View profile

Ian Robinson's Weekly Digest - 5th February 2021

Ian Robinson's Weekly Digest - 5th February 2021
By Ian Robinson's Weekly Digest • Issue #1 • View online
Welcome to Issue #1 of my Weekly Digest. This is a reboot of an idea I had in the middle of last year, but it petered out at the start of August. I’ve decided to start doing it again, but this time as a Twitter Revue email newsletter as well as the blog post. Email newsletters are the new hot thing. What goes around comes around! The blog version will be posted on my site (with RSS feed available), Medium, and LinkedIn. That might change when I see where people are reading it - if anywhere!
I plan to publish a new edition every Saturday. That’s a guarantee - there will only be one email on the Revue Newsletter feed each week. I won’t be spamming anyone who subscribes with loads of emails. 
Each issue will have links and comments (where appropriate) on the things I’ve found interesting in the previous week. The content will be drawn from across news & current affairs, science, technology, any music, films, books I’ve discovered, and more topics that will be included when they pass in front of my radar and I think they are worth including. This first issue has a section of some COVID-19 articles that are worth reading. Hopefully at some point this year there will be no need for that section!. There will also be occasional longer opinion pieces that I will use to talk about subjects in more detail. When I think they are worthwhile.
Hopefully, this Weekly Digest will be useful to some people. It’ll be helpful for me as a way of marshalling my thoughts on topics, as I discovered when doing the blog only version in 2020. 
All links from peoples names in the entries below go to their Twitter account, or their website if they are not on Twitter.

Fix information failures or risk lives: the Full Fact Report 2021 - Full Fact - Link
Facts matter. They always have, and they always will. The flood of lies, twisted information, and conspiracy theories on important topics is almost overwhelming at times. Several organisations are doing good work countering this flood with the truth. One good one in the UK is Full Fact. They have just released the Full Fact Report 2021. Well worth a read.
TERF wars: Why British media is increasingly transphobic | Xtra Magazine - Link
Certain newspapers and columnists seem to be fixated on Trans people. In a bad way. We need to fight for the rights of Trans people in the same way we do for every other group of people. Without infringing on the rights of women to have safe spaces. But trans women are women. The science is clear. This article by V. S. Wells is a good overview of the sorry state of the UK media’s coverage of Trans topic.
The Secret Apple M1 Coprocessor | The Startup on Medium - Link
A reasonably technical dive into an aspect of Apple’s very impressive M1 chip by Erik Engheim. It discusses Dougall Johnson’s work that via reverse engineering uncovered a secret powerful coprocessor dubbed AMX: Apple Matrix coprocessor inside the M1 chip.
Ten computer codes that transformed science | Nature - Link
Computer data processing and the code that was written to do it play an increasing role in science. This is not a new thing as this Nature article shows. They discuss 10 notable uses of programming and the languages used going back to 1957 and the FORTRAN compiler.
Science & Maths
A “no math” (but seven-part) guide to modern quantum mechanics | Ars Technica - Link
If you want to learn more about quantum mechanics, but maths melted your brain, then this series by Miguel Morales in Ars Technica might be of interest.
Why has Britain been so good at the Covid vaccine? | British GQ - Link
An excellent first draft of history article by historian Glen O'Hara on why the UK’s COVID-19 response was so bad in 2020, yet the vaccination programme has been very speedy and well managed. It’s not as simple as the NHS managed the vaccination programme.
Myths of Vaccine Manufacturing | In the Pipeline - Link
A tweet went viral this week that said that the vaccine shortage could be eliminated if the patent holders of the various vaccines shared their vaccine details with other pharmaceutical manufacturers. It’s not as simple as that, as this excellent and in-depth response article by Derek Lowe from the AAAS blogs shows.
Historical Dictionary of Science Fiction - Link
Need to look up a term used in Sci-fi books, films, or TV? The Historical Dictionary of Science Fiction is the site you need. It has definitions and also dates on when the terms were first used.
New music discovered this week
Scarlet Dorn - Blood Red Bouquet - Website - Apple Music - Twitter
Chrysta Bell - Strange as Angels - Apple Music - Twitter
The Glass Child - Hypnic Jerk (Single) - Website - Apple Music - Twitter
Yonaka - Seize The Power - Apple Music - Twitter
Films I enjoyed this week

Mank. On Netflix. Rated 9/10.
Mank. On Netflix. Rated 9/10.
On The Rocks. On AppleTV+. Rated 7/10.
On The Rocks. On AppleTV+. Rated 7/10.
Did you enjoy this issue?
Ian Robinson's Weekly Digest

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

If you don't want these updates anymore, please unsubscribe here.
If you were forwarded this newsletter and you like it, you can subscribe here.
Powered by Revue