Our Strength Lies in Our Humanity

Everything is Connected

There are times in our lives when it’s easy to forget how connected everything is. Times when life gets a little too tough and stressful and we end up paying more attention to our own well being in a way that disregards the cost and the consequences to the world out there; the people, the environment and everything else that’s a part of it. We find ourselves being selfish – not because we want to be but because circumstances force us to be.

That’s how the world got into the state that it’s in now. Here’s a neat 20 minute video that explains it all.

On this website I’ll be exploring and adding videos and articles that help to expand and explain the rich and diverse complexity of the world we live in – complex but not complicated.

Latest News

Five animals that could help us beat human diseases

Five animals that could help us beat human diseases No worries. Fdzoru/Shutterstock As humans, we may feel rather lucky about our evolutionary lot. We live longer than many other animals, and lifespans continue to increase thanks to better diets, advances in medicine and improved public health. But our quest to beat ageing and the diseases…

Commercial Space Ride Secured for NASA’s New Air Pollution Sensor

[rCommercial Space Ride Secured for NASA’s New Air Pollution Sensor NASA has secured a host satellite provider and ride into space for an instrument that will dramatically advance our understanding of air quality over North America. Source: Eurogamer. http://www.nasa.gov/press-release/commercial-space-ride-secured-for-nasa-s-new-air-pollution-sensor

NASA Administrator Remembers Mission Control Pioneer Chris Kraft

[rNASA Administrator Remembers Mission Control Pioneer Chris Kraft Statement from NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine on the passing of Chris Kraft, who died Monday in Houston at the age of 95. Source: Eurogamer. http://www.nasa.gov/press-release/nasa-administrator-remembers-mission-control-pioneer-chris-kraft

Celebrating a curious mind: Steven Keating 1988-2019

MIT alumnus Steven Keating has died. Keating conducted research on additive manufacturing and synthetic biology. He developed a technology that could 3-D print the foundation of a building.

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Salt: China’s deadly food habit

Salt: China’s deadly food habit HandmadePictures/Shutterstock People in China have used salt to prepare and preserve food for thousands of years. But consuming lots of salt raises blood pressure, increasing the risk of cardiovascular disease. Cardiovascular disease, which includes heart attack and stroke, now accounts for 40% of deaths in China. It is well known that salt consumption in China is high, but accurate assessments are scarce. Public health experts…

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Flooding: Britain’s coastal towns and villages face a design challenge to cope with climate emergency

Flooding: Britain’s coastal towns and villages face a design challenge to cope with climate emergency As an island nation, Britain has vulnerable communities that must be prepared for the impact of the climate emergency. And while much has been said about homes at risk from the sea in coastal regions, or those inland subject to river flooding, the UK Committee on Climate Change’s new progress report for 2019 has laid…

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NASA Awards Contract for Infrastructure Support Services

[rNASA Awards Contract for Infrastructure Support Services NASA has awarded eight contracts for architect-engineering services in support of the Facilities Infrastructure Division at NASA’s Glenn Research Center in Cleveland. Source: Eurogamer. http://www.nasa.gov/press-release/nasa-awards-contract-for-infrastructure-support-services

NASA Funds Demo of 3D-Printed Spacecraft Parts Made, Assembled in Orbit

[rNASA Funds Demo of 3D-Printed Spacecraft Parts Made, Assembled in Orbit NASA has awarded a $73.7 million contract to Made In Space, Inc. of Mountain View, California, to demonstrate the ability of a small spacecraft, called Archinaut One, to manufacture and assemble spacecraft components in low-Earth orbit. The in-space robotic manufacturing and assembly technologies could be important for America’s Moon to Mars explor Source: Eurogamer. http://www.nasa.gov/press-release/nasa-funds-demo-of-3d-printed-spacecraft-parts-made-assembled-in-orbit

NASA to Broadcast Launch, Arrival of Astronaut Andrew Morgan at Space Station

[rNASA to Broadcast Launch, Arrival of Astronaut Andrew Morgan at Space Station A multinational crew of space travelers, including NASA astronaut Andrew Morgan, is scheduled to arrive at the International Space Station on Saturday, July 20 – the 50th anniversary of Apollo 11’s historic landing on the Moon. NASA Television and the agency’s website will provide live coverage of the crew’s launch and arrival. Source: Eurogamer. http://www.nasa.gov/press-release/nasa-to-broadcast-launch-arrival-of-astronaut-andrew-morgan-at-space-station

Food system needs a revolution, not tinkering around edges by the ultra-processed producers

Food system needs a revolution, not tinkering around edges by the ultra-processed producers Altagracia Art/Shutterstock.com Eating ultra-processed food is definitely bad for you, a recent study has confirmed. In the experiment, people were fed either ultra-processed or unprocessed food, with meals matched precisely for calories, salt, sugar, fat and fibre. Those on ultra-processed food ate more and gained more weight within two weeks. This finding puts two torpedoes in the…

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Jair Bolsonaro wants to deforest the Amazon – what powers does the UN have to stop him?

Jair Bolsonaro wants to deforest the Amazon – what powers does the UN have to stop him? Tarcisio Schnaider / shutterstock Deforestation of the Amazon rainforest in Brazil is at its highest rate in a decade, according to new satellite data. This comes after president Jair Bolsonaro has loosened environmental regulations, cut enforcement budgets, and supported further development in the region. Trees absorb carbon dioxide naturally, and are one of…

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NASA Administrator to Talk Moon Landing Anniversary, Moon to Mars Plans

[rNASA Administrator to Talk Moon Landing Anniversary, Moon to Mars Plans Just days before the 50th anniversary of one of humanity’s greatest achievements – astronauts first walking on the Moon – NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine will host a media teleconference at 1 p.m. EDT on Monday, July 15. Source: Eurogamer. http://www.nasa.gov/press-release/nasa-administrator-to-talk-moon-landing-anniversary-moon-to-mars-plans

Belly fat: gut bacteria checks could lead to personalised diets

Belly fat: gut bacteria checks could lead to personalised diets In the future, dietary advice will take our gut microbiome into account. SosnaRadosna/Shutterstock Rates of obesity are rising across the globe; a third of the world’s population is now overweight and nearly a fifth is obese. Public health policy has mainly focused on diet to reverse these rising rates, but the impact of these policies has been limited. The latest science suggests why this strategy is failing: one diet does not fit all. Dietary advice needs to be personalised. The reason one diet does not suit all may be found in our guts. Our previous research showed that microbes in the digestive track, known as the gut microbiota, are linked to the accumulation of belly fat. Our gut microbiota is…

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How the brain prepares for movement and actions

How the brain prepares for movement and actions To perform a sequence of actions, our brains need to prepare and queue them in the correct order. AYAakovlev/Shutterstock Our behaviour is largely tied to how well we control, organise and carry out movements in the correct order. Take writing, for example. If we didn’t make one stroke after another on a page, we would not be able to write a word. However, motor skills (single or sequences of actions which through practice become effortless) can become very difficult to learn and retrieve when neurological conditions disrupt the planning and control of sequential movements. When a person has a disorder – such as dyspraxia or stuttering – certain skills cannot be performed in a smooth and coordinated way. Traditionally scientists have believed…

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Four ways blockchain could make the internet safer, fairer and more creative

Four ways blockchain could make the internet safer, fairer and more creative Yurchanka Siarhei/Shutterstock The internet is unique in that it has no central control, administration or authority. It has given everyone with access to it a platform to express their views and exchange ideas with others instantaneously. But in recent years, internet services such as search engines and social media platforms have increasingly been provided by a small number of very large tech firms. On the face of it, companies such as Google and Facebook claim to provide a free service to all their users. But in practice, they harvest huge amounts of personal data and sell it on to others for profit. They’re able to do this every time you log into social media, ask a question on…

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Exaggerating how much CO2 can be absorbed by tree planting risks deterring crucial climate action

Exaggerating how much CO2 can be absorbed by tree planting risks deterring crucial climate action A long way to go… Amenic181/Shutterstock Planting almost a billion hectares of trees worldwide is the “biggest and cheapest tool” for tackling climate change, according to a new study. The researchers claimed that reforestation could remove 205 gigatonnes of carbon dioxide (CO₂) from the atmosphere – equivalent to about 20 years’ worth of the world’s current emissions. This has criticised as an exaggeration. It could actually be dangerous. While the paper itself included no costings, the researchers suggested a best-case estimate of just USD$300 billion to plant trees on 0.9 billion hectares. That’s less than USD$1.50 per tonne of CO₂ removed. More detailed studies on the costs of carbon removal through reforestation put the figure…

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London to be as hot as Barcelona by 2050? I research urban heat, and I’m sceptical

London to be as hot as Barcelona by 2050? I research urban heat, and I’m sceptical CharlotteRaboff / shutterstock Barcelona just had a week of temperatures above 30℃. It’s a few degrees hotter than the long-term average, but no heatwave. In winter, Spain’s second largest city is typically a mild 15℃ or so. With its climate regulated by warm Mediterranean waters, temperatures rarely drop below freezing. Is this what the future holds for London? One group of scientists certainly thinks so. In a new study, they have tried to convey the risks of global warming by finding the closest modern-day climates to describe what the future might be like for certain cities. They predict that, for instance, Madrid’s climate in 2050 will be like Marrakech’s climate now, Seattle will resemble…

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