1. The megabad climate change scenario. Earth, 2200 AD.

"There are only about 500 million of us left, after the convulsive transformations caused by climate change severely diminished the planet‚Äôs carrying capacity, which is the maximum population size that the environment can sustain. Most of us now live in what the British scientist James Lovelock has called ‚Äėlifeboats‚Äô at the far reaches of the northern hemisphere, in places that were once Canada, China, Russia and the Scandinavian countries, shoehorned into cities created virtually overnight to accommodate the millions of desperate refugees where the climate remains marginally tolerable."

2. The Codex Foundation is doing some fascinating work stretching the imaginative boundaries of what a book is.

"Another magnificent achievement by Codex, weighing in at over seven pounds Book Art Object 2 eloquently and comprehensively presents the most creative, technically brilliant and diverse range of fine books from around the world. The design of Book Art Object 2 is enlightening, the written contributions inspiring, but it is the books themselves, presented in 1,133 full color illustrations, that leap off the page and remain in the readers consciousness long after the last page, number 524, has been turned. This volume is indispensable for anyone wishing to understand the quite remarkable state of fine bookmaking today."

3. Architecture critic and RF-favorite Christopher Hawthorne is hosting a new event series: the Third Los Angeles Project.


"We are not just entering a new phase. We are also rediscovering the virtues and challenges of an earlier one ‚ÄĒ and acknowledging the full sweep of L.A.‚Äôs modern history.¬†In the First Los Angeles, stretching roughly from the city‚Äôs first population boom in the 1880s through 1940, a city growing at an exponential pace built a major transit network and innovative civic architecture.¬†In the Second Los Angeles, covering the period from 1940 to the turn of the millennium, we pursued a hugely ambitious experiment in building suburbia ‚Äď- a privatized, car-dominated landscape ‚Äď- at a metropolitan scale.¬†Now we are on the cusp of a new era. "

4. My surprisingly weird and interesting walking tour through Cupertino, Apple's forgotten hometown.

"Think of Apple’s iconic television ads. They often occur in empty space: a well-lit, bright white backdrop of nothingness. Apple has produced ads like this since 1984! Where is this place? Where is Jony Ive always talking to us from? The answer is Cupertino. But what is Cupertino? Cupertino is a pleasant place from which to use screens. Apple converts real places into ideas. They even have begun to name operating system releases after beautiful California locations. Mavericks, Yosemite: these natural wonders become computing environments. But Cupertino is a real place. So, let’s fill in the picture."


5. I'm gonna do something unusual in the last slot here today. A couple days ago, I placed a link about a dongle for the iPhone that allows people test for HIV (at fairly low accuracy.) My intent in linking to the item was not to point to the HIV test *itself* but the step that it seemed to represent towards a future of ubiquitous mobile biomedical sensors. But a long-time reader, Katie McCaskie, sent me an impassioned note about why the link was a bad idea, and I want to print (most of) it here because there are some great points about the real future of HIV testing and treatment:

Your #3 article in the posting below disappointed me greatly, however, and I want to express a word of caution about falling into the trap of loving technology for technology's sake.

Mobile HIV testing kits are cheap and ubiquitous in the developing world and do not always require being electronically charged, a definite hindrance to any sustainable testing "gadget" since power is not a dependable utility in most developing contexts. In addition, while smart phones are more available in the developing world than ever, iPhones are definitely not the most common and more expensive than most. The fact that Columbia University is spending money on this technology and for iPhones, after their significant experience working in developing countries and learning about the on-the-ground realities that are decidedly unsexy, speaks to technology's ongoing seduction of westerners.

Easy, affordable, mobile testing for HIV is important, but that problem's been solved. If Columbia could invent a gadget to create food for people to eat to line their stomach before taking their medication, that would be helpful. Or maybe they can invent a vehicle that could transport people to clinics when they default due to lack of food or self esteem or acceptance of their illness‚ÄĒthat would be helpful. Oh wait! That gadget exists and its called a car. How boring, and yet how needed.

Forgive my glibness‚ÄĒit's not directed as you personally. I have been working in the field of HIV in Swaziland for only a few years, but I am constantly amazed at how disconnected donors and the USA in general are from the reality. And you are a smart man who should not fall into that trap. For information on current low cost tests, check out this article from WHO.


I welcome this kind of response. Don't hold back!

Today's 1957 American English Language Tip

desperation never now means, as formerly, mere despair or abandonment or less of hope, but always the reckless readiness to take the first course that presents itself because every course seems hopeless.


The Credits:  1. aeon.co 2. codexfoundation.org 3. oxy.edu 4. fusion.net 5. tinyletter.com

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