Around The Web | What We’re Reading

In a post-truth world, where facts seem to have become irrelevant, at least the value of truth is upheld by some brilliant individuals, namely the recent crop of Nobel Prize winners who have just been announced.  This year’s Nobel Prize for Physics was awarded to Kip Thorne, Rainer Weiss and Barry Barish, the trio of physicists who made the breakthrough discovery of gravitational waves last year. The pursuit of truth, however, stops there, with the emergence of new outlets such as Everipedia touting itself as the alternative facts Wikipedia, dedicating an entire fake page to a man called Geary Danley, naming him wrongly as the man behind this week’s horrific mass shooting in Las Vegas. And whilst we search for meaning amongst all the noise, one ex-rugby player has set off on an altogether different journey. 82 days and 2,000 km across Mongolia to attempt the longest hole in golf in history.

Here’s what is going on in the world this week:

“I chose to use these bones in particular because they are rather beautiful until you determine what they are. They look a bit like bird wings, sailboats, and other pleasant associations; it provides various meanings simultaneously.” Step inside the world of Softer, the new solo exhibition at Blenheim Palace from iconic American artist Jenny Holzer. With a mixture of provocative verbal and non-verbal content, as always, Holzer treads the line between the political and the personal.

“Life is war and losing starts with second place. People aren’t watching The Sopranos week by week and talking about it with friends the day after it ends anymore. They’re sitting around in their underwear binge-watching whatever Netflix recommends. A few hours, a day or two, and they’re done. There’s no reason to stick around, no reason to wait and see what’s next.” Watch this tantalising and stylish video Dare Devils: Kart Kids exploring the phenomenon that is go-kart racing for Germany’s juvenile adrenaline junkies.

“At its finest, that is what architecture, and Lego play, is all about: empowering people to imagine new worlds that are more exciting and expressive than the status quo – and to provide them with the tools and the skills to make them reality.” Take a look at the new LEGO house, designed by architect Bjarke Ingels. According to Ingels, this is the “highest honour any architect can achieve.” It is pretty impressive.

“The bracelet, which seems to have been plucked from some bed-and-breakfast gift shop or a forgotten Etsy shop or a minor museum souvenir shop, is made of six two-by-three inch Frida Kahlo portraits strung together. Frida Kahlo! The woman who is said to have had an affair with Leon Trotsky. That Frida on the wrist of Theresa May.” As Theresa May is inundated with backlash for her painful speech on Wednesday, one of the most talked about bluffs is the choice to wear a Frida Kahlo bracelet. Is this an ill-advised style statement or something more?

“At Chizuka, a pickle shop in Fukuoka, Japan, the starter for nukadoko, a fermented mash of roasted rice bran mixed with salt and water, has survived for 300 years. Boudin Bakery in San Francisco purportedly puts into every loaf some of the sourdough starter begun by its founding baker in 1849.” While most of us believe the fresher the better for our food, there is a culinary trend towards the old and the aged. From fermentation to the use of afterthoughts such as fish skeletons and stale bread, is this the future of food?

“In the comment section on Geary’s Everipedia page, there’s a spirited discussion over the ethics of linking a presumably innocent person to a national tragedy: ‘This site sure did name him as the shooter and was the source of fake news. There should at least be an apology to this man.” Discover the Wikipedia alternative Everipedia that allows anyone to have a fact page, with one caveat – facts aren’t necessary. Find out why it is causing such a stir.

“We looked at countries that were fairly similar to a golf course. [Mongolia] is such a nomadic culture that people don’t put up fences and divide their land – it’s very open.” Covering 2,011 km of difficult Mongolian terrain, including desert, icy water and glaciers, what drove this ex-rugby player to attempt the longest hole in golf?

“These laureates stand on the shoulders of other great figures whose legacies owe as much to their instruments as to their observations. Galileo squinted his way to fame thanks to his telescope. Antony von Leeuwenhoek would not have discovered bacteria were it not for his obsession with a homemade microscope.” As the Nobel prizes in science are revealed for 2017, take a look at the astonishing scientific progress [paid] we have witnessed since the inception of the Prize.

“Politicians offer their ‘thoughts and prayers and support,’ but not their actions: to change our implicit decision to let mass shootings go on. And it is a decision.” Writer James Fallows analyses the damaging effects of American exceptionalism that has lead to a culture of mass shootings such as the scenes in Las Vegas this week.