Kickoff For January 29, 2024

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.

Wow. It’s almost the end of January. Was it really meant to fly by that quickly? If that’s the way 2024 is going, I really want someone to pump the brakes every so often over the next 11 months!

Let’s get this Monday started with these links:

How the right to repair might change technology, wherein we learn about the environmental impact of devices that are pretty much disposable, and how being able to repair them ourselves can reduce that impact.

Shoot, Don’t Kill, wherein we learn about a company in the US that sells (oxymoronic) non-lethal handguns and how that company is trying put their wares into the wider gun-buying consciousness.

Prison Plastic Surgery, wherein we learn about programs to try to reform criminals by reforming their faces, why those programs were unsuccessful, and why the ideas behind those programs are getting a second look.

Four Men, wherein William T. Vollmann recounts his attempts to interview three homeless men in Reno, Nevada, why he decided to do that, and what that revealed about himself.

How big is science’s fake-paper problem?, wherein we discover that so-called paper mills are churning out specious research at such high volumes that scientific publishers’ verification systems can’t keep up with that volume.

Inside the weird and delightful origins of the jungle gym, which just turned 100, wherein we learn why the ubiquitous climbing structure was created, how it became a staple of playgrounds everywhere, and why its nickname is incorrect.

Can We Even Have Babies in Space? Why We’re Not Ready for Life Off-Planet, wherein we learn about the challenges of not just living outside the confines of the Earth, but also the challenges of perpetuating the human species elsewhere.

Why classical music is boring - by a classical musician, wherein Diane Daly delves into ideas about how to get more people — both listeners and players — involved in the world of classical music.

The Brain Has a ‘Low-Power Mode’ That Blunts Our Senses, wherein we learn how mammalian brains react to not having enough fuel, and how that attempt to conserve energy dials down visual acuity.

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

Scott Nesbitt