Nuclear Power, a Martian Helicopter, and Digital Art: Lux Recommends #267

3 min readFeb 26, 2021


By Sam Arbesman, PhD

Welcome to Lux Recommends #267, this week’s edition of what we at Lux are reading and thinking about (want to receive this by email? Sign up here).


How NASA Designed a Helicopter That Could Fly Autonomously on Mars: “The Perseverance rover’s Mars Helicopter (Ingenuity) will take off, navigate, and land on Mars without human intervention” — Sam

World’s Oldest DNA Unlocks Lineage of Ice Age Mammoths: “Genetic material taken from carcasses that were preserved in Siberian permafrost reveals a prehistoric species” — Shaq

The Activists Who Embrace Nuclear PowerDeena

The 27-Year-Old Who Became a Covid-19 Data Superstar: “In the contest over who could make the most accurate coronavirus forecast, it was global institutions vs. a guy living with his parents in Santa Clara.” — Sam

A Famous Black Hole Gets a Massive Update: “Cygnus X-1, one of the first identified black holes, is much weightier than expected, raising new questions about how such objects form.” — Deena

Iceberger: “Draw an iceberg and see how it will float.” — Sam

The First All-Civilian Mission to SpaceShaq

Why an Animated Flying Cat With a Pop-Tart Body Sold for Almost $600,000: “A fast-growing market for digital art, ephemera and media is marrying the world’s taste for collectibles with cutting-edge technology.” — Adam G

Visualizing 500,000 Deaths from COVID-19 in the U.S. —friend of Lux Dave Cheiken

A New Era of Black Holes Is Here: “Astronomers have discovered a black-hole treasure trove that is changing our view of the cosmos.” — Deena

‘This is the future’: NBA Top Shot and the dizzying world of digital collectiblesAdam G

Scientists break through the wall of sleep to the untapped world of dreams: “NSF-supported researchers achieve two-way communication with lucidly dreaming people, creating a new method for studying the human mind that might lead to innovative ways of learning and problem-solving.” — Zack

And How would you run and operate an interstellar, multi-species cantina? Sam


Present Future: Business, Science, and the Deep Tech Revolution by friend of Lux Guy Perelmuter: “With the context of an economic historian and the on-the-ground insights of an active technology investor, Perelmuter’s Present Future brings readers to the bleeding edge of the science and technologies poised to revolutionize the 21st century. Comprehensive and yet enthralling, the book is a must-read for anyone who has an intellectual or commercial interest in what the future may hold.”

Blood, Sweat, and Pixels: The Triumphant, Turbulent Stories Behind How Video Games Are Made by Jason Schreier: “In Blood, Sweat, and Pixels, Jason Schreier takes readers on a fascinating odyssey behind the scenes of video game development, where the creator may be a team of 600 overworked underdogs or a solitary geek genius. Exploring the artistic challenges, technical impossibilities, marketplace demands, and Donkey Kong-sized monkey wrenches thrown into the works by corporate, Blood, Sweat, and Pixels reveals how bringing any game to completion is more than Sisyphean — it’s nothing short of miraculous.” — Sam


How to make an igloo using only snow and a knifeAdam K

Futuristic Neveplast ski slope on the top of CopenhillShaq

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