Welcome to this week’s edition of our Friday Quality Linkage column. Please enjoy this week’s collection of interesting and entertaining links. Brew a fresh cup of coffee, find a comfortable place, and relax.
Ed Yong, The Atlantic:
I’m looking at a picture of two mice. The one on the right looks healthy. The one on the left has graying fur, a hunched back, and an eye that’s been whitened by cataracts. “People ask: What did you do to the mouse on the left?” says Nathaniel David. “We didn’t do anything.” Time did that. The left mouse is just old. The one on the right was born at the same time and is genetically identical. It looks spry because scientists have been subjecting it to an unusual treatment: For several months, they cleared retired cells from its body.
By clearing these senescent cells from mice, Darren Baker and Jan van Deursen at the Mayo Clinic College of Medicine managed to slow the deterioration of kidneys, hearts, and fat tissue. The animals lived healthier and, in some cases, they lived longer.
Oh you know, I’ve just been doing a little cellular spring cleaning, living way longer. No biggie.
Writer Sammi Harvey is done being jealous of the highly-curated “perfect” lives depicted in others’ Instagram feeds (emphasis hers):
I don’t feel guilty unfollowing people anymore. I am confident it’s my responsibility to be monitoring what I allow into my mind and to choose to be content.
I’ve suddenly found it unnecessary to have incredibly gorgeous handwriting and a latte every morning. I have discovered I even like those friends that previously drove me crazy online. I’ve found contentment in our tiny apartment and hardly ever feel the need to buy more stuff.
Everyone with blue eyes alive today – from Angelina Jolie to Wayne Rooney – can trace their ancestry back to one person who probably lived about 10,000 years ago in the Black Sea region, a study has found.
“Originally, we all had brown eyes,” said [Professor Hans Eiberg of the University of Copenhagen]. “But a genetic mutation affecting the OCA2 gene in our chromosomes resulted in the creation of a ‘switch’ which literally turned off the ability to produce brown eyes.”
I’m the descendant of an ancient mutant. Speaking as a comic book nerd: Awesome.
Patrick Rhone on the impermanance of most technologies, especially compared to time-tested analog tools:
In the online world, it’s a bit more difficult to find things that are proven. Things change quickly. Formats and applications come and go. What’s hot today is gone and unsupported tomorrow in too many cases. Experience has taught me not to rely on many of these things or to be too quick to jump on board new things that come along. They aren’t proven.
Yet, there are some things in the online world that are proven — at least as far as such things can be in the world of technology.
Cynthia Graber and Nicola Twilley of the Gastropod podcast investigate why counting calories isn’t as effective as most people think:
Even if the calorie counts themselves were accurate, dieters like Haelle and Nash would have to contend with the significant variations between the total calories in the food and the amount our bodies extract. These variations, which scientists have only recently started to understand, go beyond the inaccuracies in the numbers on the back of food packaging. In fact, the new research calls into question the validity of nutrition science’s core belief that a calorie is a calorie.
Instead, researchers are beginning to attribute much of the variation to the trillions of tiny creatures that line the coiled tubes inside our midriffs. The microbes in our intestines digest some of the tough or fibrous matter that our stomachs cannot break down, releasing a flow of additional calories in the process. But different species and strains of microbes vary in how effective they are at releasing those extra calories, as well as how generously they share them with their host human.
Be sure to listen to their accompanying podcast episode on the issue:
I found these cool photos of cities folded over themselves via Jason Kottke, and there’s no point rephrasing his description so I’ll just quote it here (although I did italicize a few things because I’m insufferable that way):
In the style of the Paris scene in Inception and Berg’s Here & There maps, Aydın Büyüktaş’s Flatland project features photographs of city scenes seemingly folded over onto themselves. According to Design Taxi, Büyüktaş took photos of each scene with a drone and then stitched them together. (via @feltron)
Say whatever you want about Chris Guillebeau’s career as one of those “blogger/keynote speaker/thought leader” types — the guy has been involved with online publishing for a long time and knows what he’s talking about:
This isn’t a warning that things are changing; it’s a statement that things have changed. The future is already here. What worked before won’t work now, friends. But that’s okay, because change is the only constant. The real winners will understand and grow.
The real winners won’t abandon the principles we started with years ago: make something, be helpful. If you want your values to lead the way, better have the right values.
But the goals and strategies and certainly the tactics will change. They have to. You’ll also be forced to do better work, and that’s good for all of us.
Got any suggestions for articles, videos, stories, photographs, and any other links you think we should be posting in our weekly Quality Linkage? Please do let us know on Twitter.