Thursday, December 15, 2022

10 Breakthroughs of the Year

‘Atmospheric cold river event’ crashes into California – as millions across Plains, Midwest and the Northeast prepare for severe storms Daily Mail 

 The Atlantic – “Today, The Atlantic reveals its inaugural 10 Breakthroughs of the Year. The accomplishments span every station of life, from birth to death, and every component, from our cells to the stars. 

They include a drug that revives the organs of dead animals; an embryo created without sperm or egg; a telescope to see the universe’s first moments; and an AI that conjures award-winning art. One theme of this year’s list is the principle of “twin ideas”—the tendency for major breakthroughs to have more than one author. The telegraph was invented by Charles Wheatstone and Samuel Morse in the same year, 1837, and patents for the telephone were filed by Elisha Gray and Alexander Graham Bell on the same day in 1876.

 Accordingly, many of this year’s breakthroughs are group efforts rather than individual awards. We didn’t just get one mind-blowing generative AI app this year; we got several in the span of a few months. We didn’t just get one “unheard-of” cancer breakthrough; we got several in one year. In this golden age of new vaccine technology, many different companies are building off the success of the COVID shots to deliver new antiviral weaponry for humankind.”

 James Baldwin on the Creative Process and the Artist’s Role to Society – 1962..

“Freedom is not something that anybody can be given; freedom is something people take and people are as free as they want to be. One hasn’t got to have an enormous military machine in order to be un-free when it’s simpler to be asleep, when it’s simpler to be apathetic, when it’s simpler, in fact, not to want to be free, to think that something else is more important”

Articles of Note

“A difficult year for publishing.” Astra Magazine, which promoted literature in translation, has closed »

New Books

It's been centuries since she hoisted her skirt to reveal fine red stockings. But we're still misreading the Wife of Bath »

Essays & Opinions

Writers who date other writers face a looming question: Will the other partner write about the relationship?  »

Overseas Real Property: State’s Initial Assessment of Natural Hazard Risks Faced By its PostsGAO-23-105452. Published Oct 18, 2022. Publicly Released Nov 17, 2022: “In 2020, the State Department created a Climate Security and Resilience program. 

The program assesses the risk natural hazards pose to each of its 294 locations around the world. State selected 8 natural hazards for its assessment: coastal flooding, riverine flooding, tsunamis, earthquakes, water stress (i.e., lack of fresh water to meet demand), extreme heat, extreme wind, and landslides.

 State’s assessment of the risks these hazards pose can help it develop and prioritize ways to adapt. Its first risk review, as of May 2022, suggests half of facilities at highest risk are in East Asia and the Pacific, as shown by our interactive map.”