Items of Interest

The Roots Of Corporate Work Culture In Soviet USSR

In 1935 a Soviet miner named Alexei Stakhanov set a record by extracting 102 tonnes of coal in a single shift, compared to the shift average of 7 tonnes. Stakhanov was hailed as the new standard for super workers in Soviet Russia and used to create a new movement called Stakhanovism to promote workers giving their all in the service of their work. Eighty-five years later, this cult of work is alive and well in the corporate workplace where employees are expected to hand over their lives to their jobs and play the corporate power & optics games that are rife in that environment.

Faces In Things

Researchers at the University of Sydney found that when the brain sees faces in objects, known as face pareidolia, the same areas of the brain's face detection network are used as when seeing people's faces. They also found a bias link between the emotion the brain perceives in a face and evaluation of emotion in subsequent faces.

Podcast of the Week: NPR Shortwave on Vegetables Not Being Real!

Vegetables aren't real! At least in a botanic sense. In this informative and mind blowing NPR Shortwave episode, I learned that vegetables are just a culinary designation and not a scientific classification. Brocolli, cauliflower, kale - all the same plant. Listen on later in the episode where we are told that strawberries aren't even berries!

The Inverse Conway Law

Melvin Conway stated in 1968 that "Any organisation that designs a system (defined broadly) will produce a design whose structure is a copy of the organisation’s communication structure.". Andreas Wolff published an interesting post on CTO Craft about using an inverse Conway Law when designing the struture of an organisation.

Cholera Rice Vaccine

Scientists at the University of Tokyo have developed a vaccine for Cholera that is delivered using genetically modified rice, which has successfully completed phase 1 human trials. The edible Cholerea vaccine hides in the membranes of fat in protein droplets within the rice cells, protecting it from the digestive system.

Facemask COVID Detector

Researchers at MIT and Harvard have developed a COVID-19 detection system that is integrated into a facemask which tests the wearer's breath for COVID-19 in ninety minutes. The wFDCF technology uses freeze dried test moelcules that are activated when water is released into the testing unit via  release button. The system combines the high accuracy of a PCR test with the speed and low cost of an antigen test.