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Synthetic Biology, Robot Dolphins, and Very Old Twinkies: Lux Recommends #251

By Sam Arbesman, PhD

Welcome to Lux Recommends #251, this week’s edition of what we at Lux are reading and thinking about (want to receive this by email? Sign up here).

The second decade of synthetic biology: 2010–2020Sam

How a downed internet balloon produced an unlikely love story: “Google’s Loon balloons have been hailed as the future of connectivity, but in Uruguay, they’ve been most effective for matchmaking.” — Deena

After a 7-Month Wait, This Tourist Got Machu Picchu All To Himself Adam K

Why Are Babies So Dumb If Humans Are So Smart?Deena

The robot dolphin that could replace captive animals at theme parks one dayAdam K

Bruce Springsteen Is Living in the Moment: ‘“Letter to You,” his new album with the E Street Band, is built on lessons and skills accumulated in the past. But the Boss is focused on where he stands now — and where he’s going next.’ — friend of Lux Brad Weinberg

Bruce Springsteen Is an Emoji Now and Fans Can’t Get EnoughAdam K

Fossilized Human Trackway Discovered At White Sands National ParkDeena

A 12-year-old found a 69 million-year-old dinosaur fossil while hiking with his dad — Lindsay Kalish (Adam K’s better half)

A Disturbing Twinkie That Has, So Far, Defied ScienceSam

The Mad, Mad World of Niche Sports Among Ivy League–Obsessed Parents: “Where the desperation of late-stage meritocracy is so strong, you can smell it” — Lux friend Tommy Kane

And Six Things Millennials Have in Common with Dr. Frasier Crane (№5 Will Drive You Into a Deep Depression)Sam

Tehran: “An Israeli Mossad agent infiltrates Iran. But when her mission goes wrong, there’s no way out.” — Lux friend Tommy Kane

Benjamin Franklin: An American Life by Walter Isaacson: “Benjamin Franklin is the founding father who winks at us, the one who seems made of flesh rather than marble. In a sweeping narrative that follows Franklin’s life from Boston to Philadelphia to London and Paris and back, Walter Isaacson chronicles the adventures of the runaway apprentice who became, over the course of his eighty-four-year life, America’s best writer, inventor, media baron, scientist, diplomat, and business strategist, as well as one of its most practical and ingenious political leaders.”— Sam

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