Kickoff For April 3, 2023

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.

Let’s get this Monday started with these links:

What happens when a huge ship sinks? A step-by-step guide to averting disaster, wherein we’re walked through the scenarios and processes for recovering cargo vessels and what they’re carrying when the worst happens.

Are You the Same Person You Used to Be?, wherein Joshua Rothman examines the various continuities that can mark out development as people, and why they occur.

The weird and short story of twin-fuselage An-225 Mriya, wherein we learn about a gigantic Soviet airplane intended to launch spaceplanes, a concept which died on the vine because of a number of down-to-Earth problems.

What dangers must we overcome before we can live on Mars?, wherein Simon Morden looks at the problems that we must overcome to not only get to the Red Planet but for humans to have a chance of surviving there.

Don’t Treat Your Life as a Project, wherein we’re urged to live life without the overlay of a narrative arc and instead shouldn’t be afraid to follow a chaotic, more linear path in life.

How Online Mobs Act Like Flocks Of Birds, wherein we learn about murmuration and how this behaviour in birds is analogous to how groups of people on the internet seem to act in concert.

How old batteries will help power tomorrow’s EVs, wherein we learn about new techniques for extracting raw materials from old lithium-ion batteries, and get a peek at how one company is trying to create batteries for electric vehicles from those reclaimed materials.

The Big Whimper, wherein David Kordahl looks at how the direction of science can be shifted by unexpected discoveries and revelations from unexpected quarters.

The eerie emptiness of ‘Britain’s Area 51’, wherein we learn about Orford Ness, a now-abandoned British military research site, and about the odd treasures it still holds.

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

Scott Nesbitt