Too hot. Too soon.
It feels we just skipped from winter to summer. But is this one swallow or is it a trend? Will shoulder seasons like spring and fall now last a couple of weeks, then be swallowed up whole by their extreme siblings? Will we all be forced to take up extreme lifestyles in order to weather The New Weather? It feels that way. But before all that, here’s what’s hot this weekend…
1. The world’s most dangerous cheese. The Sardinian sheep milk cheese Casu Marzu is filled with maggots. They’re not a bug, but a feature of this connoisseur’s delight. The cheese is outlawed because of health concerns, and users face heavy fines. CNN’s report on Casu Marzu shows Gordon Ramsay on video with the maggot cheese.
2. A conference you won’t be attending. My invitation arrived in my inbox on Tuesday, so better check your spam folder for yours. Because the 25th St. Petersburg International Forum is inviting us all to fly to Russia for June 15th through 18th. Conference passes are US$13,812 per person, though I’m not sure how to pay that, and it says the conference will sponsor my Russian Visa. But check out the “Programme”. Maybe they don’t know there’s a ‘special military operation’ on.
3. Anatomy of women by and for women. Until now, 3-D anatomy models were of men. If they showed women’s bodies, the base was male, with the female parts added on. But now, in a late recognition that women’s bodies are different from men’s, British doctors have created new models to teach first-year medical students. They don’t just show a uterus stuck onto a male pelvis.
4. You too can fly into space. WorldView Inc. of Tucson is taking bookings for flights into space that last 6 to 12 hours. No qualifications needed for space tourists. The price is US$50,000 per seat, making it affordable to rich me-firsters and not just big-buckled billionaires. First flights are in 2024 and of course the FAA needs to approve them first. Their CEO, Ryan Hartman, former US Navy Pilot, seems credible.
5. “It’s not easy, but it’s great.” What mother hasn’t said that after the birth of her child? But Halima Cissé of Mali has special reason to utter those words. A year ago, she gave birth to nine babies. Mother and nonuplets are all doing well.
6. Everything Old is New Again. And bright, shiny, loud and colourful. Because restoration techniques of old film footage have advanced astoundingly in the past while. Start with this windy day in New York in 1903. Then a San Francisco streetcar journey in 1906. Then Palm Beach in 1920, and Berlin in 1927, six years before Hitler came to power.
Speaking of moving pictures, The Washington Post has published two wonderful guides. The first is How to Spot a Fake Video where you can learn how to be your own video investigator; and the second, The Fact-Checkers Guide to Manipulated Video, from splicing and omission, to doctoring and fabrication.
7. Taking a bath together. Classic pics of people (and pets) enjoying a soak. We begin with Steve McQueen and his wife, Neile, and their cigarettes.
8. Our future may be password-free. And not a moment too soon. This Guardian piece explains how the new ‘Fido’ system will remove one of life’s great aggravations. Not someday, but “over the course of the coming year.”
9. Explore the health effects of ageism. Not the effects of age, but of discrimination on the basis of your age, which can take years off your life. Yale psychologist Becca Levy’s new book Breaking the Age Code found that people with the most positive beliefs about aging lived seven and a half years longer than those who have the most negative attitudes.
10. Can't stop the music. The new Elvis biopic charts his outrageous hip thrusting. Plus, the early days of flash mobs. Plus how to find the most frequent words in your playlist lyrics. And finally, an illustrated history of the iPod which Apple is ghosting after 21 years of revolutionizing how we consume music.