Note — Dec 20, 2020

No.155 Asides

  • 🎼 🔥 🇨🇦 This issue of the newsletter, as well as a few others through the years and a number of good walks are powered by this classic: Said the Gramophone: BEST SONGS OF 2020.
  • 🗞 Haven’t dug through this one yet but every year there’s some smart stuff, lots of smart people in there, and a quite diverse list. Predictions for Journalism 2021. (Will they publish an ebook of this?)
  • 👀 📊 🇺🇸 Visualization of US Energy Consumption. “The interactive visualization shows 200 years of evolving energy use in America as an animated Sankey diagram.” (Via The Weekly Planet.)
  • 😲 Strong The Expanse vibe here. The arches of chaos in the Solar System. “Here, we reveal a notable and hitherto undetected ornamental structure of manifolds, connected in a series of arches that spread from the asteroid belt to Uranus and beyond. The strongest manifolds are found to be linked to Jupiter and have a profound control on small bodies over a wide and previously unconsidered range of three-body energies.”
  • 📚 The Best Book Cover Designs of 2020. Kottke’s favourites and links to three lists of excellent cover design.
  • 🇷🇺 💥 The mystery of Siberia’s exploding craters. “As the blast occurs, blocks of soil and ice are thrown hundreds of metres from the epicenter. We are faced here with a colossal force, created by very high pressure. Why it is so high still remains a mystery.”
  • 🇨🇳 🚚 🕵🏼‍♂️ Trucks in China Are Watching If Drivers Doze, Speed or Slack Off. “Using Internet of Things technology, they can employ anti-fatigue cameras to call out bad driving, built-in advanced driver-assistance systems to send warnings about insufficient space between vehicles on highways, and real-time cargo weighing to prevent stealing.”
  • 🇺🇸 ✈ 🤬 Very, very, very not good. Air Force Flies AI Copilot on U-2 Spy Plane. “The U.S. Air Force tells us how it successfully flew an AI copilot on a U-2 spy plane—and kicked off the age of algorithmic warfare.”