August 1, 2019
"NEOM does not really exist yet, but from descriptions of the plans, it sounds like something a nine-year-old might dream up. There will be robot dinosaurs and robot cage fights. There will be “a genetic-modification project to make people stronger,” and cloud seeding to make it rain in the desert. It will “supplant Silicon Valley in technology, Hollywood in entertainment and the French Riviera as a place to vacation.” The beaches will have “glow-in-the-dark sand.” One prince involved with the project said: “I don’t want any roads or pavements. We are going to have flying cars in 2030!” A giant artificial moon will be raised in the sky each night. (It is unclear why the actual existing moon will not suffice.)" “NEOM” MAY BE OUR FUTURE (Current Affairs) Saudi Arabia’s crown prince turned to U.S. consultants for help imagining a massive new city-state in a barren section of his kingdom (WSJ)
"First, parents turn over guardianship of their teenagers to a friend or relative. Then the student declares financial independence to qualify for tuition aid and scholarships." (ProPublica Illinois)
On the recent episode of A24's podcast, directors Ari Aster (Midsommar, recently released) and Robert Eggers (The Lighthouse, coming soon) name-dropped 42 movies. We compiled every film mentioned — from Andrei Rublev to Conan the Barbarian to a whopping 18 Bergman films — into an annotated watch list for those of you that have approximately 87 hours to kill.
Many Autistic adults say childhood ABA training (Applied Behavioral Analysis) is abusive and left them traumatized. ABA was developed by Ivar Lovaas, who contributed to the creation of conversion therapy, and is derived from the same principles. The goal, as Lovass said, is to make the Autistic child look "normal". Learning to behave as most children do will theoretically help allistic (non-autistic) children feel more comfortable with (and less likely to bully) the Autistic child. No mention is made of the fact that when an Autistic person is forced to behave 'normally', they experience ongoing, intense discomfort, and often pain. [more inside]
From Brown and Tsinghua University in Nature Communications: "Researchers from Tsinghua University and Brown University have discovered a simple way to give a major boost to turbulent heat exchange, a method of heat transport widely used in heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) systems. In a paper published in Nature Communications, the researchers show that adding a readily available organic solvent to common water-based turbulent heat exchange systems can boost their capacity to move heat by 500%. " Orig paper
It started as a good day. As usual, Kevin Langergraber got up at dawn to follow and observe the chimpanzees of Ngogo, in Uganda’s Kibale National Park. An anthropologist from Arizona State University, he has been studying the group for 19 summers. This year, food has been scarce, and so have the chimps. But yesterday Langergraber found a group of 30 adults playing and relaxing, with infants crawling all over them. “It was just me and 30 chimps,” he says. “I was so happy. And it just turned so quickly.” Later in the day, the chimps were on the move, traversing a familiar route between two stretches of forest. Shortly after they reentered the trees, Langergraber, who was right behind them, heard one of them scream. He thought they had stumbled onto a buffalo or an elephant, but when he ran up to them, he was shocked to see two people. Poachers. Ed Yong writes for the Atlantic about the poaching of a chimpanzee. [more inside]
The rural grandfather built the legendary seventh-generation Luban stool, which is so powerful. (SLYT)
A jury has found Katy Perry and her music-writing team liable for copying the underlying beat of Marcus Gray’s 2008 Christian rap song “Joyful Noise” for her 2013 hit single “Dark Horse” in a verdict handed down on Monday (July 29, 2019) in Los Angeles federal court. While musicians copying one another is not uncommon, the hook in question is so basic that many music professionals are both confused and alarmed at the implications.
“One thousand pounds in the 4 per cents, which will not be yours till after your mother’s decease, is all that you may ever be entitled to,” says Mr. Collins to Lizzy Bennet. But 4 per cent of what? Notes on Liberty explains bonds, Consols, yields and 18th century English financial planning through Pride and Prejudice. [more inside]
A video showing how a community can work together to create a sounder environment. With help from the neighboring island of Pemba, and its Community Forests International organization, Kokota is rebuilding its forest. We the people can create change. Don't wait for the big bosses to initiate. (But do apply for money when you are ready).
Richard McGary lost his home because he wasn’t able to clean his yard. hen McGary lived in Portland, Oregon, a city inspector decided he had too much debris in his yard and cited his home as a “nuisance” property under the city’s local nuisance ordinance. McGary, who was living with AIDS, asked volunteers from a local AIDS project to help. But before they could clear the yard to the city’s satisfaction, McGary was hospitalized with AIDS-related complications. His patient advocate informed the city that McGary was an individual with a disability and requested more time, but Portland refused. The city issued a warrant for violating the city’s chronic nuisance ordinance, and charged him $1,818.83 for the cost of clean-up. When McGary couldn’t pay, Portland claimed rights to his home — and forced McGary sell it to satisfy his debt to the city.
The MLB trade deadline came and went, and what started with a whimper ended with the bang of Zack Greinke's trade from the D-Backs to the Astros. While at least one author compares it unfavorably to the NBA trade deadline, there's questions on why some contenders (Yankees, Red Sox, Cardinals) didn't buy. [more inside]
Shock Treatment in Court Stun belts are intended to keep control in the courtroom, but some judges use them to inflict punishment. [The Marshall Project]
In Middle Eastern and Islamic cosmology, the djinn/jinn are a class of spirits that inhabit a hidden world, al ghayb. Belief in them predates Islam and they feature in folklore and religion both in a variety of shapes and forms - A twitter thread (Threadreader version) by Ali A. Olomi, historian of the Middle East and Islam, and host of the Head on History podcast. [more inside]
A simple and provocative interactive from The New York Times that uses your income to assess whether or not you are rich within your current (USian) community: "Are You Rich?"
Net worth is probably a better way to assess your richness.
Net worth is probably a better way to assess your richness.
As the Newport Folk Festival turned 60 this year (Providence Journal), Rolling Stone recapped their favorite moments, including ♀♀♀♀: The Collaboration (Dolly Parton and The Highwomen [prev], and many more!) and Kermit the frog with Jim James (audience recording). RS recapped last year, too, when Jon Batiste’s Songs for Change Singalong closed out the festival (full show from NPR), and from 2017, when there was an unannounced tribute to Bill Withers (audience recording of Grandma's Hands Band performing Lovely Day).
Abbott set out to concoct some escapist entertainment for her young wardmates, a game that left behind the strictures of the hospital ward for an adventure that spoke to their wants: the desire to move freely in the pursuit of delights
Esquire ranks all 104 Bond villains. Every single henchman, rogue Russian general, SPECTRE assassin, murderous seductress, and, of course, mad supervillain intent on destroying the world unless they get their ONE MEEEELION DOLLARS. Bonus -- just one page, not a bunch of click-to-advance ad bait. And, obviously, you will disagree with their #1 pick and probably every other pick, but that's why we love listicles, isn't it?
Sixty-five year old Sato san wears a crisp canary yellow uniform, reflective vest and polished white helmet. His job is to guide rush hour commuters through confusing and hazardous construction areas. When Sato san realised he needed more than his megaphone to perform this duty, he took it upon himself to make some temporary signage. With a few rolls of duct tape and a craft knife, he has elevated the humble worksite sign to an art form. (previously)
Is it time for a sleep divorce? “While there are benefits to sleeping together, one partner’s troublesome sleeping or annoying bed habits can affect the other and increase production of the stress hormone cortisol, thus causing issues that impact the couple as a whole” [more inside]
Birth of the cool: The story behind the ice cream sandwich, an icon at 120 : "Aug. 2 is National Ice Cream Sandwich Day, surely a holiday worth celebrating. And this year marks the ice cream sandwich’s 120th birthday. Or maybe it doesn’t."
After the fire at Notre Dame, billions in pledges arrived from some of the wealthiest people in France. Now that the bills have come due, the actual money is coming from small donations, with equal amounts coming from the United States and France. [more inside]