This is How Oculus Rift Was Born

Welcome to Reading List, Gizmodo’s weekly roundup of the most interesting science and technology stories from all corners of the internet. This week, we’ll look inside the world of cryogenic preservation, disconnect from the internet in Cuba, preview The Martian, take a taxi to a remote corner of Alaska, and try out virtual reality.

  • Facebook wants to make virtual reality the future of not just gaming, but meetings, lectures, and everyday interactions. Here’s the story of how Oculus Rift came to be, how it became part of Facebook’s empire, and — maybe — where it’s going. [Vanity Fair]
  • The Martian is set to be a scrupulously scientific blockbuster, and NASA is hoping the movie will restore the space program’s former image of bold exploration — and make the far-away Red Planet seem more real. [Astronomy]
  • In 2013, 23-year-old cancer patient Kim Suozzi made headlines by asking for donations to fund the cryogenic preservation of her brain. Although many scientists still scoff at the field of cryogenics, and it’s still far from clear whether a human mind can be preserved and restored later, a small group of researchers takes the idea very seriously. [The New York Times]
  • In a remote small town in Alaska, almost no one owns a car and there aren’t many places to go, but taxis are ubiquitous. [The Atlantic]
  • It’s easy to forget what life was like before the age of constant connection to the Internet, but it’s everyday reality in Cuba. Motherboard’s Jason Koebler explores what disconnected life is like and considers what will change for Cubans when their country becomes part of the Internet age. [Motherboard]

Top image: Getty Images

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