Berezovsky, Aircraft Carriers, Oil, Oranges, Consciousness, Eames

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From Russia With Blood

Heidi Blake et al | Buzzfeed | 15th June 2017

Enthralling and perplexing account of British fixers who find their way into the entourage of the Russian oligarch Boris Berezovsky, live large, and end up dead, along with Berezovsky and a dozen others, apparently at the hands of the Russian government. “Me and Scot can do the best we can, we make 10 million, 20 million, 30 million. We don’t make billions, right? It doesn’t work that way. The billions come when Boris turns up. But it comes with a cancer. And the cancer kills you” (16,000 words)

What It Would Take To Sink An Aircraft Carrier

Robert Farley | Jalopnik | 20th April 2017

Harder than you would think. It’s a moving target. You would have to get close. “Even a supersonic cruise missile can take twenty minutes to reach its target area at maximum range, and a carrier maneuvering at high speed can move ten miles in the same period of time. A massive aircraft carrier can move surprisingly fast for something weighing over 100,000 tons, with a top speed of more than 30 knots, or about 35 miles an hour, which is what you get when you go for nuclear power” (2,800 words)

The Long-Term Price Of Oil

Liam Denning | Bloomberg | 15th June 2017

Long-term oil-future prices have halved over the past three years to around $55. Why so? Because that it is the trigger price for US shale producers to boost drilling and fracking. But traditional oil producers, including Saudi Arabia, “require oil prices far above $50 to make their economies function”. And electric vehicles are eating into oil’s core market, transportation. So here’s one scenario: the collapse of a major producer, a spike in prices, and a huge shift among consumers to electricity (1,010 words)

After Oranges

Wyatt Williams | Oxford American | 14th June 2017

Journey through Florida in the footsteps of John McPhee, whose celebrated study of the local orange industry was published by the New Yorker in 1967. “Fifty years later, Oranges reads as an agile survey of world history, a vivid period piece of changing American foodways, and an early classic by a master just beginning to find his form”. The story now is very different. Uncheckable insect-borne disease is ravaging Florida’s orange groves. “Today, no one is quite sure if Florida’s oranges will survive” (6,800 words)

When Neurology Becomes Theology

Robert Burton | Nautilus | 15th June 2017

“The pursuit of the nature of consciousness, no matter how cleverly couched in scientific language, is more like metaphysics and theology. It is driven by the same urges that made us dream up souls and afterlife. The human urge to understand ourselves is eternal, and how we frame our musings depends upon prevailing cultural mythology. In a scientific era, we should expect philosophical and theological ruminations to be couched in the language of physical processes” (2,800 words)

The Best For The Most For The Least

Sarah Cowan | Paris Review | 14th June 2017

We remember Charles and Ray Eames as furniture designers, but they were also innovative film-makers, making experimental arthouse films alongside Kenneth Anger, and doing commercial work for clients such as IBM, Boeing, Polaroid, and Westinghouse. The Eames’s strength lay in explaining products and building brands. Their animated short film, The Information Machine (1958), was “the first to humanise the computer”. They were “the tech sector’s original creative consultants” (1,900 words)

Video of the day: Word

What to expect:

Tribute to by Muhammad Ali by Yasiin Bey (Mos Def) and Niels Shoe Meulman (2’22”)

Thought for the day

Truth emerges more readily from error than from confusion
Thomas Kuhn

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