Deactivating Facebook

I have to say, I was not remotely prepared for the sort of guilt-mongering FB throws at you when you deactivate an account. A screen with photos of five friends: “Katie will miss you. Joan will miss you. Florence will miss you. Michael will miss you.” Everyone and their second cousin Eddie who ran his truck into the local grocery store will miss me, apparently.

And then they ask you WHY you’re leaving their crazy world of fake connection, and when you say, “‘Cause I spend too much time here, duh,” they say you can cut down on notifications if you want and that’ll help. I stopped getting email notifications and other stuff ages ago, and the only thing that did was keep my inbox cleaner, Zuck. Also? Your attempts to keep me are pretty transparent, and equally uncool.

Having seen that, it really feels rather like a cult, honestly. I’m glad to be free of it, at least for a while.

The shorter your sleep, the shorter your life: the new sleep science

More than 20 large scale epidemiological studies all report the same clear relationship: the shorter your sleep, the shorter your life. To take just one example, adults aged 45 years or older who sleep less than six hours a night are 200% more likely to have a heart attack or stroke in their lifetime, as compared with those sleeping seven or eight hours a night (part of the reason for this has to do with blood pressure: even just one night of modest sleep reduction will speed the rate of a person’s heart, hour upon hour, and significantly increase their blood pressure).


Leading neuroscientist Matthew Walker on why sleep deprivation is increasing our risk of cancer, heart attack and Alzheimer’s – and what you can do about it Matthew Walker has learned to dread the question “What do you do?” At parties, it signals the end of his e

from Pocket
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The world is moving on – with or without Trump’s crude bravado

The US mindset is exceptionalism – the city on the hill. A lot of Trump’s speech was couched in an exceptionally crude, simplistic manner. It is shocking to see and hear this kind of bravado. It is the arrogance of a country that has been“in charge” for a long time. But it’s not really in charge any longer; if you travel in the rest of the world, you actually can go more than just a few minutes without hearing the US mentioned.

Trump has an exceptionally simple-minded approach – and Washington has it but in a slightly more sophisticated way – and it is this notion of the indispensable country. And it’s a bad and dangerous concept. It’s a concept of arrogance. It’s a concept that has led the United States into one mess after another.

The renowned economist and UN sustainable development adviser says the time when the US was in charge is long gone and that the country has to change its mindset Play Video 3:32 President Trump’s remarks to the UN general assembly last week made me shudder.

from Pocket
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The day I photographed the Queen and her dogs in the living room at Balmoral

I was a fledgling photographer, just starting out in London in 1967. The Observer called and asked me if I’d like to shoot the Queen. The thought of it really scared the pants off me, so I said: “I don’t think I can.” I’m not going to tell you what my wife said to me when I told her.

from Pocket
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Welcome to my news-and-other-interesting-stuff blog. It’s safe to say you’ll find everything from politics to Doctor Who to weird and wonderful random stuff here. Feel free to comment/share (though you’ll probably want to share original links rather than links to the blog at FB, etc).

For reasons unknown to man or god, this theme doesn’t show any indication that it’s possible to leave comments or that any exist (aside from the “Recent Comments” bit of the sidebar, over —> there). But you can, and they do! Just click on the post title and you’ll be able to scroll down to leave/read them. I’m trying to figure out how to include a “Leave a comment” and “3 commments” link, but until then, that’ll have to do.

Comments are also where I’m leaving my own thoughts on articles, at least for now. It makes posting much less cumbersome, though there is a tool I’m testing that might allow me to change that. Stay tuned!