Learning! Roundup: The beginning of life, authority vs. facts, glitter bombs, addiction, the worst kind of pregnancy scare, and more!

The oldest traces of life found in Quebec, helping date back the evolution of life
Image Source: Wikimedia Commons

Oldest Traces of Life on Earth Found

A rock was found in Quebec carrying traces of life from as far back as 3.8 billion years. This will help scientists as they look for signs of life around the universe, and continues to close the timeline for when life emerged on our planet. Of course, I've been watching a lot of The X-Files lately, so I just assume that it houses an alien goo-worm that will crawl into our noses and eat our brains.

What Happened to Facts?
"Why did authorities decline and become replaced by facts? In the 17th century the nature of information changed: as information became more reliable, authority became less so. ... We now live in a digital age, in which information becomes fluid and variable. All that was solid has melted into air. In the print world, getting your facts right was about competence and care; now what the facts are depends on what date you access a website, or which website you visit. The nature of information has changed irreversibly."
This brilliant analysis of the history of facts vs. authority, and how one supplants the other, answers a lot of questions about our current lives.

A Nicer Kind of Glitter Bomb

If you read the word "glitter" and shudder, thinking of little flecks of shiny plastic stuck to EVERYTHING, well, you're not alone. That's why Glitter Bombs were invented, as a way of tormenting your enemies.

Well, now you can also use glitter to save the world, with Solar Glitter - a new kind of solar panel that is small, cheap, and effective because it uses small, glitter-like, pieces.

Rethinking Addiction

Check out this five minute video that explains a lot about how addiction really works. The theory is that addiction is simply a symptom of disconnection. Humans are meant to connect to others, but if we don't have people to connect to, then we'll connect to something else: drugs, social media, television, porn, whatever.

Check out the video here, or on Youtube!

Locus of Control

This exercise is presented as something to do with children to help them learn about what they do and don't have control over in life - and then act on what they can control. It sounds great for children, but also great for adults.

Read about it on the Huffington Post to get the full story, but the basic idea is to draw two concentric circles. In the inside circle, write things that you can control (e.g.: my hobbies, my attitude, how I dress, etc.). Then in the outside circle, write things you can't control (e.g.: the weather, what other people think, etc.). Then pick something you can control, and think about ways you can make it better.

Love it!

How to Practice Effectively

This video has been making the rounds on my social media lately. Practice is, of course, something we all know is vitally important to get better at things. Yet, if we don't have a coach or instructor of some kind (or our coach or instructor isn't very good), we aren't great at practicing ourselves.

Working While Black

Wonder what it's like to be on a professional team and be black? Design firm Havas Chicago wanted to demonstrate the realities their black teammates face, and they did it during Black History Month with an obstacle course. Looks brilliant, I wish we could see it all to learn more!

At about 2:40 they get to the how-tos of practicing effectively.

Get Crowded, Think About the Future

New research shows that living in a high-density area causes people to have more future-oriented thinking. Those who live in population-dense centres plan more for the future, invest in longer-term relationships, and wait to have kids. Plus, this correlation is backed up by some experimental data.

Cool, right? I bet living in a more crowded environment forces us to think longer-term because we know there is more competition for resources?

Calorie Burn

Most diet information is based on an assumption that the average person burns about 2,000 calories a day. Well, turns out that most of us burn more, but the estimates will stay the same because we're so bad at estimating our caloric intake, we would overeat like crazy if we knew it was higher.

A True Pregnancy Scare

Ummmmm.... you can get pregnant WHILE YOU'RE ALREADY PREGNANT???? That is just so not fair.

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Why did authorities decline and become replaced by facts? In the 17th century the nature of information changed: as information became more reliable, authority became less so.

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