Dubai, Hysterectomy, Matt Levine, Dinosaurs, Suicide

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Dubai’s Ultimate Folly

Oliver Wainwright | Guardian | 13th February 2018

Revisiting The World, an artificial archipelago of 300 islands off the coast of Dubai planned as “an exclusive offshore playground for film stars, royalty and celebrity tycoons”. Then came the 2008 crash. “Surveying the barren spots of sand that dot the sea today it’s hard to shake the sense of an Ozymandian ruin. Seven times the size of Venice, the remains of The World lie as a mind-boggling monument to the spectacular hubris of a moment in time when anything seemed possible” (4,330 words)

On Deciding To Have A Hysterectomy At 31

Lena Dunham | Vogue | 14th February 2018

“I wake up surrounded by family and doctors eager to tell me I was right. My uterus is worse than anyone could have imagined. It’s the Chinatown Chanel purse of nightmares, full of both subtle and glaring flaws. In addition to endometrial disease, an odd humplike protrusion, and a septum running down the middle, my ovary has settled in on the muscles around the sacral nerves in my back that allow us to walk. Let’s please not even talk about my uterine lining” (2,500 words)

A Conversation With Matt Levine

Tyler Cowen | Mercatus Center | 14th February 2018

Wonk alert: Topics include derivatives, clearing houses, cryptocurrencies, Uber, ICO frauds, volatility, IPOs, M&A, indexing, bank regulation, efficient markets, Horace, Catullus, Buffy, law, Park Slope, Virgil, Pnin. Levine: “The thing that I find weirdest is the lack of volatility in the face of a very strange and volatile world, but I’ve reconciled myself to that. This is my efficient markets optimism, where I assume that if something bad is happening, it would happen” (11,400 words)

Feathered, Furred Or Coloured

Francis Gooding | LRB | 14th February 2018

Review of “Palaeoart”, by Zoë Lescaze, about depictions of dinosaurs. “What colour was a Tyrannosaurus rex? How do you paint the likeness of something no human will ever see? Far from bedevilling artists, such conundrums have in fact been invitations to glorious freedom. Garish images of dinosaur combat hold the status of kitsch, but it is impossible to deny the extraordinary success of the genre. None of us has ever seen one, but who doesn’t know what a dinosaur looks like?” (3,070 words)

A Train Driver’s Struggle To Return To The Tracks

Hauke Goos | Der Spiegel | 14th February 2018

Conversation with Germany’s unluckiest train driver, Stephan Kniest. Eight hundred Germans throw themselves under trains each year; the average train driver runs over a person once or twice in their working life; Kniest, 36, has run over four. “The higher the impact, says Kniest, the louder the bang. Drivers learn to distinguish a fox from a dog, a hare from a rabbit, and a dove from a buzzard. A person lying on the rails sounds different from a person who is standing up waiting for death” (4,200 words)

Video of the day People Of Science

What to expect:

Brian Cox talks to David Spiegelhalter about Thomas Bayes, Ronald Fisher, and theories of probability (5’36”)

Thought for the day

It’s not where you take things from — it’s where you take them to
Jean-Luc Godard

Podcast of the day Paul Ford | Scratching The Surface

Jarrett Fuller talks to writer and programmer Paul Ford about coding, design, and creativity
(1h 0m 56s)

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