Link Tank: GM Startup Cruise Announces Self-Driving Vehicle

The snow moon in February, why murdering books is okay, the future of cars, plus more in today's Link Tank!

Origin by Cruise

Cruise, a startup acquired by General Motors, has announced a new self-driving vehicle that’s unlike any car we’ve seen.

“This week, Cruise, the autonomous driving startup acquired by General Motors, announced its Origin, a self-driving vehicle that purports to be what comes next after the car. The Origin looks a bit like a large metal box on wheels. It lacks pedals, a steering wheel, a trunk, or even an engine, and has doors that slide open to reveal an interior with two facing bench seats. It is intended to act as a shuttle service that drives itself. Call the Origin with an app, get to where you’re going, and never own a car again. That’s the idea, anyway.”

Read more at The Week.

We’re in for quite a treat this February 9 with the appearance of a snow moon in the night sky.

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“February is the snowiest month of the year in many parts of the U.S., but on February 9, consider braving the weather outside to look up at the sky. That Sunday morning, the only full snow moon of the year will be visible. Here’s what you need to know about the celestial event.”

Read more at Mental Floss.

Our friends over at The Mary Sue argues that book can be worn and torn down, so long as they’re read.

“Twitter is in an uproar after one user posted a picture of several books sliced in half and explained that a colleague had called him a “book murderer.” Books, however, should be whatever you want to make of them—as long as they’re being read.”

Read more at The Mary Sue.

A new trend on TikTok involves testicle-having users dipping their balls in soy sauce to see if they have the sense of taste.

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“Typically, blog posts open with a broad statement establishing a thesis, which the writer then substantiates with evidence in order to make a point. In exceptional cases, there’s just information so senseless that it needs no interpretation; in others, the writer isn’t positioned to take a stance on an issue when it’s better interpreted by a member of the community it affects. Who am I, in my capacity as a staff reporter and as a person without balls, to determine whether it’s weird to dip your balls in soy sauce to see if they can taste?”

Read more at Gizmodo.

Facial recognition technology doesn’t have to spell the end of inidividual privacy.

“When the US dropped two atomic bombs on Japan in 1945, it was justified as a way to save more lives, despite the staggering death toll. And proponents argued that if the Americans hadn’t developed the bomb, someone else would have done it. Robert Oppenheimer, the father of the atomic bomb, had doubts. ‘The physicists have known sin; and this is a knowledge which they cannot lose.’ Fast forward to 2020, and engineers and computer scientists are grappling with ethical quandaries of their own. Last week, the New York Times reported on Clearview AI, a small facial-recognition startup that “might lead to a dystopian future,” one of its investors admits.”

Read more at PCMag.

Vaping has exploded in popularity in the last few years, and scientists are just starting to understand what its health effects are.

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“In the last two years, record numbers of teenagers started vaping. In 2019, 1.8 million more high schoolers said they picked up the habit. E-cigarettes haven’t been around for very long, and we’re only just starting to uncover what happens after years of vaping. Early-stage studies are giving us a glimpse of that future.”

Read more at Inverse.