Best Of the Web: Never-Ending Chewing Gun, Drone Taxis and China To Launch A “Moon”…

There were some really good free articles available across the internet over the past week. One site started to feature books of the decades starting with the 1900s, another gives an excellent analysis on the coming tech war between the FANGS to win our houses, then there’s an essay on how the Silicon Valley super-rich are using a loophole from Trump’s bill to lower their tax bills and even one on how to live off-grid. As usual I have a broad range of articles, so make sure you scroll to the bottom.

Food and Drink Section (3)

Unlimited Electric Gum: A Piezo-based Electric Taste Apparatus Activated by Chewing Japanese scientists have apparently invested never-ending tasty chewing gum. It works by sending mild electric pulses to your taste buds that replicate the taste of regular chewing gum!

An Illustrated Field Guide to the Art, Science, and Joy of Tea Some nice pics from a new book that shows everything you needed to know about tea through illustrations. These include the six types of tea, how to make tea, and how to select a tea flavour.

Alcohol-free beer and low-alcohol drinks that actually taste good Yeah, for us non-drinkers, hopefully we can get something other than orange juice and water at events!


Department Of FANGS (and the Silicon Valley Rich) (4)

The Battle for the HomeIf the first stage of competition in consumer technology was the race to be the computer users went to (won by Microsoft and the PC), and the second was to be the computer users carried with them (won by Apple in terms of profits, and Google in terms of marketshare), the outlines of the current battle came sharply into focus over the last month: what company will win the race to be the computer within which users live? Amazon vs Google vs Facebook vs Apple. Great overview of the pros and cons of each

Apple Granted a Second Patent for a Folding iPhone focused on a new Flexible Hinge and something very interesting Folding devices the next big thing? Samsung had something along these lines too.

Siri could recognize user’s voice patterns for identification in future iPhone or iPad Another Apple patent recently granted indicates using voice to unlock Apple devices.

The new hotness for tech billionaires? Do-gooder investments they can write off on their taxes. In President Trump’s tax bill there was a new tax relief vehicle: “Opportunity Zone” funds. This allows investors to exit investments and defer paying capital gains tax if they put money into these funds. The eventual capital gains tax can be also be reduced if the fund is held long enough. The who’s who of Silicon Valley aristocracy are apparently using this vehicle.


Department Of Health and Fitness (5)

Inside the guts of the world’s strongest men “No one talks about powerlifters’ epic poop problems — but aside from winning, it’s all they’re thinking about”. Very funny article.

A Beginner’s Guide to Yoga It can be daunting to attend a yoga class for the first time, so this article describes with pictures the basic moves. Very clear.

How Exercise Might “Clean” the Alzheimer’s Brain Latest mice study finds that exercise can possibly reduce the effects of Alzheimer’s. Promising results if it the results can be replicated with humans.

Human placenta stem cells help people recover from hip surgery Placentas which are normally thrown away after childbirth can be used to develop stem cells that help heal hip replacements.

Scientists Discover 102 Genes Linked to Autism In Largest Study To Date  Many of us know people who are autistic. Thankfully more and more research is helping us understand its causes. The latest has found double the original number of genes thought be linked to autism. This should help diagnosis and also hopefully treatments.


Books Of the Decade (4) 

A Century Of Reading: The 10 Books That Defined The 1900s Includes L. Frank Baum’s “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz”, Joseph Conrad’s “Heart of Darkness” and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s “The Hound of the Baskervilles”. A solid decade

A Century Of Reading: The 10 Books That Defined The 1910s Includes J. M. Barrie’s  “Peter [Pan] and Wendy” and Zane Grey’s “Riders of the Purple Sage”. Not quite as good as the 1900s

A Century Of Reading: The 10 Books That Defined The 1920s  Includes F. Scott Fitzgerald’s “The Great Gatsby”, and T. S. Eliot’s, “The Waste Land” and Virginia Woolf’s “Mrs. Dalloway”. Wow, the 1920s had some great books.

A Century Of Reading: The 10 Books That Defined The 1930s Includes Dale Carnegie’s “How to Win Friends and Influence People”,  Franz Kafka’s “The Metamorphosis” and Aldous Huxley’s “Brave New World”. The books keep getting better.


Department Of Entertainment (4)

The Ridiculous Amount Of Money Baby-Boomer Rockers Still Make On Tour. This is apparent as Lindsey Buckingham, former lead guitarist of Fleetwood Mac, is suing his former bandmates, declaring that cutting him out of their current tour deprived him of up to $14 million. This year alone The Rolling Stones have made $100mn, Eagles have made $84mn and Roger Waters has made $61mn!

The Six Must-Read Novels That Make Up This Year’s Man Booker Prize Shortlist. The winner turned out to be Anna Burns’ Milkman, but the shortlist is probably worth reading.

Life Got You Down? Time To Read “The Master and Margarita” Or How To Be Happy With Russian Literature I’ve never heard of the book, but it is supposedly “one of the greatest novels of the 20th century and as a masterpiece of magical realism”. And it is cheery to boot. Will take a read

Critics’ Choice Documentary Awards: ‘Free Solo,’ ‘Minding the Gap,’ ‘Wild Wild Country’ Lead Noms I quite like documentaries. My recent favourite was “Meru” – a tense mountain climbing one. This gives you the nominations for Best Documentary. All of them look great.


Ministry of Tech and Science (4)

China to launch ‘artificial moon’ into SPACE to replace STREET LIGHTS Seems like an extreme way to light a city, but I guess if you can you can

Zephyr Airworks (Cora taxi drone) partners with Air New Zealand Autonomous taxi drone service could be coming in NZ!

China to unveil newest long-range strategic bomber during military parade in 2019 Apparently it mirrors the US’s B2 stealth bomber 

The new ‘world’s thinnest phone’ slots into a business card case  It’s about the same footprint as a credit card, and not all that much heftier at 5.3mm thick and 47g


Travel and Living Guide (6)

7 Essentials for Working Off the Grid Might be useful for the paranoid or anyone wanting privacy. Perhaps build a tiny house (see above) and kit it out with this gear, then you have a getaway!

How Manhattan Became a Rich Ghost Town  If you walk around NY it’s not to notice the large number of empty storefronts. This is due to sky-rocketing rents, online shopping and stubborn landlords holding out for long-term leases rather short-term pop-ups. The risk is that NY becomes a rich ghost town.

Advice from Our Food Critic: If I Have One Day in New York, Where Should I Eat? The New Yorker’s guide to a day in NY. 

Chicago Tops Orkin’s Top 50 Rattiest Cities List for Fourth Consecutive Time My New York buddies always complain about rats, but Chicago tops the list for the worst rodent problem followed by LA (and then NY) 

8 Tiny Houses You Can Buy For Under $30,000 Small dome house costs $14K to build (see picture) and has 270 sq ft of interior space. Not bad.

Africa’s tallest skyscraper set to start construction in Morocco It will be taller than current African champion the Carlton Centre in Jo’burg in South Africa. The building will be 55 floors and is expected to complete in 2022 (see picture below).

Ministry Of Distractions (3)

Some couples in India are selling tourists admission to their weddings A new start-up, Join My Wedding., gets people to pay to be guests at Indian weddings! I can see the point in that Indian weddings are a lot of fun, but as anyone from the culture knows it may be easier to just gate crash (5 weddings in one night!)

Belgium: accidental shots destroy an F-16 plane of the Air Force Oops

4 Simple Tips for Better Landscape Photography Trips Some great tips on virtual scouting, getting lighting right and apps for cloud cover.


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