Livionex Dental Gel

“It’s a gel that uses a new technique to combat plaque instead of the more traditional approach of just trying to scrub or abrade it off, and it very effectively prevents plaque from forming on your teeth in the first place…” —Cool Tools

Still need to brush with a cavity fighting toothpaste, and it may cause dry mouth.

The Story of Mike Flint

“Mike Flint was Buffett’s personal airplane pilot for 10 years. (Flint has also flown four US Presidents, so I think we can safely say he is good at his job.) According to Flint, he was talking about his career priorities with Buffett when his boss asked the pilot to go through a 3-step exercise.

Here’s how it works…

  1. Top 25 goals over X time
  2. Choose top 5 goals from top 25
  3. Do 1 & 2 then read article
  4. Profit!

Out to Get You

“There are four responses to Out to Get You.

You can Get Gone. Walk away. Breathe a sigh of relief.

You can Get Got. Give the thing everything it wants. Pay up, relax, enjoy the show.

You can Get Compact. Find a rule limiting what ‘everything it wants’ means in context. Then Get Got, relax and enjoy the show.

You can Get Ready. Do battle. Get what you want.”

— Zvi Mowshowitz. “Out to Get You.” thezvi.wordpress.com. September 23, 2017.

Driving a Moving Truck – a.k.a. Bedbuggers

“Then we’ll pack everything in the house into cartons. I don’t love packing; it’s inside work and mostly tedious. I do enjoy packing stemware, china, sculpture, and fine art, but that stuff is getting rarer in American households. Books are completely disappearing. (Remember in Fahrenheit 451 where the fireman’s wife was addicted to interactive television and they sent fireman crews out to burn books? That mission has been largely accomplished in middle-class America, and they didn’t need the firemen. The interactive electronics took care of it without the violence.)”

—Finn Murphy, “A High-End Mover Dishes on Truckstop Hierarchy, Rich People, and Moby Dick: On the beauty and burdens of the long haul.Longreads.com. September 21, 2017.

Not a representative quote, but a fascinating excerpt. Something to add to the book queue.

The Father Of Mobile Computing Is Not Impressed

“…if you’ve done a good thing, you don’t keep on revving it and adding more epicycles onto a bad idea. We call this reinventing the flat tire…

…Papert had the great metaphor. He said, ‘Look if you want to learn French, don’t take it in fifth or sixth grade. Go to France, because everything that makes learning French reasonable, and everything that helps learning French, is in France. If you want to do it in the United States, make a France.'”

—Brian Merchant. “The Father of Mobile Computing is Not Impressed.” fastcompany.com. September 15, 2017.

Interesting throughout.

John Cleese on Monty Python and Political Correctness

What are you working on now?

I have a show I’m working on at the moment called Why There Is No Hope.

Sounds funny. 

It is funny. Some people immediately see the title as funny and other people go what?! There is no hope that we’ll ever live in a rational, kind, intelligent society. To start, most of us are run by our unconscious and, unfortunately, most of us have no interest in getting in touch with our unconscious. So if the majority of people are run by something they don’t know anything about, how can we have a rational society?

…Put aside intellectually smart, the trouble is that most people aren’t even emotionally smart. They can’t deal with reality. If they’re not doing well, they’ll blame someone else. That’s why I have no hope of our ever having a proper, well-organized, fair, intelligent, kind society. We have to let go of that idea. It is possible that in some small area you can improve things temporarily…But there’s no way to sustain it because people have no control over their egos and don’t understand — or don’t care — how their egos are distorting their thinking. Things always fall back into chaos. Which is why there is no hope.

There’s absolutely nothing that gives you any hope about the future of human society?

Nothing.

Nothing?

Nothing.

So why get up in the morning?

Just because you can’t create a sensible world doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy the world you’re in. I think Bertrand Russell once said that the secret to happiness is to face the fact that the world is horrible. Once you realize that things are pretty hopeless, then you just have a laugh and you don’t waste time on things that you can’t change — and I don’t think you can change society. I’ve spent a lot of time in group therapy watching highly intelligent, well-intentioned people try to change and they couldn’t. If even they can’t change…”

—David Marchese. “In Conversation: John Cleese.” Vulture. September 12, 2017

Remember Cleese offering another bit of wisdom in another interview that has stuck with me, roughly paraphrased: You have a choice in life. You can try to control other people or you can control your own emotions. The second is easier.

Reinventing the Wheel: Milk, Microbes and the Fight For Real Cheese

“In the UK, over the course of the 20th century, we managed almost completely to destroy the institutions and infrastructures of expertise. So, a lot of my job is just looking for answers to questions. Factory cheese is very different from farm cheese, and the main question we are trying to address is: How do we rediscover or re-create a working knowledge of the mechanics of farmhouse cheesemaking? Even just a decade ago, there was a virtual consensus that cheesemaking was simply what you did to milk, this very standardized raw material that was transformed by the magic that occurs in the cheesemaking vat. What distinguished farm cheese was only that it was made on a smaller scale, by hand. Today, we’ve totally broken away from that viewpoint. Our view has become a lot broader. We still need to understand the make: How can we coax the full potential out of the milk, and allow it to express itself fully rather than covering it up by insensitive methods? But—and this is the part we’d barely imagined—how do you produce milk that actually has something interesting to say? Fresh milk tastes milky, but making cheese has the capacity to reveal its latent characteristics. Without any lab equipment, it’s possible to make something that explores the good milk’s latent chemical and microbiological potential. That potential is determined by the way the milk is produced.

—Bronwen and Francis Percival. “Obsessed: The Fight for Real Cheese.” SeriousEats.com. September 2017.