The Breads Roundup No. 81

Happiness is Cultural, Talking to Animals and Space Billionaires

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Hello Members of the Gambino Crime Family,

This is the part of the newsletter where I usually impart some otherworldly wisdom upon y’all, but if I’m being honest I’m not feeling particularly wise at the moment so I’ll just tell you that we only have one month of summer left so make sure you’re experiencing the great outdoors and good weather as much as possible.

Ok time for the usual linkies. Enjoy.

Different Cultures Define Happiness Differently

Just Give Me A Synopsis:
The U.N. puts out a happiness index every year which always ranks the Scandinavian countries at the top of the list. But as this piece argues, there is not really any way to objectively quantify happiness because different regions of the world have different definitions of happiness is exactly.

And A Quote From The Article Please:

Even the words we use to talk about happiness have different connotations in different tongues. In Germanic languages, happiness is rooted in words related to fortune or positive fate. In fact, happiness comes from the Middle English hap, which means “luck.” Meanwhile, in Latin-based languages, the term comes from felicitas, which referred in ancient Rome not just to good luck, but also to growth, fertility, and prosperity.

And Tell Me Why I should Care:
Just remember that the expectations of how we should be living our lives are not governed by one ruling body. There is no one true answer for what happiness means. For some people it means 90 hour work weeks and lots of money and bragging to all your friends about your new beamer, for others it means making enough to live comfortably and have free time to pursue passions, for others it has nothing to do with work and everything to do with family, that last one is mostly just Vin Diesel, but you get the point.

What Happens When We Talk To Animals?

Just Give Me A Synopsis:
I found this to be a fascinating article from Harper's Magazine. The author chats with scientists and "animal mediums" alike about what it means to speak with animals and how much capacity we actually have to communicate in meaningful ways with them.

And A Quote From The Article Please:

Often, when the weather was nice enough, I’d take my computer onto our deck to work feet away from the nest. Just after I sat down, no matter what time it was, the mother would leave the nest to go hunting. But she never flew away without first hovering a few feet from my face, looking directly at me. Initially I thought she was trying to establish her territory, to urge me to move. But after a while it seemed more a gentle request to guard her nest while she was gone. Whether I understood this by witchcraft, scientific decoding, or wishful thinking, I wasn’t sure.

And Tell Me Why I should Care:
Because animals are super dope? Because there may come a time when you need to communicate to a dog that he needs to run and get the sheriff because you've fallen into a crevasse and can't climb your way out and will surely die without help? Because this will help you decipher psychic mumbo jumbo from real connection? All of the above baby!

Space: The Lamest Frontier

Just Give Me A Synopsis:
This is a very cynical piece from the new Gawker about billionaires going to space, so read it at your own risk. It's funny and well written but if you're a big Musk, Bezos or Branson fanboy this probably ain't the article for you.

And A Quote From The Article Please:

You can argue that the original space race was just a proxy for the Cold War and the aggressive, imperialist projects of both the superpowers, but at least you could pretend that these two massive states represented humanity. On some level, the Soviet and American space programs both represented collective efforts to accomplish a goal and they represented different philosophical ideals of government and human nature itself, they were not just the vanity projects of businessmen.

And Tell Me Why I should Care:
I chose this piece because I think it does a funny job of contrasting the super rich of the past vs the super rich of today. But also raises a lot of really good points about what these current space races really mean and what their value is. How we handle space exploration is going to be one of the defining debates of the next 25 years so start getting acquainted with the topic. I'm not someone who thinks this is purely for vanity, but I also don't think it is some altruistic accomplishment like a lot of the media tends to position it as. It's a short and entertaining read if you want to read someone super smart sh*tting on billionaires.

Weird Internet Resource Of The Week

I really like this website called Outline that allows you to “read and annotate without distractions” as they put it. I never do that honestly, but I assume if you’re a big note taker it would be useful because you can do that right in the article (you just copy and paste the url into the Outline page). It also strips out ads and pop-ups which is awesome when reading on annoying sites with eight million video players. The main reason I use it though is to get around paywalls. It won’t work on all paywalls but it does work on a lot. A bit of trial and error. But give it a go!

Other Interesting Things You May Or May Not Care About

  • The Mediterranean's Short-Lived 'Atlantis'
    For a few months in the 1800s a new volcanic island emerged overnight, was quickly claimed by multiple nations because of its strategic position on shipping routes and then sunk back into the sea shortly after.

  • There’s A Scientific Reason Why Humans Love Drumming
    Um yeah, cause it sounds f*cking rad?!

  • Why Is English Spelling So Weird And Unpredictable?
    Yes, it is because English is basically the philandering uncle in a soap opera having had torrid affairs with just about every other language in the show and picked up a lot of different things from them. But it also has a lot to do with the fact that the printing press came along at the same time modern English was developing as a language, meaning that all the weird quirks had to be put more officially into spelling, which is how you get many different sounds coming from the same combination of letters.

  • The Surprising Ways Sharks Keep The Ocean Healthy
    I’ll tell you what, it certainly has to do with them eating things. So it really isn’t that surprising after all. But still very interesting. Turtles may also be involved.

  • Smell You Later: The Weird Science Of How Sweat Attracts
    As the venerable band, The Bloodhound Gang, puts it “you and me baby ain’t nothing but mammals”, meaning that we do indeed love to smell a potential mate.

Brands I Quite Like

There are so many brands out there that are not cool or unique that I thought I would highlight new brands that I think are in fact doing dope things and are worth knowing about. This is not sponsored or full of affiliate links.

Ursa Major - Nature Inspired Grooming

Based out of Vermont, Ursa Major is like if your super crunchy aunt who also happened to have gone to SVA and is a sick designer decided to start a skincare and grooming brand. Everything they do is based on nature from the ingredients they use to the scents they make. Plus they have dope packaging. Check em out.

Let’s Just Looks At Art Because Reading Sucks

Lists Are What The Internet Was Made For!

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