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In the News 12.01.15 : Today’s Articles of Interest from around the Internets


In the News 12.01.15 : Today’s Articles of Interest from around the Internets

1. Live for ever: Scientists say they’ll soon extend life ‘well beyond 120’

“In Palo Alto in the heart of Silicon Valley, hedge fund manager Joon Yun is doing a back-of-the-envelope calculation. According to US social security data, he says, the probability of a 25-year-old dying before their 26th birthday is 0.1%. If we could keep that risk constant throughout life instead of it rising due to age-related disease, the average person would – statistically speaking – live 1,000 years. Yun finds the prospect tantalising and even believable. Late last year he launched a $1m prize challenging scientists to “hack the code of life” and push human lifespan past its apparent maximum of about 120 years (the longest known/confirmed lifespan was 122 years).”

Read the rest of this article at The Guardian



2. How Lego Became The Apple Of Toys

“Every September, largely unbeknownst to the rest of the company, a group of around 50 Lego employees descends upon Spain’s Mediterranean coast, armed with sunblock, huge bins of Lego bricks, and a decade’s worth of research into the ways children play. The group, which is called the Future Lab, is the Danish toy giant’s secretive and highly ambitious R&D team, charged with inventing entirely new, technologically enhanced “play experiences” for kids all over the world. Or, as Lego Group CEO Jørgen Vig Knudstorp puts it, “It’s about discovering what’s obviously Lego, but has never been seen before.”

Read the rest of this article at Fast Company



3. The Talking Cure

“Rodriguez is enrolled in a program called Providence Talks, the most ingenious of several new programs across the country that encourage low-income parents to talk more frequently with their kids. Once a month, Eilen wears a small recording device for the day, and the recording is then analyzed. An algorithm tallies all the words spoken by adults in her vicinity, all the vocalizations Eilen makes, and all the “conversational turns”—exchanges in which Eilen says something and an adult replies, or vice versa. The caseworker who visits Rodriguez’s home gives her a progress report, which shows in graph form how many words Eilen has been hearing, and how they peak and dip throughout the day.”

Read the rest of this article at The New Yorker



4. The murder that has obsessed Italy

“Ruggeri put wiretaps on hundreds of phones. Her team also tried to trace the owners of all the handsets – some 15,000 – which had passed through Mapello on the day of Yara’s disappearance. One of these belonged to a Moroccan man called Mohammed Fikri. In one wiretapped conversation, in late November, the interpreter heard the phrase: “Forgive me God, I didn’t kill her”. Fikri had been working in a builders’ yard in Mapello, but by the time investigators had put the pieces together, a few days later, he was on a boat bound for Tangiers. On 4 December, Italian authorities intercepted the vessel and arrested Fikri. They searched the van he had been using and discovered that it contained a blood-stained mattress. “People liked him as the guilty party,” Ruggeri told me ruefully last year, “because he was foreign.” But Fikri was quickly cleared. The phrase had been mistranslated, and the blood was extraneous to the investigation.”

Read the rest of this article at The Guardian



5. The Real Story of How America Became an Economic Superpower

“Very rarely, you read a book that inspires you to see a familiar story in an entirely different way. So it was with Adam Tooze’s astonishing economic history of World War II, The Wages of Destruction. And so it is again with his economic history of the First World War and its aftermath, The Deluge. They amount together to a new history of the 20th century: the American century, which according to Tooze began not in 1945 but in 1916, the year U.S. output overtook that of the entire British empire.”

Read the rest of this article at The Atlantic



P.S. previous articles & more by P.F.M.



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