Monthly Archives February 2020

In the course of our research for clients, we come across emerging technologies, new materials, new chemistries, growing markets, changing regulatory landscapes, innovative business models, and much more. Every other Friday, we pick five articles, videos, or podcasts that we found interesting and send them your way.

PRIVACY | TECHNOLOGY

Activate This ‘Bracelet of Silence’ and Alexa Can’t Eavesdrop

Growing privacy concerns and the lack of control over data captured by smart devices has prompted a surge in new products designed to help consumers opt-out of surveillance. Among them is a wrist-worn device that jams nearby microphones. [NYT]

AVIATION

No One Can Explain Why Planes Stay In The Air

Flying is an amazing example of human ingenuity. But providing an explanation for how exactly planes are able to stay in the air is a much more difficult feat. The two prevailing theories, developed by scientists whose work long predates air travel, attempt to explain lift but neither gives a complete account of the scientific process. [SCIENTIFIC AMERICAN]

LEADERSHIP

Don’t Demonize Employees Who Raise Problems

Problem spotters don’t especially enjoy bearing bad news, but they do it to advance the organization and help you, the leader. Maybe it’s because they have a different perspective. Maybe it’s that they are better at expressing the issue, where others struggle. Stop making it so hard on them to help you. [HBR]

BIOLOGY | ASTRONOMY

What Does It Means for a Planet to be “Habitable”

For many years scientists believed a planet needed two things to support life: a rocky surface and liquid surface water. Now the general consensus is . . . that there is no general consensus. [MIT TECH REVIEW]

EXISTENTIAL THREATS | PODCAST

The Bomb

Fred Kaplan is the author of the new book The Bomb: Presidents, Generals, and the Secret History of Nuclear War. In this in-depth discussion between Sam Harris and Mr. Kaplan, they cover the history of nuclear deterrence, nuclear politics, U.S. first-strike policy, preventive war, limited nuclear war, and the details of nuclear weapon command and control. Although terrifying, all of it is worth your time. [MAKING SENSE PODCAST]

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In the course of our research for clients, we come across emerging technologies, new materials, new chemistries, growing markets, changing regulatory landscapes, innovative business models, and much more. Every other Friday, we pick five articles, videos, or podcasts that we found interesting and send them your way.

MEDICINE

Molecular Drills Tear into Superbugs’ Antibiotic Defenses

Bacteria are quickly evolving resistance to our best drugs, threatening to make the most mundane infections lethal once again. Now, researchers at Rice University have developed a new method to kill these emerging superbugs, using molecular “drills” to pierce their cell walls. The same technique has also been shown to work on cancer cells. [NEW ATLAS]

ENERGY | AUDIO

How Much the U.S. Relies on Oil From the Middle East

Helima Croft, managing director and global head of commodity strategy at RBC Capital Markets, delivers an incredibly tight summary on why the U.S. remains dependent on Middle East oil despite being the top producer of oil and natural gas in the world. [NPR]

LEADERSHIP

13 Things Mentally Strong People Don’t Do

Want to become mentally tougher? Here’s a list of things that people with the critical hallmarks of mental strength don’t do. [LIFEHACK]

HEALTH

98.6 Degrees Fahrenheit Isn’t the Average Anymore

Nearly 150 years ago, a German physician analyzed a million temperatures from 25,000 patients and concluded that normal human-body temperature is 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit. But at least two dozen modern studies have concluded the number is too high. [WSJ]

NATURE

A Zoo’s Jungle Cats Would Like Your Leftover Perfume, Preferably Calvin Klein

Large jungle cats have expensive taste: they are . . . well . . . obsessed with Calvin Klein’s Obsession for Men. The ingredient they find irresistable is civetone, a lab-made copy of the pheromones of the civet, a cat-like mammal found in Africa and Southeast Asia. The scent is used by researchers to attract animals in the wild and used like catnip by zookeepers to keep the animals from getting bored. [WASHINGTON POST]

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