This newsletter is a collection of things I have found in the last month that I enjoyed, found interesting, or simply wanted to share.
Q: Write a biblical verse in the style of the king james bible explaining how to remove a peanut butter jelly sandwich from a VCR.
A: …Verily I say unto thee, seek not to put thy peanut butter sandwiches in thy VCR, for it is not a suitable place for such things. Rather, keep thy sandwiches in thy refrigerator or on thy plate, where they belong.
“You play espionage like a girl!”
Curiosity about people is what drew Rebecca into spying in the first place. She is not at all brave. She “can’t do heights” and is “not mad keen on aeroplanes”. Given her vertigo, she does not even particularly like bridges. “I would not walk towards danger,” she says. “That is not me. I’m the one who, if the little rowing boat gets rocky, says, ‘Everyone out of here. This thing is going to sink.’ But I’ve realised there is physical bravery and there’s courage. And they’re quite different things.”
When Rebecca was pulled out of the Foreign Office application process in her early twenties and asked whether she wanted to be a spy, she was wary. In a large regency townhouse in Carlton Gardens, where she was invited for tea, a genial gentleman described what the job would involve. “I thought . . . the thing this chap is describing sounds quite exciting. And not in a James Bond derring-do, exciting way. I remember thinking, the psychology of this thing sounds really interesting,” she says. “The major premise of the office was to go out and bridge a cultural divide with somebody, to get that foreign person to tell us things that they wouldn’t tell a diplomat.” She asked him why potential sources would do that, noting she wouldn’t do the same. “He said, ‘They do it because it’s the right thing to do and it aligns with who they are, and you’re the person who’s found that out.’” The pitch was irresistible, and she joined in a “heady rush”.
“A lot of us grow up being fed this idea of time as absolute,” says Chanda Prescod-Weinstein, a theoretical physicist at the University of New Hampshire. But Prescod-Weinstein says the time we’re experiencing is a social construct. Real time is actually something quite different. In some of the odder corners of the Universe, space and time can stretch and slow — and sometimes even break down completely.
For many people, this unruly version of time is “radical,” she says. But as technology to better count the time grows ever more sophisticated, our everyday understanding of time itself may need to start changing.
- I’m Thrilled to Announce That Nothing Is Going On with Me
- Life Universe
- Elon talk big
- Clay is mostly a dog name
- Examining how many people it takes to build a watch
- Fifty years later, remastered images reveal Apollo 17 in stunning clarity
- Finding the B-21 Raider’s location with stars
- Fugio cent — “Mind Your Business”
- Gluing things to other things
- Level by Toombler
- Northern Lights Photographer of the Year
- If This Was the Year of LIV Golf, Then Let’s Talk About What That Actually Means
Do not hesitate to reply to this months email to share links, wisdom, or thoughts.
Thanks for reading. Have a great month,