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Sports Terms, Extraterrestrials, and Google Maps: Lux Recommends #143

By Sam Arbesman, PhD

Welcome to Lux Recommends #143, this week’s edition of what we at Lux are reading and thinking about (and want to receive this by email? Sign up here).

As Google Maps Renames Neighborhoods, Residents Fume: “The swift rebranding of the roughly 170-year-old district is just one example of how Google Maps has now become the primary arbiter of place names. With decisions made by a few Google cartographers, the identity of a city, town or neighborhood can be reshaped, illustrating the outsize influence that Silicon Valley increasingly has in the real world.” — Sam

I Don’t Believe in Aliens Anymore: “Humanity must learn to find meaning without relying on gods or extraterrestrials.” — Sam

Metamaterial-equipped endoscope reveals your innermost secrets: “Metamaterial provides a clearer view of hidden tissues.” — Adam G

The Wonder Plant That Could Slash Fertilizer Use: “An indigenous Mexican corn gets its nitrogen from the air.” — Sam

We Use Sports Terms All the Time. But Where Do They Come From? Hat in the Ring, Wild-Goose Chase, Hands Down, and more. — Josh

Paul Krugman Explaining Macroeconomics on a Roller Coaster Sam

Very cool example of the Stroboscopic Effect (shutter speed matching the rpm of a spinning top)Adam K

Disney has invented a robotic stuntman Adam K

There’s Waldo: a robot that finds WaldoSam

This is the world’s largest elevator. It can lift a ship 40 stories high in just 10 minutes — no elevator music required Adam K

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