Scientists estimate the total mass of ants on Earth at about 12 megatons of dry carbon, or nearly 20 quadrillion ants.
With Brazil's government encouraging deforesting the Amazon, preservationists try to sell carbon offsets to protect land.
Multiple things explain the difficulty of nabbing restaurant reservations right now. One big issue: wealthy people's workarounds.

An interview with one of the world’s leading nature sound recordists

Bandcamp has a nice feature about Chris Watson, previously a member of the band Cabaret Voltaire, now an expert in field recordings.

“There’s been a massive change in people’s interest in and desire for the natural world, and I think COVID-19 increased that desire exponentially. People want to soak it up, not just cathartically but as something that they find interesting and stimulating. So it’s a really exciting time to be a nature recordist.”

Some samples from his work:

Noga Arikha: Loss is central to life, but digital existence has made us all into hoarders. Is everything vanity now?

It may now be seen as a dystopian nightmare, the far-flung folly of an autocrat desperate for global approval, but the idea of building a self-contained linear city has preoccupied the imaginations of architects and planners for generations.

Will the world ever be ready for a linear metropolis? Oliver Wainwright traces the history of the city-in-a-canyon dream.

↩︎ The Guardian

Traditional buildings and materials last not only because they are proven to possess beauty but also because they are answers to the unchanging needs of human nature.

Some thoughts on building homes to last a thousand years—by putting beauty first.

↩︎ Wrath of Gnon
Thanks to advances in AI, scientists can create completely new proteins in seconds—a process that used to take months.
Images of luxury fortified bunkers being flogged to the ultra-rich on spec.

“Milne’s Pooh doesn’t really use long words, and never waxes explicitly philosophical—anything explicit about death or love ought to get you a bit suspicious.”

Tips on how to identify a genuine Winnie the Pooh quote “in the forgery-filled fleamarket of the internet.”

↩︎ Dirt

This project sought to build upon Jason Scott-Warren and Claire M. L. Bourne’s discovery of John Milton’s copy of Shakespeare’s First Folio at the Free Library of Philadelphia, which gained significant media coverage worldwide.

Notes from an eight-week hunt for John Milton’s personal library. “In the end, I found very little.”

↩︎ Centre for Material Texts
What it's like to run the John Muir Trail—211 miles at altitude in the Sierras, normally hiked over two weeks—in three days.
If you rotate and screengrab an image 100+ times, the image will get lost "in the quantum foam of the universe."

Belgian artist Dries Depoorter recorded public camera footage for several weeks, then scraped Instagram for photos taken near those cameras and geo-tagged. Software compared the two. 

More at "The Follower", also an interview with Depoorter at VICE.

Even if an employer wanted to sign up to provide those benefits for employees, major insurance companies wouldn’t be ready. What would happen to people who want that therapy? 

Interview with a woman behind a startup offering psychedelic therapy insurance. “We’re not currently covering at-home treatment.”

↩︎ The Microdose
Profiles of a pair of female Burmese python hunters in Florida. “It’s sort of a tragic, comedic story.”
The "No Sex for Fish" cooperative, famous 10 years ago for their ingenuity, gets back to work after a series of crises.

The culture that is qualification culture.

In case you ever feel the way people display their tail feathers is a little silly.

Via Marginal Revolution

Stolen Indigenous valor is a problem at Canadian universities, where there's stiff competition to hire First Nations faculty.