Books: The New York Times Book Review – Jan 15, 2023

Illustration by Ibrahim Rayintakath

The New York Times Book Review (January 15, 2023):

‘Terrorist’ — to Whom?

V.V. Ganeshananthan’s novel “Brotherless Night” reveals the moral nuances of violence, ever belied by black-and-white terminology.

The Highland Heroine Who Helped Rescue a Prince

Since her daring mission in 1746, Flora Macdonald has lived on in myth. A new biography by Flora Fraser attempts to sort fact from fiction.

Where Adventurous, Curious Women Rule

In three new historical novels, female protagonists defy odds and push limits.

Technology: The Global Impact Of OpenAI ‘ChatGPT’

Chat GPT is the world’s most powerful AI chatbot. It offers a human-like alternative to search engines and can do everything from compile a menu to writing a TV script to explaining quantum physics. Could it also transform the jobs of hundreds of millions of people?

World Economic Forum: Top Stories – Jan 13, 2023

World Economic Forum – January 13, 2023 top stories:

0:15 Solar powered car drives 1000kms – The Sunswift 7 weighs just 500kg. While an average car weighs between 1,500 and 2,000kg and boasts incredibly low rolling resistance due to its shape. A team at UNSW Sydney designed and built the car. Which completed 240 laps of a special test circuit. Equal to driving from Sydney to Melbourne, plus 100km.

1:32 3D printed bionic arms – Cure Bionics 3D-printed prosthetics are lightweight and muscle-controlled. They can be attached without surgical intervention and are charged wirelessly by solar power. The arms can be printed and ready within a week at the cost of just $3,000. Other providers can take months and charge up to $100,000. Cure Bionics’ arms are available for children with limb differences aged 8 and up. The low weight makes them easy for kids to operate. An immersive VR training programme helps patients learn to use their arms even before it’s made. Cure Bionics was founded in Tunisia, where the start-up has already launched a prototype. In spring 2023, it’s releasing a public version.

3:17 Geneva introduces driverless buses – 15 self-driving minibuses will be deployed in 2025. Providing an on-demand, door-to-door service, 24 hours a day. This pilot project will run for 1 year alongside similar schemes in Germany and Norway.

4:55 Implants restore vision to blind people – The implants were given to 20 people by scientists at Sweden’s Linköping University and LinkoCare Life Sciences. 14 were blind and 6 were on the verge of losing their sight. After 2 years, none of them were blind.

Home Tour: ‘Greenhouse’ In Hobart, South Tasmania

The Local Project (January 13, 2023) – Renovating an old house in Hobart, Bence Mulcahy added a two-storey extension made of glass and steel. Named Greenhouse, the structure replaces a 1980s iteration in a manner that best engages the nearby veranda, courtyard and garden.

Video timeline: 00:00 – Cloudy Bay 00:12 – Introduction to the Greenhouse 00:53 – The Brief for the Renovation 01:19 – House Tour of the Home 02:16 – The Sandstone Base of the Building 02:30 – The Lower and Upper Floor of the Extension 03:15 – The Exterior of the Greenhouse 03:25 – The Interior Materials Chosen 03:48 – The Furniture and Furnishing of the House 04:50 – Cloudy Bay

Located in the Hobart suburb of Mount Stuart, Greenhouse forms a contemporary addition to a red brick, Federation-style Italianate home. The new volume looks out onto the Derwent River and is supported by a veranda and a well-established garden complete with plants, trees and sandstone retaining walls. Bence Mulcahy identifies the key to renovating an old house is relating the extension to the main building – Greenhouse mirrors the scale of the existing dwelling, proposing a strong sense of verticality.

A house tour of the dream home begins at the formal entry space and transitions into the main hall. Beyond lies the beginning of the extension. The process of renovating an old house sees the final extension enclose the dining room, kitchen and an extra eating area. Upstairs, the addition houses an ensuite bathroom and walk-in wardrobe. Ample glazing then allows the home to borrow visual space from the external landscape.

Bence Mulcahy takes a seasoned approach to renovating an old house, inserting voids in order to manage the sense of privacy. A two-storey void is left over the dining room, whilst a separate alcove of the same size is located above the upstairs ensuite. Creating a glasshouse structure using a combination of glass and steel, Bence Mulcahy pays homage to a greenhouse inspiration. The durable nature of the material palette is particularly relevant to renovating an old house, promising an enduring outcome.

Internally, copper sinks and a copper island bench complement a wax-sealed timber floor and array of curated soft furnishings. Utilising the skills of local craftsmen, Bence Mulcahy does justice to the personal nature of the home. Greenhouse stands as a lesson in house renovation and embraces the tranquil quality of its natural surrounds.

Culture: New York Times Magazine – Jan 15, 2023

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The Fed May Finally Be Winning the War on Inflation. But at What Cost?

There’s a good chance that the Fed could push the economy into recession. The pain will not be shared equally.

How Montana Took a Hard Right Turn Toward Christian Nationalism

What happened to a state known for its political independence?

How Danhausen Became Professional Wrestling’s Strangest Star

Danhausen backstage before an All Elite Wrestling “Rampage” event in September.

What’s the best way for a not-particularly-athletic barista-slash-wrestling geek to go pro? Act really weird.

Danhausen backstage before an All Elite Wrestling “Rampage” event in September.Credit…Evan Jenkins for The New York Times

Reviews: ‘The Week In Art’

January 13, 2023: In the first episode of the year, we look ahead at the next 12 months. Anny Shaw, the acting art market editor at The Art Newspaper, peers into her crystal ball and tries to predict the fortunes of the art market this year.

Then, Jane Morris, one of our editors-at-large, José da Silva, our exhibitions editor, and host Ben Luke select the museum projects, biennales and exhibitions that they are most looking forward to in 2023.Events discussed:

  • The Grand Egyptian Museum: no confirmed opening date.
  • \The National Portrait Gallery reopens on 22 June.
  • Factory International, Manchester, also opens in June.
  • Yayoi Kusama’s You Me and the Balloons opens there on 29 June, as does the Manchester International Festival.
  • The Sharjah Biennial: Thinking Historically in the Present opens on 7 February.
  • The Gwangju Biennial: Soft and Weak Like Water opens on 7 April.
  • Celebration Picasso 1973-2023
  • Vermeer opens at the Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam, on 10 February.

Research Preview: Science Magazine – Jan 23, 2023

Science Magazine – January 13, 2023 issue:

NASA unveils initial plan for multibillion-dollar telescope to find life on alien worlds

Habitable Worlds Observatory would be designed for robotic servicing

Illegal mining has muddied tropical rivers worldwide

Silt overload and mercury pollution endanger river ecosystems—and the people who depend on them

FDA approves new antibody to slow Alzheimer’s disease, even as safety concerns linger

Agency warns about brain swelling and bleeding on drug’s label, but imposes few restrictions on lecanemab’s use

360° Aerial Tour: Moneron Island, Eastern Russia (8K)

AirPano VR – Moneron Island, a large island located near Sakhalin Island, with its unique nature, with the status of the marine natural park reserve. From 1904 to 1945, the island belonged to Japan, and called Caibaté. On Moneron, rich flora and fauna, many giant mussels, rare sea urchins, sea cucumbers red book. This is the only place in Russia, where there are gastropods shellfish – galiotis. On the coast of the island Moneron, fur seal rookeries satisfied. The nature of the island is unique, there are like endless green fields and rocky canyon, waterfalls, columnar cliffs.

News: Special Counsel For Biden Documents, Japan – U.S. Meeting, Kashmir Vote

What’s on the agenda for today’s meeting between the US president, Joe Biden, and Japan’s prime minister, Fumio Kishida? Plus: voters in India’s contested Kashmir region will soon be able to vote for the first time; the head of one of the world’s largest oil companies becomes president of the Cop28 talks; and the latest business news.

Front Page: The New York Times – January 13, 2023

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Garland Appoints Special Counsel to Investigate Handling of Biden Documents

The appointment of Robert K. Hur comes two months after the attorney general named a special counsel to investigate former President Donald J. Trump’s mishandling of classified material.

Inflation Is Slowing, Good News for American Consumers and the Fed

Consumer Price Index inflation moderated to 6.5 percent in December, helping Fed officials to lean toward slower rate moves.

Western Tanks Appear Headed to Ukraine, Breaking Another Taboo

The West has sent an array of weapons once seen as too provocative, and it looks like tanks will be next. With a new Russian offensive expected, officials see an urgent need to shift the balance.

With F.B.I. Search, U.S. Escalates Global Fight Over Chinese Police Outposts

Beijing says the outposts aren’t doing police work, but Chinese state media reports say they “collect intelligence” and solve crimes far outside their jurisdiction.