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‘I need no job’ by Stop Child Labour. DROOL'D - The Cool, the Unique and the Quirky. Random, Interesting, Amazing Facts - Fun Quizzes and Trivia. Baby Connection - A unique duo application for the iPhone. Psychology. Wired. This article was taken from the December 2012 issue of Wired magazine.


Be the first to read Wired's articles in print before they're posted online, and get your hands on loads of additional content by subscribing online. "Personal data is the 'oil' Facebook is drilling for," says Max Schrems, Austrian law student and founder of the advocacy group Europe versus Facebook. "They might not have the best motor to burn it yet, but they know it will be coming. " Schrems, 26, is all too aware of how much data the world's largest social network stores. In 2010, while researching his thesis, he asked Facebook if it could send him all of the user data the company had relating to his own account.

Facebook was, in Schrems' words, "dumb enough" to send him all his data in a 1,200-page PDF. As Schrems went through the document, he found items he thought he had deleted, such as messages, status updates and wall posts. "Facebook has a monopoly on social ­networking," says Schrems. Geek. Oh, the British… If you needed another reason to point at them and say they truly are one-of-a-kind, then look no further than the British National Grid electricity transmission network.


Only in the UK is the daily regimen so ingrained in society that you can literally set your watch by surges in electrical activity. Unlike in the US, where the choice of what to watch on TV is vast and almost intimidating, those across the pond are not quite as free-spirited. Even thought the choice of TV channels and streaming options is growing, their love of soaps means millions of people watch the same shows at the same time on a daily basis.

As a result, a phenomenon called “TV pickup” has spawned. So how big is this surge? So yes, believe it or not, the engineers manning the British National Grid have to keep an eye on what’s playing on TV so they can brace themselves for the highly predictable surges and make sure the grid remains stable. Brain pickings. By Maria Popova Debunking the myth of character, or what sitcoms have to do with the mysteries of personality.

brain pickings

“What matters most is how well you walk through the fire,” Charles Bukowski famously wrote. We walk through life and its fires along narrative paths that define who we are and what our personalities are like. We speak of the “architecture” of character as if it were as rigid and unmoving as a building. We often perceive others as sitcom characters — static and unchanging from episode to episode. We’re easily seduced by the notion of stable character.

For the ultimate cherry on top, especially for fellow lovers of book trailers, here is a wonderful pictogram- and typography-driven motion graphics teaser for the book: Donating = Loving Bringing you (ad-free) Brain Pickings takes hundreds of hours each month. Visual Search & Inspiration. Discover the Best of the Web.