Here are today's must-reads:
"What I tell patients is, if you like coffee, go ahead and drink as much as you want and can," says Dr. Peter Martin, director of the Institute for Coffee Studies at Vanderbilt University. He's even developed a metric for monitoring your dosage: If you are having trouble sleeping, cut back on your last cup of the day. From there, he says, "If you drink that much, it's not going to do you any harm, and it might actually help you. A lot."
Officially, the American Medical Association recommends conservatively that "moderate tea or coffee drinking likely has no negative effect on health, as long as you live an otherwise healthy lifestyle." That is a lackluster endorsement in light of so much recent glowing research. Not only have most of coffee's purported ill effects been disproven -- the most recent review fails to link it the development of hypertension -- but we have so, so much information about its benefits. We believe they extend from preventing Alzheimer's disease to protecting the liver. What we know goes beyond small-scale studies or limited observations. The past couple of years have seen findings, that, taken together, suggest that we should embrace coffee for reasons beyond the benefits of caffeine, and that we might go so far as to consider it a nutrient.
For the past decade, I’ve tried every new social media product to come along but I find myself returning to the two giants of the industry most often: Twitter and Facebook. I’m optimistic and delighted every time I open up Twitter on my browser, while Facebook is something I only click on once or twice a day and always with a small sense of dread. This week I sat down to think about why that is.
Twitter put simply is fun, fantastic, and all about the here and now. The fact that I can’t even search my own feed for past things I’ve said makes it exist almost entirely in the present tense. The people I follow are people I know, people I work with and live near, but also a good dose of random comedians, musicians, and celebrities I’ll never meet. The things everyone tweets about are mostly jokes or things that make you smile, either random things that popped into the writers’ heads or comments on current events.
There’s no memory at Twitter: everything is fleeting. Though that concept may seem daunting to some (archivists, I feel your pain), it also means the content in my feed is an endless stream of new information, either comments on what is happening right now or thoughts about the future. One of the reasons I loved the Internet when I first discovered it in the mid-1990s was that it was a clean slate, a place that welcomed all regardless of your past as you wrote your new life story; where you’d only be judged on your words and your art and your photos going forward.
Facebook is mired in the past. My spouse resisted Facebook for many years and recently I got to watch over her shoulder as she signed up for an account. They asked her about her birth and where she grew up and what schools she attended, who her family might be. By the end of the process, she was asking me how this website figured out her entire social circles in high school and college. It was more than a little creepy, but that’s where her experience began.
SOMETIMES when I crave a powerful dose of humility — the kind of humility that can come only from fully apprehending the lot of those less fortunate than me — I turn my attention to the plight of the former White House press secretary Ari Fleischer. He experiences an exquisite kind of pain. As he lamented on Twitter earlier this year:“They just announced my flight at LaGuardia is number 15 for takeoff. I miss Air Force One!!”
When my stores of sympathy have not been fully depleted by contemplating the indignities heaped on Mr. Fleischer, I’ll then go on and immerse myself in the ennobling humility of the comedian Dane Cook. Mr. Cook, who has nearly three million Twitter followers, once tweeted: “Being famous and having a fender bender is weird. You want to be upset but the other drivers just thrilled & giddy that it’s you.” Finally, on those days when my humanity is fathomless, I turn to the selfless tweets of Deepak Chopra. Like: “Hope & despair are born of imagination. I am free of both.”
There’s nothing new about false modesty, nor its designation as a form of bad manners. But the prevalence of social media has given us many more canvases on which to paint our faux humility — making us, in turn, increasingly sophisticated braggers.
Enter the self-deprecating boast known as the “humblebrag,” a term devised by the comedian Harris Wittels, a writer for the NBC series “Parks and Recreation,” who collects hundreds of these cockeyed chestnuts on his Twitter feed and in his new book, both called “Humblebrag.”
These are some of the other things I've been tweeting about over the past few days:
- "The Truce On Drugs: What Happens Now That the War on Drugs Has Failed?"http://pjblack.me/Rvt6WQ
- "Atari Teenage Riot: The Inside Story Of Pong And The Video Game Industry's Big Bang" http://pjblack.me/Sr7g3O
- well this is just silly: "Author Andrew Piper: Turning Pages Is Important, Therefore Reading Ebooks Isn't Reading" http://pjblack.me/RvsLTX
- "Michael Jackson's 'Thriller' at 30: How One Album Changed the World" http://pjblack.me/Sr6SlO
- "iiNet: copyright law hampering ISPs" http://pjblack.me/Sr6PGT #lwb486
- a look at hypersomnolence, a condition that causes a person to sleep excessively: "Re-Awakenings" http://pjblack.me/RvqB72
- on teaching writing to children at a houston cancer center: "You Owe Me" http://pjblack.me/RvquIs
- oops: "U.N. Twitter typo calls for '1-state' solution" http://pjblack.me/RvmBDv
- i'd love uber to be in brisbane: "Uber goes official in Australia as it ends 6 weeks of testing and launches in Sydney" http://pjblack.me/Rvl2p0
- this is disappointing: "No demand: Qantas dumps in-flight Internet" http://pjblack.me/SqYm6x
- twitter executives visit australia: "Twitter must be a good corporate citizen" http://pjblack.me/RvkYWo
- "Deputy Premier Jeff Seeney runs Queensland Government, says LNP defector Ray Hopper" http://pjblack.me/SqVJlb #qldpol
- sailfish looks pretty good: "Here comes the first real alternative to iPhone and Android" http://pjblack.me/RuOoUH
- i love this post: "Why I love Twitter and barely tolerate Facebook" http://pjblack.me/RsIQdk
- "U.S. judge refuses to order anti-Muslim film off YouTube" http://pjblack.me/RsIPWx
- from @reuters: "Best photos of the year 2012" http://pjblack.me/YjcSTI
- "Life-sized chocolate baby heads are this season's creepiest confection" http://pjblack.me/RsIT8O
- the famous inventor you've never heard of: "Dr. NakaMats, the Man With 3300 Patents to His Name" http://pjblack.me/RsITpf
- "10 Language Mistakes Kids Make That Are Actually Pretty Smart" http://pjblack.me/SouwQ5
- "A detached Romney tends wounds in seclusion after failed White House bid" http://pjblack.me/Spe3uP
- "Bah, Humblebrag - The (Unfortunate) Rise of False Humility" http://pjblack.me/Sp8Ymn
- "Education academics attack ARC" http://pjblack.me/SoBKna #highered
- "Academe 'must put up own money'" http://pjblack.me/SoB9Su #highered
- "iBaby boom: More parents decide Mac, Siri, and Apple are perfectly acceptable baby names in 2012" http://pjblack.me/RoUcir
- "On Creativity, Comedy, and the Creative Class. Baratunde Thurston." http://pjblack.me/Rrrq0v
- "The Lost Tweets Of Tech Elite" http://pjblack.me/RoU3vh
- "The Final Words of a 15-Year-Old Hacker Banned from the Internet" http://pjblack.me/Sn8BIN
- an example of what can go wrong when releasing an app: "I Was Wrong" http://pjblack.me/Sn5HnE
- this is good news: "The Case for Drinking as Much Coffee as You Like" http://pjblack.me/RpwjXW
- fantastic!: "'Fantastical' Mac Calendar App Makes its Way to iPhone" http://pjblack.me/VbyIBl
- "FYI: Why Are Mean People So Hot?" http://pjblack.me/Sk54el
- "iTunes 11: It’s time for Apple’s horrible, bloated program to die" says @fmanjoo http://pjblack.me/Tw8Cw8
- "Boushra Almutawakel: Photographing variations of the veil" http://pjblack.me/Ro0nDh /cc @eannblack
- "Twitter Fiction Done Right" http://pjblack.me/SiRsQH
- "How Whitlam Redefined Opposition" http://pjblack.me/RmsR05 #auspol
- "Smokers believe plain pack cigarettes taste worse" http://pjblack.me/Rmrj6v
- "Not All Apps Can Be Instagrams, but Someone Might Be Willing to Buy Them" http://pjblack.me/RmpZ3B
- from the public editor of the new york times: "Problems With a Reporter's Facebook Posts, and a Possible Solution" http://pjblack.me/YtCUTi
- from @THREsq: "'UFC Undisputed' Video Game at Center of Tattoo Copycat Lawsuit" http://pjblack.me/YtyhbF #lwb486 #lws008
- "Are Video Games Art? MoMA Says Yes." http://pjblack.me/SiJqag
Follow me on Twitter @peterjblack.
And you can get my latest links anytime on my Rebelmouse social media front page.