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Ian Robinson's Weekly Digest - 27th June 2021

Ian Robinson's Weekly Digest - 27th June 2021
By Ian Robinson's Weekly Digest • Issue #19 • View online
Welcome to the 27th June edition of my weekly post. Half the year is gone already! I’ve lost track of time. Days, weeks, and months have all melded into one thing in my head. Anyway, I’m planning on starting to go back to the cinema and do other things out in the world from the 1st of July. So future weekly posts should start to get mini film reviews and stuff again from next weeks.
This week’s post has six article pointers and seven new music releases. As usual, you can get me on Twitter to discuss anything in this post.

2000 star systems could have planets that could see Earth pass in from of the Sun
2000 star systems could have planets that could see Earth pass in from of the Sun
Technology
Programming: Modern, Visual Basic For Your Mac - Xojo - Link
Do you remember Visual Basic? It allowed a lot of people to start programming back in the day. It had a drag and drop visual interface designer, that you then added code snippets to in order to bring the interfaces to life. Lots of professional developers slagged it off because they said it led to bad coding. Sod them! If you want a similar tool today for the Mac (and Windows and Linux), Xojo is worth looking at. It’s a fully modern object-orientated programming language that will be very familiar to anyone who has coded in BASIC, but it has the modern features you would expect. And the familiar drag and drop interface builder. BTW, you can also build iOS apps, and soon Android as well. All using native controls for each platform, not cross-platform interface elements.
Science
Chemistry: Dodgy diagrams in ads matter, if we want people to understand the value of chemistry - Kat Day - Link
This always bugs me as well. Pseudo-chemical structures in ads and other places. Dr. Kat Day outlines why it matters.
Astronomy: The 2,000 stars where aliens would catch a glimpse of Earth - Nature - Link
We hear quite a bit about how we can look at nearby stars for exoplanets and possibly signs of life. The search for extraterrestrial intelligence (SETI) efforts. But what about the converse? Would any intelligent beings on stars be able to look at the Solar System and see Earth? It turns out that about 2000 stars near us could see Earth pass in front of the Sun. Details in this Nature news article, and also summarised in this Ars Technica article.
Biochemistry: Race to understand Sars-CoV-2 variants amid fears virus might evade vaccines - Chemistry World - Link
A typically good article by Philip Ball on the various mutant variations of the Sars-COV-2 virus and the work to understand the mutations and why they make the newer variants more transmissible in humans. Vital work in case any future mutations makes it even more transmissible.
Science Festival: Summer Science 2021 - The Royal Society - Link
This year the Royal Society’s popular Summer Science Exhibition is going totally digital between the 8th and 11th of July. Quoting their web page: With a packed programme of inspiring talks, fun science from home activities, and exciting digital content, there is something for all ages.
Culture
Society: I Was Taught From a Young Age to Protect My Dynastic Wealth - The Atlantic - Link
An interesting article by Abigail Disney about how the very wealthy use perfectly legal ways to ensure that their wealth is passed on and not taken by taxation. With the overriding view that the government can’t be trusted with the money. The number of people who are not wealthy who buy into this argument baffles me. Decent taxation levels on these very wealthy dynasties would pay for healthcare for all and probably universal basic income as well. And the ultra-wealthy would still have enough money to live their lifestyles.
Music: New music I discovered this week (listed in the order I added them to Apple Music)
Kronowski - Seen Through Black - (Single) - Apple Music - Spotify - Twitter
Young Decades - Sinner - (Single) - Apple Music - Spotify - Twitter
Ed Sheeran - Bad Habits - (Single) - Apple Music - Spotify - Twitter
Dolly Valentine - Do It All For You - (Single) - Apple Music - Spotify - Twitter
Lenka - Ivory Tower - (Single) - Apple Music - Spotify - Twitter
LoneLady - Former Things - (Album) - Apple Music - Spotify - Twitter
Joana Serrat - Hardcore from the Heart - (Album) - 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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