Amazing collection of ideas and innovations over at the NYT Magazine. My picks:
Less Privacy Means Less Discrimination
Take laws that prevent employers from learning about applicants’ criminal records. Because African-Americans are disproportionately imprisoned, such laws are often viewed as blows against discrimination. But Strahilevitz cited research that found that, in the absence of such laws, companies that did background checks on applicants hired 8 percent more African-Americans than those that didn’t do the checks. The latter employers seemed to be discriminating “statistically” — lacking hard data about penal histories, they made more decisions based on skin color.
The GINA Light Visionary Model is a two-seat roadster with a body made from cloth, developed by BMW. The fabric is a special polyurethane-coated Lycra that’s exceptionally strong, durable and waterproof. But it’s also flexible enough to stretch when fitted over the car’s aluminum frame, whose shape can be altered using electric and electro-hydraulic controls to suit different driving conditions.
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What’s the best way to stop a penalty kick? Do nothing: just stand in the center of the goal and don’t move. […] why do goalies almost always dive off to one side? Because, the academics theorized, the goalies are afraid of looking as if they’re doing nothing — and then missing the ball. Diving to one side, even if it decreases the chance of them catching the ball, makes them appear decisive. “They want to show that they’re doing something,”
On its face, it seems like the less stressful assignment. Instead of being deployed to Afghanistan or Iraq, some pilots and other crew members of the U.S. military’s unmanned Predator drones live at home in suburban Las Vegas and commute to a nearby Air Force base to serve for part of the day.
There was “a pervasive problem with chronic fatigue,” Why is this? Part of the problem lies in what Tvaryanas calls the “sensory isolation” of pilots in Nevada flying drones 7,500 miles away. Although there are cameras mounted on the planes, remote pilots do not receive the kind of cues from their sense of touch and place that pilots who are actually in their planes get automatically. That makes flying drones physically confusing and mentally exhausting.
The One-Room School Bus
an experimental program transforms the school bus into a mobile classroom […] two of the three buses that serve Grapevine are now wired for Internet connectivity. High-achieving students who are accepted into the program are issued laptop computers and enrolled in online math and science courses, including algebra and advanced-placement biology. On the way to and from school, they complete assignments, do research and communicate with instructors by e-mail.
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