Sunday, May 15, 2016

EP 019 Luca Turin on the Secrets of Scent and the Scientific Method

Luca Turin is a biophysicist and expert in the sense of smell. He is best known to the scientific community as the proponent of the vibrational theory of olfaction: that smell receptors detect the vibrational frequencies of the molecular bonds of parts of the scent molecule. This theory represents an alternative to the older shape-based theory of smell: that scent molecules bind to specific receptors that conform to the shape of the scent molecule. The debate on this topic is detailed in Turin's The Secret of Scent, and Chandler Burr's The Emperor of Scent.

He is also the author, with his partner Tania Sanchez, of Perfumes: The A-Z Guide, which provides a sensual and witty look at over 1,000 commercially available perfumes. He also writes perfume criticism in several locations online, including at, and is a scent molecule designer and consultant to the industry.

Links and bonus materials

Saturday, May 07, 2016

Links for Later 5-7-16

  1. Tim and Alex Heathfield Vavilova found out that their parents were Russian spies. Now, they've lost their Candian citizenship. Crazy story.
  2. John Gardner, "Personal Renewal"
  3. Delmore Schwartz, "The First Morning of the Second World"
  4. Problems with John Cochrane's WSJ editorial on opportunities for economic growth.
  5. Profile of Navy SEAL Charlie Keating IV, who was killed by ISIS while training Peshmerga, and who was the grandson of Charles Keating of the S&L crisis fame.
  6. How to beat procrastination: do a small, concrete step toward the big, scary, abstract goal. (Raise your vision, lower the stakes strategy.)
  7. Farnam Street: "What We Can Learn from the Prolific Mr. Asimov", plus Asimov on new ideas.
  8. Scott Alexander of Slate Star Codex reviews Albion's Seed, discusses the impact of the four early cultures of America: Puritans, Cavaliers, Quakers, and Borderers.

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Links for Later 3-22-16

  1. Lessons from the very prolific Isaac Asimov.
  2. Sleek cyberpunk fashion short film by ACRONYM (recommended by William Gibson).
  3. Generic NYT article on Millennials.
  4. Donald Trump is not making a lot of sense.
  5. Ted Cruz is the worst person in the world.
  6. Mapping creativity. Not sure I buy these studies, or the article's conclusions.
  7. Stewart Lee wrote a negative review of his own show.

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Hadrian's Farewell to Life

Little soul, sweet one, wandering one,
Friend and companion of this body,
Out you go from your house,
The pale one, still one, naked one,
Not laughing anymore, funny one.


Animula, vagula, blandula
Hospes comesque corporis
Quae nunc abibis in loca
Pallidula, rigida, nudula,
Nec, ut soles, dabis iocos


Saturday, February 06, 2016

History of Japan

Bill Wurtz made a rapid fire, animated, very funny history of Japan. (via Hank Green)

Monday, February 01, 2016

Startup Geometry EP 018 David Heinemeier Hansson

David Heinemeier Hansson is the co-founder (with Jason Fried) of Basecamp (formerly 37signals) , author of Remote and Rework (also with Jason Fried), and creator of the Ruby on Rails framework. He's also a race car driver, having won the 2014 24 Hours of Le Mans endurance race, and an avid photographer.

Today, we talk about why it's best to build products that you would (and do) use, the low-risk approach to building a company, why funding yourself helps to slow the clock, how that approach bleeds over to every aspect of the business (from marketing to management), and why much of his life is lived outside the office.
A photo posted by DHH (@dhh79) on

Show Links and Notes

Ruby on Rails

David Heinemeier Hansson
signal vs noise blog
Twitter: @dhh, @dhhracing
Instagram: @dhh79
Medium: @dhh