This week's Pocket reading list : Week 2.3 of Mar

How a $2.7 billion air-defense system became a 'zombie' program : In the context of the USA, government agencies spread out their work contacts across various states to provide for jobs. Said jobs sometimes have to be put on the axe because they have been revised or are not obsolete. Representatives from said states force the agency to pay for the project through it's nose, making the construction of said obsolete object complete. This story just fills in the specific details.

Exxon Confirmed Global Warming Consensus in 1982 with In-House Climate Models : Firstly, it was interesting to know that Exxon, the petrochemical giant, had a team of scientists who were trying to understand climate change. Secondly, it's interesting to know that the team published results talking about climate change and how drastic it will be if we don't cut back soon on our emissions, therefore publishing results that seemingly go against the company funding them. Lastly, it was sad to know that the scientists who were pioneers earlier, who built the climate change models and found evidence, are now talking down the climate science models and questioning climate change.

How Many People Can You Remember? : I love the things that come out of fivethirtyeight. They're interesting questions and insightful answers. This is a long and winding answer to such a question : How many people can we remember. And looking for a solution for the problem takes you through sociological studies, acquaintanceship volume and Christmas cards.

The Riveting, Blackout-Inducing World of Plane Racing : I hope you know about Red Bull's Air Race because Oh My God is it awesome. It's a single seater plane moving, flying through a course and trying to do it the fastest, during the pilot and the plane endure acceleration of upto 5gs or more. It's blackout inducing because the human body wasn't built to endure 5g's of acceleration. We start getting tunnel vision and we eventually blackout completely.

This Photo Captured Pluto 5 Years Before Its Official Discovery : I don't know how many of you remember that there was a time when photographic reels existed and one had to replace them in cameras to be able to save pictures. And the photographic reels had to be *developed*, where the *negatives* are converted into pictures. Astronomy too used photographic plates (reels are too small and too generic) before the advent of the modern cameras and their CCDs. This is the story of how one such plate was discovered recently which noted a peculiar object in the sky, not documented hitherto, a peculiar object that we can now confirm as pluto. I have come across a good amount of information on photographic plates and how a lot of them were digitized (and are still being) to give us access to the skies as they were 50-100 years earlier, opening up a huuuge number of potentially interesting objects and observations.

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