Amazing Stuff 2

January 14, 2020 at 7:00 pm (By Amba) ()


I didn’t know this till just now: the new and, I think, heartening trend (tell me if I’m wrong) is to use robotic exoskeletons—first imagined in sci-fi movies, then used to empower people with disabilities—to increase the strength, speed, dexterity, and safety of human manufacturing and stock workers, instead of replacing them with all-out robots. The first link is to a serious in-depth article. Here’s a popular one. You want pictures?



It turns out that the subtlety of a human brain and senses is not that easily simulated and surpassed. Since wearing and partnering with these devices (also known as cobots) will require training and skill, one can be cautiously optimistic that these will be decently paying jobs. (The devices themselves can cost as little as $1,000 to $5,000; repair and rehab for a shoulder injury runs at least in the tens of thousands.)

Maybe humans won’t be rendered obsolete after all.

Only 700 people are left in the world who speak this Nepali language. Fifty of them live in one building in Brooklyn.

(Fascinating factoid: “Jackson Heights, in Queens, is the most linguistically diverse neighborhood in the entire US and one of the most in the world.”)

(Fascinating asides about one-block ethnic enclaves in NYC and how U.S. culture has grown at once bolder about preserving distinct identities and more relaxed about mixing them. “Interracial marriage [used to mean] an Italian Catholic marrying an Irish Catholic: both families got upset and agreed with each other that such a match was a bad idea.”)

Here’s a trick for actually seeing the Earth spin, from Earth.


. . . presented in the manner of military and diplomatic history.

H/T Ron Fisher / Cross-Posted on Purr View


There were 14 giant tortoises of the species Chelonoidis hoodensis on the Galápagos island of Española. Now there are 2,000. This Genghis Tortoise is the single, um, handed progenitor of roughly 40 percent of them.


That makes more tortoises on Española than there are people who speak the Nepali language Seke.

The best description of what New York City has become was penned by the late Elizabeth Wurtzel in 2013:


In 2019, this qualifies as amazing:

Only one actor of color was nominated, and no female directors are up for Best Director. Among the talents overlooked this year: Eddie MurphyJennifer LopezLupita Nyong’o,  Awkwafina, and Greta Gerwig.

White patriarchy reasserts itself in the Oscars. Drawing courage from similar developments in the 2020 presidential race?

I haven’t seen Awkwafina’s performance as an actor but I love her so much for this. (⚠︎ NSFW) Also her name.

I haven’t seen Awkwafina’s performance as an actor but I love her so much for this (! NSFW). And also her name.

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