Stumptown Depression Fathers Trap 2011 Straw Mother

The Fat Trap by Tara Parker-Pope (New York Times): You know how there’s all those yo-yo dieters who take it off and put it back on pretty soon? Turns out there’s a biological reason for this: our bodies (to different extents) try very hard to put the weight back on by using less calories and making it harder to resist the calories. [via]

Stumptown Girl by Margaret Talbot (New Yorker): Great portrait of Carrie Brownstein and Portlandia, full of great little details of the show being shot on set, and of Brownstein and Armisen’s motivations, including their odd but charming platonic relationship. [via]

The Faith (And Doubts) Of Our Fathers (The Economist): One of the major disagreements in U.S. politics at the moment is a historical one - what did the founding fathers of the U.S. mean by ‘separation of church and state’? Did they mean that the church shouldn’t be interfered with by the state (as Christian conservative scholars have argued) or that the U.S. is fundamentally a secular society, as everyone else believes? The complicated answer, presented here, is that some of the founders of the U.S. (Jefferson and Washington included) were definitely secularists and possibly even atheists, while others were more religious, but that the overall trend is that they were trying to present a secular society.

Can A Picture Of Your Mother Diagnose Depression? by Jonah Lehrer (The Frontal Cortex): In a recent fMRI study, scientists could use differences in brainwaves to tell the difference between young women who were depressed to about 90% accurate - the twist: the differences in brainwaves were elicited by pictures of the women’s mother.

The Amazing History And Strange Invention Of The Bendy Straw by Derek Thompson (The Atlantic): Straws have been used since 5000BC to drink liquids through; however, it took until the 1930s for someone to figure out the whole business with bendiness. [via]

2011 Was A Bad Year, 2012 Will Be Much Worse by Ben Pobjie (The Drum): It being New Years Eve, I think Ben Pobije’s summary of the year in Australia and the world is quite accurate and not at all satirical: But the big international event of 2011 was the “Arab Spring”, where thousands upon thousands of freedom-lovers across the Middle East and North Africa rose up and overthrew their tyrannical dictators, presumably because they had tried to introduce a carbon tax.”

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