BIWEEKLY ROUNDUP – Jan 1-16, 2014

Happy Friday earthlings! Here are a few stories I’ve curated over the last couple of weeks:

ONE: Welcome to the earth new baby [island], Niijima!

  • An eruption in the Pacific Ocean off the south coast of Tokyo in late November has resulted in a new island, named Niijima.
  • New islands such as Niijima don’t always last; they either erode away or sink under the weight of the landmass, but experts think it will stick around.

TWO: Ancient hunter-gatherers had rotted teeth (… you thought your cavities were bad)

  • Tooth decay was originally thought to have become more common ca. 10 000 years ago as farming became widespread (farming = starchy, sugary crops)
  • However, a team from the Natural History Museum in London studying 52 adult skeletons aged between 15 000-13 700 years old in a cave in Taforalt, Morocco found evidence of tooth decay in more than half of the specimens (only three were found with no signs).
  • The cave also contained remains of pine nuts and sweet North African acorns (starch galore!), as well as the remnants of grindstones that were used to process the nuts.

THREE: No More Woofs!

  • A team called “No More Woofs”, part of the Nordic Society for Invention and Discovery hopes to release an early version of a dog translation device this April.
  • The device will analyze animal thought patterns and then spell them out. Some of the patterns analyzed thus far are “I’m tired”, “I’m excited”, and “Who are you?”.

FOUR: Distant human relative lived amongst the dinosaurs.

  • A study in Biology Letters indicates that the first placental mammal (our distant ancestor) lived between 88.3-91.6 million years ago and would have shared the planet with the dinos.
  • Placental mammals include humans and other mammals, except for those that lay eggs and have pouches.
  • This study counters previous research which stated that this mammal lived only after the dinosaurs became extinct. It suggests that mammals would not have been able to diversify and evolve if dinosaurs had lived and continued to occupy their ecological niches.

FIVE: City got you down? Go green!

  • The University of Exeter Medical School studied the mental health of 1000 British people over 6 years and found a correlation between where they lived and how happy they were.
  • You don’t necessarily have to move out of the city and into the country to escape the urban environment; movement to a greener urban area was found to be associated with sustained mental health.

SIX: Creepy cool scuba museum

  • Museo Subacuatico de Arte, an underwater museum, is now open off Isla Mujeres in Mexico.
  • Over 400 concrete sculptures were installed 8 meters under water in 2010 with the goal of creating a natural reef; organisms such as coral are beginning to grow as expected.

SEVEN: Water cube turned water park

  • During the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, the Beijing National Aquatic Center was constructed to host all diving and swimming events; the building costs $10 million dollars per year in maintenance.
  • This amount was hard to justify until Forrec Ltd., a design company from Toronto transformed the space into a vibrant water park.

EIGHT: The office spaces of your dreams

I’ve never thought of myself as someone who could have a job in an office environment. To me, offices were always stuffy and uninspiring, and I’m not the type of person who can sit for a long period of time (3 hour classes? Forget it), but just check out the following office spaces. I could definitely become an office person if my office looked like this. These spaces evoke creativity, encourage open-mindedness, and are anything but stuffy.

Hover over the image to see which company the spaces belong to.

That’s all for this Biweekly Roundup, see you on the next one!

Oh, by the by, if you were wondering where I got my information for this post (as well as all my previous ones), then click here to go to my Dropbox where you’ll find all the links! I’ll be adding to it with every post.


One response to “BIWEEKLY ROUNDUP – Jan 1-16, 2014

  1. Pingback: For The Archives, Vol. 2 | Gokotta·


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