10/16/20 Recommended Issues: Venusian Rocks, Sports TV, Magic: The Gathering

10/16/20 Recommended Issues: Venusian Rocks, Sports TV, Magic: The Gathering

Good day!

Each week we handpick newsletter issues by independent writers you may have missed that provide new or unique perspectives. 

If you read last week's and would like to subscribe or leave a review of any of the highlighted newsletters, you can do that here: Simon Owens’s Tech and Media Newsletter , Understandably and FLOW STATE. The narrowSCALE community really appreciates it!

Also, if someone forwarded you this and you'd like to subscribe, you can do that here -- thanks!)

Here's what's worth reading this week...enjoy!



BAN #261: Podcast interviews on mistakes and dinosaurs, Bits of Venus on the Moon in Bad Astronomy Newsletter, by Phil Plait on 10/12

The solar system never ceases to amaze. In this issue Phil discusses how we might be able to collect and study rocks from Venus, without going to Venus… which is fairly mind-blowing. He gives a very easy-to-follow explanation about how our own moon (yes, Earth’s moon!) is likely to have rocks from Venus (as well as rocks from Earth!). It’s worth a read just to learn more about the power of the universe and how it works. (It’s the second chunk of his newsletter) (1310 words; 5 minutes) Read it...


Should YOU care about the fact that TV ratings are down? In Extra Points, by Matt Brown on 10/15 

Since Covid-19 started, people are watching significantly less sports TV ... like 56% fewer people watched the US Open Golf Finals, 49% fewer watched the NBA Finals, 30% fewer watched the regular College Football Season, etc. Matt delves into the details of the data (which is pretty eye-opening if you’re into numbers at all!) and offers ideas both about why and what the impact might be for the future. It’s worth reading to have a better understanding of the cultural shifts that are happening around sports and to ponder what it might mean for post-covid. (1155 words; 4 minutes) Read it...


Magic: The Gathering and Metagaming, in Avoid Boring People by Leon Lin on 10/14
The Beginners Guide to the Premier League in No Grass in the Clouds by Ryan O’Hanlon on 10/13 

Both of these issues offer deep insight into their (wildly different) subject matter…

The issue on Magic: The Gathering is quite unique in that you may not know much about the game or have any interest in ever playing -- BUT -- it’s fascinating to learn about how the game as evolved as a business, the secondary market around the game, and the fine line the game makers need to walk to both grow their business but also to not screw up the ecosystem around it. The game makers have recently ruffled some feathers, which Leon explains...and it will provoke you to decide for yourself if you think they’re making the right decisions as well as what the outcomes could be. The psychology and economics of the whole thing is just super intriguing. (2362 words; 8.5 minutes ) Read it...

If you’ve ever had an interest in learning about the Premier League, like to really understand it, how it works, and why, etc, this issue offers a well structured explanation that will set you happily and knowledgably on your way. It’s thorough and you’ll actually get it. Clearly this issue is not for you if you have zero interest in the Premier League… but if you’ve ever wanted to get into it, and just didn’t know how to start, this read will not disappoint! (3629 words; 13 minutes) Read it...

A few random facts I learned this week from reading newsletters:

  • In a 150,000 person survey, across 142 countries, on the topic of whether AI would "mostly help or mostly harm people in the next 20 year", Latin America had the highest percent of people who thought it would be harmful-- almost 50%! Southeast Asia was most optimistic (59% thought it was mostly helpful; only 11% harmful). Intriguing… (Import AI 10/12)

  • “Rucking” - is a new surging fitness trend, based off of infantry soldiers' need to carry their 60+ lb pack 4-30 miles… Makes you wonder if "rucking" could be the next Tough Mudder-style event? (Why is this interesting 10/14)

  • It never occurred to me that corporations have such large and valuable art collections that they loan them to the MOMA and other major museums -- but that's apparently a thing! UBS does it. And Deutsche Bank, because of office closures, will sell off 4000 pieces of their art collection. (Why is this interesting 10/13)

  • Who knew Hong Kong had so much green space? Even though Hong Kong is one of the densest cities on the planet, "roughly three-quarters of the city’s 1,100-square-kilometer territory (or 425 square miles) is natural landscape — from rocky coastlines and beaches to forested hillsides and mountains. About 40% of it is protected in vast “country parks” that are easily accessible from around the city, and woven together with more than 530 kilometers of paths, trails and hiking routes.” (Sentiers 10/11)

  • From the 1560s to 1700, England's lead production rose from 300 tons to 20,000 tons...and bullets accounted for 1/5 (20% !!!) of all of Europe's annual lead production (an amount that disappeared each year as those bullets were used). (Age of Invention 9/29)

  • It's about time....Unlike the private sector which said long ago not to put photos on your resume, the US military was still requiring photos to be provided when making promotion decisions. With new research showing biases when there are pictures (umm, not so shocking), the military has now (finally) removed the photo requirement. (Understandably, 10/13)


I hope you found the above intriguing and thought-provoking! You can always subscribe to any of the newsletters (or discover others!) on narrowSCALE


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