Astronaut ice cream is a lie – “Even if astronaut ice cream were on Apollo 7, it would probably have been rehydratable food similar to most of the other food options on the flight, not the freeze-dried block we recognize today.” Next, someone will tell me that Dippin’ Dots is not really the ice cream of the future!
Column: This is what happens when you take Ayn Rand seriously – “The fly in the ointment of Rand’s philosophical ‘objectivism’ is the plain fact that humans have a tendency to cooperate and to look out for each other, as noted by many anthropologists who study hunter-gatherers. These ‘prosocial tendencies’ were problematic for Rand, because such behavior obviously mitigates against ‘natural’ self-interest and therefore should not exist.” From Will.
There’s a lot of hype around using GMO mosquitoes to stop Zika. Here’s the reality. – “Bottom line: Oxitec’s GM technology is very neat. But the need for years of further testing means it probably won’t be much immediate help in the Zika crisis. And even in the future, it may just end up being one (valuable) tool among many in fighting mosquito-borne disease. No expert I talked to thought it would be the answer.”
The Scent of History – “How to Be a Tudor opens with the first thing everyone wants to know about the people of that time (how did they smell?) and closes with the second (how did they have sex?). Curiosity about the latter is understandable; most human beings wonder how people in other cultures do it. But why this persistent fixation on the hygiene of medieval and early modern Europe? It’s a subject that comes up with far greater frequency than more serious drawbacks like the lack of modern medical science or sewage treatment. Nevertheless, whenever one faction of the reading and film-going public goes swoony over the silk and velvet splendor of Henry VIII’s court or the angelic gowns of the Regency era, naysayers inevitably pop up to jeer about how filthy and stinky everyone was back then.”