📰 From the Newsroom
No aliens this time.
In 2016, Breakthrough Listen started devoted $100 million to search for intelligent extraterrestrial communication. Late last year, the discovery of a mysterious radio beam got everyone excited.
Was it aliens? Probably not.
- Abraham Loeb from Harvard said there is a 'one in 100 million chance' it was an alien civilization.
- More likely, it was some bloke with an oscillator in Australia having some fun.
- He has some cause for thinking this, the Parkes Observatory has picked up mysterious signals in the past. Most recently in 2015. In that case, the signal was only detected when an astronomer got in the habit of opening a microwave oven before it finished cooking. Should probably move that microwave folks.
- If you're curious about the workings of the Parkes Observatory, check out "The Dish". It's one of our favorite comedies that just happens to be about the Parkes Observatory and the first moon landing.
Real life minions are closer than you think 👾
We're all a little anxious about robots taking our jobs, finally a good news story about robots who will clean the sewers. Chalk one up in the win column for us.
- In the UK alone, yearly underground pipe repairs lead to 1.5 million road excavations at a cost of £5.5 billion.
- The robots are being developed to monitor underground pipe networks, find blockages, and map the network.
- They come in a range of sizes to fit in cubed pipes with sides as small as 2.5 cm.
- The biggest challenge is creating an energy-efficient communication method that combines sound, light, and radio waves.
- Unfortunately, a ready-to-go network is still three years away.
The first space tourism flight could launch this year 🚀
We talk a lot about the competition in the private space industry, but we're just being nice. The facts suggest that SpaceX is ahead of its competitors despite the recent Starship explosion. This week, they said the first "all-civilian" space trip should launch in Q4 of 2021.
- The tight timeline should see them launch before Axiom Space who have a trip planned for January 2022.
- The leader of the mission is Jared Isaacman who can fly commercial and military aircraft. He's also the CEO of Shift4 Payments which isn't an airline.
- Isaacman will raffle off one of the seats to US citizens who donate $10 to St Jude's Children's Hospital.
⛓️ Ten Must See Links of the Month
- Just a traffic simulation game that just needs a "curse button" to be like the real thing.
- The 1001 albums generator will randomly select an album from 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die.
- You had me at tax deductions. 11 expenses bloggers can claim.
- For web developers, Sustainable Web Design is a book that can help you build better websites (in every sense of the word) for your clients and your home planet.
- The biggest news in WordPress.
- Relive the Apollo missions in real-time. If you weren't on the soundstage when Kubrick made the originals, then this is a great way to enjoy all of the archived materials.
- This is what the internet should be. An animated feline co-worker who plays good coding music. Word of warning, turn the sound down a smidge.
- 10 billion pixel image of Girl with Pearl Earring.
- Let the calculations begin! 1587 free calculators.
- Deep dive into Spotify's new look.
🧮 The numbers game
🎥 $25 million - the amount Apple paid for the streaming rights to CODA.
🏡 1,400 square feet - the amount of living space you get when you purchase the first commercially available 3D printed house.
🦎 13.5 mm - the length of the recently discovered nano-chameleon.
💰 26 years - the time it took Jeff Bezos to go from CEO of his garage to CEO of a $1.7 trillion company.
That's it for the week. If you have links to share, then my emails are always open. Simply reply to this email to land in my inbox.
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Have a great month,
Chris & Cosmin