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Daily Archives: August 24, 2022

What If You Tried to Swallow a Whole Cloud?

Wired: Ask an absurd question, and xkcd’s Randall Munroe will give you a (somewhat) serious answer. An exclusive excerpt from his upcoming What If? 2. – “What does a star smell like? What’s the tensile strength of snow? How much actual dinosaur does a toy dinosaur contain? If you drove a car to the edge of the universe, how much gas would you use? What’s the market value of a shoebox full of LSD? Are all the churches in the world big enough to hold all the bananas? “I like ridiculous questions, because nobody is expected to know the answer,” Randall Munroe writes in the introduction to What If? 2, his second book of serious answers to hypothetical questions sent in by fans. You may know Munroe as the creator of the web comic xkcd, which offers wry commentary (usually involving stick figures wearing various hats) on science, technology, history, politics, and the daily micro- and macro-­follies of human life. There’s a sincerity about his projects, a nerdy excitement that reminds you of talking to a 10-year-old—assuming you know a 10-year-old who can explain what a naked singularity is and why theoretical physicists hate them. Nerdy-kid excitement is what WIRED is all about. The following pages contain Munroe’s answers to two questions: What if some of outer space turned to soup? And what if you tried to swallow a cloud?…”

Anyone can sign up for DuckDuckGo’s privacy-protecting email address

The Verge: “After rolling out its Email Protection service in private beta last year, DuckDuckGo has announced that it’s finally available to all users. Email Protection is a forwarding service that assigns you a free “” email address and intercepts email trackers before they hit your personal inbox. If you need a refresher on exactly… Continue Reading

The Mason OER Metafinder (MOM)

“The Mason OER Metafinder helps you find Open Educational Resources. Unlike other OER discovery sites (e.g, OER Commons, OASIS, MERLOT, OpenStax, etc.) with our Metafinder you aren’t searching a static database that we’ve built.  Instead, the OER Metafinder launches a real-time, simultaneous search across 22 different sources of open educational materials as you hit the Search button. Because… Continue Reading

The Sustainable Finance Policy Tracker

OMFIF Sustainable Policy Institute: “The Sustainable Finance Policy Tracker provides a comprehensive overview of different countries’ approaches to mitigating climate risks in the financial sector. Covering 23 countries and jurisdictions, the tracker presents information on 14 sustainable policy subjects that include regulatory and supervisory measures, climate stress testing activity, net zero strategies, green bond issuance… Continue Reading

Abortion Rises in Importance as a Voting Issue, Driven by Democrats

Pew Research Center Report: “While the economy remains the dominant issue in this fall’s midterm elections, the issue of abortion has increased markedly in importance among Democrats following the Supreme Court’s decision ending the federal guarantee of a right to legal abortion in the United States. A majority of registered voters (56%) say the issue… Continue Reading

Why you (probably) won’t finish reading this story

Vox: “We live in a distracted world, almost certainly the most distracted world in human history. And if you’re part of this circus, you’re drowning in options and gadgets and screens and you’re being pulled in a million directions seemingly all at once. If you spend any time online, you already know this. You’re constantly… Continue Reading

Psychological inoculation improves resilience against misinformation on social media

Science Advances, Psychological inoculation improves resilience against misinformation on social media – Inoculating against misinformation techniques. Jon Roozenbeek, Sander van der Linden, Beth Goldberg, Steve Rathje and Stephan Lewandowsky. Published August 2022 Volume 8I Issue 34: “Online misinformation continues to have adverse consequences for society. Inoculation theory has been put for-ward as a way to… Continue Reading

The Interpretation of Law

Tobia, Kevin and Slocum, Brian G., The Interpretation of Law (August 10, 2022). Available at SSRN: or “Courts increasingly presume that law should be interpreted according to what it communicates to an ordinary reader. Textualists view this as a strict requirement, creating a bright line between favored “textual” interpretive canons (reflecting objective linguistic… Continue Reading

Bike transport – leading barriers related to riding on the road alongside motor vehicles

Lauren Pearson, Danielle Berkovic, Sandy Reeder, Belinda Gabbe & Ben Beck (2022) Adults’ self-reported barriers and enablers to riding a bike for transport: a systematic review, Transport Reviews, DOI: 10.1080/01441647.2022.2113570 – “Riding a bike for transport purposes is an effective way to improve population and environmental health. Despite this, participation levels in many countries are low.… Continue Reading