Things we like: January 2015

Our monthly round-up of stories that have got the Mosaic team thinking. This month’s selection is loosely based around the theme of ‘happy’.

How to become Batman (podcast) (Invisibilia)

A relatively new science podcast from NPR, this has a good pedigree thanks to a team with experience on This American Life and Radiolab. This episode, recently rebroadcast on This American Life, has a great story on a fascinating subject: can blind people actually see? And is it our expectations that limit what people can do? We loved the Batman references.

My lovely wife in the psych ward (Pacific Standard)

The story of a marriage that happens to include multiple episodes of psychosis. Full of hope, there's optimism in this piece, but introspection and doubt too. This story begs the question: where does love fit in stories of (mental) ill-health?

Soar: The quadriplegic who reached for the sky (video)

An uplifting short about an Australian man with quadriplegia called Dave Jacka. We really hope they make a longer film about his kayak trip.

E-cigarettes: is vaping any safer than old-fashioned smoke? (The Guardian)

A lively and entertaining look at the controversy and confusion over e-cigarettes from the reliable Will Storr.

Bombshell Scientology Film Revealed: Alex Gibney on Cruise, Travolta and 'the Prison of Belief (The Hollywood Reporter)

A long profile piece on the documentary maker famous for, among other things, his inside look at the Lance Armstrong scandal, and his latest film about Scientology. It's about someone at the top of their game who gets to make great things.

What do we need to know? (video) (Aeon)

A two-minute animation about knowledge, cut from a lecture at the Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce (RSA). The last line really resonated with us: “kindness is an absolute”.

A choose-your-own adventure on Twitter

Finally, a bit of pure, innovative fun. Start here.

What stories have caught your eye recently? Do share in the comments.