New Musical Sounds, the Uniqueness of Names, and Skydiving off a Drone: Lux Recommends #81

By Sam Arbesman, PhD

Welcome to Lux Recommends #81, the newest edition of what we at Lux are reading and thinking about (and want to receive this by email? Sign up here).


Google’s AI Invents Sounds Humans Have Never Heard Before: “Jesse Engel is playing an instrument that’s somewhere between a clavichord and a Hammond organ — 18th-century classical crossed with 20th-century rhythm and blues. Then he drags a marker across his laptop screen. Suddenly, the instrument is somewhere else between a clavichord and a Hammond.” — Adam G

Humans Accidentally Created a Protective Bubble Around Earth: “The interaction between radio transmissions and high-energy particles in space sometimes forms a shield around the planet, protecting it from dangerous cosmic phenomena.” — Sam

ARM Wants to Put Its Chips Inside Your Brain: “Neural implants are all the rage in Silicon Valley. Now the well-known chip designer thinks its low-power processors could help make them a reality.” — Shahin

A Rare Journey Into the Cheyenne Mountain Complex, a Super-Bunker That Can Survive Anything: “Shielded by 2,500 feet of granite, these people gather and analyze data from a global surveillance system, in an attempt to (among other, undisclosed things) warn the government’s highest officials of launches and missile threats to North America.” — Adam K

Nike’s 36-Year Quest for the Transparent Sole: ABI = Always Be Innovating. — Adam G

The Amazing Dinosaur Found (Accidentally) by Miners in Canada: “Known as a nodosaur, this 110 million-year-old, armored plant-eater is the best preserved fossil of its kind ever found.” — Adam K

All the Other Julie Becks and Me: “What a quest for my namesakes taught me about the meaning of names in the internet age.” Also pairs nicely with an article about the declining popularity of the name “Michael” in the United States. Features interviews with famous Michaels. Fantastic. — Sam

This is the most Instagrammed place in the world: “While a photo of the Eiffel Tower in Paris seems like one of the most ubiquitous shots on Instagram, Disneyland in California snagged the top spot this year” — Adam K

Fresh Air’s 10 Favorite Terry Gross Interviews on NPR — Bilal

Couple Gets Married On Mount Everest After Trekking For 3 Weeks, And Their Wedding Photos Are Epic — Adam K


Great News: Silly and fun sitcom about a cable news show producer and her mother who starts working in her office as an intern. Creative DNA (and similar humorous style) courtesy of 30 Rock. — Sam


What Happens To A Flame When There’s No Gravity? — Adam K

Lucy Kalanithi on What makes life worth living in the face of death — Bilal

Skydiving off a drone looks terrifying — Adam K

Is it a nightclub or a running track? — Jeff Weinstein, Lux alum

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