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A GHOST STORY


Morgan Meis in The Porch: Every ghost story that has ever been told has its roots in existential panic.

Google enters race for nuclear fusion technology


Damian Carrington in The Guardian: Google and a leading nuclear fusion company have developed a new computer algorithm which has significantly speeded up experiments on plasmas, the ultra-hot balls of gas at the heart of the energy technology.

The hidden friendship between Queen Victoria and her Indian servant Abdul


Radhika Sanghani in The Telegraph: It was on a family trip to the Isle of Wight’s Osborne House that Shrabani Basu discovered a secret that had lain untold since Queen Victoria’s death.

Steven Pinker interviewed by Richard Dawkins in 2008

Video length: 1:08:13

How bosses are (literally) like dictators


Elizabeth Anderson in Vox: Consider some facts about how American employers control their workers. Amazon prohibits employees from exchanging casual remarks while on duty, calling this “time theft.” Apple inspects the personal belongings of its retail workers, some of whom lose up to a half-hour of unpaid time every day as they wait in line to be searched.

SILICON VALLEY WON’T SAVE YOU


Julianne Tveten and Paul Blest in Current Affairs: To see why Silicon Valley policy-making would be so insidious, we should look at a plan that seems, on the surface, like one of its most progressive ideas: the tech community’s recent embrace of the “Universal Basic Income” (UBI).

The myth of the German jobs miracle


Matthew C Klein in the FT's Alphaville: Christian Odendahl is one of the finest analysts of the German economy writing in English.

Thursday Poem

The One-Piece Takeaway   Like so much that is necessary, the one-piece  takeaway is impossible.  Only the half-divine, the smooth-backswinged ones, those of the balanced  follow-through who keep their heads down,  always, almost, can do it.  Yet, half-mortal, they  too can hit the golf ball out of bounds.

Hunting for Morels, Finding a Mess


Christopher Schaberg in Guernica: I'm walking through an aspen grove next to a steep ridge, looking up at the mossy bases of big ash trees.

In retrospect: Das Kapital


Gareth Stedman Jones: By the mid-nineteenth century across Europe, the scientific and technological shifts behind the Industrial Revolution were extracting a heavy social and political price.

Charles McGee’s Vibrant Art and the Beauty of Detroit


Morgan Meis in The New Yorker: Recently, I spent an afternoon with the artist Charles McGee, at his home in Rosedale Park, a neighborhood in northwest Detroit.

The Illuminating Geometry of Viruses


Jordana Cepelewicz in Quanta: More than a quarter billion people today are infected with the hepatitis B virus (HBV), the World Health Organization estimates, and more than 850,000 of them die every year as a result.

The Meaning of India's 'Beef Lynchings'


Supriya Nair in The Atlantic: One day in June, towards the end of Ramadan, two young Muslim brothers on a visit to Delhi to buy new clothes for Eid boarded a train to return home, three hours away.

DONALD TRUMP AND THE COMING FALL OF AMERICAN EMPIRE


Jeremy Scahill in The Intercept: EVEN AS PRESIDENT DONALD Trump faces ever-intensifying investigations into the alleged connections between his top aides and family members and powerful Russian figures, he serves as commander in chief over a U.S.

Sean Carroll & Tim Blais: Physics Conundrums and the Big Picture

Video length: 1:06:57

The G20’s Misguided Globalism


Dani Rodrik in Project Syndicate: The G20 has its origins in two ideas, one relevant and important, the other false and distracting.

Monopoly was invented to demonstrate the evils of capitalism


Kate Raworth in Aeon: 'Buy land – they aren’t making it any more,’ quipped Mark Twain. It’s a maxim that would certainly serve you well in a game of Monopoly, the bestselling board game that has taught generations of children to buy up property, stack it with hotels, and charge fellow players sky-high rents for the privilege of accidentally landing there.

Girls behind the lens: Zaatari refugee camp

Global Extreme Poverty


Max Roser and Esteban Ortiz-Ospina over at Our World in Data: The most important conclusion from the evidence presented in this entry is that extreme poverty, as measured by consumption, has been going down around the world in the last two centuries.

Chocolate Can Protect Our Brains


Sheherzad Preisler in OliveOilTimes: A research team based at Italy’s University of L’Aquila have published a new study that says cocoa beans contain high concentrations of flavanols, which are naturally-occurring compounds that can protect our brains.


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