To Be And To Last #43

This week we explore the futuristic ice cream that’s now old news, the California driving technique that will earn you a ticket in Oregon, and a robot that’s ready to put pool sharks out of business.

🍦 Is futuristic ice cream the future of cryogenics?

After thirty years of selling Dippin’ Dots futuristic ice cream mostly in amusement parks, the company went bankrupt in 2011. The new owner has applied the ice cream’s technology to medical drug freezing, plant-based meat manufacturing, and even cryogenics.

It’s a fascinating thread.

🎱 The unbeatable pool cue robot

I love watching people smarter than me do brilliant things. In this case, Shane builds a robotic pool cue that makes perfect shots. The results are incredible, but the building process is the real joy.

⛵ Why are traffic laws so complex and inconsistent?

Life at sea is too complex to be bogged down in minutiae. In order to survive there, humans have created logical frameworks for behavior—ones which usually fall back to something like “stay away from boats that look like they might have a hard time staying away from you.”

If you live in the US and drive to work, it’s likely that you pass through multiple jurisdictions—each with their own legal carve-outs and enforcement regimes. The result is often a sense of uncertainty for everyone—does the car with Maryland plates know it can’t turn right on red in Manhattan?”

- Spencer Wright in Why is this interesting?

Growing up in the US, I sort of took it for granted that traffic laws vary from place to place. If you’re in Oregon, then u-turns are illegal unless a sign explicitly allows it. If you travel down to California, then the opposite is true (legal, unless explicitly disallowed). So I enjoyed this article that compares the complexity of US traffic laws with the relative clarity of international maritime law.

Maybe at some point we should do a little refactoring of our different traffic codes in the US?


To Be And To Last: Thinker Nate Desmond’s weekly roundup of long reads, contrarian thoughts, and hidden jewels that aren’t getting enough attention.

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