The New Yorker launched a redesigned website and as part of a promotion/celebration, they’ve unlocked ALL their online content dating back to 2007.

Rather quickly, Longford compiled a list of their top 25 “unlocked” articles part of the summer campaign.

I think I’ve just found my beach reading list for when I go on vacation.

The CIA Has a Style Guide

by C.G. on July 21, 2014

Many people know that newspapers and press organizations often have their own writing style and have a published style guide for writers and editors to refer to when reporting the news. The most discussed guide is usually the style from the Associated Press — called the AP Style Book.

Style guides, it turns out, are not just for the press. The CIA has their own guide and it’s rather unnerving which Quartz curated:

  • Keep the language crisp and pungent; prefer the forthright to the pompous and ornate.
  • Do not stray from the subject; omit the extraneous, no matter how brilliant it may seem or even be.
  • Favor the active voice and shun streams of polysyllables and prepositional phrases.
  • Keep sentences and paragraphs short, and vary the structure of both.
  • Be frugal in the use of adjectives and adverbs; let nouns and verbs show their own power.

regime: has a disparaging connotation and should not be used when referring to democratically elected governments or, generally, to governments friendly to the United States.

tortuous (adj, twisting, devious, highly complex)
torturous (adj, causing torture, cruelly painful)

number of: a phrase that is too imprecise in some contexts. A number of troops were killed. (If you do not know how many, say an unknown number.)

casualties: include persons injured, captured, or missing in action as well as those killed in battle. In formulating casualty statistics, be sure to write “killed or wounded,” not “killed and wounded.” (See injuries, casualties.)

I guess you have to normalize the words used in reports to officials but, man, it’s depressing this kind of thing has to exist.

via The Millions

Healthcare Triage takes a look at sunscreens and explains how much you should be wearing to fully protect yourselves from the sun. Like all of his videos, he goes into the research and debates the links that are often shared in social media — you know the ones that usually add FUD (Fear, Uncertainty, Doubt) into something.

And speaking of sunscreen, Vox had an article on SPF in sunscreens earlier in the week. I meant to write about it here when it came out but seeing the video above gave me all the more reason to do it.

The tl;dr version of them both: larger SPFs don’t give you much extra protection. And the amount of sunscreen you need to achieve the SPF waiting is much more than you probably use. So whatever you do, don’t buy a high SPF sunscreen (say, 100) and use half as much as you would compared to an SPF 50.

Futurama in 3D

by C.G. on July 19, 2014

Vimeo user seccovan rendered a 3D sequence of the opening scenes of the cartoon Futurama. It’s short, and doesn’t use the opening theme music it’s a great example of what a 3D movie based on the 2D cartoon could look like.

I hope something like this comes along for real.

Friday Find: The Milk Carton Kids

by C.G. on July 18, 2014

Friday night on Twitter is when the journalists, geeks, authors, business people, and other experts in their chosen field deviate into something more artistic. Some post or retweet countless pictures of cat pictures. Others, post videos like this one of the folk band The Milk Carton Kids.

The people I follow have described them as a modern Simon and Garfunkel — which I see and hear. They are quirky in an innocently anti-social way. In between sets, they make attempts at dry humor which makes your lip curl in some wryly smile. Wearing a dressier Mumford and Sons clothing that has an old Trad quality to it.


Their YouTube channel has the video above which is of a performance done in earlier this year. You can download two albums from their website for free and a more recent one from iTunes.

I’ve already downloaded their two free ones and I’ve added the remaining releases to my wishlist for when I get a gift card. If you like Simon & Garfunkel you may like The Milk Carton Kids as I am thus far.