- Mandatory Octopus story
- On “efficiency” in human languages
- Favorably comparing Tumblr to Twitter (I’m not convinced …)
- About “brain-eating amoebas”
- Sometimes it pays to have a good grad school advisor
- The bizarre-but-not-so-bad rent-a-family industry in Japan
- Once upon a time, long before trees, there were apparently giant mushrooms
- Viruses that spy on bacteria
- The archaeologist who was beheaded for refusing to let ISIS destroy Palmyra antiquities
- The “memories” of ant colonies (I’m reminded of G.E.B. here)
- Some clouds are just weird (cover photo): Undulatus Asperatus
- This month in quirky theories: “Bizarre ‘dark fluid’ with negative mass could dominate the universe”
- An ancient board game
- C. S. Lewis on reading old books (I agree)
- An extremely in-depth comparison of Apple Maps and Google Maps
- An account of an underwater adventure, including befriending an Octopus. Another account of too much bonding with a Dolphin.
- Getting started with HAM radio (I got an Amateur license a few years ago, though I’m embarrassed to admit I never did anything with it)
- On Alberto Savinio’s paintings
- We’re still discovering new stuff about how the pyramids were constructed
- Bit of a niche link: an interesting story about the origin of isotopes
- A tokamak in China achieved plasma temperatures of 100 million degrees!
- The cooking show on Netflix I liked the most: Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat
- As the title says: “Rare microbes lead scientists to discover new branch on the tree of life”, and”Brazilian termite mounds are visible from space”
- A couple of articles about how many apps are turning us into “data factories”, and the world becoming our “skinner box”.
- Finally, a heartwarming story about a dad sending his son’s toy reindeer into space !
- A Soyuz rocket malfunctioned, and … the astronauts managed to escape (!)
- “Memetic tribes and culture war”
- “Mega-Tunnels Dug by South American Megafauna”
- A camera taking 10 trillion frames per second
- The awesome and tragic story of the Buran space shuttle
- Something about extremism on college campuses
- This blew my mind: dandelion seeds fly using little unattached vortexes … read this if you read nothing else
- Another thing that blew my mind: I came across somewhere and had to validate it, and then found this news article from 2006 about it (emphasis mine):
The doctor noticed that the student’s head seemed a little larger than normal and he referred him to Dr Lorber for further examination.
Dr Lorber examined the boy’s head by Cat-scan to discover that the student had virtually no brain …
In hydrocephalus the cerebrospinal fluid, which circulates through brain channels called ventricles builds up pressure that balloons up the ventricles pressing the overlying brain tissue against the cranium. This insult from within causes a loss of brain matter and many hydrocephalics suffer intellectual and physical impairment …
Hydrocephalus is usually fatal in the first months of childhood and, if an individual survives, he/she is usually seriously handicapped. However, the Sheffield student lived a normal life and graduated with an honours degree in mathematics.
- A 73,000 year old cave painting
- A piece in Nautlius (along with Quanta and Aeon my best source of “science” stuff) on time.
- Historical piece of the month: the Mamluks
- Matt Taibbi talks about the last, lost decade
- Readers can expect one arcticle on Octopuses 🙂
- Revealing the scale of Aztec human sacrifice
- Someone went deep enough in Gravity’s Rainbow to write this piece on the key equations contained within
- A random Slavoj Zizek piece
- Fukuyama tells truths about Trump
- On the benefits of fasting
- Revealing the scale of lowland Maya civilization
- Trouble with Schrodinger’s cat
- As the title says, ”Giant subglacial lake could hold ancient lifeforms”
- Another sort of old article about Antarctica
Decided to relax a bit tonight and catch up on trailers of upcoming movies, here are the ones I’m excited about:
- The House with a Clock in its Walls (suspenseful!)
- Bohemian Rhapsody (Queen!)
- Sorry To Bother You (funny!)
- Ant Man and The Wasp (different sort of superheroes)
- Mortal Engines (Peter Jackson returns!)
- A Star is Born (Bradley Cooper, Lady Gaga)
- First Man (Neil Armstrong!)
- Once upon a time in Hollywood (Tarantino, Di Caprio)
- Godzilla 2 (duh)
Last month’s bunch of interesting links:
- A psychedelic temple
- William Gibson on recent dystopias
- Creating the dreamscapes of Ghost in the Shell
- Ted Chiang (of the book behind Arrival) shares opinions on the non-phoneticism of Chinese
- On Donald Trump as a mesmerist
- On “liquid modernity” and “hypermodern times”
- What it takes to test-fly a rocket ship
- An interesting blog I’ve been skimming
- Retracting published stuff is all the rage these days, the Nation did it to a poem
- Amazing SciFi and Cyberpunk classics, coming soon to streaming video
- A bit of a strange bestseller, anonymously written
- The largest telescope, in China
Last month’s bunch of random stuff:
- Predator as an unacknowledged masterpiece
Though Predatorenjoys a warm reception from science fiction and horror fans, many don’t give it due credit for its tact and intelligence. What begins as an action film slowly morphs into one of the most effective and unsettling horror movies ever made. Predator meticulously picks apart genre expectations, destroying the ’80s action hero archetype and creating a villain that to this day outshines the film’s leading man.
- The oldest stone tools outside Africa have been found in … China!
- I agree with the rhetorical question in the title of this article: Joaquin Phoenix really is the greatest actor today.
- When reading about the Wolf Wall in Iran, came across “the lost realms of the Oxus” (cover pic this month)
- A neutrino burst linked to an actual cosmic source
- John Gray writes about the difference between earlier liberals and modern progressives
- (warning, really weird) some crows are necrophilic
- Looking back at the Great Recession:
Some of the more pessimistic commentators at the time of the credit crunch, myself included, said that the aftermath of the crash would dominate our economic and political lives for at least ten years. What I wasn’t expecting – what I don’t think anyone was expecting – was that ten years would go by quite so fast. At the start of 2008, Gordon Brown was prime minister of the United Kingdom, George W. Bush was president of the United States, and only politics wonks had ever heard of the junior senator from Illinois; Nicolas Sarkozy was president of France, Hu Jintao was general secretary of the Chinese Communist Party, Ken Livingstone was mayor of London, MySpace was the biggest social network, and the central bank interest rate in the UK was 5.5 per cent.
- I find it absurdly sad, but … getting to the moon is going to be much, much harder than it was the first time round
- This one is for hardcore history wonks: The influence of railways on military operations in the Russo-German War 1941-1945
- The Milky Way might have a trillion planets …
- Gripping read: How Britain beat the odds to independently achieve space flight, and then abandoned it on the very same day.
- “The Shocking truth about Jordan Peterson” is that (spoiler alert) there’s nothing shocking at all
- Fun fact: a hundred years ago, Los Angeles was blanketed by oil derricks.
- Stranger than fiction: How an Ex-Cop Rigged McDonald’s Monopoly Game and Stole Millions