Well, fine people of the internet, it’s July already. Which means it’s once again time for a monthly round-up of some of the most thought-provoking, surprising, clever, or otherwise worthwhile stories about science, technology, and health from the past 30 days.
(For previous month’s picks, check out our dedicated Internet Reading Club page.)
Happy summer reading!
* * *
“Oh, Say, Can You See (but Not Hear) Those Fireworks?”
Steph Yin | The New York Times
In parts of Europe, quiet fireworks displays have grown increasingly common. In Britain, venues close to residents, wildlife or livestock often permit only quiet fireworks. One town in Italy, Collecchio, passed a law in 2015 that all fireworks displays must be quiet.
By relying on rich color effects and tight visual choreography, designers of quiet fireworks programs can forgo the big explosions and still deliver a stunning show. The hope is that softer celebrations mean less stress for noise-sensitive children, veterans, older people, pets and wildlife.
* * *
Steve Lickteig | Slate
Here’s what I think the future sounds like: You will get in your car and say, “Play my news briefing, plus all of last night’s baseball scores, including highlights from the Yankees game. Oh, and give me last week’s Vows column from the New York Times.” Then, like magic, your audio system will assemble this playlist. That news briefing you asked for? It will come from sources you pre-selected, places like NPR and news organizations yet to be created. If you don’t know what you feel like hearing, you’ll ask your system to surprise you. If you don’t like what you hear, you’ll tell it to skip to something else.
No, it won’t sound the same as Morning Edition and All Things Considered, but you will get the information you want when you want it and in the order you want it. And with nothing you don’t want. Even breaking news alerts will be tailored to your interests. In the audio future, you’ll never have to hear a story you don’t care about again.
* * *