• A Genius Visualization of Social Distancing

    This public service announcement from the Ohio Department of Health contains an outstanding simple visualization of how social distancing can help prevent the spread of Covid-19 using ping pong balls and mouse traps.

  • Radiohead Putting Classic Live Shows on YouTube During the Pandemic

    Starting today and continuing weekly, a little musical band you have never heard of called Radiohead is putting classic live shows up on YouTube. First up and embedded above is a concert they performed in Ireland in October 2000. Here’s the setlist in case you want to skip around a little. The band says they’ll be putting shows up every week until “either the restrictions resulting from [the] current situation are eased, or we run out of shows”.

  • Apollo 11’s Post-Lunar Quarantine

    I do not know if hearing about other people’s quarantine experiences makes going through one yourself any easier, but the story of how NASA sequestered the returning Apollo 11 astronauts away from the rest of the world for 21 days is interesting for other reasons as well. The worry was that some sort of “moon bug” or “lunar plague” was going to make its way from the Moon to the Earth in the spacecraft or the astronauts’ bodies.

  • “Strong Evidence” That Social Distancing Is Working to Slow the Spread of Covid-19

    Trevor Bedford, who does research on epidemics and infectious diseases, has compiled a number of papers and data sets with “strong evidence” that social distancing measures have slowed Covid-19 transmission rates around the world.

  • Pandemic Stories, Part 2

    In Sunday’s newsletter, I asked people to share what they’ve been up to during the pandemic and how their families and communities are coping. I’ve collected all those responses on one page and will be sharing excerpts over the next couple of days here and in the newsletter.

  • Dr. Seuss’s Fox in Socks Rapped Over Dr. Dre’s Beats

    As someone who a) thinks Dr. Dre was an amazing producer, and b) read Dr. Seuss’s Fox in Socks to his children roughly 1 million times (enough to be able to, eventually, get through the entire book at a comically high rate of speed w/o any tongue twisting slip-ups), I thought Wes Tank’s video of himself rapping Fox in Socks over Dre’s beats was really fun and surprisingly well done.

  • Dozens of Science & Engineering Activities for Kids from The James Dyson Foundation

    The James Dyson Foundation has designed a set of 44 challenges related to science & engineering specifically for kids (ages 7 & older), which are perfect for these at-home learning times. The challenges include making an air-powered car out of a balloon, strong bridges out of spaghetti, and a cardboard chair strong enough to hold a person:

  • Gustave Eiffel’s Original Drawings for the Statue of Liberty

    Long thought destroyed or lost forever, a cache of original engineering drawings & blueprints for the Statue of Liberty done by Gustave Eiffel were found among some of Eiffel’s papers purchased at auction last year. Smithsonian magazine has the story of how they came to be found and why the drawings are so significant.

  • Dazzling Coronavirus Painting by Biologist David Goodsell

    Since the early 90s, biologist David Goodsell (previously) has been creating scientifically accurate paintings of the structures of cells, molecules, and, yes, viruses. In early February, Goodsell completed a painting of a SARS coronavirus (above).

  • Ken Burns Presents The Gene: An Intimate History

    From Ken Burns and Dr. Siddhartha Mukherjee, The Gene: An Intimate History, a series about the history of genetics based on Mukherjee’s book of the same name. Here’s a trailer:

  • Pandemic Stories from Readers Around the World

    In the latest issue of the kottke.org newsletter sent out on Sunday evening, I asked readers if they would share what they’ve been up to during the pandemic and how their families and communities are coping. I received a bunch of responses and beginning today, I’m going to publish some of their experiences here and in the newsletter. Thanks to everyone who wrote in. The hope is that sharing these experiences will make us all feel a little more connected and a little less alone.

  • A Lego Justin Trudeau Talks to Children About the Covid-19 Pandemic

    During a press conference last month, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau spent a couple of minutes talking directly to the nation’s children, acknowledging their hardships and role in mitigating the effects of the pandemic. Tyler Walsh and his two sons spent a week making this Lego stop motion animation of Trudeau’s address, something that kids might be more likely to watch.