You know the drill—all it takes is one sperm, one egg, and blammo, you got yourself a baby. Right? Well, in this episode, conception takes on a new form - it’s the sperm and the egg, plus: two wombs, four countries, and money. Lots of money.
At first, this is the story of an Israeli couple, two guys, who go to another continent to get themselves a baby - three, in fact - by hiring surrogates to carry the children for them. As we follow them on their journey, an earth shaking revelation shifts our focus from them, to the surrogate mothers. Unfolding in real time, as countries around the world consider bans on surrogacy, this episode looks at a relationship that manages to feel deeply affecting, and deeply uncomfortable, all at the same time.
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“Women TV Meteorologists Love This $22.99 Dress From Amazon”
Claudia Koerner | BuzzFeed
Since a link to the dress was first posted to the private broadcast meteorology group, other women have snapped photos of themselves in the dress doing the weather on air. “More than 50 of us purchased the dress, so if you travel and watch the news, you might see something familiar,” Dallas’s Fox 4 meteorologist Jennifer Myers posted on Facebook.
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“Are We Alone in the Universe?”
Chris Hadfield and Randall Munroe | The Guardian
Randall Munroe: … I’m curious whether, when you looked out the window on the International Space Station, did you always know where you were from a glance? What’s the longest you have to go thinking, “Well, that looks like Jamaica…”?
Chris Hadfield: North is never up, which is disorienting when you grew up with maps. You have to break that bias, and be able to recognise Madagascar upside down. If you ever see a coastline, you can immediately work out where you are. And you’re often in sight of some island; the Canaries might help you. The Sahara is obvious – it’s the Sahara. You always know the Outback, the Mongolian desert. Europe is harder, the borders are hazy – you’re looking for the big rivers, mountain ranges. After a while, after a thousand times around the Earth, you get to know the world pretty well. It becomes intuitive, and you can just glance: “Oh, there’s Vesuvius.”
RM: That’s so cool!
CH: Of course, 70 percent of the time you’re over water. But actually, after a while, you can work out what part of the world’s water you’re over, because of the cloud patterns. You know what the north Pacific looks like, what the south Atlantic looks like; they’re instantly recognisable. You feel like you’re over the Pacific forever, even [in a space station] moving at five miles a second. You know, I’ve been asked astronaut questions for 23 years, Randall, and nobody has ever asked me this. It bodes well.
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“The Doomsday Invention”
Rafi Khatchadourian | New Yorker
Unexpectedly, by dismissing its founding goals, the field of A.I. created space for outsiders to imagine more freely what the technology might look like. Bostrom wrote his first paper on artificial superintelligence in the nineteen-nineties, envisioning it as potentially perilous but irresistible to both commerce and government. “If there is a way of guaranteeing that superior artificial intellects will never harm human beings, then such intellects will be created,” he argued. “If there is no way to have such a guarantee, then they will probably be created nevertheless.”
His audience at the time was primarily other transhumanists. But the movement was maturing. In 2005, an organization called the Singularity Institute for Artificial Intelligence began to operate out of Silicon Valley; its primary founder, a former member of the Extropian discussion group, published a stream of literature on the dangers of A.I. That same year, the futurist and inventor Ray Kurzweil wrote “The Singularity Is Near,” a best-seller that prophesied a merging of man and machine in the foreseeable future. Bostrom created his institute at Oxford.
The two communities could not have been more different.
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