This Day in Blogging History: Ikea countertops make cheap oak spiral staircase; Junk-food neuroscience; Sitcom extinction makes 2,000 Wikipedias possible

One year ago today

HOWTO make a spiral oak staircase out of cheap IKEA countertops: For the treads I headed to Ikea and picked up the 8' NUMERÄR Countertop in Oak, traced and pattern and laid out the cuts in pencil with the grain all going the same direction.

Five years ago today

Neuroscience of junk-food cravings, researched in a Chili's dumpster: David A Kessler, author of The End of Overeating: Taking Control of the Insatiable American Appetite, is a doctor and lawyer, med school dean and former FDA commissioner. He's also someone whose weight has yo-yoed back and forth all his life, someone who is plagued with insatiable junk-food cravings. His new book — grounded in research that included dumpster-diving chain restaurants to read the ingredient labels on the foods whose makeup they wouldn't discuss, tries to answer the neurological question of why we crave shitty junk food.

Ten years ago today

Death of the sitcom frees up 2,000 Wikipedias worth of cognitive capacity: Put another way, now that we have a unit, that's 2,000 Wikipedia projects a year spent watching television. Or put still another way, in the U.S., we spend 100 million hours every weekend, just watching the ads. This is a pretty big surplus. People asking, "Where do they find the time?" when they're looking at things like Wikipedia don't understand how tiny that entire project is, as a carve-out of this asset that's finally being dragged into what Tim calls an architecture of participation.