Note — Jun 21, 2020

No.131 Asides

  • 🌧 ♳ Plastic Rain Is the New Acid Rain. “Microplastics are blowing all over the world, landing in supposedly pure habitats, like the Arctic and the remote French Pyrenees. They’re flowing into the oceans via wastewater and tainting deep-sea ecosystems, and they’re even ejecting out of the water and blowing onto land in sea breezes. And now in the American West, and presumably across the rest of the world given that these are fundamental atmospheric processes, they are falling in the form of plastic rain—the new acid rain.”
  • 🥺 World has six months to avert climate crisis, says energy expert. “The next three years will determine the course of the next 30 years and beyond, [I]f we do not [take action] we will surely see a rebound in emissions. If emissions rebound, it is very difficult to see how they will be brought down in future. This is why we are urging governments to have sustainable recovery packages.” I doubt it’s this cut and dry in terms of timeline but the bad news and urgency keeps piling up.
  • 🇧🇴 🤬 The New York Times Admits Key Falsehoods That Drove Last Year’s Coup in Bolivia: Falsehoods Peddled by the U.S., Its Media, and the Times. “In sum, when it came to the 2019 Bolivian coup, the U.S. media played its decades-old, standard role whenever the U.S. wants to depict a military coup against a government it dislikes as a victory for democracy: Namely, it blindly and dutifully adopted the State Department’s view and uncritically waved the flag.”
  • 🇬🇧 👻 Ghosts at the museum. “Sometimes it’s a sudden drop in temperature, like the unnerving patches of cold air that linger next to the winged, human-headed bull of Nimrud at the entrance to the Assyrian galleries. Sometimes it’s the sound of footsteps, or music, or crying, where no obvious source can be found.”
  • 🤩 🧱 🔬 IBM/MicroscoPy. “An open-source, motorized, and modular microscope built using LEGO bricks, Arduino, Raspberry Pi and 3D printing.”
  • Like all conferences, 99U was streaming this year. The talks are now online. “[A]n event about creative careers. Watch the replay of the conference livestream or explore talks, workshops, and more on-demand.”
  • Dark Matter Experiment Finds Unexplained Signal. “First and perhaps most exciting is the “solar axion,” a hypothetical particle produced inside the sun that would be similar to a photon but with a tiny amount of mass.”