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P.S. You Should Know... | Issue #222

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June 27 · Issue #222 · View online
P.S. You Should Know...
👋 Welcome back to P.S. You Should Know… probably the best newsletter published on Sundays between 6-7am CST, and definitely the best one published by me. Now in its fifth year!

my story 🚀
🛫 Wish us luck as we travel back home from the East Coast today!
fun facts 🙌
The longest-running evolution experiment. Started in 1998, the experiment celebrated 50,000 generations in 2010 and is still on a roll. | learn more
Lobster diver swallowed by humpback whale off Provincetown. “The ocean food chain was in full evidence, but about 10 feet from the bottom Packard suddenly knew what it truly felt like to be part of that chain. In something truly biblical, Packard was swallowed whole by a humpback whale.” | learn more
Drinking straw device is instant cure for hiccups. This really surprised me because I wasn’t even aware scientists knew the cause of hiccups! “Sipping water through an L-shaped ‘suction and swallow tool’ cured 92% of attacks, according to study.” Maybe next someone can teach me why yawns are contagious. | learn more
oh, chicago 🏆
Chicago declares a Unicorn Day. “In 2021 alone, seven companies in Chicago have become unicorns (startup companies valued at over $1 billion), according to World Business Chicago and financial data from software firm Pitchbook.” | learn more
tech, startups, internet ⚡
Can Apple change ads? By Benedict Evans: “Once upon a time, Apple was the iPod company. iPods were a much bigger business than the Mac, and they also made Apple a dominant force in the music industry. Then, as we all know, Apple jumped horse to the iPhone, which was a vastly bigger business again.” | learn more
Another day in Katerradise. This is about the recently-defunct Softbank-backed construction company. “I worked at Katerra for 2.5 years, from early 2018 to the end of 2020, and had a first-hand look at how a company that seemed so promising ended up where it did. Since no one has yet written anything that really captures what it was like there, or what Katerra was trying to do, I figured I would try.” | learn more
10 life science startups to watch. “Early-stage companies advance precision medicine by applying AI, clinical genomics, and other new technologies.” | learn more
better doing 🎯
Advice for young scientists—and curious people in general. From Farnam Street: “If you want to make progress in any area, you need to be willing to give up your best ideas from time to time.” | learn more
How Daft Punk 🤖🤖 stood the f* out. “When they announced their retirement after 28 years of collaboration, I felt it was time to celebrate their marketing genius with 5 lessons.” | learn more
to your health ⚕
Are continuous glucose monitors a waste of time for people without diabetes? On the heels of last week’s Peter Attia link, here’s his fleshed out article full of citations. “Some experts suggest CGMs are useless for nondiabetics. I disagree.” For those new to Peter Attia, he’s a practicing physician (MD) focusing on the applied science of longevity. | learn more
What can your heart rate tell you? “Fitness trackers are often mainly used to count steps but your heart-rate metrics can also be revealing, doctors say” | learn more
retail therapy 💸
The increasing complexity of product returns. “Amazon and Walmart both use artificial intelligence to decide whether it makes economic sense to accept a return. These merchants can absorb the cost. But for smaller merchants, returnless refunds are a recipe for financial disaster.” | learn more
Chinese sellers on Amazon in hot demand by VCs and e-commerce roll-ups. “The scruffy exporters are used to roaming about suburban factory areas and dealing with constant cash flow strain, but suddenly they find themselves having coffee with top Chinese venture capital firms and investment representatives from internet giants, who come with big checks to hunt down the next Shein or Anker.” | learn more
Amazon Prime is an economy-distorting lie. A fascinating theory of Amazon hurting consumers with monopoly power. “Amazon also uses its bazooka of cash from Prime members paying high consumer prices, laundered through third party sellers, to distort industries across the economy.” | learn more
under the microscope 🔬
Electronic nose sniffs out cancer in blood samples with over 90% accuracy. “Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) are chemicals that are responsible for odors, with different sources releasing different mixtures. Sensitive instruments – such as your schnozz – can detect subtle differences in the makeup and ratio of these VOCs and identify whether that odor is coffee or carnations.” | learn more
People can learn echolocation in ten weeks. “The researchers taught 26 volunteers to use mouth clicking to observe nearby objects and navigate outdoors.” | learn more
thoughts of food 🍔
How a New York City restaurant loses money on a $14 sandwich. “Here, Eater looks at all the costs in a popular restaurant dish to see what goes into it, and how much profit comes out.” | learn more
TikTok, the fastest way on Earth to become a food star. “The app offers explosive growth for content creators. Gen Z cooks are taking advantage.” | learn more
big ideas 📚
Free knowledge and innovation. What happened when Andrew Carnegie funded ~1700 free libraries? “Sometimes obvious ideas work. If you want to encourage more innovation, give people better access to knowledge.” | learn more
on the blockchain ⛓
Crypto Sci-Hub and the decentralization of science. “Open and publicly accessible research graphs can also have their own network-native crypto incentives. This might create novel funding models for curation, and shift the world of scientific research from a US-government-centered, dollar-funded, institutional model to a decentralized network of international researchers funded by cryptocurrency – which is more like what science used to be.” | learn more
calls to action 👇
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