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By Bilal Hafeez 29-11-2019
In: post | Macro Life Newsletter

Macro Hive Life: Speak Better / Quick Fitness / Spying USB Ports

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(total reading time: 6 mins)

Public speaking: for many it’s a fate worse than death. So here’s an excellent resource to help you overcome that fear. And on the subject of death, another article examines how thinking about your birth and what came before can be just as uncomfortable as thinking about what comes after you’re gone. But for the time we have in between, why not improve your fitness regime? We have two easy-to-implement routines.

On the tech side, Star Wars-like hologram communication is coming your way, AI can now predict lightning strikes, and USB ports are spying on you. Then on the lighter side, we have the best non-fiction books of the past 25 years, some good streaming options to watch, and the defining podcasts of the decade.

Finally, ever wondered who is the top soccer player in the world? Well, I answer that in my personal blog.



Tips for Public Speaking ( This useful (and free) resource is developed by Zach Holman, renowned technical public speaker. It’s worth a sit-through before your next panel talk.

The Seven Road-Tested Habits of Effective Artists (Open Culture) Andrew Price placed a one-sided bet with his younger cousin, who stood to gain $1000 if he failed to rack up 1,000 “likes” by posting 2D drawings to ArtStation within a 6-month period. This led him to learn seven habits for every effective artist.

Thinking About One’s Birth Is as Uncanny As Thinking Of Death (Aeon) Philosophy professor Alison Stone argues that people’s anxiety over life-and-death questions is essentially anxiety over their own existence.

The Only Sure-fire Way to Get Over an Ex (British GQ) It might be tough, but sex columnist Sophia Benoit says that ceasing all communications after breaking up from a long-term relationship gives people time to sort out their lives.

Elastic: Flexible Thinking in a Constantly Changing World (Farnam Street) “Elastic thinking” (letting your brain make connections without direction) can help people adapt better to a fast-changing world than more traditional, analytical thinking.

A Kettlebell Workout for Your Whole Body (Outside Online) Avid climber Hayden Carpenter introduces seven kettlebell exercises to try in your home.

Ketogenic Diet Helps Tame Flu Virus (Science Daily) A new study reveals that high-fat, low-carb diets like ‘keto’ can enhance mucus production in airway cells, allowing for pathogens like the flu virus to be trapped.

The Secret to Getting in Shape When You’re Busy? (GQ) Wellness columnist Joe Holder has good news for busy professionals struggling to workout. His secret? Workouts can be short and sweet but must be consistent. He introduces you to exercise “snacks”: shorts bursts (15 minutes) that can be incorporated within schedules without any equipment or a gym.

See the New Star Wars – Like Display That Could ‘Revolutionize’ Virtual Reality  (Science Mag) Forget VR goggles: researchers led by University of Sussex display expert Sriram Subramanian have created an ultrasound display that can project video, sound, and even touch. It’s a huge jump towards hologram reality.

How Does AI Work in The Realm Of Love And Marriage? (Tencent Research Institute) The Japanese government hopes to enhance AI’s ability to crossmatch people likely to become couples. This may be one solution to Japan’s ageing population and the unwillingness of its younger generation to start families.

Using Wood in Electrodes for More Durable, Sustainable Wearables ( Moore’s law holds up again: Swedish scientists have devised a clever alloy mixed with wooden fibres to generate stronger and lower-cost electrodes. This will lead to more efficient electronics.

Artificial Intelligence Can Now Predict When Lightning Will Strike  (Popular Mechanics) Swiss researchers are using machine learning to create a relatively cheap system capable of predicting lightning strikes within an hour of them actually happening.

Creepy Tech

What Happens to Your Image Once It’s Been Caught On CCTV (Vice) London is one of the world’s most surveilled cities. But new data protection laws entitle you the right to check all the footage that CCTV cameras record of you.

This Japanese Hotel Charges $1 – If You Live-Stream Your Stay (Life Hacker) A hotel based in Fukuoka, Japan, promotes its hospitality services in this peculiar manner. Terms and conditions apply for the filming process, so is trading off your privacy really worth it?

Russia Bans Smartphones Without Local Software (BBC) Fears regarding privacy and surveillance are growing in Russia after the announcement of a programme that will ban the sale of devices that are not pre-installed with Russian software.

Stop Using Public USB Ports to Charge Your Phone  (Lifehacker) Using public USB ports can expose your phone to hackers. You never know what’s on the other side of the plug – perhaps a malicious source waiting to install malware onto your device.

How to Use Your Phone’s Camera to Make GIFs of Anything (Gizmodo) Take pictures in the “live photo” mode on your iPhone and iPhone’s own photo application can take care of all your animation desires.

How Trends — From Oat Milk to Ugly Sneakers — Get So Huge So Fast (Vox) An advertising professor argues that trends accelerate when societies can be easily divided due to an abundance of data. Alongside new technology, the door is open for corporations and social influencers to push tailored products to their target audience.

What if the Moon Disappeared Tomorrow? (Discover Magazine) Most of us wouldn’t even notice, apparently. But nocturnal creatures that rely on moonlight would be the hardest hit, and surfers might moan about the lack of tides.

Did You Know Marianne Moore And Muhammad Ali Wrote A Poem Together (Lit) Pulitzer Prize-winning poet (read professional wordsmith) collaborated with Muhammed Ali for a poem. The poem is witty, but as unusual as this partnership.

The Best Action Movies on Netflix Right Now, Ranked (UPROXX) A list of 20 movies somehow able to balance old-school action, kung fu, superheroes, and westerns. Spoiler alert: The Matrix makes it to the top of the chart.

The 50 Best Nonfiction Books from the Past 25 Years ( Blogger Jason Kottke comments on some of the books that made it to Slate’s 50 best nonfiction books published in the past 25 years. A Supposedly Fun Thing I’ll Never Do Again by David Foster Wallace is his personal favourite.

The Most Beautiful and Fascinating Books to Give This Holiday Season (Fast Company) From breath-taking landscape photography collections to innovative cookbook for ‘future foods’ from Ikea, there’s always something to make a bookworm’s holiday season bright and merry.

The Podcasts That Defined The 2010s (AVClub) Wedged in between a list of influential comedy podcasts is Serial, which paved the way for the resurgence of the true crime genre in podcasts and documentaries.

Can Legendary Cinematic Performances Truly Be Brought Back To Life With CGI? (uproxx) Should we use CGI to remake or make sequels of popular classic movies, mimicking performances of the actors who we all grew up to love? Favourable commerce means despite the controversy it may get the nod of approval.