Weekly Newsletter

I apologize for the short newsletter this week. Graduation has limited the amount of time I’ve been able to spend on it, and I ’d rather shorten it than include lower quality articles.

Biology and Physiology #

Lost Posture: Why Some Indigenous Cultures May Not Have Back Pain
Discusses a hypothesis for widespread back pain and profiles Esther Gokhale, a woman who has studied indigenous cultures in an attempt to gain insight into why they don’t suffer from back pain.

The Evidence Points to a Better Way to Fight Insomnia
Argues that Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (C.B.T.) may work better for fighting insomnia than pills. The author discusses his own n=1 experience with C.B.T. but also cites scientific evidence that supports his experience. The designer of C.B.T., Albert Ellis, has stated in interviews that he was inspired to create C.B.T. after reading Stoic philosophers.

Urban Agriculture #

This Ag Innovator Wants to Find Your Broccoli by IP Address
Profiles Caleb Harper, a researcher trying to create a centralized repository for information about vertical farming and urban agriculture.

Other Contributions #

See through words (Mark Malina)
A metaphor designer discusses how he designs metaphors to increase understanding of complex ideas. This article was really thought-provoking for me. I enjoyed how he used metaphors to explain aspects of metaphor design in the article. In addition, I’ve seen first-hand the right metaphor can simplify complex theoretical computer science concepts. One of my favorite professors, Prasad Jayanti, is a skilled metaphor designer in his own right. He creates understandable, useful simple metaphors for all types of algorithms in his classes. Without these metaphors, I’d be even worse at algorithms than I already am.