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Pocket reading list - Week 1

I read a lot. A lot. While I don't read as many books as I wish I did, I do read a lot of articles on the internet. I don't know when exactly it started, sometime in my second year I guess. And I used read most of it online, in my browser, with god-knows-how-many tabs open. And then I found Pocket! And the awesome part is that I now get to look back at the articles which I found interesting whenever I want to, instead of having to bookmark the articles like I used to earlier. And not to mention, the ability to read offline! Anyway, here's a bunch of articles I found interesting. The list of favorites is fairly large so I can't dump them all at once and it'll be an interesting day when I would've exhausted them all!

A Quirk of Fluid Dynamics - We all know how water splashes when we drop a marble in it. Being physicists, these people wanted to know exactly what was happening at the water surface and what would happen if we dropped objects of different shapes onto the surface.

Ice Cream Social: The Struggle for the Soul of Ben & Jerry’s - Ben & Jerry's isn't popular in India but I have heard about the company enough times given the numerous american TV shows I watch. Maybe I should dial it down a little. Anyway, the author talks about the philanthropic activities of the company and how the founder tried keeping the founding principles of the company alive when it was being bought out by Unilever.

See the Philae lander descend onto a comet - If you don't know, ESA has been able to send a probe to a comet and successfully put a Lander on a comet. It's actually old news. I'm personally looking forward to the interesting science data that will start pouring through once the comet gets close enough to the sun!

How did you get that job: designing a parachute for NASA’s Mars rover - It's motivating to hear about the story of a scientist and how she moved from one field to another, working on challenging and exciting projects. A testament that hard work is all that matters.

Inside the Secret World of Russia’s Cold War Mapmakers - I've only recently started learning about world maps and how much they've changed over the early years. Did you know that people thought that the state of California was a separate island earlier? And it was damn interesting to learn that the Soviets started mapping the Earth, in pretty good detail for their time, in the cold war era!

How Two Bored 1970s Housewives Helped Create The PC Industry - Most of us have heard that Steve Jobs and Bill Gates started the PC industry. On the contrary, this story tells us how the winners got to write the history, about the early days of the PC industry and the David and Goliath competition between the smaller companies and IBM.

I Went Storm Chasing with NASA - I didn't know that aircraft are used to monitor and study cyclones! I did know that there was an aircraft built to observe the skies from above the stratosphere called Sofia.

A 300 Year Old Mystery Solved: Why Saturn's Moon Iapetus Is Half-Light, Half-Dark - It's amazing and surprising at the same time how little we know of the objects in our own immediate neighborhood, the Solar system. We are still trying to understand the physical processes governing the Sun, the planets and their numerous moons. NASA's space craft New Horizons recently saw Pluto up close and it'll be about an year before we get that data back! (FYI, it took 4 hours to send communications from Earth to the spacecraft as it was approaching Pluto, just to put things in perspective). Here's just another such interesting puzzle which we are just beginning to understand.

How big is space - Interactive - An interactive that tries to give a sense of how big (and empty) space really is. Honestly, it's something that only astronauts can understand. One just has to experience it and hopefully, I will too one day.

Absurd Creature of the Week: This Marsupial Has Marathon Sex Until It Goes Blind and Drops Dead - Well, what more do you want? The animal (mammal) eats till it matures and then, has sex till it dies.

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