friday five 3.31.17

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A couple of people have recently asked me how I find things for Friday Five. In my first Friday Five, I cited Twitter, but lately I've been liking email newsletters for global and pop culture news, since my Twitter feed seems to be very politics-heavy especially in the past, oh, I don't know, 71 days. So here's a list of all of the email newsletters I subscribe to:

Morning Brew
Daily Pnut
Flipboard 10 (this one is great because you can customize it)
The New York Times newsletters: I like The Upshot, The Edit, The Interpreter, Bits, Morning Briefing, Nicholas Kristof, Race/Related, and nyt mag
AJ+'s "Trump Tracker"
AdWeek newsletters
Medium Daily Digest

1. spinach leaf transformed into beating human heart tissue

I am consistently impressed with scientific ingenuity. I've actually mentioned this in a Minute Thoughts before, but scientists at Vanderbilt University have actually found a way to modify cotton candy machines to spin fiber networks as templates for artificial organs. Like...what?! Who thinks of these things. It's amazing. But the fact that we could potentially grow organs from vegetables. I'm nerding out about this so hard.

2. noam chomsky - the 5 filters of the mass media machine

A rather terrifying take on the media. I suppose this election has made us all into conspiracy theorists a little bit. But it actually is happening and we actually are susceptible to messaging, even when we are fully aware of it (this article is written back in 2011). The most recent example is the Women's March, the biggest global political protest in history. Five major newspapers didn't put it on the front page, because the story, while newsworthy, didn't align with their ideals. Hmm.

3. feminist hypocrisy is the new trend in startup narratives

Yikes. I guess this just reiterates that feminism is easy to champion, but more difficult to actually practice, because it requires setting aside your ego and your own personal bias. Marching is easy. Hashtagging is easy. A little too easy, if you ask me. Chalk that up to things I hate about modern feminism.

4. elon musk seen targeting human-computer link in new venture

Despite some recent blunders with Tesla and SpaceX in the past year or so and some questionable views about cyborgs, Elon Musk has been killing it, what with its historic used rocket launch and now this. I admire this guy because he's not just smart on one frontier. He's passionate about so many different scientific disciplines and he's making tangible contributions to all of them. Semi-related: ongoing efforts to extend your consciousness to the point of immortality. Crazy. Black Mirror, anyone?

5. a navajo chef on the complexities of modernizing native american cuisine

I've been interested in Native American identity lately, mostly because I'm curious as to how they feel about the whole "no immigrants" and "Make America Great Again" hypocrisy. It's nice to see their traditions live on, and I think food is an especially intricate medium because beyond its obvious necessity, it's so intentional. I used to be a very picky eater (I think I only started appreciating food in 2012), but since then I've made a great effort to eat everything offered to me in foreign countries, because it's such an expression of culture.

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