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Low turnout and polarization are a deadly combo for electoral stability
When people talk about elections like horse races, policy doesn't matter—all we care about is who's likely to win. In this fetid theory of elections, governments tend to represent a kind of dissatisfying average of voter opinion. Everyone gets a little bit of the stuff they want, and everyone gets a large dose of the stuff they don't want.

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The most complete brain map ever is here: A fly’s “connectome“
When asked what’s so special about , or the common fruit fly, Gerry Rubin quickly gets on a roll. Rubin has poked and prodded flies for decades, including as a leader of the effort to sequence their genome. So permit him to count their merits. They’re expert navigators, for one, zipping around without crashing into walls.

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Color Out of Space review: Nic Cage + Lovecraft = Match made in R‘lyeh
A glowing purple meteorite makes life, uh, difficult and gross for an isolated farm family after it crashes in their yard in the new film . Because the family's patriarch is played by human-TNT hybrid Nicolas Cage and the director is Richard Stanley—who hasn't made a narrative feature since 1996's went so ass-over-teakettle that

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Star Trek: Picard frontloads fanservice so it can get on with going boldly
Further ReadingCBS renews for a second season This marriage of familiar with unfamiliar—this attempt to take what you know but then tilt it to one side and jiggle it around a bit to throw you off-balance—is as good a metaphor as any for what seems to be doing.

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Apple introduces its large-scale gym partnership program, Apple Watch Connected
According to a report from CNBC, Apple this week introduced "Apple Watch Connected," an initiative that sees the Cupertino company partnering with major gym chains to bring Apple Watch-related technologies and benefits to members of those gyms. Benefits include workout machines that play nice with the Watch, rewards programs based on workout data collected by the Watch, and special deals…

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After 3000 years, we can hear the “voice” of a mummified Egyptian priest
Around 1100 BC, during the reign of Ramses XI, an Egyptian scribe and priest named Nesyamun spent his life singing and chanting during liturgies at the Karnak temple in Thebes. As was the custom in those times, upon death, Nesyamun was mummified and sealed in a coffin, with the inscription "Nesyamun, True of Voice ().

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Why can’t I remember? Model may show how recall can fail
Physicists can create serious mathematical models of stuff that is very far from physics—stuff like biology or the human brain. These models are hilarious, but I'm still a sucker for them because of the hope they provide: maybe a simple mathematical model can explain the sexual choices of the disinterested panda? (And, yes, I know there is an XKCD about…

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Google I/O 2020 set for May 12-14 at Shoreline Amphitheater
The dates are set for Google I/O 2020—Google's biggest show of the year will take place on May 12-14. As usual, the show is at the Shoreline Amphitheater, an outdoor venue located right next to Google's Mountain View headquarters. Google announced the date through a cryptic command-line-driven space game at events.google.com/io/mission/. There is also this tweet:

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Rocket Report: It takes three years to build an SLS? Long March 5B coming
Welcome to Edition 2.29 of the Rocket Report! This week saw SpaceX complete a critical in-flight abort test that clears a major hurdle for the company as it seeks to launch astronauts into orbit this year. We also have not one, but two stories about launch companies in New Zealand. Way to go, Kiwis!