Superhistory, Living in a Sci-Fi Novel, and a Soviet Mystery: Lux Recommends #279

By Sam Arbesman, PhD

Welcome to Lux Recommends #279, this week’s edition of what we at Lux are reading and thinking about (want to receive this by email? Sign up here).

Has an Old Soviet Mystery at Last Been Solved? “The strange fate of a group of skiers in the Ural Mountains has generated endless speculation.” — Sam

Americans Up and Moved During the Pandemic. Here’s Where They Went: “Big cities lost residents and the suburbs gained after 2020 lockdowns and low mortgage rates supercharged shifts in where people want to live” — Adam K

Superhistory, Not Superintelligence: “Artificial Intelligence is really Artificial Time” — Sam

Pigs can breathe oxygen via their rectum, so humans probably can tooZack

We Are Living in a Science Fiction Novel: “Digital currency? Ransomware? China on Mars? They’ve all been anticipated in books and serials.” — Deena

Why every family has its own ‘familect’ — the secret language we only use at home: “Our family dialect or ‘kitchen table lingo’ makes us feel like part of a special tribe — and gives us funny names for the remote control” — Adam K

How the Personal Computer Broke the Human Body: “Decades before ‘Zoom fatigue’ broke our spirits, the so-called computer revolution brought with it a world of pain previously unknown to humankind.” — Lux Recommends reader Greg Greenberg

Scientists Bring The Sense Of Touch To A Robotic ArmDeena

The Absolute Best Way to Eat An Oreo, According to Science: “Calling all twisters, lickers, and dunkers: This is your moment” — Shaq

Second Place Sam

The untold story of how Florence Nightingale used data viz to save lives: “Nightingale was a fierce advocate of public health — and she used sophisticated graphic design to make her case.” — Deena

Flamboyant fishes evolved an explosion of color as seas rose and fell: ‘The feisty fairy wrasses became a neon kaleidoscope thanks to a coral reef “species pump”’ — Adam K

The Midnight Library by Matt Haig: “Somewhere out beyond the edge of the universe there is a library that contains an infinite number of books, each one the story of another reality. One tells the story of your life as it is, along with another book for the other life you could have lived if you had made a different choice at any point in your life. While we all wonder how our lives might have been, what if you had the chance to go to the library and see for yourself? Would any of these other lives truly be better?” — Sam

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