Good News!*

The century-old book series that predicted a wild and wonderful future.

Good-news stories you didn’t hear about in 2023.

Solar-powered boats are traversing the Amazon.

Jakarta is sinking into the sea.

Read more…

25 December 2023

Purple Reign

Friends, Romans, countrymen, y’all.

Feet in the past weren’t so tiny.

Cassette Futurism.

The lost ancient pigment more valuable than gold.

Can Trump be stopped? (Archived.)

5 December 2023

Untitled Goose Post

How 500 days alone in a cave alters your sense of time. How 15 years researching time alters your sense of time.

The end of Gaza’s most beautiful neighbourhood.

The collapse of insects.

The Washington Post lays bare the impact of the AR-15.

Catching up recently on season five of What We Do in the Shadows (what a great show) led me to Mark Proksch’s earlier work as K-Strass the Yo-Yo Guy (and Proksch talking about it).

Thanks to a Metafilter thread about Anil Prasad’s Innerviews site, I caught up with his interview with Mike Oldfield only ten years after he’d conducted it, and it was every bit as in-depth as I’d hoped. (Anil and I used to hang out on the same mailing list in the 1990s.) Oldfield’s career seems to have come to an anticlimactic end with the release of his Tubular Bells 4 demo six months ago, but there’s still hope…

Teach your chirldren to get along with friends friendly with this super fun interactinve gift, random in three colors. I cant’t breathe!

20 November 2023

Pterosaur Ptakeoff

Pterosaurs could inform the next generation of flight.

The plastic-eating bacteria that could change the world. Ditch your plastic cutting boards.

The Spanish city that has been restricting cars for 24 years.

A cheap piece of tape increases phone and laptop battery life by ten percent.

Tricking AI into solving security puzzles.

A breakthrough in chronic fatigue research.

Why we live as long as we do.

Read more…

18 October 2023

The Dutch Boy’s Lead Party

“D-D-T is good for me-e-e!”

The forgotten end of World War II. A forgotten horror of World War II. How ordinary Jews stood against Nazi persecution—it’s not every day your longheld assumptions about a historical period you think you know about get overturned so dramatically.

On distraction.

The shadowy global network vilifying climate protesters.

A new accent forms in Antarctica.

17 September 2023

Plastic Hearts

The thylacine was hunted to extinction as a supposedly large predator, but was only half as heavy as thought. The lessons of a 140-year-old thylacine brain sample.

Indo-European languages originated 8100 years ago.

A human genome has been recovered from 5700-year-old chewing gum.

Microplastics have been found in human hearts.

A UK scheme to reuse waste heat from cloud computing.

Why there was no water to fight the fires in Maui.

Climate scientists’ worst fears are here.

20 August 2023

Everybody Movement

One woman’s mission to maintain accurate Nazi history on Wikipedia.

Twitter’s future is a return to Elon Musk’s past.

The AI jokes that give a screenwriter nightmares.

AI Johnny Cash sings “Barbie Girl”.

A New Zealand supermarket AI meal-planner app suggested a recipe that would create chlorine gas.

Every Eurodance song in the 1990s.

Read more…

20 August 2023

Sea May Get Hot

Another one-month gap… I’ve been writing, but not here. Better get things moving again with a few links.

The Atlantification of the Arctic Ocean.

Ecological tipping points could occur much sooner than expected.

I no longer know how to think about borsch.

An RPG that uses only three-letter words.

23 July 2023

Domestic Bliss

Have some beer and pizza while AI takes over your life.

Fish are running out of oxygen.

Europe’s cruise ships emit as much sulphur as a billion cars.

The plague killed Ancient Britons.

Homo sapiens domesticated ourselves.

Wes Anderson’s Star Wars.

Beatrix Potter kept quiet about Peter Rabbit’s origins.

The German town encrusted with diamonds.

Steve Albini on why debating the willfully ignorant is exhausting and pointless.

Notes from Prince Harry’s ghostwriter. Worth reading even if you aren’t obsessed with the royals:

If you don’t speak your emotions you serve them, and if you don’t tell your story you lose it—or, what might be worse, you get lost inside it. Telling is how we cement details, preserve continuity, stay sane. We say ourselves into being every day, or else.

21 June 2023

More Cheese

The billion-year-old connection between Tasmania and Arizona.

My transplanted heart and I will die soon.

Farewell, Dame Edna. The inevitable backlash has emerged since, but Humphries’ place in Australian comedy is undeniable; I’m glad to have seen one of Edna’s farewell performances a decade or so ago.

Pepperoni Hug Spot. AI-ieeee…

What Rosalind Franklin truly contributed to the discovery of DNA’s structure.

Has Homo floresiensis survived? What an incredible world that would be.

So much for the wisdom of crowds.

30 April 2023