P.S. You Should Know... | Issue #285

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September 11 · Issue #285 · 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 sixth year!

my story 🚀
Daphne and I watching Grease in a retro diner.
Daphne and I watching Grease in a retro diner.
  1. Travel insurance. I booked an Airbnb for an upcoming trip and decided to buy the travel insurance they offered during checkout. This was a first for me. It cost about 6% of the total I paid. I imagine its priced right and the insurance company makes money on the product. Yet I feel like there’s more than a 1 of 15 chance that something goes wrong based on my recent travel experience. Thanks to some regulation I have 10 days to change my mind and get a refund. What do you think?
fun facts 🙌
Inside a million-dollar Instagram verification scheme. “A jeweler. A plastic surgeon. An OnlyFans Model. They and others received a blue check in likely the biggest Instagram verification scheme revealed to date. After ProPublica started asking questions, Meta removed badges from over 300 accounts.” | learn more
US Census, race and Hispanic origin. 75.8% of census-takers are “White alone” but that might not mean what you think. A reminder that even data that seems obvious can be confusing: “The concept of race is separate from the concept of Hispanic origin. Percentages for the various race categories add to 100 percent, and should not be combined with the percent Hispanic.” | learn more
Remote controlled cockroaches. This is wild. “An international team of scientists has created cyborg cockroaches, with electronics wired to their nervous systems that allow them to be remote controlled.” | learn more
oh, chicago 🏆
Don’t give strangers your phone, officials warned Chicagoans. This seems like good advice city officials should not have to give. “People can avoid the scam by not giving their personal property — such as a phone — to people they don’t know, officials said.” | learn more
tech, startups, internet ⚡
A search engine for AI prompts and their corresponding images. Stable Diffusion is an AI tool for generating images. It’s super fun to play with. It isn’t easy to prompt the right image (side note: play with it yourself here). Lexica is a search engine for over 10 million images and prompts. | learn more
AI art 101. A collection of 27 examples of novel AI art. The tooling is advancing rapidly, and the creativity will certainly follow. | learn more
better doing 🎯
Just that one scarce resource. “Finding the one thing that is at the heart of your value/scarcity matrix makes it much easier to focus your energy on strategic decisions.” | learn more
retail therapy 💸
Ghost marketplace to match buyers with unsold products. Retail problems keep repeating themselves. Overproduction and off-channel liquidation are two sides of the same coin. So why not a private marketplace? | learn more
under the microscope 🔬
Sugar disrupts microbiome and immune function, leading to metabolic disorders. “A new study found that sugar consumption leads to a loss of important immune cells in mice. Sugar appears to tip the microbiome balance away from bacteria that support immune cells in favor of non-beneficial bacteria.” | learn more
Anti-aging drugs are being trialed in companion dogs. The latest coverage I’ve read on the Dog Aging Project. This provides helpful context. “But dogs are just the beginning. Because they are a great model for humans, anti-aging or life-span-extending drugs that work for dogs could eventually benefit people, too.” | learn more
An implant made from pig skin restored 19 people’s eyesight. The research was recently published in Nature Biotechnology. This is a niche use case, relatively speaking, with around 4 million people globally thought to suffer from injured corneas. But not only is it promising for them, it’s also another demonstration of bioengineering solving real problems for people. | learn more
thoughts of food 🍔
The bacterial microbiome of the tomato fruit correlates with flavor chemistry. Researchers grew five types of tomatoes in soil and hydroponics to see how much bacteria impacted flavor. A lot, it seems! | learn more
Seeking the microbial edge in hydroponic tomatoes. “Phil’s project focuses on the root microbiome of hydroponic tomato plants. He wants to establish what’s there, how it is affected by plant management, and how it in turn contributes to plant health and productivity.” | learn more
teaching the kids 👩‍🏫
Higher education can rediscover its purpose. “These institutions have spent too much time and money building their brands and not enough educating their students.” This opinion piece published in the WSJ makes some suggestions. | learn more
big ideas 📚
Natural gas is a fuel of the future. An incredibly detailed write-up from Austin Vernon. “Inertia and new technology make it hard and undesirable to root out.” | learn more
New day for nuclear power? The fuel for almost all the cutting-edge nuclear reactors is high-assay, low-enriched uranium fuel (HALEU—pronounced hey-lou). The problem is the Russian government owns the only company in the world that sells it. Yet there remains optimism in the industry thanks to continued DOE awards that signal support for domestic capacity. | learn more
profiles of people 🚶
These brothers want to create a world where we can invest in other humans. “Entrepreneurs Daniil and David Liberman hope to reduce wealth inequality by creating a people-investing platform. Their idea raises uncomfortable questions.” | learn more
calls to action 👇
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