Kickoff For January 21, 2019

Welcome to this week’s edition of the Monday Kickoff, a collection of what I’ve found interesting, informative, and insightful on the web over the last seven days.

It’s hard to believe that we’re entering week three of 2019. I don’t know about you, but I’m still getting something of a 2018 vibe from the year. Not sure whether that’s bad or if it’s good. Guess we’ll have to wait and see.

Let’s get this Monday started with these links:


Digitizing the vast ‘dark data’ in museum fossil collections, wherein we discover how much museums hold and which we never see, and the efforts to preserve that mass of fossils to ensure scholars can continue to study the past, even if a disaster strikes.

The Concrete Jungle, wherein we discover how urban environments are jumpstarting evolution for various species of wildlife, at a rate that even biologists find astounding.

Science’s Freedom Fighters, wherein we learn that science isn’t always as apoliticalas we’ve been told it is, and how that was especially true during the Cold War.


Forget Zuckerberg: the tech giants don’t have to own the future, wherein John Harris ponders whether our technological future lies with smaller firms outside of the U.S., but only if those firms can survive and thrive.

Why Doctors Hate Their Computers, wherein Atul Gawande looks at how complex software not only frustrates doctors (and others), but also puts a dent in their productivity and forces them to work even longer hours.

Fifty years of BASIC, the Programming Language That Made Computers Personal, wherein we’re taken on a trip down computing memory lane and discover the origins of BASIC, and why and how it influence a generation of computer users.

Odds and Ends

A New Front Line, wherein we enter the worlds of modern reporters and citizen journalists, and the dangers many of them face while trying to uncover and report on stories.

Do You Even Bake, Bro?, wherein we see how (mostly male) denizens of Silicon Valley have taken the simple act of baking your own bread and turned it into both a competition and something more complex than it needs to be.

Inside the Great Electromagnetic Resistance, wherein we briefly enter the world of electrically-sensitive people, learn about their struggles, and about their fight against more wireless technology being deployed.

And that’s it for this Monday. Come back in seven days for another set of links to start off your week.

Scott Nesbitt