The Best of the Web

You may have already formed an opinion on 2016, especially the rapidity at which iconic figures have passed away. We’d hate for every best of the web to be a mini obituary, but following the death of Fidel Castro this week it’s hard not to feature an article on the life and times of the revolutionary. Also in this week’s roundup we look at the bizarre practice of goat yoga, how to talk to strangers on the tube, and why we should all quit social media.

THE ECONOMIST: The life and times of Fidel Castro

He outlasted ten US presidencies, and while he was hated by many and revered by others, Fidel Castro was a revolutionary. This week he died at the age of 90. This eloquent narrative looks retrospectively at Castro’s life, from evading many attempted assassinations by the CIA to reforming education and healthcare in Cuba. His staunch disposition saw him through the Bay of Pigs in 1961 and the fall of the Berlin Wall. If you’re looking for a brief, but articulately-written history of Fidel Castro look no further than this article.

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THE NEW YORK TIMES: Bring a yoga mat and an open mind. Goats are provided

Goat yoga. What’s that about?! Apparently it’s too hard to do yoga as it is, and adding goats to the mix can really help you forget about the impossible task of searching for an ‘intention.’ An idea that was born 70 miles south of Portland goat yoga has attracted all kinds of people from across the globe. Founder, Lainey Morse, began adopting goats as a kind of self-remedy and soon enough an idea developed for goat yoga. After a local newspaper caught drift of the bizarre practice the whole thing went viral. We’re yet to try goat yoga, perhaps it’s something on our new year’s resolutions list!

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THE GUARDIAN: How to talk to strangers


You may have seen Tube Chat badges circulating around recently — either some brave person was wearing one on the tube or you’ve read the ‘horror’ stories about attempts made by strangers to strike up a conversation. Why are we so averse to talking to strangers? It’s an inherently British thing, and we don’t need Oliver Burkeman to confirm that. However, what Burkeman attempts to get across in this article is that we probably do want to talk to strangers but ‘pluralistic ignorance’ means we follow the herd and stay quiet when someone does attempt a chinwag. Could it really be so bad?

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THE NEW YORK TIMES: Quit social media. Your career may depend on it


Cal Newport, a computer scientist and writer, gives reasons for quitting social media. It seems contradictory to believe social media could be damaging your career given the fact we’re thrown into a numbers pool, where followers and likes and retweets are a legitimate currency. Apparently, using social media is somewhat like Pavlov’s dogs — we get our treat by minimal functions. It’s shortening our attention span, it’s an addictive waste of our time, and in the end is it really making us better connected? Newport says if we’re good at what we do those connections will come to us. His motto is : we don’t need to chase the followers and likes.

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