✝️ what is heaven?

on the agenda this week: vaccinations, human hibernation and how to choose your life partner.

📖 reading time: 4m 01s.

hi :) happy monday and merry christmas!

stay safe and mask up .


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👂 earworm: listen to new slowthai.


📚 word of the week:

“cordate”.

heart-shaped.

he also wrote, at 15, his first poem after seeing a raindrop cause a cordate leaf to flutter.
- new york times, 1977


🧠 brain candy:

🪐 saturn and jupiter meet up on monday. the last time both planets orbited as closely and were visible in the sky was in 1226.

❄️ early humans may have survived harsh winters by hibernating. according to fossil experts, disruptions in bone development show that neanderthals may have slept through winters like cave bears and bats.

🎺 i have no words for this website.

🚕 amazon’s self-driving startup zoox unveiled a fully autonomous electric robotaxi with no steering wheel that can drive day and night on a single charge. package delivery up next?

🇨🇳 i’ve never fully understood the chinese government’s ability to control or reshape the media. these leaked documents — as investigated by the new york times — help to reveal how officials stage-managed what appeared online in the early days of the coronavirus outbreak.

📹 nearly 1/3 of american kids want to be youtube stars but the inconvenient truth is few creators are actually attaining financial security today. this piece by li jin on the creator middle class is an interesting read.


🤪 mildly humorous:
💡 longer reads:

🤔 how to pick your life partner.

often, the key to succeeding at something big is to break it into its tiniest pieces and focus on how to succeed at just one piece.

from afar, a great marriage is a sweeping love story, like a marriage in a book or a movie. and that’s a nice, poetic way to look at a marriage as a whole. but human happiness doesn’t function in sweeping strokes, because we don’t live in broad summations—we’re stuck in the tiny unglamorous folds of the fabric of life, and that’s where our happiness is determined.

so if we want to find a happy marriage, we need to think small—we need to look at marriage up close and see that it’s built not out of anything poetic, but out of 20,000 mundane wednesdays.

marriage isn’t the honeymoon in thailand—it’s day four of vacation #56 that you take together. marriage is not celebrating the closing of the deal on the first house—it’s having dinner in that house for the 4,386th time. and it’s certainly not valentine’s day.

marriage is forgettable wednesday. together.

so i’ll leave the butterflies and the kisses in the rain and the twice-a-day sex to you—you’ll work that part out i’m sure—and spend this post trying to figure out the best way to make forgettable wednesday as happy as possible.

to endure 20,000 days with another human being and do so happily, there are three key ingredients necessary…

👉 read more via waitbutwhy.


✝️ what is heaven?

four years ago a doctoral student in architecture asked luke leung to help him come up with a thesis topic. leung, an engineer whose projects include the world’s tallest building, the burj khalifa in dubai, proposed the question: what is heaven?

“the student did a lot of research and found that no matter the faith—islam, judaism, christianity—heaven is always a place with a garden and running water,” recalls leung, director of the sustainable engineering studio of skidmore owings & merrill, the architectural behemoth better known as som. “so then we started questioning, ‘if that is heaven, what exactly is the place we are living in?’ ”

in the western world, humans spend 90% of their time indoors. the average american spends even more than that—93%—inside buildings or cars. for years scientists have sounded the alarm that our disconnect from the outdoors is linked to a host of chronic health problems, including allergies, asthma, depression, irritable bowel syndrome, and obesity. more recently, experts in various fields have begun studying why buildings, even those designed to be as germ-free as possible, are vectors for disease, not the least covid-19.

“there was a study of more than 7,300 cases in china, and guess how many people caught the disease outdoors?” leung asks. “just two.” early testing following black lives matter protests in minnesota also suggested that transmission of sars-cov-2 outside is rare, even when thousands of people gather, talking, yelling, and chanting—at least when most of those people wear masks. out of more than 13,000 protesters tested, only 1.8% were positive. other states showed similar results.

leung says a “misalignment with nature” in building design is partly to blame for our scourge of chronic diseases and the current pandemic. the relative lack of air flow and sunlight is an obvious issue; temperature, humidity, and indoor air pollution also play a role. but there’s another, less discussed factor: the microbiome of the built environment, which encompasses trillions of microbes including bacteria, fungi, and viruses.

👉 read more via bloomberg.


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👋 read one of my last 3 posts:

🥵 viral heat.
🎁 prime in six weeks.

💡 how to think for yourself.

or click to see them all.