Links to Other Conversations and Articles

World's Fair

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The Martian is a feel-good, science positive, uplifting film about the power of the human spirit, botany, and engineering. It looked, from the credits, like it had at least 8 scientific advisors from NASA (and possibly other places). Too bad that Ridley Scott only half listened to them. As one of the primary sci-fi filmmakers…

Our lab has a paper called: “Enthalpic Switch-Points and Temperature Dependencies of DNA binding and Nucleotide Incorporation by Pol I DNA Polymerases” that was just published in BBA (Biochimica et Biophysica Acta): Proteins and Proteomics. The study follows up on an observation and prediction we had made some years ago in a different paper. The study…

Is Bon Jovi an idea worth spreading? Not sure, but it seemed to do wonders with a certain amount of context at a conference I recently attended. This being the TEDactive conference: a satellite event where attendees viewed and immersed themselves in the TED universe at an “off site” locale, all the while taking in…

Questioning Sustainable Eating

I mean that title in the positive sense of critique, like Kantian critique, intended to question so as to make better. I made note last month of a project some students here were doing, called “Is It Possible to Eat Sustainably at the University of Virginia?” This was the prompt: Four Students set out to…

The Onion reports on the market-definition of technological progress. Like the new technological breakthrough that fixed the problems of the previous breakthrough, this new device promises to make everything better. Said one customer: “Its higher price indicates to me that it is superior, and that not everyone will be able to afford it, which only…

“Urbanites Learn the Primal Lure of Hunting” If you hunt a meal right beyond your backyard, well, that’s the fewest Food Miles you’re going to find. If you’re not a hunter, well, someone ought to teach you. If you’re urban or, let’s just say it, bourgeois, then isn’t this all so fun? The New York…

Is It Possible to Eat Sustainably at the University of Virginia? Eating sustainably requires (a) that you come to some resolution about what “sustainable” means, (b) that you have the opportunity to choose so-defined sustainable foods, and (c) that the constraints of your lifestyle, geography, and socioeconomic context make it possible for you to pursue…

Philip Graham is a writer and professor at the University of Illinois. Friend of the World’s Fair Oronte Churm recently interviewed him. (Mr. Churm, aka John Griswold, also teaches at Illinois and is also a writer — check out his beautiful new novel Democracy of Ghosts.) It’s a good interview, right here at this link.

If you know where the Spy Museum is, I encourage you to read “Days at the Museum #4: International Week” over at McSweeney’s. If you don’t know where the Spy Museum is, well, help me help you find out. Albert Bierstadt, Among the Sierra Nevada, California,1868 (from the Smithsonian website) Some other things you may…

I had the chance to interview Rebecca Solnit for The Believer. It’s on shelves now, in their September issue. They’ve also put the full text of it on-line at their website. (Here it is.) To quote the interview’s intro, Solnit is the author of twelve books. She is a journalist, essayist, environmentalist, historian, and art…