Coral Reefs, Mathematical Snowflakes, and the Climate of Game of Thrones: Lux Recommends #112
Welcome to Lux Recommends #112, this week’s edition of what we at Lux are reading and thinking about (and want to receive this by email? Sign up here).
Scientists model the climate in Game of Thrones: ‘The climate in Game of Thrones is incredibly weird, not least because of the strange timing of the oddly-long seasons. A group of climate scientists from the Universities of Bristol, Cardiff, and Southampton decided to figure out what’s going on by making a climate model of the world — based on the weather data they could scrounge from George R. R. Martin’s novels. They wrote it up as a mock academic paper authored by the GoT character “Samwell Tarly”.’ — Sam
Medieval illustrations of what Europeans thought elephants looked like: “For his Elephas Anthropogenus project, Uli Westphal collected European illustrations of elephants dating from the fall of Rome to the end of the Renaissance, a period of time when very few people actually knew what an elephant looked like.”— Sam
Rise of Bitcoin Competitor Ripple Creates Wealth to Rival Zuckerberg: “At one point on Thursday, Chris Larsen, a Ripple co-founder who is also the largest holder of Ripple tokens, was worth more than $59 billion, according to figures from Forbes. That would have briefly vaulted Mr. Larsen ahead of Facebook chief executive Mark Zuckerberg into fifth place on the Forbes list of the world’s richest people.” — Peter
Single metalens focuses all colors of the rainbow in one point: One of the items preventing your phone from getting thinner is the optical package of the camera lens. This research paves the way for a flatter future. — Zack
How Bryan Fogel Accidentally Documented the Russian Olympic Doping Scandal: Extraordinary story of a documentary filmmaker who unwittingly pulled the threads to unravel one of biggest conspiracies in history of sport.— Peter
Food-safety expert warns latest bizarre Silicon Valley $60 ‘raw water’ trend could quickly turn deadly: Not The Onion: “The raw-water trend is similar to people’s obsession with raw milk or opposition to vaccines. While they lack scientific evidence, they’re convinced that they are correct, in part because they have failed to see the repercussions of life without scientific advances.” — Alex
Chasing Coral: Coral reefs around the world are vanishing at an unprecedented rate. A team of divers, photographers and scientists set out on a thrilling ocean adventure to discover why and to reveal the underwater mystery to the world.” Also see this article (recommended by Adam K) with a map of the reefs in danger. — Zack
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