Summary of “Why Pluto is a planet and many moons are, too”

Moon refers to the fact that they orbit around other worlds which themselves orbit our star, but when we discuss a world like Saturn’s Titan, which is larger than the planet Mercury, and has mountains, dunes and canyons, rivers, lakes and clouds, you will find us – in the literature and at our conferences – calling it a planet.
Just as stars like our sun are known as “Dwarf stars” and still considered stars, it made some sense to consider small icy worlds like Pluto to occupy another subcategory of planet: “Dwarf planet.”
For one thing, it defines a planet as an object orbiting around our sun – thereby disqualifying the planets around other stars, ignoring the exoplanet revolution, and decreeing that essentially all the planets in the universe are not planets.
Even within our solar system, the IAU scientists defined “Planet” in a strange way, declaring that if an orbiting world has “Cleared its zone,” or thrown its weight around enough to eject all other nearby objects, it is a planet.
It would mean that Earth was not a planet for its first 500 million years of history, because it orbited among a swarm of debris until that time, and also that if you took Earth today and moved it somewhere else, say out to the asteroid belt, it would cease being a planet.
To add insult to injury, they amended their convoluted definition with the vindictive and linguistically paradoxical statement that “a dwarf planet is not a planet.” This seemingly served no purpose but to satisfy those motivated by a desire – for whatever reason – to ensure that Pluto was “Demoted” by the new definition.
It gets old having to address the misconceptions among the public who think that because Pluto was “Demoted” that it must be more like a lumpy little asteroid than the complex and vibrant planet it is.
One presentation, titled “A Geophysical Planet Definition,” intended to set the record straight.

The orginal article.

Summary of “The spectacular power of Big Lens”

The lenses in my glasses – and yours too, most likely – are made by Essilor, a French multinational that controls almost half of the world’s prescription lens business and has acquired more than 250 other companies in the past 20 years.
“You have to be not only courageous,” said Chemello, of the transaction, “But a little bit crazy.” Luxottica bought US Shoe for $1.4bn. Once the deal was done, Del Vecchio promptly broke up US Shoe, whose roots went back to 1879, until all that was left were the LensCrafters stores that he wanted in the first place, which he proceeded to fill with Luxottica frames.
Some opticians call Essilor “The Big E”. The company boasts of supplying between 300,000 and 400,000 stores around the world – three or four times as many as Luxottica.
If Luxottica has spent the last quarter of a century buying up the most conspicuous elements of the optical business then Essilor has busied itself in the invisible parts, acquiring lens manufacturers, instrument makers, prescription labs and the science of sight itself.
Within the industry, the Big E is generally considered less rapacious than Del Vecchio’s Luxottica; people regard it instead as a kind of unstoppable, enveloping tide.
“With Luxottica, it’s just lip service. It is all about domination.” The most infamous Luxottica deals carried an edge of brutality.
In the summer of 2004, as he approached his 70th birthday, Luxottica’s founder handed over day-to-day control of the company to Andrea Guerra, a young chief executive he hired from Indesit, the Italian white goods company.
According to several senior figures at Luxottica, Del Vecchio came to believe that folding Luxottica into Essilor was the best way for his work to endure, and informal talks between the two companies began.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Infinity War and Avengers 4 Soul Stone Theory, Explained by Comics”

In the comics, the Soul Stone differs from the other five Infinity Stones in that it’s actually sentient and able to manifest a will of its own.
Adam played a huge role in Infinity Gauntlet with a direct relationship to the Soul Stone, something he fostered over the years.
The general rule of thumb as established by both Adam’s myriad of cosmic plot craziness and Infinity Gauntlet itself is that if a person is “Killed” by an Infinity Stone, the best way to bring them back is with an Infinity Stone – or at the very least, with someone “Attuned” to their power like Adam himself.
Maybe she’ll find someone who can help…. How the Time Stone could fit in Entering and exiting the Soul World is far from Marvel’s only recourse when it comes to bringing people back from the dead. There’s also the old reliable standby of time travel, and at the very least the Time Stone’s abilities are slightly less esoteric than the concept souls without bodies.
Infinity War puts the idea of using the Time Stone in an interesting position considering that it’s currently in Thanos’ hands and Doctor Strange, its keeper, has been disintegrated.
Though the Time Stone may not be sentient like the Soul Stone, its unique ability to become completely untethered in time means that it’s possible for it manifest somewhere in the past or future that isn’t in Thanos’ control, which it did in Marvel Comics’ Original Sin event by Jonathan Hickman and Leinil Francis Yu. Prior to Original Sin, the Time Stone had been “Lost” in Steve Rogers’s botched attempt to use the Infinity Gauntlet.
Things probably won’t be quite as simple as the Time Stone suddenly manifesting in Steve Rogers’ hand at the start of Avengers 4, but the idea that finding the Stone somewhere in the past or the future might be the lynchpin in their plan is certainly far from off the table.
Especially considering the tried and tested rule of the Stones being needed to counteract the effect of the Stones – if any one piece of the Gauntlet that isn’t the Soul Stone is about to come into play, the TIme Stone is probably the most likely candidate.

The orginal article.

Summary of “How Facebook Became the Tech Company People Love to Hate”

The headline change is a new privacy control that allows Facebook users to delete the information that Facebook has gleaned about their browsing habits.
Behind the scenes, Facebook has been in the most intense period of press outreach that I’ve ever seen: They’re ready to talk, ready to spar, ready to meet the challenge of what Zuckerberg referred to at F8 as a “Broader view of their responsibility” to the world.
Before he ran through the litany of things Facebook has done to bolster informational and electoral integrity, Zuckerberg gave a sense of his thinking about what Facebook means.
Facebook has closed the gap between who you are in the real world and what the machines have figured out about you.
Even in their more far-flung experiments in virtual reality, Facebook wants to defy distance, which is another way of saying they want to collapse the distinction between virtual and physical.
In the past, Facebook talked about wanting to be the “Identity” layer of the internet.
Facebook wanted to be the way “You” brought “Yourself” to various kinds of digital activities, from playing frivolous games to logging into crucial websites.
Now, Facebook wants to be the identity layer of everything as the company accelerates the merging of our digital and physical selves.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Ready Player One is the roadmap to digital dystopia”

As the novel’s world descends into chaos and poverty, thanks to climate change and a fossil-fuel crisis, most of its citizens spend their days traversing the OASIS, a virtual reality world created by an “Eccentric” ’80s kid named James Halliday.
Ready Player One is also worse than that, in quietly unexamined ways that speak to the internet’s original sin.
The internet ethos of the ’80s and ’90s was rooted in an insidious brand of optimism best represented by the 1994 “Hacker” episode of Ghostwriter, in which a teenaged Julia Stiles lovingly caressed a computer monitor and declared the internet “a world where you’re judged by what you say and think, not by what you look like. A world where curiosity and imagination equals power.”
It has done so in part because of one of the internet’s core values, which also lies at the heart of Ready Player One: the belief that the right to anonymously do as you please is in fact a right, and one that is “De facto good” – at least for a certain class of people.
“Bullies couldn’t pelt me with spitballs, give me atomic wedgies, or pummel me by the bike rack after school. No one could even touch me. In here, I was safe.” The idea of the internet as a safe place – one where you can be untouchable, immune to abuse – is Ready Player One’s most anachronistic and privileged idea, one shared by many of the people who built its platforms.
There is no sign of these dangers in the text of Ready Player One; while the world outside of the OASIS is falling apart, the virtual world remains – yup – an oasis, a utopian expanse where anything is possible and everyone is emancipated by their online presence.
We don’t need to create fantasy worlds where nerds are some of the most powerful people in the world and their predilections are constantly catered to – they already are.
Their problem is the same problem that haunts Ready Player One from its first page to its last, like a vengeful poltergeist: the desire to indulge in playful, optimistic nostalgia about your favorite things while the world falls down around you.

The orginal article.

Summary of “‘There is no such thing as past or future’: physicist Carlo Rovelli on changing how we think about time”

Now comes The Order of Time, a dizzying, poetic work in which I found myself abandoning everything I thought I knew about time – certainly the idea that it “Flows”, and even that it exists at all, in any profound sense.
If Seven Brief Lessons was a lucid primer, The Order of Time takes things further; it deals with “What I really do in science, what I really think in depth, what is important for me”.
How does time fit in to his work? Time, Einstein long ago showed, is relative – time passes more slowly for an object moving faster than another object, for example.
For Rovelli, there is more: according to his theorising, time itself disappears at the most fundamental level.
According to Rovelli, our undeniable experience of time is inextricably linked to the way heat behaves.
In The Order of Time, he asks why can we know only the past, and not the future? The key, he suggests, is the one-directional flow of heat from warmer objects to colder ones.
He tells us, for example, when explaining that the smooth “Flow” of time is an illusion, that “The events of the world do not form an orderly queue like the English, they crowd around chaotically like the Italians.” The concept of time, he says, “Has lost layers one after another, piece by piece”.
Though Rovelli the man also acknowledges that the stuff of humanity is love, and fear, and desire, and passion: all made meaningful by our brief lives; our tiny span of allotted time.

The orginal article.

Summary of “This Man Expects to Run a 2:50 in the Boston Marathon on Monday”

After the halo was installed, Don was immobile and vomiting from painkillers at home.
As he weaned himself off the painkillers, Don was determined to move beyond the confines of his metal halo to fight for a competitive comeback.
Don rationalized his plan: “Most things we do regularly in endurance sports – training 25 hours a week, the sessions at altitude, high performance training – in general is not a healthy pursuit,” he said.
John Dennis, an amateur triathlete who had treated Don as part of the British Olympic triathlon team and became a friend, flew over in November from Britain to supervise.
While Don was still in the halo, they worked on strengthening his lower body.
Then Don began to push, in the gym every day, at one point in December fainting during a training session when the halo’s screws put too much pressure on his skull.
A week before the marathon, Don was up to 20 hours of training, compared with his typical 30 before the injury.
The injury came at a difficult time, not only costing Don a chance at the world championship, but also leaving him inactive during the window for renegotiating precious contracts.

The orginal article.

Summary of “The 50 Best Fantasy Books of the 21st Century :: Books :: Lists :: fantasy books :: Page 1 :: Paste”

The 21st century has been a particularly fruitful time of fantasy literature, with J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series ushering in an era of both publishers willing to take a chance on new fantasy writers and readers opening themselves up to worlds of magic.
Many readers have worked their way back from movies like the Lord of the Rings franchise or TV series like Game of Thrones to their fantasy novel origins, seeking out new authors after devouring J.R.R. Tolkien and G.R.R. Martin’s books.
We’ve gathered Paste editors and writers to compile a list of our favorite books in the genre, ranging from high fantasy worlds with distinct systems of magic to simple fantastical fables to urban fantasies filled with characters ripped right out of own realities.
Thief of Time by Terry Pratchett The Discworld books manage to satirize nearly every topic under the sun while also presenting a fully formed and innovative fantasy world la Middle Earth or Westeros.
“If one believes there is truth in art-and I do-then it’s troubling how similar the skill of performing is to lying. Maybe lying is itself a kind of art. I think about that more than I should.” Dragons are a mainstay of fantasy as a genre, but rarely as complex, thinking beings integral to a story’s interpersonal dramas, which is how Rachel Hartman frames her coolly calculating shape-shifting dragons in Seraphina and its companion books.
Want to read about a grand scheme, involving magic, fighting, and all the joys of fantasy? These books are for you.
Grace of Kings by Ken Liu Game of Thrones comparisons abound in epic fantasy, and are often more burden than boon, but Ken Liu’s Grace of Kings may be one of the few fantasy tomes to earn that comparison favorably.
Joe Abercrombie’s fantasy world may feel like an amalgamation of places you’ve visited in your reading before, but the characters feel fully realized and the storytelling is taut, avoiding an over-reliance on fantasy trappings and delivering a gritty, gripping tale.

The orginal article.

Summary of “The End of Reality”

Scandalous behavior stirs mass outrage most reliably when it is “Caught on tape.” Such video has played a decisive role in shaping the past two U.S. presidential elections.
Consider recent flash points in what the University of Michigan’s Aviv Ovadya calls the “Infopocalypse”-and imagine just how much worse they would have been with manipulated video.
Fabricated videos will create new and understandable suspicions about everything we watch.
In other words, manipulated video will ultimately destroy faith in our strongest remaining tether to the idea of common reality.
As Ian Goodfellow, a scientist at Google, told MIT Technology Review, “It’s been a little bit of a fluke, historically, that we’re able to rely on videos as evidence that something really happened.”
Fake-but-realistic video clips are not the end point of the flight from reality that technologists would have us take.
Video games began the process of transporting players into an alternate world, injecting them into another narrative.
Researchers in Germany who have attempted to codify ethics for VR have warned that its “Comprehensive character” introduces “Opportunities for new and especially powerful forms of both mental and behavioral manipulation, especially when commercial, political, religious, or governmental interests are behind the creation and maintenance of the virtual worlds.” As the VR pioneer Jaron Lanier writes in his recently published memoir, “Never has a medium been so potent for beauty and so vulnerable to creepiness. Virtual reality will test us. It will amplify our character more than other media ever have.”

The orginal article.

Summary of “How the Internet Ate Movies”

The Net isn’t terribly good as movies go, but it is more real, more current, than I suspected two decades ago.
Our feelings about these changes were mirrored in the movies as fear and beguilement-a bunch of rubes trying to make sense of this darned technology eager to eat our minds.
The internet is still eating our minds-and now, more than ever, the movies themselves.
Dozens of recent movies dramatize the act of vanishing down the internet’s rabbit holes, into the gloss of a digitally manipulated life.
The sequel to 2015’s slick, unnerving horror movie Unfriended will travel to the Dark Web, where the most ghoulish, Bitcoin-backed corners of the internet spring to life, and, eventually, bring death.
All of these movies are products of a world that isn’t necessarily afraid of the internet-just obsessed with it.
Movies about the consequences of the internet aren’t new, exactly.
It has zapped movies of an inherent power-the ability to transport, to reinvent or recontextualize what’s possible in the world.

The orginal article.