The Collection

Weekly digest of the best things on the internet

Edition Six

Sunday 29 Nov 2015

There's a few less articles in this week's collection, because the final article is quite a long read. A look at a man who decided to bring Christianity to North Korea, and had to pay the consequences.

I hope you're enjoying each edition of The Collection. If you come across any articles you think are worthy of being featured, please send them my way with this form:

Weekly Wrap Up

Follow up to last week’s comment about Adele’s latest album 25, it seems the Pandora have the rights to stream it online. Like Taylor Swift last year, Adele has used her popularity to pull her album from music streaming services with the hope (and success) to see more copies. This controversial move has sparked some debate about whether this is good for all musicians or good for just Adele. Pandora, the internet radio service, has confirmed that they (due to their peculiar license with the US government) are streaming 25 right now.

A Moscow court has banned the church of Scientology, claiming that the use of trademarks voids its right as a religion under Russian law.

"The representatives of the Church of Scientology have created many legal conflicts by themselves by restricting the religious freedom through the use of trade marks," the Ministry of Justice said.

The Australian federal government passed their “no-jab-no-pay” laws this week. With exceptions only for medical reasons, the parents of children who are not immunised will be have childcare benefits, rebates, and the Family Tax Benefit A end-of-year supplement removed. The catch obviously is that this will in some cases even further negatively impact these children, whom have no choice.

Some of you may have seen this poster going around the internet this week, comparing the Saudi legal system to the ISIS punishment system. Well “Saudi Arabia will sue any Twitter user who compares the Kingdom’s recent decision to execute a poet to punishments handed down by Isis.”

"The justice ministry will sue the person who described ... the sentencing of a man to death for apostasy as being `Isis-like'," a justice ministry source told newspaper Al-Riyadh.

There are only three remaining northern white rhinos in the world, after Nola, a 41-year-old female, who arrived at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park in 1989 died this week. The remaining rhinos are too old to effectively reproduce, however sperm samples are currently held in liquid nitrogen in the Czech Republic.

A Chief Coca-Cola scientist has left amid criticism over obesity research foundation he funded. Rhona Applebaum, Coca-Cola’s chief scientist and health officer, has been accused of setting up a nonprofit designed to downplay the role of sugary drinks in obesity. The University of Colorado has returned the $1 million to Coca-Cola after news came out about the connection. They claim that research was not influenced by the money.

Lastly, a Swedish district court has ruled that a telco does not have the block the Pirate Bay. Big Hollywood/Music brought the case the Swedish courts, where they proposed that by not blocking the site they were participating in copyright piracy. The court ruling as unanimous. This is a blow to anti-piracy bodies, as it sets precedent.

This is a shitty ad. Maybe it'll make me some money? Probably not because I assume you all run ad-blockers.

1 Identity Is an Inside Joke

A look at how jokes and humour play into our relationships and feeling of belonging. In this article, it is speculated that the best type of relationship building joke is the "the short humorous anecdote leading to a punchline.". On an international scale, it appears that the best jokes are those that play into wealth and gender stereotypes. Jokes allow people to stretch into offensive territory and test the waters of their peers.

When we don't get a joke, we feel left out; when we get a joke, or better yet, tell the joke that everyone roars at, we belong.

Identity Is an Inside Joke
by Zach St. George for Nautilus on 26 November 2015.
13 min read

2 The Day I Became a Millionaire

But don’t worry: This isn’t a rags-to-riches story. I loathe the I-did-it-all-by-myself heroic myth mongering. I got where I am thanks to government-sponsored maternity leave, child care, health care, education, and even cash assistance. I grew up in housing provided by AAB, a union-founded affordable housing association.

A look at the almost assured let down that is insane wealth. David, founder of Basecamp and Ruby on Rails, compares it to an overhyped movie. It is easy for someone already in that position to note that it doesn't make everything better, so David says that there's nothing that can be said that will convince anyone otherwise. It's up to each person to discover what happiness is indipendent of wealth on their own.

“It was like I had pulled back the curtain on that millionaire's dream and found, to my surprise, that most of the things on the other side were things I already had.”

The day I became a millionaire
by David Heinemeier Hansson on 25 November 2015.
7 min read

3 Why ‘Cool’ Is Still Cool

Why do some phrases become more prevalent than others? ‘Cool’ has been around for longer than almost any other phrase, while things like ‘fetch’ and ‘YOLO’ come in and out of vogue, why is ‘Cool’ still cool?

If you give people a list of sensory metaphors and other phrases that mean the same thing, we found, sensory metaphors are 50 percent more likely to be remembered 10 minutes later.

Why ‘Cool’ Is Still Cool
by Jonah Berger for The New York Times on 20 November 2015.
6 min read

4 How Walmart Keeps an Eye on Its Massive Workforce

How Walmart keeps an eye on employees to ensure that nothing goes wrong for their biggest day of sales for the year: Black Friday.

In the autumn of 2012, when Walmart first heard about the possibility of a strike on Black Friday, executives mobilized with the efficiency that had built a retail empire.

OUR Walmart, a group of employees backed and funded by a union, was asking for more full-time jobs with higher wages and predictable schedules.

Walmart's aim isn't only to watch 100 or so active members of OUR Walmart, says Kate Bronfenbrenner, a lecturer at Cornell's School of Industrial and Labor Relations.

How Walmart Keeps an Eye on Its Massive Workforce
by Susan Berfield for Bloomberg on 24 November 2015.
18 min read

5 Long Read What possessed a family man from Ohio to smuggle a Bible into North Korea?

In May 2014, the North Korean government detained a mild-mannered municipal worker from Ohio named Jeffrey Fowle. His crime? Leaving behind a Bible in the restroom of a bar he'd visited with his tour group. Fowle’s captors soon learned that the offense wasn’t an accident. Rather, Fowle claimed to be on a mission from God, sent to bring the Holy Book to support underground Christians in North Korea. In this article, Joshua Hunt reveals Fowle’s day-to-day existence during his Kafkaesque detention and explores the mind and motivations of the man who risked his freedom inside a brutal regime.

Holiday at the Dictator’s Guesthouse
by Joshua Hunt for the Atavist Magazine on 17 November 2015.
46 min read

Articles Hand-Picked While Listening To: