* “Is American Culture Asking Too Much of Marriage? The relationship therapist Esther Perel thinks so—and argues that it’s time to rethink matrimony and, with it, infidelity.” Points rarely made, and Perel’s book Mating in Captivity is one of the most interesting and unexpected I’ve ever read. It was published in 2007 and feels equally shocking today.
* “A fieldtrip to the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor (ITER), a work-in-progress that will test fusion’s feasibility.” Progress has been made since 2014’s article, “A Star in a Bottle: An audacious plan to create a new energy source could save the planet from catastrophe. But time is running out.” Both are excellent.
* Kids are more boring than they used to be: They’re drinking less, using fewer drugs, and having less sex. What’s the point of being young?
* Synthetic spider silk could be the biggest technological advance in clothing since nylon.” Cool if true.
* “Building My $1,200 Hackintosh,” which is pretty attractive compared to Apple’s anemic lineup of desktop Macs.
* “Let’s make peer review scientific,” something that ought to have happened ages ago.
* “Italian banking is the next shoe to drop,” a story that has gotten weirdly little play.
* “What’s the point of the PhD thesis? Doctoral courses are slowly being modernized. Now the thesis and viva need to catch up.”
* Speaking of the PhD thesis, “Universities May Be Contributing to High Attrition Rates Among Graduate Students.” See also my posts “Why do so many people continue to pursue doctorates?” and “What you should know BEFORE you start grad school.”
* New York City’s subway agency loses six billion dollars a year—and nobody cares.