In 1968, less than a year before the iconic NASA moon landing, a charming children’s book titled Upside Down Day (public library) made its debut. What made it special weren’t just the vibrant illustrations by artist Kelly Oechsli, but that it was written by Julian Scheer — the head of NASA’s Public Affairs Office, responsible for enchanting Americans with the space program. There is something immeasurably wonderful about knowing that the person in charge of tickling the public imagination into embracing the pursuit of space exploration — a pursuit subject to tragic neglect today — was himself an imaginative storyteller who knew how to inhabit that delicate intersection of whimsy and irreverence.
Given Scheer’s background, it is quite likely that the story of a day where nothing works as expected was inspired by and teases children into considering the physics of space, which pays no heed to earthly expectations — from the way gravity warps the notions of up and down to the soundlessness of space, which makes the mooing of cows and the ring of a bell inaudible amid the cosmic ether.
By Damian Davila
When it comes to finance, most people like stability.
Having the certainty of when and how much cash you will receive for a set period of time provides you peace of mind that allows you to focus on more important things. This is the reason that annuities may be an attractive long-term source of income for some investors. (See also: 5 Super Safe Investments)
Let’s take a look at what are annuities and when they are a good choice.
How Annuities Work
Annuities are contracts between you, referred to as the annuitant, and a financial institution, such as a mutual fund or insurance company. In these contracts, you commit to make a lump sum payment or to follow a schedule of periodic payments in exchange for a guaranteed income stream. Under most annuities, you have to hold the annuity until age 59 1/2.
The financial institution, often an insurance company, uses your …read more
Via: Wise Bread
By Aloysius Low
Powered by CyanogenMod, this quad-core Android smartphone will be vailable for just $299 around the world in 16 countries (including the U.S.). Here’s what we think.
Via: CNET Product Reviews
By Maria Popova
Empirical evidence for the healthy push-and-pull of love.
You may recall the Benjamin Franklin Effect — that odd phenomenon of reverse psychology wherein doing someone a favor makes us like the person more. In this short “science experiment,” complete with a mandatory lab coat, the folks at SoulPancake set out to apply the Founding Father’s insight to the realm of romantic relationships. Though the task itself may appear silly and the quantitative finding hardly earth-shattering, beneath it lies a bigger and rather important qualitative point about the push-and-pull of a healthy relationship, one that resonates with the Chinese notion of wu-wei:
Make sure you allow room in the relationship for the other person to also give it back and invest in you. So maybe don’t insist on paying the bill every time or driving to their place every time. Give them a shot to invest and put just as much into it as you do. Whether you’re trying to get into a relationship or deeper into a long-term one, give your partner a chance to contribute to it.
Pair with a deeper look at the psychology of the Benjamin Franklin Effect, then see the science of how …read more
Via: Brain Pickings
By Chris Smith
OnePlus on Wednesday finally unveiled its first Android handset, the highly anticipated CyanogenMod-based OnePlus One. Considering the phone’s specs and affordable price, the One is the only Android phone you should really consider buying right now. The device will be even cheaper than customers expect, retailing for either $299/€269 (the 16GB version) or $349/€299 (the 64GB version), and should be available in the near future in 16 markets.
Via: Genius Report