across them, but I thought I'd try something new this month and write up a quick summary of the best things I've read.

Spanning topics from language and science, to food and philosophy, I think there's probably something here for everyone. Feel free to leave links to other interesting pieces in the comments.

"Amazeballs to zonkey", insight into how Oxford University Press decides which words to include in which dictionaries.

Artificial sweeteners linked to glucose intolerance - this research looks pretty rigorous, even if the effects have mostly been observed in mice so far.

This is a long, sometimes harrowing piece about emergency response in Syria. But these guys deserve a few mins of your attention & discomfort: Whoever Saves A Life.

On a lighter note, this little collection made me laugh so hard: 18 Apple Varieties With Badass Names

Do women rule the world in the year 2000? There's only one way to find out. Take a look at some classic time travel fiction.

I love this: "We don’t need to be better than anyone else: we just need to love where we are and what we’re doing and who we are. That’s what matters." Plus a few other reasons why you shouldn't compare yourself to others.

A nice summary of trends in lifespan and longevity research: What Happens When We All Live to 100?

Rejected Princesses is one of my new favourite sites: illustrated histories of forgotten (or popularly maligned) women, covering a wealth of times and places. Where else can you read about a martyred mathematician alongside a supreme mistress of the sword?

Some of these insights into modern communication are not unrelated to my thesis: the changing face of punctuation.

Ever wondered what an Amish barn-raising looks like? In time lapse? This is pretty impressive. (Okay, this one's a video rather than an article, but I think it's awesome enough to deserve a free pass.)

Can you tell artificial from natural flavourings? And how? The secrets of fake flavours is a fascinating piece on food technology.

Interesting reading on impulse, economics, and psychology (it gets a bit US-centric at the end, but most of the insights are more widely applicable).

How does your brain process metaphor?
 "It sounds like a question that only a linguist could love," says the author, but I can't see how anyone could fail to be fascinated by this kind of brain imaging study.

Short fiction is a great way to get to know some new authors, for minimal investment: 17 Brilliant Short Novels You Can Read in a Sitting

And finally, whoever thought of this is a marketing genius: Lidl goes Michelin-starred.


Rachel said...

I'm struggling to read anything online at present, but offline, "The Unfolding of Language" by Guy Deutscher, was a fascinating book..

rosaria williams said...

Love your eclectic meanderings! I find that creative bursts occur much more frequently when we are out of our usual environments. As a linguist, you must be having many field days under these conditions.

Anonymous said...

Oooh, there goes my evening... I'll enjoy working my way through these! :)

mypixieblog said...

I'd love to check out Amazeballs to Zonkey :) Whoever Saves a Life sounds interesting, too. Just finished reading Cutting for Stone. Took me some time but I'm glad I made it to the end--it was a beautiful, full-circle kind of read.

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