That's Interesting

  • Carting Lane Sewer Lamp

    “By the end of the 19th century, London was trying to shed its reputation as a stinky cesspool.”

    “Patented by British engineer Joseph Edmund Webb in the 1890s, the so-called “sewer gas destructor lamps” were designed to extract gases from the pipes and burn them off at high heat.”

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  • The Atlantic: To Survive in a Wetter World, Raise Ducks, Not Chickens

    “Farmers in Bangladesh are adapting to climate change, and it’s having an impact in faraway places—including on restaurant menus.”

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  • The birth and death of a bike company: What happened to SpeedX?

    “The tale of the Chinese start-up SpeedX is one of rapid growth, dizzying expansion and total collapse. In the space of two wild years, the company blossomed from the seed of an idea to hogging headlines around the cycling and tech world. It was poised to disrupt the big brands with its competitively priced and highly integrated ‘smart’ road bikes. And then, seemingly overnight, on the eve of shipping its ambitious second model, SpeedX disappeared without a trace – leaving in its wake a trail of unfulfilled Kickstarter pledges, unpaid suppliers, and unreturned deposits.”

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  • The Atlantic: Your Professional Decline Is Coming (Much) Sooner Than You Think

    “The data are shockingly clear that for most people, in most fields, professional decline starts earlier than almost anyone thinks.”

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  • NPR Planet Money: The Problem With Banning Plastic Bags

    “For decades, plastic bags have been staples at grocery stores. They also clog drains, cause floods, litter landscapes and kill wildlife. Consequently, a growing number of cities and counties have passed laws that ban or tax plastic bags in the past ten years. But as our colleague Greg Rosalsky explored in a recent Planet Money newsletter, banning plastic bags may be worse for the environment.”

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  • North Korea: The Grand Tour

    ‘Photographs of ordinary and yet extraordinary life in the last communist state from an ideological, political and cultural perspective’

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  • Biologist Rates The Pain Of 83 Different Insects Stings

    “King of Sting” Justin O. Schmidt is a biologist at the Southwestern Biological Institute. A “connoisseur of pain,” he has ranked 83 different insect stings on a pain index based on his own experience.

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  • Tajik teacher makes hydroelectric station from soviet scrap

    20-minute film about Raïmberdi Mamatumarov, a teacher and Biologist in Tajikistan who built a hydroelectric station out of soviet scraps.

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  • PBS: Don’t let the obsession with precision obscure the beauty of imperfection

    Simon Winchester on the idea of precision.

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  • The Macaulay Library

    ‘The Macaulay Library is the world’s premier scientific archive of natural history audio, video, and photographs. Although the Macaulay Library’s history is rooted in birds, the collection includes amphibians, fishes, and mammals, and the collection preserves recordings of each species’ behavior and natural history.’

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