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The Monday 6 - August 23, 2021

The Monday 6
Hi all,
The Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine (evidently named ‘Comirnaty’?) just received full approval from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). For any of you still resistant or hesitant to the shot, I hope you take solace in the rigorous and thorough review required for any drug to reach this stage.
Hundreds of millions of doses of this vaccine have been given all over the globe, with the primary side effect of not having the recipient die from COVID.
FiveThirtyEight has a great piece if you’re still feeling hesitant:
Onto the 6:

1. See Your Mail Before It Arrives
Expecting a package or important letter in the mail and want to know when it’s coming?
Informed Delivery by the United States Postal Service allows virtually any residential address the ability to see a daily scan of each mail item due that day.
Informed Delivery is completely free and sign-up is quick & easy.
Informed Delivery® by USPS®
2. The Math In Van Gogh's 'Starry Night'
The concept of turbulence (in the fluid dynamics sense) is defined as:
…fluid motion characterized by chaotic changes in pressure and flow velocity. It is in contrast to a laminar flow, which occurs when a fluid flows in parallel layers, with no disruption between those layers.
I find the concept fascinating because it’s an example of something we all see and experience, yet there’s no certain, unifying theory for why and how it occurs.
Anyway, in the video below, you’ll see how Vincent Van Gogh managed to accurately represent the mathematical truths of turbulence in his famed painting, ‘Starry Night’.
The unexpected math behind Van Gogh's "Starry Night"
The unexpected math behind Van Gogh's "Starry Night"
3. Nuclear Fusion Within Reach?
It’s difficult to think of a potential technology with more upside than nuclear fusion. Deriving energy from the atomic fusion of (usually hydrogen) atoms has the capacity to power all of society, all while being even greener and safer than traditional nuclear (fission) power generation.
From Wikipedia:
As a source of power, nuclear fusion is expected to have many advantages over fission. These include greatly reduced radioactivity in operation and little high-level nuclear waste, ample fuel supplies, and greatly increased safety. For example, fusion reactors use only a tiny amount of fuel and cannot produce runaway reactions.
Which brings me to the recent news, from NBC:
At the National Ignition Facility, which is the size of three football fields, superpowerful laser beams re-create the temperatures and pressures similar to those in the cores of stars and giant planets and inside exploding nuclear weapons, a spokesperson told CNBC.
On Aug. 8, a laser light was focused onto a target the size of a BB, which resulted in “a hot-spot the diameter of a human hair, generating more than 10 quadrillion watts of fusion power for 100 trillionths of a second,” the written statement says.
Scientists at the lab called it a “Wright Brothers moment”. Actual, usable nuclear fusion energy may still be decades away, but I hope we look back at this moment at when we turned a corner.
If fusion energy interests you, this New Yorker piece from several years back is a great read.
A Star in a Bottle | The New Yorker
4. We Literally Don't Know How Eels Reproduce
This is BONKERS to me: we do not know exactly how eels reproduce.
No one can figure out how eels have sex
No one can figure out how eels have sex
From the video above:
From Ancient Greece to the 20th century, Aristotle, Sigmund Freud, and numerous other scholars were all looking for the same thing: eel testicles. Freshwater eels, or Anguilla Anguilla, could be found in rivers across Europe, but no one had ever seen them mate. And despite countless dissections, no researcher could find eel eggs or identify their reproductive organs. 
This New Yorker piece also dives deep into the creature that has baffled scientists for hundreds of years.
Where Do Eels Come From? | The New Yorker
5. An Excellent Documentary: 'The Dissident'
While this is still not any streaming service (aka you’ll need to rent it somewhere), I highly recommend you check out ‘The Dissident’, the story of the 2018 murder of former Washington Post contributor and Saudi Arabian journalist Jamal Khashoggi.
The documentary chronicles the life of Khashoggi and the series of events that lead to his eventual murder when he visited the Saudi Arabian consulate in Turkey.
The Dissident was created by the Academy Award Winning director Brian Fogel. Fogel also directed starred in the excellent Netflix documentary ‘Icarus’.
THE DISSIDENT | Official Trailer | NOW PLAYING IN THEATRES, AT HOME ON DEMAND JAN 8
THE DISSIDENT | Official Trailer | NOW PLAYING IN THEATRES, AT HOME ON DEMAND JAN 8
See where you can rent ‘The Dissent’ on the film’s website below:
THE DISSIDENT | Official Site
6. Cool Guy Orangutan
Just watch this video. It’s delightful.
That’s it for this week. If you found anything useful or fun, let me know! And if you have any suggestions, shoot them my way. 😊 See you next week!
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Kyle Petzinger
Kyle Petzinger @kylepetz

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