What I learned this week, September 23, 2022

(click to enlarge) Book With Wings Anselm Kiefer Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth

43 of the Most Iconic Short Stories in the English Language

I guess it’s not surprising – but I’ve read all but one of these. I’m off to read it now.

A Child's Introduction to Outer Space
A Child’s Introduction to Outer Space

Super-Earths are bigger, more common and more habitable than Earth itself – and astronomers are discovering more of the billions they think are out there

Astronomers now routinely discover planets orbiting stars outside of the solar system – they’re called exoplanets. But in summer 2022, teams working on NASA’s Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite found a few particularly interesting planets orbiting in the habitable zones of their parent stars.

One planet is 30% larger than Earth and orbits its star in less than three days. The other is 70% larger than the Earth and might host a deep ocean. These two exoplanets are super-Earths – more massive than the Earth but smaller than ice giants like Uranus and Neptune.

Ant Lion Pits

How Many Ants Live on Earth? Scientists Came Up With an Answer

Quick answer – a lot.

Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge, Trinity River Flood Stage, Dallas, Texas

Autofocus: The Productivity System That Treats Your To-Do List Like a River

In one of the emails Oliver Burkeman, author of Time Management for Mortals, sent out to his subscribers, he talked about how we typically treat our to-do lists like buckets that we need to empty every day. 

The problem, Burkeman observes, is that the to-do list is a bucket that never entirely empties. As we clear some tasks out, others are added in. It’s like the Magic Beer Floating Faucet Fountain that they used to sell at Spencer’s back in 1990, along with black lights and bags of reindeer poop. 

Why we crave

The neuroscientific picture of addiction overlooks the psychological and social factors that make cravings so hard to resist

(click to enlarge) Mural, Deep Ellum Dallas, Texas

Neptune’s faint rings glimmer in new James Webb Space Telescope image

The powerful space telescope shows off Neptune’s unsung rings, showing off the ice giant in a whole new way.

Time Exposure, Night, Downtown Dallas, Ross and Pearl

Why We Lost Trust in the Expert Class