Counter Intelligence

Read this and you'll look smart and have something to talk about...

Read this and you'll look smart. You don't have to be intelligent to impress people -- you just have to fake it. Here's a daily list of fascinating articles that will wow your friends, surprise your co-workers and make you seem sharp at a cocktail party or over the lunch counter....

  • London's Frieze Art Fair is known for its off-beat contemporary pieces that are a bit out of touch with reality. So as the economy presented real issues (read: no one with enough money to buy art) artists embraced an air of caution.
  • Company execs are unhappy with ad agency models and are looking for a change. The idea that seems to have some traction is bypassing agencies all together and working with media companies directly.  
  • The next big earthquake to rattle the San Francisco Bay area will be a Katrina-sized disaster that will kill hundreds of thousands and cost around $200 billion.
  • Our perception of vertical distances is skewed --  most likely because of how we evolved. Psychosocial reasons explain why a challenge appears easier if a trusted friend is nearby. But it appears that built-in perceptual illusions exaggerate a challenge's difficulty when alone.
  • There are three species of bat that survive only on blood. Those blood-sucking creatures, among other phlebotomists, are profiled in a new book.
  • The sewage system in the West is in danger of breaking down. Ninety percent of the world's sewage is dumped untreated into oceans, rivers and lakes. So, what's the solution?  

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