WHO'S LOOKING FLOSSY???
We are! And we're loving it. Massive thanks to Harvest Creative for the brand overhaul. You can find our new colors just about everywhere you follow/read/listen to us, and coming (very very) soon, on merchandise, too! STAY TUNED.
I'm technically on vacation but I didn't exactly mention that, and this is technically a day late, so -- my apologies. Plane wifi sucks and I knew that already but I gambled, and to no one's surprise, I blew it.
Thanks to everyone who's listening to the podcast. We LOVE our guests so far, and have some truly awesome people coming up soon. Episode 5 drops Tuesday, so tune in!
On to the news!
Space: The Final Frontier/Escape Hatch 🚀👩🚀👽
We found the first planets outside the Milky Way
"Previously, planets have been detected only in the Milky Way galaxy. Here, we show that quasar microlensing provides a means to probe extragalactic planets in the lens galaxy, by studying the microlensing properties of emission close to the event horizon of the supermassive black hole of the background quasar, using the current generation telescopes."
+ Say THAT three times fast, amiright? But also NASA should start funding SETI again. Life. Is. Out. There.
Biology 401 💉👾💊
The Flu is Killing Up to 4,000 Americans a Week
"The amount of influenza ravaging the U.S. this year rivals levels normally seen when an altogether new virus emerges, decimating a vulnerable population that hasn’t had a chance to develop any defenses.
It’s an unexpected phenomenon that public health experts are still trying to decode.
The levels of influenza-like illnesses being reported now are as high as the peak of the swine flu epidemic in 2009, and exceed the last severe seasonal flu outbreak in 2003 when a new strain started circulating, said Anne Schuchat, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s acting director. "
+ But we're not calling it a pandemic. Yet.
Scientists Unearth Hope for New Antibiotics
"In a bag of backyard dirt, scientists have discovered a powerful new group of antibiotics they say can wipe out many infections in lab and animal tests, including some microbes that are resistant to most traditional antibiotics.
Researchers at Rockefeller University in New York reported the discovery of the new antibiotics, called malacidins, on Monday in the journal Nature Microbiology."
+ More on your body here:
- Bacteria Get Antibiotic Resistance Genes From Rivals They Prey On
- Can gene therapy be harnessed to fight the AIDS virus?
- CRISPR Isn't Just for Gene Editing Anymore
Climate Change 🔥🌊💨
Enemy #1: The Mercers, Trump’s Billionaire Megadonors, Ramp Up Climate Change Denial Funding
"Robert Mercer and his daughter, Rebekah Mercer, are best known as the secretive billionaire megadonors who bankrolled and organized President Donald Trump’s campaign, poured at least $10 million into Breitbart News, and showered millions on a network of right-wing websites and think tanks. The family has spent $36.6 million on Republican races and super PACs since 2010.
The Mercers are less well known as patrons of the climate change denial movement, yet their spending has been equally generous and appears to be increasing, according to new, previously unreleased tax filings reviewed by HuffPost."
+ No one said this fight would be easy. Here's some more insidious bullshit.
Volatile chemical products emerging as largest petrochemical source of urban organic emissions
"A detailed mass balance demonstrates that the use of volatile chemical products (VCPs)—including pesticides, coatings, printing inks, adhesives, cleaning agents, and personal care products—now constitutes half of fossil fuel VOC emissions in industrialized cities."
Robots & AI 🤖🧠⚡️
China’s massive investment in artificial intelligence has an insidious downside
"China's advantages in AI go beyond government commitment. Because of its sheer size, vibrant online commerce and social networks, and scant privacy protections, the country is awash in data, the lifeblood of deep learning systems. The fact that AI is a young field also works in China's favor, argues Chen Yunji, by encouraging a burgeoning academic effort that has put China within striking distance of the United States, long the leader in AI research.
In a more insidious downside, nations are seeking to harness AI advances for surveillance and censorship, and for military purposes. China's military "is funding the development of new AI-driven capabilities" in battlefield decision-making and autonomous weaponry, says Elsa Kania, a fellow at the Center for a New American Security in Washington, D.C. In the field of AI in China, she warned in a recent report, "The boundaries between civilian and military research and development tend to become blurred.""
+ A great piece on the man most AI leaders learned from.
The Highlight Reel
- Spring Weather Is Arriving Alarmingly Early This Year
Black Lung Study Finds Biggest Cluster Ever Of Fatal Coal Miners' Disease
New Jersey Embraces an Idea It Once Rejected: Make Utilities Pay to Emit Carbon
60,000 Chinese troops are planting enough trees to cover Utah
What it’s like to run a country that could be destroyed by climate change
Scientists Know How You’ll Respond to Nuclear War—and They Have a Plan
Crypto-currency craze 'hinders search for alien life'
New temperature record brings us one step closer to fusion energy
Trump Wants to Kill Research Into How Oil and Gas Impact Health
Counterpoint: funding Universal Basic Income is a bad idea
Andrew Ng's latest AI project: a $175 million fund...for himself.
Thanks for reading, thanks for acting, and have a great weekend, everyone!