Weekly Roundup: It’s a Horrible Idea, Let’s Do It!

Welcome to the weekly roundup, ‘I didn’t need to do this.’ But here we go. Enjoy the weekend everyone.

Building a Marsbase is a Horrible Idea: Let’s Do It!

Ever really thought about what colonizing Mars would be like? The latest Kurzgesagt video digs into just how awful Mars is and how hard going there and staying would be, but still totally worth it.

Settling Mars will be the toughest challenge we have ever faced. It will be gruesome work to establish the infrastructure we need. But we’re stubborn, and we like extreme challenges. […] Going to Mars is hard but worth it. And if we’re lucky, we might be around long enough to see it happening and cheer on the people who take on these challenges for the benefit of us all.


Why does it feel like everyone has more money than you?

Jen Doll’s latest, for Harper’s Bazaar poses a fine question – particularly for those of us who live in expensive cities. The answer? Privilege and wealth. But Doll doesn’t stop there; she eloquently delves into the issues of honesty and shame that surround these issues:

Ross Levine and Yona Rubenstein, economists at University of California, Berkeley, and The London School of Economics, wrote a paper about the shared traits of entrepreneurs in 2013. Guess what? Most were white men who were highly educated, i.e., from a certain class of privilege. Levine told Quartz, “If one does not have money in the form of a family with money, the chances of becoming an entrepreneur drop quite a bit.” (In their working paper, they explain how a “$100,000 increase in family income is associated with a more than 50 percent increase in the odds of becoming incorporated self-employed.” Further, according to Quartz, “the average cost to launch a startup is around $30,000,” and “more than 80 percent of funding for new businesses comes from personal savings and friends and family.”)

This flies in the face of the idealized rags-to-riches American success story, that it’s not only possible to pull yourself up by your bootstraps, it’s also the most honorable and worthy storyline there is. Which is why disclosing the truth about how you—or who—really funded your first business, home, or even something as simple as your first car is so important. Not sharing the whole truth can cause anxiety among those who don’t have such resources; beyond that, misplaced expectations about success and achievement can lead to disappointment and even depression. And while there’s nothing wrong with getting help from your parents, keeping it under wraps takes away from the even harder-won successes of those who truly came from nothing. “Financial anxiety is the biggest crisis in America,” says Bea Arthur, a therapist and entrepreneur who just launched her third company, The Difference, Amazon’s very first Alexa skill for therapy. Arthur’s first business was started, she says, with a check written by her boyfriend at the time. “And that was not the last check,” she says. “I’m a really hard worker … but none of that could have been paid [for] if I didn’t have a rich old white boyfriend. It doesn’t just take grit.”


Neill Blomkamp’s Oats Studios released a live-action Anthem short film

District 9 director Neill Blomkamp unveiled a new live-action short film called Conviction from Oats Studios. It’s set in the same world as BioWare’s upcoming open-world power armor shooter Anthem.


Can there be a mile-high skyscraper?

In 1956, Frank Lloyd Wright proposed the Illinois Sky-City, a skyscraper taller than one mile (~1,600 meters). Such a tower would be twice the height of Dubai’s Burj Khalifa, currently the tallest structure in the world.

They should build it in Denver, then we could have the mile-high tower at mile-high.


A Flyover of Europa

Using recently processed data from the Galileo probe, NASA-JPL software engineer Kevin Gill created this low-altitude flyover of Europa, one of Jupiter’s moons. Pretty incredible.


The Official Archive of Prince GIFs

GIPHY, in collaboration with Paisley Park and Prince’s estate, has created an official archive of high-quality Prince GIFs. You can browse it by album and by song. Remarkable!


Cycling Tweet of the Week


Ironically it’s the one gift that will change you from a young rider to a seasoned pro overnight.


Honduh Daze – Ride My Bike

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