Kickoff For August 21, 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:

Canada’s Big Flex in Space, wherein we learn about the robotic arms that Canadian industry has been building for NASA for decades, and how those devices (while not flashy or glamourous) are and will be key components of space exploration to come.

Desperate for dollars, Argentina just gave digital nomads another advantage over locals, wherein we learn about the country’s foreign tourist dollars which, while making Argentina attractive to expats, isn’t benefitting locals.

Did This Writer Actually Know Tennessee Williams?, wherein we learn about James Grissom, whose book about the famed playwright claims a deep connection with him, a connection that others question or refute.

The Icelandic Art Of Swim Lessons, wherein we learn that swimming pools in the Nordic country are considered public utilities and social hubs, while also being places where everyone learns a potentially life-preserving skill.

Is My Writing a Hobby Or a Career?, wherein Rainesford Stauffer ponders the dilemma that many a writer faces: doing their serious work while taking on jobs that pay the bills and give them space and time to do that serious work.

The Dao of Using Your Smartphone, wherein Alan Levinovitz argues that to change our relationships with our phones, we need to adopt rituals around using them.

Social media is doomed to die, wherein Ellis Hamburger recounts his 7+ years working at Snapchat and how it (and other social media) wound up manipulating and disappointing users.

Stratoplanes: The aircraft that will fly at the edge of space, wherein we learn about some of the latest developments with that class of flying machine, and what the future might hold for them.

The Carrington event of 1859 disrupted telegraph lines. A “Miyake event” would be far worse, wherein we learn a bit about massive solar flares and their effects on human technology, and about the potential for a really big one to turn civilization upside down.

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

Scott Nesbitt