Human Life Span, Robot Surgeons, and a Chlorine Shortage: Lux Recommends #277

By Sam Arbesman, PhD

Welcome to Lux Recommends #277, this week’s edition of what we at Lux are reading and thinking about (want to receive this by email? Sign up here).

How Humanity Gave Itself an Extra Life: “Between 1920 and 2020, the average human life span doubled. How did we do it? Science mattered — but so did activism.” — Sam

An Artist Sketches the Giant Gender Gap on the Moon: “By drawing the small number of lunar craters named for women, an artist hopes to highlight women’s contributions to the sciences.” — Deena

The Robot Surgeon Will See You Now: “Real scalpels, artificial intelligence — what could go wrong?” — Adam G

Did you get enough steps in today? Maybe one day you’ll ask your ‘smart’ shirtAdam K

The Secrets of the World’s Greatest Jailbreak Artist: “Master criminal Rédoine Faïd loved the movies, and his greatest crimes were laced with tributes: to Point Break, Heat, and Reservoir Dogs. When he landed in a maximum-security prison, cinema provided inspiration once again.” — friend of Lux Dave Cheiken

A major chlorine shortage is set to spoil summertime fun in the swimming pool — friend of Lux Brad Bass

Finding an Easter egg in Microsoft BobSam

The Strange, Soothing World of Instagram’s Computer-Generated Interiors: ‘“Renderporn” domesticates the aspiration and surreality of the digital age.’— Lux friend Dan Schatzman

How Food May Improve Your Mood: “The sugar-laden, high-fat foods we often crave when we are stressed or depressed, as comforting as they are, may be the least likely to benefit our mental health.” — Adam G

Bioluminescent jellyfishAdam K

100 Best Sitcoms of All Time: “From family stories to band-of-misfits hangouts, classic rom-coms to workplace mockumentaries, cringe comedies to antihero showcases, and some shows that defy definition, these are the hundred series that have made us laugh, think, occasionally cry, and laugh all over again.” — Sam

And Internal Combustion Engine Sam

Uncanny Valley: A Memoir by Anna Wiener: “In her mid-twenties, at the height of tech industry idealism, Anna Wiener―stuck, broke, and looking for meaning in her work, like any good millennial — left a job in book publishing for the promise of the new digital economy. She moved from New York to San Francisco, where she landed at a big-data startup in the heart of the Silicon Valley bubble: a world of surreal extravagance, dubious success, and fresh-faced entrepreneurs hell-bent on domination, glory, and, of course, progress.” — Sam

20 Feet from Stardom: “Backup singers live in a world that lies just beyond the spotlight. Their voices bring harmony to the biggest bands in popular music, but we’ve had no idea who these singers are or what lives they lead, until now.” — friend of Lux Todd Pines

The Tight Fit Sam

Royal Marines Jet Suit Boarding ExerciseShaq

Starship High-Altitude Flight Test Shaq

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