Kickoff For October 30, 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.

Another month is coming to a close, and another year is winding down. Makes you wonder where all the time had gone …

But we’ve still got time to get this Monday started with these links:

They Hacked McDonald’s Ice Cream Machines—and Started a Cold War, wherein we learn about some of the arcane and opaque inner workings of the titular contraptions for spitting out frozen treats, the couple who created a device to give owners of those machines more control, and the battle they’re in with the fast food giant and the maker of those machines.

Are luggage-free trips the future?, wherein we learn about not just the virtues of travelling light but also about areas of the travel industry that are encouraging it.

Chicken is the most popular meat in the world. And we’re expected to eat much more of it, wherein Kenny Torella looks at why the domestic fowl has become suck a popular source of food for humans and the effects that’s had on us and on the planet.

Why the world’s best vanilla is so easy to steal, wherein we learn why criminals in Mexico are stealing the spice and why it’s so hard just to stop that theft.

This Is How Spam Is Really Made, wherein we learn a bit more than we want to about the manufacture of the canned processed pork (and not the junk emails that plague us).

Should Computers Decide How Much Things Cost?, wherein we dive into the arcane world of pricing algorithms and how they’re becoming a powerful tool to help companies increase their profits at our expense.

The new “science of reading” movement, explained, wherein we get a glimpse at the latest techniques and theories for teaching kids how to read, and why (like other techniques and theories) this one isn’t well understood or well implemented.

How the Army tried and failed to build a bicycle corps, wherein we get a peek at an initiative to put some soldiers in the US military on bike saddles in the late 19th century, and why the initiative came to naught.

The secret movement bringing Europe’s wildlife back from the brink, wherein we learn about a loosely-knit group of European conservationists, both amateur and professional, who are flouting various laws to bring some species of fauna back to their native lands.

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

Scott Nesbitt