What I'm Reading (Sept. 29)

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Forming Lines
The real Pinocchio
Breeding a happier chicken



Here is my favorite description of a line, in this case, the door open and closed by Maxwell’s Demon. “The events of the world do not form an orderly queue, like the English. They crowd around chaotically, like Italians.”- Carlo Rovelli, The Order of Time. The master of lines is, of course, Disneyworld. Their lines appear short until you round the corner and enter the maze, and oddly enough, all of those lines somehow end in a gift shop. Is there something we might learn from the queue (a British line) to see the Queen?


“For most of us, lines involve three possibilities. Sometimes we have no choice. Our queue is unavoidable. At other times we can refuse to wait. And yes, the third possibility is when we want to wait for something.”

From Econlife, What It’s Nice To Know About a Queue


I grew up with Jiminy Cricket and Pinocchio, so I look forward (?) to the Tom Hanks version. But consider this.

“The Adventures of Pinocchio, which combined both novels, was published as a book in February 1883, with minor changes. Different in tone and plot, Pinocchio’s two parts share the same themes. Poverty dominates throughout the story and is often the subject of bitter humor. “What’s your father’s name?” a character asks Pinocchio. “Geppetto,” Pinocchio responds. “And what’s his job?” “Being poor.” “Does he make a lot of money doing it?””

An expose on the historical context and perhaps the underlying meaning of Pinocchio, From The Atlantic, The Politics of Pinocchio.


“…we could all stop eating chicken and eggs, and I suppose phase out the 25 billion or so chickens currently on farms – just let them reach the end of their natural lives without reproducing. I don’t think this is going to happen any time remotely soon, though: animal farming is going to be with us for a long time, and while it is, we have a duty to think pragmatically about steps we can take to improve things for those animals.”


Can we really breed a happier chicken? From Works in Progress, Selective breeding and chicken welfare


 “Bernardi observed physiological metrics for two dozen test subjects while they listened to six musical tracks. He found that the impacts of music could be read directly in the bloodstream, via changes in blood pressure, carbon dioxide, and circulation in the brain. (Bernardi and his son are both amateur musicians, and they wanted to explore a shared interest.) “During almost all sorts of music, there was a physiological change compatible with a condition of arousal,” he explains.

This effect made sense, given that active listening requires alertness and attention. But the more striking finding appeared between musical tracks. Bernardi and his colleagues discovered that randomly inserted stretches of silence also had a drastic effect, but in the opposite direction. In fact, two-minute silent pauses proved far more relaxing than either “relaxing” music or a longer silence played before the experiment started.”


To steal for a moment, it is time to consider the Sounds of Silence. From Nautil.us, This Is Your Brain on Silence