Existential Riddles - The New Yorker
Which is heavier, a ton of feathers or a ton of gold?
Everything is equal in an infinitely expanding, cruelly indifferent universe.
The Genesis Engine - WIRED
We now have the power to quickly and easily alter DNA. It could eliminate disease. It could solve world hunger. It could provide unlimited clean energy.
It could get really out of hand.
The Really Big One - The New Yorker
When the 2011 earthquake and tsunami struck Tohoku, Japan, Chris Goldfinger was two hundred miles away, in the city of Kashiwa, at an international meeting on seismology. As the shaking started, everyone in the room began to laugh. Earthquakes are common in Japan—that one was the third of the week—and the participants were, after all, at a seismology conference. Then everyone in the room checked the time.
"I think this is the guy": The Complicated Confidence of Eyewitness Memory - Ars Technica
Looking back, Thompson was not overly confident when she first picked Cotton out of a lineup. Yet by the time the trial came, Thompson was very confident when she identified Cotton as the rapist. And in hindsight, that shouldn’t be surprising. Within the modern legal environment, there are a number of factors that can turn an initial uncertainty into a high level of confidence at trial. But if new research and its corresponding recommendations had been in place when Cotton was tried in 1985, he might not have been sent to prison.
Take a Tour of America's Most Toxic Town - WIRED
Larry Roberts angles his white Mercury Grand Marquis into the empty parking lot of a tiny café, G & J’s Gorillas Cage, and cruises into a space near the front door. The restaurant’s red and white metal trim is faded and rusted, and the lightbulb-lined roadside sign has been dark for years. Hand-painted placards in the windows advertise burger baskets, corn dogs, and a couple of untruths—”Last Place in Picher!” and “Yes, We’re Open!” When it closed in March, the Gorillas Cage was the only restaurant left in Picher, Oklahoma. Roberts is here to make sure the owners have cleared it out for demolition. Roberts, the operations manager of the Lead-Impacted Communities Relocation Assistance Trust, works about 10 miles away in the town of Miami. His job is to inspect contaminated buildings that the state of Oklahoma is going to buy and tear down. A retired state representative, he has a rosy face and sports a pressed plaid button-up. He rolled up his car windows before he hit the city limits. “There’s still dust in the air,” he says in a laid-back Midwestern drawl. “And I wouldn’t drink the water.”
The Best Book Covers of 2015 - The New York Times
On Island of Lesbos, A Microcosm of Greece's Other Problem: Migrants - The New York Times
Funnies - Calvin and Hobbes, Bill Watterson