Comedy Wildlife Photograph of the Year finalists.
Bitcoin mining now uses more electricity than Finland, or Washington State. (NY Times)
Pet bird trained to go out and look for cash, then bring it home. Not sure how real this is, but still amusing.
You could own your own 22-acre island off the west coast of Scotland for around $70,000, but you might not be able to build a house on it.
In the "it could be a lot worse" department, two NY Times international stories: In South Africa, after more than 300 died in rioting by mostly black supporters of former president Jacob Zuma, vigilantes in Indian and other neighborhoods have killed dozens of what seem to be random black people. Meanwhile Lebanon is bankrupt, with no money to pay for imports and no government to even try to fix things; without oil, civilization is rapidly collapsing.
Facts about the secret X-37C space plane.
Fed up with men who never listen to you? In Shanghai women can go to a special "butler club" and hire a man to sit with you all night and pay attention to every word you say.
Sadly, the Vinland Map is a 20th-century fake. (Here's a fun intellectual exercise: come up with a document for which it would be a really big deal if it turned out to be fake. Not counting the Gospels, that's too easy.)
Intelligent Vox piece on the complexities of "Gentrification," correctly pointing out that poor Americans move a lot, and those in areas where incomes are rising don't move more than others. The real problem in the US is not neighborhoods that are getting richer, but neighborhoods where poverty is entrenched and nothing has changed in decades.
Long New Yorker article about Kathryn Paige Harden, a young geneticist who considers herself a leftist but believes genes have a major impact on life outcomes: "Building a commitment to egalitarianism on a belief in our genetic uniformity is building a house on sand."
If you want the short version, here's commentary about that article by Kevin Drum.
Polish homosexuality, the secret police, and Foucault's expulsion from Poland in 1959.
At the NY Times, Thomas Edsall takes on the conflicts surrounding wokeness, with comments from a wide variety of social scientists. One tells him, "Amidst this sea of analytical uncertainties, I am increasingly confident of one thing: a backlash is building." I worry that the same is true and the right Republican could lead another Reagan revolution.
Most solar panels rely on silver wires to extract energy from the silicon layers that generate it. This Australian start-up says they can build highly efficient panels using copper wiring, which costs 1% as much as silver. Every little bit helps.
Worried that GPS signals might be jammed on future battlefields, the US military is dusting off older automated "astro-navigation" systems like the one from the SR-71 Blackbird.
Sane conservative Kevin Williamson reviews ongoing Republican efforts to destabilize the election system; some Republicans in Florida are demanding election audits of Democratic counties, even though Trump won the state (NY Times)
Thoughtful article situating the Chinese government's crackdown on "sissy men" in entertainment within a broader dictatorial program. Very sinister.