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Five Cool Things I Read This Week

March 2nd, 2012 No comments

Economy got you down? More worried about buying groceries than buying a house? You ain’t alone, bruthah. April Wolfe on The Rise of the Privileged Poor in GOOD.

Dryococelus australis, thought extinct for 80 years

Dryococelus australis, thought extinct for 80 years (image from Wikimedia Commons)

What if you could grow algae in IV bags, farm it massively to release oxygen, and even feed it CO2 through breathing tubes? Wouldn’t it be even cooler if you could monitor it with smart phones. Yeah, it would, and the HORTUS project is all about that shit.

TSA Is Useless, says this Boingboing post, paraphrasing the statement of a former FBI anti-terrorism expert about the organization’s bloated, inflexible bureaucracy.

Here’s the really cool story of how scientists rediscovered a population of giant stick insects, thought extinct, all living under a single bush on a volcanic spire in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. They’ve got them breeding in captivity now, but what do they do next?

Finally, GOOD reported on this bad-ass essay by a 13 year old black student, comparing conditions in her poorly managed school to the efforts of antebellum southern plantation owners to keep their slaves uneducated. Rather than responding in any productive way, the school teachers and administration harassed her until her parents were forced to withdraw her from the school. This was a public school, by the way (which I don’t think should make a difference, but the fact is that private schools are legally allowed to get away with crap like this). Pretty outrageous, but to the kid, I say: way to go. If she was enough of a self starter to pen an essay like this while the kids around her could barely read, she’ll do fine, idiot school administrators be damned.

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