Image for post
Image for post

Lava Lamp Random Numbers, Tracks of Birdflight, and Melting a Giant Jawbreaker: Lux Recommends #113

By Sam Arbesman, PhD

Welcome to Lux Recommends #113, this week’s edition of what we at Lux are reading and thinking about (and want to receive this by email? Sign up here).

An institute studying ‘existential risk’ has made a Civilization mod about superintelligent AI: “The Cambridge University-based group says the add-on is part outreach, part research” — Sam

If Birds Left Tracks in the Sky, They’d Look Like This: ‘Just as a sinuous impression appears when a snake slides across sand, he imagined, so must a pattern form in the wake of a flying bird. But of course birds in flight leave no trace — at least none visible to the naked eye. Bou, now 38, spent the past five years trying to capture the elusive contours drawn by birds in motion, or, as he says, “to make visible the invisible.”’ Which also pairs well with a photo, from Adam K, of a murmuration of starlings in the shape of a bird!— Sam

I am a time-traveler from the future, here to beg you to stop what you are doing: A creepy and entertaining reddit post from 2013 with Bitcoin predictions from a “time traveler from 2025.” — Brandon

Waking Up to the Gift of ‘Aliveness’: A meditation on life’s purpose.— Sam

The Subversive World of ‘Cinderella Stamps’: “These are Cinderella stamps; artifacts that look like stamps but aren’t. These islands of love and friendship don’t exist. They were painted by the American artist Donald Evans, who made thousands of stamps for 42 imaginary countries over a short, bright career, before his death in a house fire in 1977 at the age of 33.” — Sam

This Photograph of the NYC Winter Storm Looks Like an Impressionist Painting: Pretty much as advertised. — Sam

Of 21 Winter Olympic Cities, Many May Soon Be Too Warm to Host the Games Sam

Australian birds have weaponized fire because what we really need now is something else to make us afraid: “Raptors, including the whistling kite, are intentionally spreading grass fires in northern Australia, a research paper argues. The reason: to flush out prey and feast” — Adam K

And Tuna goes for $323,000 at Tokyo fish market’s final New Year auctionAdam K

Redshirts by John Scalzi: Deconstructs Star Trek, explores the nature of storytelling, and is also just an all-around fun story. — Sam

Off to Be the Wizard by Scott Meyer: Computer geeks as magicians in medieval Europe. This is one wild and silly romp. — Sam

Galapagos with David Attenborough Adam G

The Godfather and The Godfather Part II Adam G

Wu: The Story of the Wu-Tang Clan Adam G

The Lava Lamps That Help Keep The Internet SecureJosh

Melting a giant Jawbreaker Adam K

Marbles, Magnets, and Music (Synchronized)Sam

Virtual Mario Kart looks awesomeAdam G

Want to receive this by email? Sign up here.

And have a suggestion? Let us know.

Written by

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store