If you follow me on Social Media you’ll possibly already know that I recently left a full-time job and took up part-time work ahead of plans to start studying in October. This was a BIG DEAL for me because it means a reduced monthly income and acquiring a scary student debt over the next 2-3 years BUT it is ultimately a good move and I feel really, really positive about everything.
It also means that I have a lot more free time to concentrate on projects that have been neglected lately, such as this blog and The Ghost Geek video channel. As I have more time I’ve decided to launch a new regular feature on my blog called A few of my favourite things. I’m hoping to curate lists of no more than a dozen links to things that have intrigued, inspired or educated me in the previous week.
So, without further ado… here are some of my favourite things from this week:
In the week that San Francisco implemented a ban on polystyrene, as part of an ongoing campaign to reduce waste in the city, and researchers reported that the thinning ozone layer above Antarctica is starting to heal, Slate report that light pollution may be causing early Spring in cities.
Environmental scientists realized that the first signs of spring have been slowly creeping backward in recent years, more so in urban areas, and might come a full month early by 2100. – Matt Miller, Slate
Forget everything you know about shapes, head over to Gizmodo and watch this mind-bending illusion in which circles are not circles. If you know how this is done please let me know in the comments section because it’s bugging me!
More fascinating brain stuff from Laughing Squid who explore what happens if you’re never taught anything, and Lifehacker report that if you’re trying to memorise something you should exercise a few hours after learning it. On Psychology Today, Brian Bartholomew reflects on an outbreak of seemingly infectious hiccups in Massachusetts in 2012.
Pop Sci explain how scientists are planting false experiences into people brains (because life isn’t weird enough), and over at New Scientist Jessica Hamzelou reports that researchers have discovered that synaesthesia exists within sign language too.
It was my 29th birthday on 13th June. I found myself attending a vigil in the city centre of Bath in memory and in solidarity with those killed in the homophobic terrorist attack on a gay club in Orlando, America. Over at Vice, Mark Hay explains how 2016 is only half way through and already mass shooting in America have killed 200 people. What a waste. In other news it has been reported that between 64 – 116 civilians were killed by targeted airstrikes carried out by drones since Barack Obama took office in 2009. Not as large a number as I expected.
Takepart have a fascinating feature exploring what has and hasn’t changed in conservation in the year since Cecil the Lion was killed. They report that ‘legal trophy hunting only kills about 220 to 240 wild lions a year’ and that ten times more die because of poaching.
Prepare for shivers down your spine as you listen to these sounds recorded by NASAs spacecraft Juno as it entered Jupiter’s magnetic field on June 24.
and finally, have your mind blown over at Gizmodo and learn how Entropy explains how life can come from randomness. Beautiful, beautiful, scary randomness.