What happens when you fill your house with smart devices?

Just how bad is it to have your house filled with smart devices? Kash Hill attempted to find out by connecting many of them up in her house and then track all the data that they sent out. The results are fascinating. Some of them send the data out in the clear, which is terrible. But even the ones that encrypt your data and leaking things about you via metadata.

Essentially whatever value smart devices provide — and some of that value is doubtful — they are monitoring equipment that you set up yourself. Just how much they monitor can be seen here in her study: The House That Spied on Me.

It’s a great read, and for some, it will be a great revelation.

Image via Home Depot’s web site.

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What people died of in the 18th century

Is not what you might think. Some are the same, such as the casualties list. But the diseases show their age. (Who dies of an itch?) Fascinating how people saw illness in the 18th century (not that long ago).

The chart is via Naomi Clifford | Bill of Mortality 1743. You can get more details on it at the link.

In praise of maximalism in decor

It’s rare to see a maximalist approach to decorating, but an exception is to be found here: House Tour: A Maximalist Apartment in Vicenza, Italy | Apartment Therapy.

If you are a fan of maximalism, like I tend to be, then this is exciting. If you are a minimalist, then this likely caused you some discomfort! 🙂 To each their own.

For those with the motto: More is More, click on the link for more ideas of how to fill up your space with beauty and the things you love. Minimalists will want to move on (unless they want to hate read it).

Stop drinking pinot grigio! Drink this instead


I love this: Why You Love Pinot Grigio So Much — And Why You Need To Move On because I am very much against Pinot Grigio. There is so much good wine in the world, and if you are a pinot grigio fan, it’s time for you to move on. Now you may think: but I like Pinot Grigio! If you do, read this article so you can make baby steps away from that wine to some better varietals like Vermentino.

Once you’ve done that, consider other whites that deliver more taste. If you hate Chardonnay (some do), then try shift to Sauvignon Blanc, Chenin Blanc, Fume Blanc or one of the greatest whites of all: Riesling.

4 behaviors that may cut the risk of cancer by 30 percent

Everyone wants to lower their risk of cancer. This piece can help with this: 4 behaviors that may cut the risk of cancer by 30 percent – Vox. The main point of the piece was that:

… people who never smoked or smoked for only a few years and people who drank no or only small amounts of alcohol (one or fewer drinks per day for women and two or fewer for men). It also included people with a BMI between 18.5 and 27.5, and people who exercised vigorously for at least 75 minutes per week or moderately for 150 minutes…

…were at a lower risk of getting cancer than people who did not do these things.

Smoking and drinking are easy for you to monitor. If you want to track your BMI and fitness level, consider getting a digital scale and a fitness tracker. I use the Fitbit Aria scale to track my BMI and my Apple Watch to monitor my exercise. Of course you can monitor those things just as well with a simple scale, a watch, a pencil and a notepad. Regardless of how you do it, I encourage you to take action in the New Year to lower your risk of cancer.

A good list of light therapy lamps for S.A.D. (Seasonal Affective Disorder)

The bad news: for people in the northern hemisphere, the days are getting colder and darker.

The good news: if you are one of those people who suffer from S.A.D., then this is an excellent list of lights that can help you deal with it: The Best Light Therapy Lamps for Seasonal Affective Disorder | Apartment Therapy

Better still, there is a wide range of price points and some of them, like this one, are relatively inexpensive.

Check out the list. If you know someone who struggles with this, then consider this an excellent gift idea.

And now for something fun: the 2017 comedy wildlife photography awards

This is an actual set of awards given out, and The Guardian has the goods, here:
The 2017 comedy wildlife photography awards.