#16 Digest World News about Tech, Science, Culture and Social

Every week ELK team picks the most captivating, forward-looking and inspiring articles from the best media around the globe to share with you in our digest. Learn what the world is talking about today! Please vote for your favorite article in the comments (and also share articles that inspired you).

Digest curated by our teacher Svyatoslav Tugeev

Tech

3D printing in space

Two of the limiting factors of what we can launch into space are the weight and the structural integrity of the parts. For example, solar panels on satellites can be extremely fragile were it not for the need to survive the journey. So what if they didn’t need to survive it at all? 3D-printing and assembling them in space is both really effective and pretty damn futuristic. 

Bladeless

Wind turbines are a great way to produce clean energy and to harness the power of the wind. They have a few downsides, however, from the wear and tear of moving parts to the noise and the danger they pose to birds. The recent invention by Spanish engineers gets rid of all those problems at once. How? It has no blades or moving parts whatsoever. 

The Apples Laws of Robotics

Digital assistants are ubiquitous at this point. Every big tech firm seems to have one – Siri, Alexa, Google Assistant… However, they are not truly automated, as their responses are pre-programmed by the developers. What principles do they follow when choosing what the digital assistant should say? This article examines that on the example of Siri and what basically are Apples Laws of Robotics.

 

Science

Not a straight line

Evolution is by now a mostly non-disputed concept. It is part of our culture just as much as it is part of our science. And if science has little problem seeing evolution as it truly is, culture still carries a key misconception of what evolution is or what it looks like. And that misconception is pretty much summed up in the title: evolution is not a straight line.

Share your goals

It is often claimed that sharing your goals with others will hurt your progress. TED talk on that topic has more than 6 million views. And yet, according to a recent study, the opposite might be true, as long as we choose who we share our goals with carefully. So what kind of sharing benefits our results? You will find the answer in the article.

Lander down

In space exploration, like in many other ventures, successes are often accompanied by failures. And it is important to learn about them, as what we wanted to achieve and why we failed matters just as much as how we succeeded. India’s attempt to land a rover on the moon seems to have been unsuccessful. But if you want to know what this rover was meant to study, why it matters, and where we go from here – this article is for you.

 

Social

Traceless

“Once you post something on the internet you can never take it back” – so goes a common wisdom. Which is why the right to be forgotten gets really complicated when it comes to the digital world. So is it even possible to get rid of every online trace that we once left? The article answers that and even more.

No more likes?

Speaking of online – as Instagram has successfully started testing the removal of likes, its bigger brother Facebook might be about to join in. This move is meant to reduce competitiveness and perhaps stop users from deleting posts they think aren’t getting enough likes or not sharing them the first place. However, even if the idea seems good, it is not yet a guarantee, and if you are curious about the possible pitfalls the company is concerned about – check out this article.

Culture

Why Polish people don’t like rules

Any generalization is at least partially wrong, especially when it comes to a nationality. So the title of this article concerned me at first. And yet it offers interesting insights into the country that doesn’t always jump into the spotlight. Poland has an interesting and complicated history, fraught with perils and struggles. However, such history formed a very particular mindset, a spirit of resilience and contrariness. So if you are curious and want to know how complicated history results in a vendor proudly selling bread right under the sign that forbids to do that under the penalty of death – read on.

Why are clowns so creepy?

Almost nobody likes clowns. It is not just a statement, it is a scientifically proven fact. But what makes those who should bring joy to the children so creepy? And where did they come from in the first place? With evil clowns being the main characters in at least two recent blockbusters, it might be high time we found that out.

 

P.S.

Windy rocks

There are some truly extraordinary landscapes to be found on the shores of Australia. But one deserves the attention in particular. Are curious to know what the early explorers thought was an ancient city?

What the Internet looks like

Have you ever wondered what the Internet looks like? Wires, sure, but where? And how do they look? And is there something else apart from wires? Well, the article “The Internet lives in a huge hotel in Manhattan” offers a photographic look at what the very thing allowing you to read this digest actually looks like. 66778

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