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Ian Robinson's Weekly Digest - June 20th 2021

Ian Robinson's Weekly Digest - June 20th 2021
By Ian Robinson's Weekly Digest • Issue #18 • View online
I’m a day late with this weeks post! Anyway, here you go. Fifteen new music releases and six article pointers. Get me on Twitter if there is anything you want to discuss.

Technology
Apps: HEY turns 1, Happy Birthday HEY! - Jason Fried - Link
I was an early adopter of HEY email (I also recently switched to the paid version of Basecamp for tracking writing work with clients). I moved all my email to HEY when HEY for Domains was released (it was called Hey for Work originally). But I had a wobble and was worried if the service would not survive when Basecamp had their now infamous brouhaha, and a large number of the staff took up an offer of severance pay. Things look to have calmed down now, and HEY continues to evolve. I’ve paid for another year, and I’m moving my personal domain email back to HEY from Office 365 next weekend! It’s the best email experience I’ve had in decades.
Science
Coronavirus: Furin fundamentals - Chemistry World - Link
The lab link hypothesis that the coronavirus that causes Covid-19 leaked from a lab in Wuhan is gaining ground in some circles. I don’t buy it. There are two forms of the hypothesis - 1. That the lab in Wuhan genetically engineered the virus and released it. This is refuted by the sequence of nucleotides in the virus. The Sars-Cov-2 virus is 96% identical to one found in bats. The differences are randomly located and not complete blocks of RNA to change functionality that would be seen if it was engineered. This is explained in this 9-minute episode of the More of Less podcast.
2. There is a variant of the hypothesis that the virus was being studied in the Wuhan lab, and some researchers got infected and then spread it outside in the general population. There is no evidence that I’ve seen to support that. Yes, I know about the reports that some lab workers had to go to the hospital a few weeks before Covid-19 started to spread. People have to go to hospitals all the time. There is no evidence at this time to link that and Covid. There is no evidence ruling it out either, but I’m not prepared to bridge the gap between these events the way some people do (gleefully, it seems to me).
The Chemistry World article by Philip Ball discusses the lab leak hypothesis in light of the biochemistry of the virus.
Culture
Politics: Britain’s Brexit shame - Chris Grey - Link
This is more a pointer to Chris Grey’s continuing weekly columns on the ramifications of Brexit. A must-read. The one linked here is a good example. Worth reading every week.
Work: The perfect number of hours to work every day? Five - Wired UK - Link
I’ve been reading a lot of stuff about the lessons learned in the last 18 months with mass home working and the future of work. For a thing I have to write. This Wired UK article on companies experimenting with different models for hours of working is interesting.
Media: It’s fruitless to debate the culture-war confections of the rightwing press - Nesrine Malik - Link
Nesrine Malik is another must-read columnist. Her recent column on how the right-wing leaning media stoke up culture wars is typically great.
Books: Graham Norton Comes Around - The New York Times - Link
A good interview-based article on Graham Norton’s new novel, and also his life and other activities. I love the Graham Norton TV show and his new Audible Book Club Podcast (Pedant Mode On: although by definition, if it’s only on Audible it’s not a podcast!)
Music: New music I discovered this week (listed in the order I added them to Apple Music)
Jupiter Flynn - Difficult Times (Single) - Apple Music - Spotify - Instagram
Pollena - Stand Up (EP) - Apple Music - Spotify - Twitter
Human Electric Resource (ft. Arianna Corona) - No More (Single) - Apple Music - Spotify
Arnie Wrong - Strange Love (Single) - Apple Music - Spotify - Twitter
OSKA - Loust T-Shirt (Single) - Apple Music - Spotify - Instagram
Brielle Brown - The Well (EP) - Apple Music - Spotify - Twitter
Yonaka - Raise Your Glass (EP) - Apple Music - Spotify - Twitter
Luna Li - Alone But Not Lonely (EP) - Apple Music - Spotify - Twitter
Tuff Ghost - Collapsing Stars (Single) - Apple Music - Spotify - Instagram
Griff - One Foot In Front Of The Other (Album) - Apple Music - Spotify - Twitter
Evolfo - Site out of Mind (Album) - Apple Music - Spotify - Twitter
Orla Gartland - Do You Mind? (Single) - Apple Music - Spotify - Twitter
Zella Day - Girls (Single) - Apple Music - Spotify - Twitter
tiLLie - Peachie (Single) - Apple Music - Spotify - Twitter
Luma and Yuppycult - Devil Saint (Single) - Apple Music - Spotify - Twitter (Luma) - Twitter (Yuppycult)
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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