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Three Summaries Each Day
How the Contradictions of Socialism Make Cuban Art Great
In Cuba, where scientists and artists alike lineup for stale bread and chicken, the arts flourish. Cubans are not hesitant to study the arts and make a living out of being musicians, dancers, artists, and comedians because it’s not fiscally irresponsible to do so. Every neighborhood has its own casa de cultura, where anyone can, for free, learn the core principles of Cuban art. One such core principle is “to keep the censors busy.”
No time to die: An in-depth analysis of James Bond's exposure to infectious agents
“Given how inopportune a bout of diarrhoea would be in the midst of world-saving action, it is striking that Bond is seen washing his hands on only two occasions”. After an amusing analysis of James Bond movies, researchers have suggested that Agent 007’s bravery is potentially a result of toxoplasmosis – a common parasite. Other infections are not ruled out: Bond’s promiscuity is said to leave him liable to a variety of ailments, especially considering Bond’s partners are prone to dying after the deed (27.1; 95% confidence interval 16.4–40.3).
Pixar lamp inspires novel approaches to shapeshifting materials
Physicists seem to be turning to fiction for inspiration when creating novel materials. Current shapeshifting materials are not very flexible; they can only transform into a handful of configurations. However, Harvard scientists have created a “totimorphic” material which can shapeshift into any stable structure – and it is based on Luxo, Jr., the iconic Pixar lamp. They looked to ‘his’ head in particular, which can take on any position through “having a set of opposing springs in tension that change their lengths while the total energy remains constant”.
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