Links – 23 December

Optimists For The Win: Finding The Bright Side Might Help You Live Longer (NPR.org) – “A Boston study published this month suggests people who tend to be optimistic are likelier than others to live to be 85 years old or more.” Take results with a grain of salt, survey size was over 71,000 but it was a self-reported study and of those surveyed, less than 2,000 were men.

Visualization of AirBnB listings around NYC (Reddit discussion) – I love good visualizations, especially of mundane topics I would never see otherwise.

Becoming Eli (Washington Post) – An excellent look into the life, trials and challenges of a young person embracing their happiness identifying as non-binary.

Since eighth grade Eli had attended three schools and been hospitalized for depression and anxiety five times, twice after attempting suicide. Eli’s forearms and thighs were marked with thin white scars from slicing through skin to tamp the pain of a lifetime of profound discomfort — with the birth name chosen by Susan and Scott, with the pink sequined dresses grandma used to buy, with having to inhabit a female body. And with the fact that the other option, being male, also felt wrong.

For as long as Eli could remember, gender dysphoria had hung like a fog, obscuring any solid sense of self. The discomfort became so severe in middle and high school that it had been hard to even get out of bed. “I won’t make it past high school,” Eli had often thought.

Then in the past year or two, life had begun to brighten. After trying and discarding various gender and sexual identities, one had finally clicked: non-binary, meaning Eli didn’t identify with being fully male or female.

Riley Howell, the student who tackled the gunman during the April 30 UNC-Chapel Hill shooting, is now a canon Jedi Master and historian – He was a big fan of Star Wars, and this thread popped up as soon as the Star Wars reference book for the Rise of Skywalker was released. Such a cool tribute to a hero that could be forgotten.

This Twitter thread starts with the real timeline of Disney’s growth and taking over of the entertainment world. Then they go into a theoretical and humorous future timeline.