Cancer Drugs, Car Surprise, American Drought, FIFA, Extinction, Mad Max

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The Cost Of Curing Cancer

John Gapper | Financial Times | 4th June 2015 | | Read with 1Pass

Cancer drugs are getting much more effective, but also too expensive for patients and even governments to afford. The latest pills from Bristol-Myers Squibb and Merck each cost $150,000 for a full course of treatment. There is no particular logic to the pricing, save for opportunism in the face of desperate customers. Is this the way the market has to work? "Cancer drug pricing is one big unscientific trial" (932 words)

Twelve Concepts In Autonomous Mobility

Jan Chipchase | 19th July 2014

Notes on the novelties that driverless cars will bring into our lives. For example: "Car surprise: when you come across your car somewhere where you didn’t expect it to be and witness it engaging in unexpected activities, e.g., picking up flowers at the mall — the equivalent of catching your kid smoking. Given your car's interest in you and your family, what activities will it record that will surprise others with access to its feed?" (970 words)

Water Crisis In The West

Abrahm Lustgarten & Naveena Sadasivam | Pro Publica | 3rd June 2015

The Colorado River enters a 15th year of drought. Experts say the American West is suffering its worst dry spell in 1,000 years. But the crisis is also man-made. Farmers in the Western states have defied Nature for 150 years, importing and diverting billions of gallons of water each year for their crops, often with the help of government subsidies. Cities have courted extravagant population growth. Now Nature is calling their bluff (5,800 words)

The Man Who Broke FIFA

Michael Miller | Washington Post | 3rd June 2015

Profile of Andrew Jennings, the 71-year-old British reporter whose years of investigations into FIFA finally felled Sepp Blatter. “This journalism business is easy, you know. You just find some disgraceful, disgustingly corrupt people and you work on it! The rest of the media gets far too cozy with them. It’s wrong. Your mother told you what was wrong. You know what’s wrong. Our job is to investigate, acquire evidence” (2,800 words)

Should We Care If The Human Race Goes Extinct?

Alex Tabarrok | Marginal Revolution | 3rd June 2015

Let nobody say that Marginal Revolution ducks the big questions. "The likely scenario is a glide path in which most people adopt bionic and germ-line modifications that evolve into post-human cyborgs. I see nothing objectionable in this. I delight to think of the marvels that future generations may produce. I see no reason to hope that such marvels will be produced by beings indistinguishable from myself" (400 words)

The Visual Effects Of ‘Mad Max: Fury Road’

Ian Failes | FXGuide | 29th May 2015

George Miller's blockbuster is celebrated as a return to old-fashioned film-making methods. The stunt cars are real cars. The desert is real desert, in Namibia. But don't be misled: Computer graphics give the film its visual power. Skies, landscapes, rock formations, toxic storms, baying crowds — all are simulated, and overlaid on the live action. “You shoot the layout and vehicles and gradually everything gets replaced" (6,300 words)

Video of the day: Forgetting Ed Miliband

What to expect: Fake film trailer satirising British politics with clips from Forgetting Sarah Marshall (2'03")

Thought for the day

An artist is a person who has invented an artist
Harold Rosenberg

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