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Elon Musk On Leaving The Planetary Nest

Life On Mars

‘Fuck Earth!’ Elon Musk said to me, laughing. ‘Who cares about Earth?’ We were sitting in his cubicle, in the front corner of a large open-plan office at SpaceX headquarters in Los Angeles. It was a sunny afternoon, a Thursday, one of three designated weekdays Musk spends at SpaceX. Musk was laughing because he was joking: he cares a great deal about Earth. When he is not here at SpaceX, he is running an electric car company. But this is his manner. On television Musk can seem solemn, but in person he tells jokes. He giggles. He says things that surprise you.

More at aeon

The Sound So Loud That It Circled The Earth Four Times

Krakatoa

On 27 August 1883, the Earth let out a noise louder than any it has made since.

It was 10:02 AM local time when the sound emerged from the island of Krakatoa, which sits between Java and Sumatra in Indonesia. It was heard 1,300 miles away in the Andaman and Nicobar islands (“extraordinary sounds were heard, as of guns firing”); 2,000 miles away in New Guinea and Western Australia (“a series of loud reports, resembling those of artillery in a north-westerly direction”); and even 3,000 miles away in the Indian Ocean island of Rodrigues, near Mauritius* (“coming from the eastward, like the distant roar of heavy guns.”1) In all, it was heard by people in over 50 different geographical locations, together spanning an area covering a thirteenth of the globe.

More at Nautilus

How To Tell When A Robot Has Written You A Letter

Robot Handwriting

A few weeks ago I got duped by a robot. In the mail.

I was sifting through my dead-tree postal mail and tossing junk in the recycling bin. Nearly everything that arrives in my mailbox is junk, so I was tossing, tossing, tossing … until suddenly, whoops: A hand-addressed letter. This looked legit, so I ripped it open — only to find it was an oily invitation to take out a second mortgage on my home. I’d been fooled.

More at Medium

Pornhub Launches A Record Label

Pornhub Record Label

This summer’s news that Coolio had signed a deal with Pornhub may have come prematurely, so to speak — but rumors that the pornography site was penetrating the music industry (it’s just too easy) with a shiny new record label are, in fact, true. Today marks the launch of Pornhub Records, along with a contest to find an official “anthem” for Pornhub.

“We’ve always seen a strong music presence from the beginning of Pornhub,” says company head of PR and marketing Matt Blake. “Artists upload their own stuff, like uncensored tracks and R-rated versions of songs. Some people come in and upload exclusive videos, so it creates a buzz for them.” Indeed, in June, New York-based electronic producer FaltyDL debuted the video for his new single, “Some Jazz Shit,” on Pornhub (don’t get excited: the perfectly SFW clip featured an empty bed); earlier this year, weirdo genius Xiu Xiu premiered his pertinently named “Black Dick” video on the site.

More at billboard

Earth’s Water Is Older Than The Sun

A Star Is Born

Since water is one of the vital ingredients for life on Earth, scientists want to know how it got here. One theory is that the water in our solar system was created in the chemical afterbirth of the Sun. If that were the case, it would suggest that water might only be common around certain stars that form in certain ways. But a new study, published today in Science, suggests that at least some of Earth’s water actually existed before the Sun was born — and that it came from interstellar space.

That’s certainly something to ponder the next time you drink a glass of water. But the discovery is also cool because it means water — and maybe life — may be ubiquitous throughout the galaxy.

More at Popular Science

The Future Of The Comic Book In A Digital World

Comic Books

There is a certain feeling you get when you walk into a comic book store. The stale musk of paper mixed with cologne and plastic packaging, a silence much like a library punctured by sporadic conversations between store clerks and customers whisper-yelling about their take on alternate universe storylines. This is what makes them unique, a dying breed. And yet, stores like Midtown Comics and Forbidden Planet in NYC, Atomic Books in Baltimore, and Floating World in Portland feel more like looking through your grandparent’s attic than searching for the newest issue of The Amazing Spider-Man.

More at Nerve

The Art Forger Who Became A National Hero

Han van Meegeren

In July of 1945, Han van Meegeren picked up his badger-hair brush and began to paint his last forgery.

Over a decade, the wiry Dutchman had surreptitiously become Europe’s premier conman — a disgruntled artist-turned-forger who’d sold his works for tens of millions of dollars. Fueled by rejection from the art world, he had duped leading critics, wealthy collectors, and even a high-ranking Nazi official into believing his works were real. What’s more, he had chosen to do so by emulating the works of Jan Vermeer, a technically-immaculate master of the Dutch Golden Age.

More at Priceonomics

Urban Outfitters Now The World’s Biggest Seller Of Vinyl Records

Urban Outfitters

Here’s a shift for the music industry: Urban Outfitters is now the world’s biggest seller of vinyl records.

“Music is very, very important to the Urban customer… in fact, we are the world’s number one vinyl seller,” Calvin Hollinger, the company’s chief administrative officer, said at a meeting with analysts yesterday. He explained that instead of having thousands of vinyl albums online, the company has a system in place that lets it seamlessly offer inventory from roughly 100 vendors without actually owning that inventory, a model it might use with Anthropologie’s home goods.

More at BuzzFeed

Why Don’t More Women Commit Corporate Fraud?

Dollars and handcuffs

Women in the United States have made some monumental gains at work. We’re now at least half the labor force and more women today are middle- and upper- managers in corporate America than ever before. Even so, I wasn’t surprised to discover that women have not (yet) made similar inroads into high-level corporate crime.

Rather, it’s business as usual when it comes to who is responsible for orchestrating and carrying out major corporate frauds.

More at Pacific Standard

Can Graffiti Be Copyrighted?

David Anasagasti

This past spring, Miami street artist David Anasagasti’s work started popping up in Japan and South America. It was the type of global exposure that Anasagasti didn’t want: American Eagle Outfitters had built an international advertising campaign around his best-known, oldest image—half-squinting, drowsy eyeballs layered on top of one another. In the ads, young adult models wearing American Eagle clothes frolic in front of his art. One shot featured a model holding a spray paint can, grinning, with Anasagasti’s street mural prominent in the background. Additionally, American Eagle allegedly hired artists to recreate the eyeball painting on an eight-foot-tall panel outside a store in Medellin, Colombia.

More at The Atlantic