In 1893 Chicago unveiled its massively impressive World’s Columbian Exposition, which had been organized under an extremely tight schedule by Daniel Burnham, and the impact of the idealized (white) urban setting, complete with newfangled electrical lighting, is difficult to overstate. The attractive power of Chicago and its fair, however, drew many thousands of unattached females to the city in search of clerical work, a startling percentage of which a medical doctor named H.H. Holmes would end up dismembering. Holmes’ totally creepy “Murder Castle” featured a gas chamber, a dissection table, and a crematorium to dispose of the cadavers.Both sides of this story, the fair and the murderer, had become mostly forgotten until they were exhumed with great effectiveness by Erik Larson in his 2003 book The Devil in the White City, which rapidly became a bestseller and has become a fondly remembered staple of reading lists ever since. (As it happens, I reviewed The Devil in the White City for Publishers Weekly—you can read my review on the book’s Amazon page—and I’ve been joking ever since that I “made” the book.)
Daily Archives: May 13, 2017
By Matt ReynoldsThey might not look like much but these miniature masterpieces are the width of a human hair. And despite their size, each packs in more pixels per square centimetre than the highest resolution screens available today.This level of detail is all down to a laser printing technique developed by Anders Kristensen and his team at the Technical University of Denmark in Copenhagen. By blasting lasers at a material made up of thousands of nanoscale plastic pillars covered with a thin layer of the element germanium, Kristensen has printed some of the highest resolution images ever made.The laser heats up each pillar to over 1000°C for a few nanoseconds, causing the germanium layer on its tip to change shape – which changes the colour of light it reflects and thus what colour it appears. Low intensity laser blasts cause it to reflect blue light, while ramping up the intensity shifts the colour towards reds and yellows. In this way, the surface of the material can be tuned so that each pillar reflects a different colour, ultimately allowing different images to be printed.The pillars are only a few tens of nanometres apart, which lets the team cram tens of thousands of spots of colour across every centimetre of the surface. The images above are just 50 nanometres wide and were printed at a resolution of 127,000 DPI (dots per inch). The display on an iPhone 7, for comparison, is 326 DPI.
To say that inequality is a bad thing is something of a platitude. So universal is the condemnation of the chasm in income between rich and poor that it would be reasonable to assume that mankind has an instinctive preference for equality over inequality.
Even those who support the free market tend to portray inequality as one of capitalism’s necessary evils – arguing that while they’d love to do something about it, the obvious solutions do more harm than good.Sure enough, psychologists have found that we do indeed appear to have a hard-wired aversion to inequality. “Robin Hood had it right,” claimed the Dutch primatologist Frans de Waal, summarizing a broad consensus across a range of academic fields. “Humanity’s deepest wish is to spread the wealth.”
Jeans are usually synonymous with denim, but British fashion company Topshop seems to think plastic works too. Its 100% polyurethane see-through jeans went on sale last months for a whopping $100, and got some not so-positive reactions online.Why would anyone ever think that plastic pants, be they jeans, leggings or what-have-you, are a good idea? Well, nobody knows, and Topshop has yet to comment on what inspired the unusual garment, but somehow it seems to be a huge hit with shoppers. A few weeks after showing up on the Topshop online store, the MOTO Clear Plastic Straight Leg Jeans are currently out of stock.Share PinPhoto: TopshopJust last week, people were bashing Nordstrom for charging $425 for a pair of jeans caked in fake mud, but it turns out that they weren’t the only ones with crazy ideas. Topshop took the strange-looking jeans idea even further by completely taking denim out of the equation and replacing it with clear plastic. At $100 a pair, they are much cheaper than Nordstrom’s dirty jeans, but twice as weird-looking.
As most people know, babies who are breastfed from birth enjoy a wide range of benefits. Here’s what the United Nations Children’s Fund (Unicef), a global organization with nearly $5 billion of funding, has to say on the topic of breastfeeding:It has profound impact on a child’s survival, health, nutrition and development. Breast milk provides all of the nutrients, vitamins and minerals an infant needs for growth for the first six months, and no other liquids or food are needed. In addition, breast milk carries antibodies from the mother that help combat disease.…Breastfeeding also lowers the risk of chronic conditions later in life, such as obesity, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, diabetes, childhood asthma and childhood leukaemias. Studies have shown that breastfed infants do better on intelligence and behaviour tests into adulthood than formula-fed babies.Formula milk, by contrast, can actively harm babies:Formula is not an acceptable substitute for breastmilk because formula, at its best, only replaces most of the nutritional components of breast milk: it is just a food, whereas breast milk is a complex living nutritional fluid containing anti-bodies, enzymes, long chain fatty acids and hormones, many of which simply cannot be included in formula. Furthermore, in the first few months, it is hard for the baby’s gut to absorb anything other than breastmilk. Even one feeding of formula or other foods can cause injuries to the gut, taking weeks for the baby to recover.