Earlier we proposed that solving puzzles should be a school subject. A study by researchers at the University of Exeter shows that solving puzzles like crosswords on a daily base, strongly improves one’s cognitive abilities at old age. More precise: regular puzzle solving is linked to better memory and thinking skills.
This study supports our proposed policy of including puzzle solving in the curriculum of schools, as it suggests that this will improve overall intellectual skills and hence will likely have a positive effect on academic performances.
Daily crosswords linked to sharper brain in later life (Science Daily)
The Guardian has an interesting article on sex robots. Doctor Aimee van Wynsberghe points out that sex robots both offers possibilities and risks: on one hand this emerging technology could help certain people (elderly or disabled people) to get sexual satisfaction, but on the other hand there is the risk of increased objectification of women. Continue reading Sex robots
Cosmic radiation is one of the most serious dangers to human spaceflight and hence a serious issue for space colonization. Consequently radiation protection is no luxury for space settlers and without this space colonization is unlikely to succeed.
Researchers at the Australian National University have developed a new nano material that could reflect cosmic radiation. A thin film of the material could provide radiation protection of astronauts and space settlers. Compared to other shielding techniques this material appears to offer a light-weight protection.
Apparently there are plans to introduce an opt-out system of organ donation in England, after the Scottish government has announced to introduce such system there. An opt-out system means that every person is automatically an organ donor unless he/she or his/her next of kin objects. Continue reading Organ donation
A funny concept developed by artists Kris De Decker and Melle Smets is the human power plant. As the name suggests this is a power plant which converts human labour into electricity. Like many artistic projects, the main purpose of this project is to make people think about our energy consumption. Continue reading Human Power Plants
David Graeber, professor in anthropology at the London School of Economics has conceived the concept of bullshit jobs. He defines a bullshit as any job which would not be missed by anyone if those jobs would suddenly disappear. More over he classifies jobs as bullshit ones if the very people who do those jobs consider their work as useless. Continue reading Bullshit guarantee… (?)
Australian economist Bill Mitchell is a known critic of basic income guarantee (BIG) programs and a support of a job guarantee (JG) programs. In this post on his blog, Mitchell presents the following argument against BIG: Continue reading On the capital-labour conflict
A toy library is similar to an ordinary library, with the principal difference that instead of books people can borrow toys. Since playing – especially with other children – is an essential feature of growing up to a healthy individual, toy libraries should be support by (local) governments. Continue reading Toy libraries
Here a short video about the Island One space habitat:
Free space habitats like Island One are an alternative for, instance, the colonization of Mars. A major advantage of this kind of space settlements, is that they can be located anywhere, Continue reading Island One
In The Guardian a good opinion piece:
Worry less about robots and more about sweatshops
Not automation per se is a threat to workers, but exploitation of workers is the important issue at stake.
One side note: the author laments the decreased membership of trade unions. However, in the long run only worker cooperatives could end the exploitation of workers. It’s quite pity that those who claim to stand up for worker rights continue to fail to support the cooperative movement.