10 links

  1. Dogs Are People, TooThe New York Times
  2. List of common misconceptions — Wikipedia
  3. The Political Economy of Zombies — The Airship
  4. How to beat jet lag — Kottke.org
  5. How Brazil’s Richest Man Lost $34.5 Billion — BloombergBusinessweek
  6. 11 Pieces of Obamacare Conventional Wisdom That Shouldn’t Be So Conventional — Megan McArdle at Bloomberg.com
  7. Every Sci-Fi Starship Ever*, In One Mindblowing Comparison Chart — Kotaku
  8. I’m walking every street in New York City — ImJustWalkin.com
  9. Putting Time In Perspective — wait but why
  10. Video embedded above and on YouTube here: “Flying eagle point of view.”

(Previous link round-ups are available via the links tag.)

‘Warning: Trains Arrive on Time’

An entertaining headline and story from The Bangkok Post today:

Rail passengers in Phitsanulok are being warned that trains stopping there will be more punctual during the 45-day track maintenance period for the far northern railway, and should ensure they arrive at the station on time so they don’t miss their train.

Saksing Wongsanguansodsri, chief ticket officer at Phitsanulok station, said trains will no longer be up to two hours late, as in the past, because the south-bound service would now leave from Sila-art station in Uttaradit, which is only about 100km away, and not Chiang Mai, which is 362km distant.

10 Links

  1. The Lasting Power of Dr. King’s Dream SpeechThe New York Times
  2. JustDelete.Me — “A directory of direct links to delete your account from web services.”
  3. Michael Pollan and Amy Harmon ‘talk’ it outColumbia Journalism Review
  4. The Danger of Strategic Distraction — Center for a New American Security’s Shawn Brimley on Syria
  5. WhichFamousEconomistAreYouMostSimilarTo.com — Which famous economist are you most similar to? (Via Fergus Pitt)
  6. How to Make Perfect CoffeeThe Atlantic
  7. As Clear As Mud: CrossFit, Tough Mudders, and the rise of social-physical challenges — Grantland
  8. HowManyPeopleAreInSpaceRightNow.com — How Many People Are In Space Right Now?
  9. In Thailand, Rubber Price Plunge Has Political CostThe New York Times
  10. Video embedded above and on YouTube here: “Martin Luther King – I Have A Dream Speech – August 28, 1963″

(Previous link round-ups are available via the links tag.)

What Domesticating Siberian Foxes May Tell Us About Dogs

I recently watched a fascinating segment of the 2009 BBC show “The Secret Life of the Dog”. I’d never seen it, and wanted to share it here. It’s about domesticating foxes in Siberia.

The ten-minute show is embedded below and on YouTube here. Give it a watch:

The gist: Over the course of more than 40 years, scientists took normal foxes, which were aggressive toward humans, and looked for the tamest ones.

Then they bred them.

In just a few generations, the foxes — animals that would typically attack humans when threatened — had become completely tame creatures that snuggled the scientists rather than biting their hands.

What’s more, over time, the foxes started to look like…dogs.

Cute dogs.

The tame foxes even developed floppy ears, the color of their coats lightened, and their tails curled.

One theory is that the least aggressive foxes were less fierce because they had retained their juvenile traits into adulthood. And so dogs — domesticated wolves, that is — similarly display the traits of juvenile wolves.

For more, here’s an American Scientist article from 1999 on the experiment. And there’s a Wikipedia page, as well.

I also came across some domesticated fox footage on Youtube taken by someone who appears to own a couple of the creatures. The video becomes extra-remarkable at 1:14:

And finally, in case you’re wondering: It appears that you can purchase your own domesticated Russian fox. (The Cost: $8,900.)

Snippet of the day, fast food edition

2013 06 30 donut sandwich

A snippet from a New York Times story yesterday:

The new menu items added by fast-food chains this year indicate as much: a brownie-batter-filled doughnut (Dunkin’ Donuts), a bacon habanero ranch Quarter Pounder (McDonald’s), bacon-filled tater tots (Burger King), a six-slices-of-bacon-and-cheese burger (Carl’s Jr. and Hardee’s), a choco-covered pretzel and choco chunk vanilla Blizzard (Dairy Queen), and a chocolate molten lava cake (Arby’s).

Then there’s the Glazed Donut Breakfast Sandwich from Dunkin’ Donuts that Mr. Moran tried. It was rolled out nationally this month after a Massachusetts test that was a ‘viral hit,’ the company’s executive chef told The Boston Globe earlier this month. ‘Within days of the test, people were sending pictures, tweeting ‘look what I got!’ or ‘this is so wrong!’ and it was just incredible.’

If unhealthy food is wrong, restaurant visitors apparently don’t want to be right.

Related: See my 2012 post — especially points two and three — about my favorite nutrition book, “Why Calories Count: From Science to Politics.”

(Image: Dunkin’ Donuts.)

‘The New Myanmar’: All 6 episodes of Anasuya’s new show

Last month I mentioned that the first two episodes of “The New Myanmar,” hosted by Anasuya Sanyal — also known as my amazing wife — were available online.

The show’s final four episodes have now aired on Channel NewsAsia, as well, and I wanted to embed them here.

Again, here are the first two shows:

Episode one, “Artistic Freedom,” about music and the arts in the country:

Episode two, about Yangon’s architectural heritage:

And now for the newer shows:

Episode three, on business development in Myanmar:

Episode four, on media in the country:

Episode five, about resolving the country’s ethnic conflicts:

And, finally, episode six, on what lies ahead for Myanmar:

And just like that, I’ve completed my Columbia master’s degree

Back in August, I shared the news that I’d be coming here to New York this academic year to study business and economics journalism.

Nine months later — and I can still hardly believe it’s true — I’ve finished. Here’s the proof:

2013 05 24 np diploma

Here I am with some pals before the main Columbia commencement ceremony yesterday morning:

2013 05 24 np cu pals

And below — and on YouTube here — is an especially fun moment from the conclusion of the event.

Once things had ended, Frank Sinatra’s “New York, New York” blasted from the loudspeakers. And then came this more contemporary New York-related anthem…

Yesterday afternoon was the Journalism School commencement event, which included a talk by Errol Morris and remarks by Nicholas Lemann, our outgoing dean, and others.

You can find more details about that gathering on the Journalism School’s site.

So what comes next for me? Stay tuned.

For now, I can say this: I won’t be blogging for the next couple of weeks. But you can find me, as ever, on Twitter. You can also subscribe to my public Facebook updates.

Thanks, as ever, for reading.