Research, Atomkraft, and Mining

Hello! Long time no talk.  I heard you all singing this song, and I’m back!

The path up a mountain in Switzerland

The path up a mountain in Switzerland

Here’s some strange and utterly fascinating research:

  • When a landfill was dug up to find out if Atari had buried its games there, it wasn’t a bunch of guys with a bulldozer. It was a team of archaeologists (and, of course, the media).

  • Weather models currently use data from the 1960s to the present, largely because not enough is digitized. But “nobody wants to spend the time and money it takes to scan and input 100 million pieces of pieces of old, musky, often disorganized paper.” Except, of course, for some very dedicated (unpaid) volunteers.

  • Spinach doesn’t have a lot of (absorbable by humans) iron in it. If you thought it did, blame a longstanding academic myth. This paper unravels the myth, but more interesting than the myth itself is the investigation into citation and source practices. I was transfixed with fascination reading this. I might be the only one that feels this way about citations.

The Swiss countryside.

The Swiss countryside.

Sometimes you get a job and realize later it’s not quite what you wanted and move on to something totally different. Sometimes when you do that, you were working in an atomic weapons depot then became a peace activist.

Your grandmother survived the bombing of Hiroshima. She was stigmatized by society, and traumatized for life. Turns out that kind of trauma is so powerful that it can cross generations.

Another kind of trauma, but one that can unite communities, is what has been happening in Ferguson. The media attention has died down, and many sites have quality coverage, but St. Louis journalist Sarah Kendzior is asking what happens after Ferguson?

Constantine Basilica in Trier, Germany

This was a throne room in Roman times, but was a Protestant church for much of its life. It burned down in an air raid in WWII, and many say it was because the congregation refused to join the anti-nazi regional congregation of Protestants. #karma

Mining is also traumatizing, but to the earth.

Here is a beautiful castle in Germany

Here is a beautiful castle in Germany

In case you were unaware (I was certainly unaware), ramen noodles are serious business. A company called Sun Noodles essentially dominates the American industry, and for good reason — they essentially created the market here. A great story about noodles, and the ultimate customer service. If you’re a sucker for “how it’s made” videos, you’re in luck. Here’s a peek into one of their factories.

And finally, in these days of living, loving, and transacting online, sometimes unlikely apps can become social media. Like a payment transaction app.

I’m going to leave you with a few music selections this week, to make up for lost time.