Seven Inspiring Real-Life ‘Rags to Riches’ Stories (History)

History shares notable “rags to riches” stories, specifically those of Charles Dickens, Catherine I, and Andrew Carnegie.

These figures rose from humble beginnings to wealth and influence. Read more in History.

The Limits of Reason: Why Facts Don’t Always Change Our Minds (New Yorker)

The New Yorker examines various Stanford experiments concerning perception and reality, particularly one’s ability to reason after facts change. The studies proved the limits of human reason and the futility of facts to change minds. Cognitive scientists Hugo Mercier and Dan Sperber analyze why reasonable people act irrationally in their book, Enigma of Reason.

Evolutionarily, reason developed to aid cooperation, rather than to solve abstract or logical problems. Thus, humans are prone to confirmation biases, dismissing contradictory evidence after opinions are formed. Read more in The New Yorker.

The Psychological Perils of Actually Going to Mars (Five Thirty Eight)

The imminent potential for a year-long trip to Mars would mean increasing isolation for astronauts from recreation, communication, and privacy. NASA has studied the psychological effects of long-term missions in extreme environments, but the trip to Mars is unprecedented.

Five Thirty Eight explores the voyage’s potential impairment of sleep-cycles, sensory stimulation, and mental health. Read more in Five Thirty Eight.

Hamilton: The Lego Set (Mental Floss)

Tickets to the Broadway show “Hamilton” are hard to come by, but if enough people weigh-in, you could build your own.

A Lego community member submitted a Hamilton inspired Lego set to the toymaker’s ideas website.

If 10,000 fans support the design, it could become eligible for review to become a real product, which conceivably would be easier to obtain than actual tickets to the show. Read more in Mental Floss.