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Ian Robinson's Weekly Digest - 11th July 2021

Ian Robinson's Weekly Digest - 11th July 2021
By Ian Robinson's Weekly Digest • Issue #21 • View online
Two articles on spaceflight this week, three on how the UK is experimenting with current coronavirus response, and two on chemistry about nomenclature and new ideas on what determines C-C and C-H bond length. Also, a great week for new music, which is listed below. Find me on Twitter to discuss.

A retinol molecule with its systematic name. See article below!
A retinol molecule with its systematic name. See article below!
Technology
Spaceflight: Space Billionaires, Please Read the Room - The Atlantic - Link
So Richard Branson went into space today (barely - call me when you are staying in orbit!) Next week it’ll be Jeff Bezos’s turn for a few minutes. Meh. The only good thing about these flights is that Wally Funk will share those few minutes in space. Shannon Stirone writing in The Atlantic touches on the flights.
Spaceflight: Bezos and Branson are going to space! Or maybe not - Wired - Link
An article by Robin Andrews in Wired on the debate on where space starts above the Earth. In light of the Branson and Bezos flights. Bezos’s Blue Origin says it’s at 100 km height, and Branson’s Virgin Galactic says it’s 80 km. I say who cares. Getting to just poke the spaceship above some arbitrary height for a few minutes is neither here nor there. In my opinion, going to space means going up and orbiting the Earth at least once.
Science
Coronavirus: How we lost our vaccine advantage - Prospect - Link
Another Philip Ball article this week. Yay, tradition! He outlines why the UK is losing the advantage we had from an early start of the vaccination program. The only thing that this Government has done well. Thrown away due to their incompetence and rigid philosophies.
Coronavirus: Boris Johnson cries ‘freedom’ to fill the void where his leadership should be - The Guardian - Link
Rafael Behr in good form on the vacuousness of Johnson and the other Conservatives.
Coronavirus: The NHS is already overstretched – dropping Covid restrictions will spell disaster for patients - The Guardian - Link
Rachel Clarke, a doctor who knows what it’s been like for NHS staff over the last 18 months, on what the end of regulations for face masks, etc., will really mean.
Chemistry: Nonsensical nomenclature - Chemistry World - Link
Dr Kat Day on the battle to standardise the naming of mainly carbon-based organic molecules, using the systematic nomenclature over traditional common names. I have to say I fall on the systematic side of the argument. But I’m not a working chemist. And if you look at the image at the top of this newsletter, it’s hard to argue for the systematic name over retinol.
Chemistry: Chemists reconsider C–H and C–C bond length rationale - Chemistry World - Link
Also in Chemistry World, an article outlining some new work that explains the length of bonds in organic compounds. Really interesting. When I was studying chemistry, the Sp hybridisation amount was taken as settled as the explanation for bond lengths. These new experimental results are a reminder that we shouldn’t think of anything as settled. Rather that this is the best explanation at the current time. This is exactly what the scientific method teaches us.
Culture
Music: New music I discovered this week (listed in the order I added them to Apple Music)
Mother Mother - Inside - (Album) - Apple Music - Spotify - Twitter
Orla Gartland - You’re Not Special, Babe - (Single) - Apple Music - Spotify - Twitter
Olivia Lunny - Olivia Lunny - (Album) - Apple Music - Spotify - Twitter
Maddie Regent - Ego - (Single) - Apple Music - Spotify - Twitter
Yaëlzoë - Weak Blue World - (Single) - Apple Music - Spotify - Instagram
Emmi - Crown - (Single) - Apple Music - Spotify - Twitter
Vaarwell - consume & grow - (Ep) - Apple Music - Spotify - Twitter
TGC - Parallels - (Album) - Apple Music - Spotify - Twitter
MadLeo - Reminisce - (Single) - Apple Music - Spotify - Twitter
Poppy - Her - (Single) - Apple Music - Spotify - Twitter
Tanja Jeramaz - Boy Tears - (Single) - Apple Music - Spotify - Twitter
Villforth - Closer To Me - (Single) - Apple Music - Spotify - Twitter
Bradley Garbett - Runaway - (Single) - Apple Music - Spotify
Amale Reina - Speechless - (Single) - Apple Music - Spotify - Instagram
Sahara Beck - Crave Me - (Single) - Apple Music - Spotify - Twitter
Sad Alex - Ibtc - (Album Ep Single) - Apple Music - Spotify - Twitter
Courtney Barnett - Rae Street - (Single) - Apple Music - Spotify - Twitter
John Mayer - Last Train Home - (Single) - Apple Music - Spotify - Twitter
Here are Apple Music and Spotify playlists with all the singles and one selected track from each album or EP. In no particular order. Play them on shuffle!
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Ian Robinson's Weekly Digest

Writer, walker, atheist, optimist, Apple enthusiast, cinema lover, hobby musician, science junkie, perpetual maths student, cricket fan, chess patzer.

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