Still quite busy, so not many links this week. The ones here are pretty good though...

----- 4 stars -----

Blood Will Tell (Part I) / New York Times
Blood Will Tell (Part II) / New York Times

Is Joe Bryan an innocent man, wrongfully imprisoned for the past 30 years on the basis of faulty forensic science?

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How Storms, Missteps and an Ailing Grid Left Puerto Rico in the Dark / New York Times

On the mainland, much of the coverage of the recovery has focused on the struggles of the island’s beleaguered power authority and its politically disastrous hiring of Whitefish Energy Holdings, a tiny and inexperienced Montana contractor linked to the Trump administration’s interior secretary. Here in Puerto Rico, the perception of a condescending and under-responsive government in Washington has been fed by the enduring image of President Trump seeming to minimize the catastrophe while tossing paper towels into a crowd. But an examination of the power grid’s reconstruction — based on a review of hundreds of documents and interviews with dozens of public officials, utility experts and citizens across the island — shows how a series of decisions by federal and Puerto Rican authorities together sent the effort reeling on a course that would take months to correct. The human and economic damage wrought by all that time without power may be irreparable.

Earth-Moon Fire Pole / What If?
xkcd's What If? is back! And this is a particularly excellent answer.

My son (5y) asked me today: If there were a kind of a fireman's pole from the Moon down to the Earth, how long would it take to slide all the way from the Moon to the Earth?

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Your next glass of wine might be a fake -- and you'll love it / Wired
Replica Wine makes cheaper copies of your favorite wine at a discount by analyzing its chemistry. Often, even professional critics can't tell the difference. Is this heresy or just good business?

The Curious Case of Bryan Colangelo and the Secret Twitter Account / The Ringer

A collection of Twitter accounts that has criticized Joel Embiid and Markelle Fultz, disclosed sensitive information, and outlined team strategy shares eye-opening similarities. What does that have to do with the Philadelphia 76ers’ decision-maker?

Looking for life on a flat earth / New Yorker

If you are only just waking up to the twenty-first century, you should know that, according to a growing number of people, much of what you’ve been taught about our planet is a lie: Earth really is flat. We know this because dozens, if not hundreds, of YouTube videos describe the coverup. We’ve listened to podcasts—Flat Earth Conspiracy, The Flat Earth Podcast—that parse the minutiae of various flat-Earth models, and the very wonkiness of the discussion indicates that the over-all theory is as sound and valid as any other scientific theory. We know because on a clear, cool day it is sometimes possible, from southwestern Michigan, to see the Chicago skyline, more than fifty miles away—an impossibility were Earth actually curved. We know because, last February, Kyrie Irving, the Boston Celtics point guard, told us so. “The Earth is flat,” he said. “It’s right in front of our faces. I’m telling you, it’s right in front of our faces. They lie to us.” We know because, last November, a year and a day after Donald Trump was elected President, more than five hundred people from across this flat Earth paid as much as two hundred and forty-nine dollars each to attend the first-ever Flat Earth Conference, in a suburb of Raleigh, North Carolina. “Look around you,” Darryle Marble, the first featured speaker on the first morning of the conference, told the audience. “You’ll notice there’s not a single tinfoil hat.” He added, “We are normal people that have an abnormal perspective.”

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Why Kevin Durant’s Shoes Keep Falling Off / FiveThirtyEight
Utterly pointless yet entertaining:

The Golden State star has shed one sneaker every eight games, according to important new research

A One Parameter Equation That Can Exactly Fit Any Scatter Plot / Marginal Revolution

In a very surprising paper Steven Piantadosi shows that a simple function of one parameter (θ) can fit any collection of ordered pairs {Xi,Yi} to arbitrary precision. In other words, the same simple function can fit any scatter plot exactly, just by choosing the right θ.

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