The punctuation from six of my recent essays on Medium

Back in 2016, Adam J. Calhoun wrote a fascinating Medium post in which he showed off something quite cool: What novels look like if you strip away the words, and show just the punctuation.

He’d written some Python code to do this, then processed several famous books. …

Vaccination rates are incredibly low in much of the world, as this interactive map by the New York Times shows. Darker regions have high vaccination rates; lighter regions have low vaccination rates

By now, you may have heard the alarming news out of South Africa: Scientists there have tracked a new variant of COVID-19, and it has way more mutations than Delta.

Countries are halting flights from South Africa; the variant has also been found in Botswana, Belgium, Hong Kong and Israel…

We’re heading into mid-week, so you need a break.

I was busy Monday working on a new music project (woo!), so here’s a Tuesday “Linkfest” — the finest reading I could scavenge from the wild beaches of the Internet …

1) 📺 What living rooms looked like before TV

Modern American living rooms are usually organized around the TV…

Illustration of a satellite breaking up, via the European Space Agency

Back in 1978, the astrophysicist Donald Kessler made an alarming prediction: Space junk could wreck our ability to keep satellites aloft.

In a fascinating paper, Kessler noted that “low earth orbit” — a region between 99 miles and 1,200 miles up — was getting pretty crowded. In 1978 there were…

The week has begun. You survived Monday.

So reward yourself with this collection of absorbing reading material — the best I could find for you …

1) 📺 Dramas sink, talk-shows soar: Dataviz of how TV genres have shifted over time

IMDB catalogues the genres of all TV shows since 1945, and Nathan Yau crawled it to produce this fascinating dataviz: The rise and fall…

“Last Night” by Wanda Koop, 2021

Another week has begun!

Let’s start it off right — by kicking back, taking a break, feeding your brain.

You’ll have plenty of time to work later! After you’ve perused this reading material I curated, just for you ….

1) 🖌 ️Wanda Koop’s gorgeous art of nature and technology

For 40 years, the Canadian artist Wanda Koop has created “large-scale…

When I was in grade school, I used to have a very particular style of doodling.

I’d draw a pattern that was governed by five rules, rather like the ones governing an Etch-A-Sketch. They were:

  1. You draw one single line. It can be as long as you like.
  2. To start…

Clive Thompson

I write three times a week about tech, science, culture — and how those collide. Writer for NYT mag/Wired; author of “Coders” and “Smarter Than You Think”

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