What are we reading? May 30, 2019


Each week, BIV staff will share with you some of the interesting stories we have found from around the web.

Kirk LaPointe, editor-in-chief:

An extensive profile of the extraordinary tale of Football Leaks, a site fuelled by insider-provided documents that have shaken the soccer world. – The New Yorker



Great news, generalists. You chose not to devote 10,000 hours to specialize, but a new book says you’ll excel, anyway, due to well-roundedness. – The New York Times



Granted, it’s a bit grisly to contemplate. But there was once a big black market in our tendency to grow as we age -- a black market in human fat. – The Atlantic



Mark Falkenberg, deputy managing editor:

Nanoparticles – additives of vanishingly small scale that can change the look and taste of food, have been used on this continent for years. A French ban on one type of them is raising new questions about their effect on human health. – Guardian



New York Times-owned product review site Wirecutter features obsessively detailed looks at consumer products. It describes its mission as seeking out “the best gear and gadgets for people who want to save the time and stress of figuring out what to buy.” The reviews are well written and interesting, so the site is fun to browse even if you’re not chewing your nails over a consumer conundrum or even looking to buy anything. – Wirecutter.com



Glen Korstrom, reporter:

Lululemon founder Chip Wilson has long been known as someone who speaks his mind. His blog posts are wide ranging and sometimes zany. The blog gained social media buzz this week, particularly for a his post on erections, and his fear that we are living in an era of demasculinization.  He also wrote a post saying that he only believes 5% of what the mainstream media reports. A day after the buzz about his blog, he removed the post about erections. The next day he removed his blog from his site, although the blog lives on via this link. – Wayback Machine



Tyler Orton, reporter:

Scientists examine whether Leonardo da Vinci had ADHD and how it likely shaped the man as we know him. – CNN



Americans leave almost US$1 million a year in loose change at the airport. – Vox



Nelson Bennett, reporter:

Several tech companies are in the race to build the first flying car. Hands-down, the coolest has to be this one: The Skai, which is essentially hydrogen fuel cell powered drone that could ferry passengers above ground traffic as a kind of futuristic sky taxi. Question is: Does it fly? – Futurism



A new online tool called ElectricityMap underscores just how important hydro power and nuclear power are, in terms of carbon emission intensities of power production. Click on Germany and you’ll see the country’s grid has a carbon intensity of a whopping 313 grams of CO2 per kilowatt hour, compared to France, where the carbon intensity of its grid is just 26 grams CO2 per kilowatt hour. The reason? France has a lot of nuclear power, whereas Germany still burns a lot of coal and natural gas. Ontario and Washington also have low carbon grids, thanks to hydro power in Washington and hydro and nuclear power in Ontario. – electricitymap.org