What are we reading? September 19, 2019


What we are reading, September 16-20, 2019:

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


Mark Falkenberg, deputy managing editor:

Scholars have long known that classical Greek and Roman statues were once vibrantly painted. But the idea of the marble-whiteness of ancient art, and associated misconceptions about race in the ancient world, have persisted, as a New Yorker story notes: “Some white supremacists have been drawn to classical studies out of a desire to affirm what they imagine to be an unblemished lineage of white Western culture extending back to ancient Greece. When they are told that their understanding of classical history is flawed, they often get testy.” – New Yorker



Beware the Blob. In 2014 an expanse of unusually warm seawater, stretching from Alaska to Mexico, lurked in the Pacific, causing a disastrous algal bloom and hurting salmon returns. “The Blob” has returned this year and threatens to wreak new havoc on the marine ecosystem. – NOAA Fisheries



Timothy Renshaw, Managing Editor

Recently released report on the Sea to Sky Gondola collapse concludes that the gondola's haul rope was cut deliberately; evidence gathered also confirms that the number of dangerous morons in the world is rising at a disturbing rate. – Technical Safety BC



In the market for hard-to-find, difficult-to-afford tablets to combat rare diseases? 3D printing is now an option. – 3D Printing Progress



Tyler Orton, reporter:

"Can Physicists Rewrite the Origin Story of the Universe?”

Lots of talk of balloons representing the universe in this article that will allow novice science enthusiasts to wrap their heads around these very complex theories. One of the concerning issues brought up, though, is the issue of funding. If people want to ensure a livelihood, how much time can they really devote to outside-the-box theories? – Undark



“English Is Not Normal”

English all seems natural to us, especially as it’s the most widely spoken language in the world. But because of various conquests (you can thank the Vikings for helping simplify what was being spoken in England at the time), English has turned into one of the most warped languages out there. If anything, skip down to the passage delving into the use of the word ‘do.’ – Getpocket



Nelson Bennett, reporter:

Greenhouse gas emissions from power generation fell by 20% between 2005 and 2015 in the U.S. To date, no one has been able to estimate just how much of the decrease was attributable to renewable energy, or natural gas displacing coal power. But a new state-by-state study by the Environmental Defence Fund can now put some numbers to the decline. According to the study, 60% of the decline in GHGs i nthe power sector came from the switch from coal to natural gas, and 30% came from renewable energy. – Environmental Defence Fund



Glen Korstrom, reporter:

I had never heard of Albert Cheng King-hon until I read Ian Young’s piece this week.

It’s an interesting profile of a man Young describes as a “once-dapper Hong Kong broadcaster, media tycoon, ex-legislator and nemesis of the establishment,” who moved to Vancouver permanently a few years ago, and recently retired from a radio show. 

The piece attempts to provide a character study of an interesting figure while simultaneously presenting insight on political sentiment in the multi-dimensional ethnic-Chinese diaspora in Vancouver. – South China Morning Post