Your Brain Is Like a Fish Tank and Other Fascinating News on the Web

January 13, 2014

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  1. You Have a Dirty Mind

    We’re learning more about why sleep is so important. According to an interesting set of recent studies, sleep provides your brain with the opportunity to essentially clean itself. One researcher compares your brain to an aquarium: “Think about a fish tank. If you have a tank and no filter, the fish will eventually die. So, how do the brain cells get rid of their waste? Where is their filter?” I’m an insomniac with seventy-five open browser tabs. My aquarium is a swamp.

    + “We are at the same place that the impact of smoking was on health 50 years ago when finally there was enough evidence that the surgeon general issued a report indicating that smoking was hazardous to people’s health.” That’s Harvard Med School’s Charles Czeisler who calls sleep the third pillar of health, along with diet and eating well.

  2. The Bridge to Nowhere

    Few recent stories have dominated the headlines and cable news airwaves like the Chris Christie bridge traffic scandal. So how did most Americans react to the coverage? They talked about the weather. According to a Pew survey, people’s opinons of Christie are largely unchanged.

    + Of course, that doesn’t mean the Christie traffic scandal coverage will die down anytime soon. And now the NJ governor faces a new issue. Federal auditors want to know why Sandy disaster funds were used for a tourism commercial featuring Christie and his family.

    + Gizmodo: Five of the worst traffic jams in history.

  3. Listening in on the Listeners

    Wired’s Steven Levy provides these interesting outtakes from the interviews he recently conducted at the NSA: I spent two hours talking with the NSA’s bigwigs. Here’s what has them mad.

    + A Washington-based nonprofit group tried to establish a connection betweet the mass collection of phone records and efforts to prevent terrorist attacks. They didn’t find much.

  4. The Vagina Monologues

    And the winner of the Golden Globes is… The Golden Globes. Once again, the “other” awards show continued its upward trajectory in terms of viewership, influence, buzz, and weird (often drunken) moments.

    + The awards — which included several major surprises — were spread across a bunch of different movies and shows. Here’s a list of all the nominees and winners.

    + The Daily Beast has a rundown of the best, weirdest moments you (may have) missed, including Tina Fey’s introduction of the night: “Like a supermodel’s vagina, let’s give a warm welcome to Leonardo DiCaprio.”

    + Buzzfeed GIFs the 27 best moments from the Golden Globes.

    + “Time to grab some icecream & switch over to Girls.” So Tweeted Mia Farrow during the Woody Allen tribute. Ronan Farrow was a lot less enthusiastic.

    + The Golden Globes in 90 seconds.

    + TV addicts had a full night between the awards, Downton Abbey, the excellent season premiere of Girls, the debut of True Detective, and a first glimpse of the upcoming season of Game of Thrones. All that definitely provided a nice way to unwind after watching seven hours of NFL playoffs.

  5. These Parents Today

    “When prospective mothers and fathers imagine the joys of parenthood, they seldom imagine the adolescent years, which Nora Ephron famously opined could only be survived by acquiring a dog (‘so that someone in the house is happy to see you’).” Jennifer Senior explains that what adolescence does to adolescents is nowhere near as brutal as what it does to their parents.

  6. Blowing Smoke

    “Blow in her face and she’ll follow you anywhere.” It’s been just about 50 years to the day since the U.S. Surgeon General warned that smoking can be fatal. To see how much times have changed, take a took at some of the tobacco ads from that era.

  7. Turn Your Head and Cook

    In California, a lot of chefs are mad about the new regulations that will force all of them to wear rubber gloves while handing food. (Or why I never accept the dinner invitation from my proctologist.)

  8. ‘Smore Thoughts on the Marshmallow Test

    In the NYT Magazine, Michael Bourne looks back at what we really learned from the famous marshmallow test: We Didn’t Eat the Marshmallow. The Marshmallow Ate Us.

  9. The View From the Top

    Syndicated from Kottke: A view from a ski jump
    Ride along with Anders Jacobsen as he takes flight off the end of a ski jump in Lillehammer, Norway. Very nice, but this fourth grader’s first time on a bigger ramp is by far my favorite ski jump video of all time.

  10. The Bottom of the News

    “It is more than a decade after their fame peaked, and yet here [they] are … with a few thousand fans, fans who are screaming, shouting, singing along, laughing at every joke, shoving one another to get closer to the stage.” Torie Bosch courageously shares her story: I Went On A Backstreet Boys Cruise.

    + Sooner or later, everything good for you is bad for you. So maybe this headline was inevitable: The Dark Side Of Kale (other than trying to chew it).

    + For three straight hours, Peyton Manning yelled the word Omaha into your living room. Here’s proof.

    + Bill Murray is the most interesting man in the world.