"5 COOL THINGS" - weekly emails

5 Cool Things  😎
5 Cool Things:
05/23/19
Hi, this is Greg Powell. I hope you'll enjoy one or more of these interesting topics from the world of business and beyond. Dan Powell, my son and collaborator, has researched the articles and written the summaries, so this is not a boilerplate message. We'd like to give you a weekly break to learn about something cool or, better yet, 5 Cool Things.

 

The Secret of Life (Greg Powell)

That's right - just what you've been waiting for! The Secret of Life!  Read more...


How Brands Get Their Names, Explained By a Professional Namer (Vox)

How does a brand get its name? Why are there naming trends that change over time? Why could it be bad for a brand like Xerox or Kleenex to become synonymous with a product? All of these questions and more are answered in this interview with strategist and consultant Rachel Bernard, who says Impossible Burger is her favorite brand name. “I just love that name, I think it’s such a bold choice. It’s accessible and passes my believability test.” Read more…


It’s the End of the Gene As We Know It (Nautilus)

For over a century, humankind has put faith in genetics as a shortcut for explaining the infinite manifestations of our complex bodies and minds. The pseudoscience of eugenics, the discovery of DNA, and the more recent Human Genome Project promised miracles, but is the human body really as simple as all that? “Scientists now understand that the information in the DNA code can only serve as a template for a protein. It cannot possibly serve as instructions for the more complex task of putting the proteins together into a fully functioning being, no more than the characters on a typewriter can produce a story.” Read more…

 

The New Kilogram Just Debuted. It’s a Massive Achievement. (Vox)

Since 1889, the kilogram —  a foundational weight measurement for so much of the world’s scientific knowledge and progress —  has been defined by an individual cylinder of platinum-iridium alloy at the International Bureau of Weights and Measures in Sèvres, France. As of Monday, May 20, the kilogram is now defined by a measurement called the Planck constant, which, for simplicity’s sake, is the smallest action an electron can take. What’s that mean for humanity? It means that now, nobody is the “holder” or “custodian” of the kilogram — it can be derived, anywhere, by anyone, from the constant, fundamental, and unchanging laws of nature. Read more…

 

Feral Parrots Are Taking Over America (Gizmodo)

Parrot and parakeet sightings are on the rise across the country, especially in tropical regions like Florida and southern California - but also in places like Chicago, defying cold winter weather. In all, scientists have identified breeding populations descended from escaped pet parrots in half of US states — and now they have to decide what to do about them. The parrots  are technically invasive species, but more research will be required to determine what negative impact they might make upon local populations. Read more…

 

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See you next week!
            - Greg
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