Around the water cooler 📰
The Science of Happiness 🔬
The Harvard Study of Adult Development is one of the longest-running studies of adult life ever conducted. The study which began in the '30s, followed the lives of two groups of men: 724 men who grew up in the Boston area and 456 men who graduated from Harvard College between 1939 and 1944. Dr. Robert Waldinger, whose led the study for decades, says it's a study of what makes people "thrive." So what's the #1 thing you can do to improve your happiness? Invest in Relationships with Other People. According to their findings, the best indicator for maintaining happiness over the course of a subject's life was whether they described their relationships as having satisfying levels of quality and warmth. These qualities aren't only ascribed to romantic partners and close friends either, you can reap these benefits across all kinds of daily interactions, from coworkers to baristas. In an interview with NPR, Waldinger says, "we get little hits of well-being in all these different kinds of relationships." Your task should you choose to accept it: Take the initiative and text a friend you haven't heard from in a while.
Other conversation starters to break the January ice 🥶
HBO's The Last of Us has finally broken the video game adaptation curse it seems. Its January 15 premiere is HBO's second biggest debut of the last 13 years,
only trailing House of the Dragon. In the U.S., 4.7 million viewers tuned in to watch the Pedro Pascal and Bella Ramsey bring the much-beloved video game series to life.
Princeton student Edward Tian is turning AI on itself to help detect whether text is AI written. Over winter break, Tian built an app, GPTZero, that determines the likelihood of text being AI-generated. Tech magnates like Marc Andreessen think AI-plagiarism is a "non-issue," while others are already declaring the college essay dead.
JPMorgan paid $175 million for a startup and is suing the founder for faking 4 million users. Charlie Javice, founder of the acquired startup allegedly $18,000 for a data science professor to create a list of fake student names to get the big bank to sign the dotted line. They quickly discovered their purchase was a dud when all of the email started bouncing back post-purchase.
The Last of Us: HBO's post-apocalyptic video game adaptation starring Pedro Pascal and Bella Ramsey.
White Noise: Noah Baumbach (Marriage Story) directs Adam Driver and Greta Gerwig in this disaster comedy about a suburban family upended by an "airborne toxic event."
Puss in Boots: The Last Wish, the newest entry in the Shrek franchise that is being lauded as its best since the seminal Shrek 2, and is quickly ascending the Letterboxd charts.
Pressure Cooker: What happens when Big Brother meets Chopped? Or, alternatively, what happens when Netflix doesn't want to pay for a celebrity host for their new cooking competition?
Stutz: Jonah Hill goes to therapy and takes the viewer along with him.
Atsuko Okatsuka: The Intruder: Atsuko's first one-hour comedy special is as offbeat and colorful as the comedian is herself.
M3GAN: a robot-doll sci-fi horror that balances horror and comedy. Starring Allison Williams.
Spare: Prince Harry's autobiography that is sure to be as divisive as his renunciation of royalty.
"We live in the era of mids," a reflection on the insult of our time.
Joshua Rothman's explainer on mental processes and styles of thinking 🧠
The Appeal by Janice Hallett, a murder mystery for the reader that fancies themselves an armchair detective 🔍
Sad girl supergroup,boygenius, has a new record on the way.
Dead Eyes: Actor/Comedian Conor Ratliff looks to solve a true crime mystery of his own. The crime? Tom Hanks firing him from his small role in the 2001 HBO mini-series Band of Brothers.
Pet Grief by The Radio Dept.: "easy listening swedish indie ❤️ " - Brendon
Indie pop darling Wild Child's new single, Photographs.
Hardcore History: a really, really long-form history podcast.
Or any of Vulture's 2022 Best Podcasts, According to People Who Make Podcasts.
Discerning your thinking style from the following questions below. See Joshua Rothman's NYer article linked above for the answer key!
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