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Health & Lifestyle
Sense makes sense. Nik Wallenda walks tightrope blindfolded between skyscrapers; 79-yo Icon Maggie Smith; Magic magician Randi
"If a man loves the labour of his trade, apart from any question of success or fame, the gods have called him." - Robert Louis Stevenson
Maggie Smith interview for My Old Lady: 'If you have been around long enough you are an icon' - More famous than ever thanks to Downton Abbey, the 79-year-old actress tells Elizabeth Grice why she keeps going read more »
Humans depend on, and destroy (sad!), Nature: 88% original forest deforested; 50% Nature's non-human lives wiped out since 1970
Washington Post: We’ve killed off half the world’s animals since 1970 - a jaw-dropping statistic
The new Living Planet Index report from the World Wildlife Fund opens with a jaw-dropping statistic: we've killed roughly half of the world's non-human vertebrate animal population since 1970.
The main culprits? Exploitation (i.e., overfishing and overhunting), and habitat degradation.
The declines are almost exclusively caused by humans' ever-increasing footprint on planet earth. "Humanity currently needs the regenerative capacity of 1.5 Earths to provide the ecological goods and services we use each year," according to the report. The only reason we're able to run above max capacity - for now - is that we're stripping away resources faster than we can replenish them. Carbon consumption - the burning of fossil fuels - represents a huge and growing chunk of the demand we put on the earth. "In 1961, carbon was 36 per cent of our total footprint, but by 2010 (the year for which the most complete dataset is available), it comprised 53 per cent." read more »
"Poverty of goods is easily cured; poverty of soul, impossible."
- Michel de Montaigne
"I don't like to talk much with people who always agree with me. It is amusing to coquette with an echo for a little while, but one soon tires of it."
- Thomas Carlyle
"Buy Nothing Year" 2 Roommates Saved $55,000 and free time on leisure rather than chaining self to cliche: work hard, burn money
Forbes: The Buy Nothing Year: How Two Roommates Saved More Than $55,000
A little over a year ago, Geoffrey Szuszkiewicz, a 31-year-old accountant in Calgary, began analyzing his monthly spending. What he saw, he says, was eye-opening: “I was spending so much every month, no matter how much I made it never seemed like I was getting ahead. It was typical lifestyle creep.”
Around the same time, his good friend Julie Phillips, 29, a communications advisor at the University of Calgary, was about to move into a new apartment when it fell through. “Geoff said, ‘You can move in with me, but I only have a bedroom for you to rent,’” she says. “The rest was packed with his stuff. So I got rid of over 80% of my stuff within three days.” (She was thinking she might move in a year and if so, she’d have to get rid of many of her belongings then.) But then she had a meltdown. “I was like, ‘Oh my god. What did I do?’ And then I was like, ‘Why do I need things anyway?’” read more »
"Human beings, vegetables, or cosmic dust, we all dance to a mysterious tune, intoned in the distance by an invisible piper."
- Albert Einstein
"The art of medicine consists of amusing the patient while nature cures the disease."
"He who fears will suffer, he already suffers from his fear."
- Michel de Montaigne
No joke. Singapore, places in AU and US: water short, drink sewage while fresh water runs away as ice sheets melt
Around 90% of the fresh water on the Earth's surface is held in the ice sheet. The only current ice sheets are in Antarctica and Greenland (ice sheets are bigger than ice shelves or alpine glaciers). Greenland ice melting 3 times faster, loss of vast ice sheet. ice (fresh water!) runs away by hundreds of billions of tons a year.