big ideas

The current thing.

“It is very counter-intuitive to see how “bad” ideas are in fact extremely valuable: not only do they highlight why the good ideas are better, but they also sometimes show that the “good” ideas are in fact wrong. Arguing that […]

big ideas

Deploying 1.2 MWh nuclear plants anywhere within 48 hours.

“Radiant’s Kaleidos power generator will be an encapsulated, meltdown-proof core utilizing TRI-structural ISOtropic particle (TRISO) fuel, which the Office of Nuclear Energy claims to be “the most robust nuclear fuel on Earth”.” | learn more

fun facts

What is LUCA?

The last universal common ancestor (LUCA) is the most recent common ancestor of all current life on Earth. “While there is no specific fossil evidence of LUCA, it can be studied by comparing the genomes of all modern organisms, its […]

fun facts

Why retaining walls collapse.

“When you see a retaining wall in the wild, the job of holding back soil looks effortless. But that’s usually only true because much of the wall’s structure is hidden from view. A retaining wall is essentially a dam, except […]

tech, startups, internet

Space junk removal is not going smoothly

“After so many decades of the buildup of high-speed clutter in the form of spent rocket stages, stray bolts and paint chips, solid-rocket-motor slag, dead or dying satellites and the scattered fragments from antisatellite tests—all of which could individually damage […]

fun facts

Japan developing wooden satellites to cut space junk

Aluminum particles stay in the atmosphere when the satellites burn up on reentry. “Wooden satellites would burn up without releasing harmful substances into the atmosphere or raining debris on the ground when they plunge back to Earth.” | learn more

big ideas

Planet plastic

“Since 1950, the world has created 6.3 trillion kilograms of plastic waste — and 91 percent has never been recycled even once, according to a landmark 2017 study published in the journal Science Advances.” | learn more

better doing

Improbable things

From Paul Kedrosky: “It’s a big planet and so a lot of weird things that shouldn’t happen, happen all the time. As I like to remind people, on a planet with 7.5 billion people, a billion-to-one longshot potentially happens seven-ish […]