132 Million Children, saved.

📚 And: It's time for the Weekly Filet Book Club! (#487)

One of the best things about this newsletter is that so many clever, inspiring people from all over the world read it — yes, you. Once a year, I leverage this to everyone’s benefit. It's time for the 2024 edition of the Weekly Filet Book Club. Same deal as always: You submit a book, and get dozens of recommendations from others in return.

After two thematic editions – What book changed your perspective on something important? in 2023 and What book makes you feel hopeful? in 2022 – I've decided to go with a more general prompt this time. Looking forward to learning what's next on y'all's reading lists. I'll share the complete list of all submissions back to you in a couple of weeks.

In the meantime: My ordinary recommendations on what to read, watch and listen to this week. Enjoy!

1. How many children did not die thanks to progress

132 million. That is the number of children since 1990 who survived because the world made progress, significantly lowering child mortality. 132 million!

How many children did not die thanks to progress in global health?
Thanks to improvements in global health, more than 100 million children have been saved since 1990.

2. Why Do Millennials Feel Compelled To Write 'Lol' After Everything?

«Millennials found a way to transport the richness of human expression into the realm of texts and tweets, crafting a language that is just as expressive and nuanced as face-to-face conversation.» Love this explanatory ode to three letters that have outgrown their earlier use lol

Why Do Millennials Feel Compelled To Write ‘Lol’ After Everything?
“I’ve transitioned to ‘haha’ instead of ‘lol’ because I read that ‘lol’ is millennial-coded.”

3. ​​What Was There Before The Big Bang?

This week, our daughter sent me down a rabbit hole. In one of her books, we learned about the Big Bang. As we were reading, she asked: «Were you still a baby when that happened? Or were you not even born yet?» First: Thanks for calling me old, I guess? But then, how do you explain that there was a time when not just nobody, but nothing existed, not even time? My head starts spinning the moment I start thinking about it, and searching for answers on the web didn't stop the spinning, it just gets more confusing the more you learn. If you know of any good explainers that work for a 5-year-old (and her dad who is roughly as old as the universe), please send them my way.

Brian Cox - What Was There Before The Big Bang?
Brian Cox - What Was There Before The Big Bang?Physicist and professor of particle physics Brian Cox explains hypotheses about the causation of the big bang.…