To All The Romantic Comedies I’ve Loved Before


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Luckily for me—and for all of us—Noah Centineo’s swoonsome Peter isn’t that kind of good guy. In this respect, the film departs, winningly, from the novel from which it’s adapted. In the book, Peter is that kind of guy—or at least, his boorishness in insisting that “no rom coms” be written into the contract by which he and Lara Jean establish the terms of their fake romance, is a clever feint suggesting we have on our hands a character reminiscent of the insufferable John Thorpe in Austen’s Northanger Abbey. In the film, by contrast, it’s Lara Jean who writes in to the contract the condition that Peter must watch Sixteen Candles, while he in turn stipulates that she must watch Fight Club. The mutuality of the agreement sets their relationship on the right terms. The scene in which we watch them—Peter, Lara Jean, and Lara Jean’s younger sister Kittie—watch Sixteen Candles together is all the proof we need that the onscreen Peter has evolved from the Peter on the page.

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Sarah Tindal Kareem — Avidly

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A plant that could save civilization, if we let it


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Besides being edible and nutritious, any super plant would need to tolerate floods and droughts and be able to survive in a wide variety of climates ranging from arid regions in north Africa to temperate regions in northern Europe. Ultimately, Chory’s goal is to breed plants that grow extra-deep roots with lots of suberin for long-term carbon storage. She estimates that if 5 percent of the world’s cropland, approximately the total area of Egypt, were devoted to such super plants, they could capture about 50 percent of current global carbon dioxide emissions.

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Laura H. Kahn — Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists

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Bitcoin was cool until it sucked


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Suddenly no one seems to be talking about Bitcoin anymore.

As a general rule, things that are practical tend to be neither cool nor fun. This handy-dandy heuristic also provides some insight into why, as Bitcoin became more well-known, as more stuff sprung up around it, and as cryptocurrency in general became a “space” for “innovation,” Bitcoin itself went down the drain. It’s currently worth around $3,500 per coin, which is $1,000 less than the current electricity cost of mining one on your computer. (Disclosure: I own about $50 worth of Bitcoin because I am dumb as shit.)

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Drew Millard — The Outline

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On observing one’s past


An apt one today to observe my past.

Let me share a memory with you. It’s a childhood memory, about an event from when I was around 13 or 14 years old. My father and I are playing soccer together. He is the goalkeeper, standing between the posts, I am the striker, taking shots from outside the box. My dad has been encouraging me to shoot with my weaker left foot, to develop the skills that come more easily on my more natural right side. He throws the ball to me, I control it on my chest, let it drop, and hit a sweetly-timed volley with the outside of my left foot. The ball arcs perfectly towards the goal. My dad moves across to save, although I’m not sure he has it covered, and then the ball thunders off the crossbar. Even though I didn’t score, I have an intense feeling of satisfaction, of executing a near perfect left foot volley, the quality of which I have struggled to reproduce in the intervening years. This memory has a rich phenomenology: it involves visual and motor imagery as well as emotion. Yet there’s an important feature of this memory, which is perhaps not apparent in the way I describe it. As this dynamic and evocative memory unfolds, I see not only my father, the ball, and the goal, but myself too. I see myself in the remembered scene, from the outside, as if someone had filmed us playing together and I am watching the old footage.

Such memories are called “observer memories.”

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Christopher McCarroll — OUPblog

In ‘Bandersnatch,’ Choose-Your-Own-Adventure Meets ‘Black Mirror’ Fatalism


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Just finished watching this. Great concept. And that’s why today’s needull is on Bandersnatch.

Besides the frustratingly grating message, “Bandersnatch” does have its better moments. One of the more complicated endings involves Stefan going back in time, and allowing his child-self to die with his mother in a train crash. In the present day, Stefan dies quietly in his chair, and it’s clear that he’s achieved some sort of peace or resolution from the past trauma, even though it’s one that leaves his father distraught, and perhaps, the player uncomfortable with the events unfolding in front of them. The scene is one of “Black Mirror”’s best for this reason: There is no clear-cut answer of right or wrong when it comes to this choice, making its unresolved question all the more thoughtful.

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Grace Z. Li — The Harvard Crimson

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The world’s most unproductive entrepreneur


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Over the next few years, Low and his conspirators would use 1MDB to borrow billions of dollars from global capital markets, and would simply take much of the proceeds for themselves. To achieve all this required Low to do constant networking, set up immensely complicated financial and legal arrangements, and splash out tens of millions of dollars along the way to win friends and influence people. Low in fact worked hard at his corruption, and displayed unmistakable entrepreneurial flair–a huge amount of effort deployed to make his country poorer not richer.

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Andrew Batson’s Blog

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Why can’t we feel Earth’s spin?


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A simple question.

Earth spins on its axis once in every 24-hour day. At Earth’s equator, the speed of Earth’s spin is about 1,000 miles per hour (1,600 km per hour). The day-night has carried you around in a grand circle under the stars every day of your life, and yet you don’t feel Earth spinning. Why not? It’s because you and everything else – including Earth’s oceans and atmosphere – are spinning along with the Earth at the same constant speed.

It’s only if Earth stopped spinning, suddenly, that we’d feel it. Then it would be a feeling similar to riding along in a fast car, and having someone slam on the brakes!

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EarthSky

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