Scroll to outer space

+ The last wake-up call, How real people use artificial intelligence, What makes you happy (#438)

This is David, your diligent curator of the world wide web, and you're reading the Weekly Filet for another carefully curated set of the best things to read, watch and listen to. It's great to have you.

This week, you get the extended version of the newsletter that normally only paying members receive. This is thanks to Podcast Review who are sponsoring this issue.

Podcast Review is a free newsletter bringing you the week's 5 best podcast episodes every Wednesday. Enjoyed by 10,000+ subscribers, including employees of NPR, Spotify, and The New Yorker.

1. Space Elevator

The internet's most creative person™ has launched his latest project. It's a space elevator that takes you all the way up to the edge of outer space. If this is a week that makes you want to get far, far away from everything, here's a relaxing, entertaining way to do it.

Space Elevator
Take a trip to space!

2. We're in for a stretch of heavy climate

Bill McKibben on the ominous signs that the next step phase of global warming is starting — and why it might be the last wake-up call «the earth offers us in a time frame still relevant to making coherent and savvy civilization-scale change.»

We’re in for a stretch of heavy climate
Ominous signs that the next step phase of global warming is starting;

3. 35 Ways Real People Are Using A.I. Right Now

A good contrast to both grandiose «this changes everything» hyperboles and to objections that AI is just a mostly useless gimmick: 35 tangible examples of how people are making use of artificial intelligence in their everyday lives. (Gift link so you won't hit the paywall)

Looking for the bigger picture? Making Sense of Artificial Intelligence.

35 Ways Real People Are Using A.I. Right Now
Artificial intelligence models have found their way into many people’s lives, for work and for fun.

4. Trafficked: the trap

Harrowing three-part podcast series from The Guardian. The story of a Ukrainian mother who ends up in England as a sex slave, trapped not by shackles, but a system of dept and dependence.
⚠️ Content notice: Sexual violence.

Trafficked: the trap – part one
The story of a Ukrainian woman who escaped modern slavery in the UK. Annie Kelly reports

5. What Makes You Happy

It's all about the contrast.

What Makes You Happy
Ernest Shackleton’s ship, the Endurance, became stuck in Antarctic ice.

What else?

  • Digits — a new daily numbers puzzle by the New York Times. Simple...and kinda hard.
  • René-Levasseur Island is an island that is larger than the lake in which it is situated.
  • Some of Buster Keaton's most amazing stunts
  • AI Clock, the current time, turned into a little poem.
  • The Irish president's desk
  • New favourite example to show how bad our intuition about exponential growth is: If you have 8 children, and each of them has 8 children, and each of those has 8 children...and so on...After 11 generations, that family tree contains 8.5 billion people, more than the current world population (don't try this at home!).

«I was able to look out the window to see this incredible sight of the whole circle of the Earth. Oceans were crystal blue, the land was brown, and the clouds and the snow were pure white. And that jewel of Earth was just hung up in the blackness of space.» — Charlie Duke, Apollo 16. Throughout the year, I end each newsletter with an image of this amazing series, a true reminder of the beauty — and fragility — of the planet we live on. Credit: NASA, edited by Toby Ord.

Thanks for reading. I wish you a nice weekend and hope to see you again next Friday!

— David 👋

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