Tourism, Construction and an Ongoing Nuclear Crisis at Chernobyl

Two very interesting articles fron Newsweek on the current Chernobyl situation:

The place remains a half-opened tinderbox of potential nuclear horrors, and just because much of the world has forgotten about Chernobyl doesn't mean catastrophe won't visit here again.

From the first article.

It’s almost like everyone agreed to play an incredibly dangerous game that, after half a century, suddenly seemed pointless and even boring. When it was over, the players dropped their toys and went home.

From The Massive Russian Radar Site in the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone.

Life at an Incredible Height

Alicja Dobrucka photographs poorly regulated new condo constructions in Mumbai juxtaposed with their advertising slogans.

More at The Morning News

What Do Teen Girls and Middle-Aged Dudes Have in Common?

I actually have this theory that I’ve never written up: that teenage girls and middle-aged men are the source of the best modern television. They’re both emotionally labile figures going through a period of identity formation. They’re angry and horny and they bridle at the dullness of social conformity. They’re unnerved by the way their bodies are changing. They feel like the world is ending

More at The Cut

Serious reading takes a hit from online scanning and skimming, researchers say

Researchers say humans are developing brains focused on skimming over information online instead of the traditional deep reading.

After a day of scrolling through the Web and hundreds of e-mails, she sat down one evening to read Hermann Hesse’s “The Glass Bead Game.” “I’m not kidding: I couldn’t do it,” she said. “It was torture getting through the first page. I couldn’t force myself to slow down so that I wasn’t skimming, picking out key words, organizing my eye movements to generate the most information at the highest speed. I was so disgusted with myself.”

I've noticed this happening to myself sometimes, it scares me and I force myself to breathe and read again.

The whole article is worth reading, try not skipping any paragraphs.

You can dance on Sundays too

If you enjoy dancing to quality techno but can't do the Saturday clubbing thing anymore, or just want to hit the dancefloor one more time on the week-end, Technoon is a new Brussels Sunday-afternoon party that will be returning for its third edition in February.

My small contribution to these events has been designing the flyers and posters, here's the one for the upcoming edition. Make sure you're there.

2013, and the stuff it was made of.

The new year tends to be that period when every media under the sun throws up a "best of" list.

I don't usually partake in these things, but several people have been asking me about my "best this", "best that" and other favourites of the year.

So, before January ends, I thought I'd compile a little list of digital items that marked the previous year for me; and simultaneously avoid responding to multiple emails. Make of it what you want.

Best movie

Without a doubt, that one goes to Upstream Color.

It's dense, mysterious, perplexing… and asks more questions than it answers. But it's beautiful and demands multiple viewings.

Best Album

Immunity by Jon Hopkins is the winner here.

Driving, thumping techno intersects with delicate ambient. Best listened to in its entirety, it's a journey.

Best desktop application

f.lux is a simple little utility, but it's made a huge difference to my working habits.

It makes the colour temperature of your display adapt to the time of day: warm at night when under artificial light and colder during daylight.

It helps you go to bed at a reasonable hour, avoiding that cold blue glow that messes with your body's natural rhythm at night.

It's made such a difference, I'm about to jailbreak my iPad to install it there too.

(obviously, I disable it if I need to do colour-precise work).

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Best mobile application

I tend to walk alot in town. I'll leave early and walk to meetings, go and grab a sandwich somewhere distant at lunch, skip the metro and trek it instead, etc.

There are gadgets out there like the fitbit that will help you measure your steps and reach your goals but your phone is quite capable of doing the same or damn close.

I don't have targets to reach or calories to lose, but I like keeping track of my rambles. Moves fits the bill perfectly.

It keeps track of your step count/kilometres covered, can do calorie counts if you're into that and traces your movements on a map, including stop locations pulled from foursquare.

It's also great for getting an idea of how long it takes to get to certain places when planning a return trip.