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Tale of world of supersmart spiders takes Clarke SF award

This year's winner of the Arthur C. Clarke award is a story of two kinds of alien – one of them human - trying to understand each another

Lenny and Me

August 25, 2016 Posted by Jay Livingston (No sociology, just what Chris Uggen calls self-indulgery.) Leonard Bernstein was born on this day in 1918. Earlier this summer, I was walking around Tanglewood on a weekday. The KoussevitskyShow More Summary

Floating lab drills 1.5km below sea floor to study megaquakes

A research vessel is drilling deep under the seabed to find the recipe for disaster - clues to what triggered the Boxing Day tsunami quake

Darwin and DNA: How genetics spurred the evolution of a theory

Mendel and Darwin lived at the same time but never met - yet their ideas about of the natural world would unite into a single revolutionary discovery  

After Neoliberalism

It was with some interest I approached Martin Jacques's piece in The Graun, not least because he made his name in the 1980s describing the contours of the 'New Times' then being fashioned from the collapse of the post-war consensus and the broken bodies of the British and American labour movements. Show More Summary

Totem Vodka and Indigenous Cultural Appropriation

Cultural appropriation generally refers to the adoption of traditional practices, objects, or images by a person or group that is not part of the originating culture. Cultural appropriation can become problematic when it is done without permission, serves to benefit the dominant group, and erases or further marginalizes the oppressed group. Show More Summary

NASA gets in touch with spacecraft two years after it vanished

The twin STEREO spacecraft went missing while testing a system that would allow it to fly behind the sun

Ants in the Coffee

I'm working on what the trendies and hipsters call a 'long read'. It's about Neoliberalism - what it is and what's likely to come after. I'm about 2,000 words in and not sure if the mid-point has been reached. Yikes. You're here looking for a bit of blogging red meat to play with, and so... Show More Summary

Lessons from Hurricane Katrina for the Child Victims of the Louisiana Floods of 2016

The great Louisiana Floods of 2016 have led to the closure of at least 22 of the state’s 70 public school districts, with additional districts calling off classes as a precaution given the immense devastation. This means that as many as one-third of the state’s public school students were out of school last week,and […]

The mission to find the world’s rarest cat in jungles of Java

A search party is headed to the Indonesian island to look for critically endangered Javan fishing cat, unique amongst felines in its semi-aquatic lifestyle

Soundtrack of the Zeitgeist

August 22, 2016 Posted by Jay Livingston Yesterday’s post was skeptical about a link between pop culture and the Zeitgeist. I questioned whether the a change in the content of fiction or film or other products of the imagination reflected important social change. Show More Summary

Take My Zeitgeist, Please

August 21, 2016 Posted by Jay Livingston So many plays today, on and off Broadway, are small, character-driven dramas, the kind that let the actors show their chops. Jesse Tyler Ferguson in “Fully Committed,” Jeff Daniels and Michellle...Show More Summary

The Annoying Necessity of Facebook

In the recent past, Facebook has advertised Britain First to me. It has dangled anti-semitic conspiracy sites before my eyes. I've had adverts for Nazi memorabilia and militaria. On occasion, it has even alerted me to Gary Barlow products. Show More Summary

Can Owen Smith Win?

Long-term readers know one of my favourite games ever is Civilization III. As you busily set about conquering the world militarily or, depending on your play style, kindness, you get to sign treaties with computer-controlled opponents. Show More Summary

Feedback: male scientists’ preference for self reference

Plus British PM willing to kill 100,000 people, US presidential candidate fears Wi-Fi, the murky origins of cucumber time, and more

Blockchain grid to let neighbours trade solar power in Australia

Australian cities are set to trial the blockchain as a way to record sales of solar power between neighbours, changing the way we buy and sell energy

Chemtrails conspiracy theory gets put to the ultimate test

What happened when 77 atmospheric scientists actually took a look at the claim that aircraft are spewing out mind-controlling chemicals, wonders Phil Plait

Labour and Anti-Semitism

Like cat piss on your carpet, the stench comes back regardless of what you do to it. I'm talking, in this instance, about the Labour Party and anti-semitism. Despite an inquiry that issued clear guidelines and repeat condemnation by Jeremy Corbyn, John McDonnell, Momentum, and everyone associated with the party's leadership, it will not go away. Show More Summary

The Reproduction of Racial Segregation Online

We tend to think of the world wide web as a place of equal opportunity, granted everyone has access to it. But NYU’s At A Glance recently covered Charlton McIlwain’s new study that reveals how systemic racial inequality forms and operates on the internet. The study looks beyond lone bigots who make racist comments and analyzes how site […]

I’m the presidential candidate who wants us to live forever

Forget Trump and Clinton, I'm campaigning for the US to embrace technology with the potential to make us immortal, says White House contender Zoltan Istvan

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