7QT: Good books, fake books, and the best job in the world

--- 1 --- I'm excited about the discovery of gravity waves, and here's the most delightful thing I learned in the process of reading about the discover (via The New Yorker) The LIGO team includes a small group of people whose job is to create blind injections—bogus evidence of a gravitational wave—as a way of keeping the scientists on their toes. Although everyone knew who the four people in that group were, “we didn’t know what, when, or whether,” Gabriela González, the collaboration’s spokesw … [Read more...]

7QT: Kabbalah Meet-Cutes, Substitute Mourners, and Vocational Opportunities


--- 1 --- The nice thing about being noisy about your hobbyhorses is that your friends wind up acting as your personal clipping service. That's how I heard about these three friends who have been living together for 50 years.“We thought we’d be there two or three years and somebody would get married or maybe buy a house by themselves,” says Sugg, who’s in her 80s. “But that just didn’t happen.” They all grew close to each other’s families — acting as doting aunts to various nieces and nephe … [Read more...]

7QT: Catapults, Chimes, and Cosplaying Kids


--- 1 --- I've been making some progress on the books I earmarked to read in 2016, but I had to make time for a book titled Catapult: Harry and I Build a Siege Weapon, which was pretty much everything I hoped it would be.  Here's a passage from early in the book: I got off the phone, surprised by the force of this whim to build a catapult. Where was that coming from? I wondered. I had never wanted anything like it. I had never even owned a weapon. I held onto the rock and wandered around the a … [Read more...]

7QT: Magic, Secrets, and Bureaucracy


--- 1 --- I already love Ikea, source of all my bookshelves, but I particularly like their new line of plush toys, all designed to look like actual kids' drawings.There are more examples, all delightful, at this link. --- 2 --- Another example of glorious inventiveness: the Mahler Hammer.I found this via Hello Tailor's tumblr, where there are many more gifs of the Mahler Hammer being deployed and this explanation:It’s even more awesome if you know the story behind it. See, … [Read more...]

7QT: Drunk Historians, Silly Bodybuilders, Clever Proofs


--- 1 --- I've usually avoided Drunk History (a show where heavily in their cups historians summarize a notable life or event, and then have their garbled retellings reenacted by actors) because I saw an episode that involved vomiting, which I'd prefer not to see.But this episode about Harriet Tubman's in the Civil War (about which I knew nothing, and in which she's played by Octavia Spencer) is excellent (and involves no sickness at all, no promises if you check out other … [Read more...]

7QT: Costumes, Communal Singing, and Hamilton


--- 1 --- A friend of mine is looking for good semi-pregnant Halloween costumes (she's not big enough to go as a globe, as she hoped).  I don't have that much to suggest (maybe you all have ideas for her?) but I do have a roundup of excellent parent-baby costumes.  My favorite is the child as Max from Where the Wild Things Are, and his mom as his boat!  --- 2 --- Also in the domain of, um, expressive things to do with your offspring: there's an annual reunion for people named aft … [Read more...]

7QT: Agreement Theorems and Exponential Suprises

captain marvel

--- 1 --- I loved this NYT piece on an Italian street whose residents created a private facebook group to get to know each other better.Mr. Bastiani took a chance and posted a flier along his street, Via Fondazza, explaining that he had created a closed group on Facebook just for the people who lived there. He was merely looking to make some new friends. In three or four days, the group had about 20 followers. Almost two years later, the residents say, walking along Via Fondazza does not fe … [Read more...]