T. Rexes, In-Flight Covid, and Ice Cream Machines: Lux Recommends #275

By Sam Arbesman, PhD

Welcome to Lux Recommends #275, this week’s edition of what we at Lux are reading and thinking about (want to receive this by email? Sign up here).

2.5 billion T. rex inhabited the planet, researchers saySam

Google Earth Now Shows You Our Planet’s Slow Deterioration: “A new time-lapse video feature in Google Earth lets users see how humans have reshaped the globe over the decades.” — Deena

Trapped on Technology’s Trailing Edge: “We’re paying too much to deal with obsolete electronic parts” — Bilal

The road from Rome: “The fall of the Roman Empire wasn’t a tragedy for civilisation. It was a lucky break for humanity as a whole” — Sam

The vanishing billionaire: how Jack Ma fell foul of Xi Jinping — friend of Lux Bob Goelet

Groundbreaking effort launched to decode whale language: “With artificial intelligence and painstaking study of sperm whales, scientists hope to understand what these aliens of the deep are talking about.” — Zack

How Safe Are You From Covid When You Fly? “To understand how risky it may be to board a flight now, start with how air circulates in a plane.” — Debbie

They Hacked McDonald’s Ice Cream Machines — and Started a Cold War: “Secret codes. Legal threats. Betrayal. How one couple built a device to fix McDonald’s notoriously broken soft-serve machines — and how the fast-food giant froze them out.” — Sam

Zoom fatigue is real and even worse for women. Stanford researchers explain whyDeena

Wait, Where Did All the Rental Cars Go? “Hertz, Avis and Enterprise sold enough of their fleets during the pandemic to create a shortage now that demand is picking up ahead of the summer travel season” — friend of Lux Bob Goelet

Adversarial machine learning: The underrated threat of data poisoningCameron

The Woman Who Made van Gogh: “Neglected by art history for decades, Jo van Gogh-Bonger, the painter’s sister-in-law, is finally being recognized as the force who opened the world’s eyes to his genius.” — Deena

Meet The Billionaire Family Building America’s Roofs — And Taking On Elon Musk: “For more than a century, Standard Industries has been on top of the roofing world. Now co-CEOs David Millstone and David Winter are ready to roll out a high-tech solar version to rival Tesla’s and give home construction a jolt.”— Lux friend Tom Kane

Scientists Create Early Embryos That Are Part Human, Part MonkeyDeena

And 99 Additional Bits of Unsolicited AdviceSam

Time and Time Again by Ben Elton: “It’s the first of June 1914 and Hugh Stanton, ex-soldier and celebrated adventurer is quite literally the loneliest man on earth. No one he has ever known or loved has been born yet. Perhaps now they never will be. Stanton knows that a great and terrible war is coming. A collective suicidal madness that will destroy European civilization and bring misery to millions in the century to come. He knows this because, for him, that century is already history.” Time travel novel. — Sam

Snowfall: “A look at the early days of the crack cocaine epidemic in Los Angeles during the beginning of the 1980s.” — from friend of Lux Dan Schillace

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