Sunday, August 31, 2014
They interact, eat, reproduce and die on and inside you. In some cases, you need them just as much as they need you. But your microbiome, the collective term for these hordes of microbial companions, doesn't stop at your fingertips. Your microbial city has microbial suburbs—a vast expanse of development stretching out from the urban core that is your body. And just as the sprawl of Atlanta takes on a different form from that of Berlin, or Tokyo or Phnom Penh, so too does your microbial suburbia differ from other people's.
Every time you move, says science writer Ed Yong, you transfer microbes into the environment—microbes that take up residence on their new turf. In as little as a day, says Anna Williams for New Scientist, you can seed a whole house with microbes that are characteristically “yours.”
In a study of the microbial diversity that exists in the homes of seven families researchers found that “[e]ach family had its own distinct microbial signature that could be used to identify them,” says Williams. But more than just each house having its own microbial flora, the microbes in each was an extension of the inhabitants. Researchers showed this clearly, because the microbes followed people when they moved house, says Yong.
Saturday, August 30, 2014
Mialynne uses in each of her pictures.
The time lapse was made by Stephen Patience Photography. via
Friday, August 29, 2014
The Nordic countries are paradigms of equality, good education, female empowerment, and progressiveness. We know this because we are told. And told and told and told. To take one example, the latest Global Gender Gap rankings from the World Economic Forum were topped by Iceland (for the fifth year in a row), followed by Finland, Norway, and Sweden. (Denmark came in eighth.) Iceland and Denmark took first and second place respectively in this year’s Global Peace Index (Finland was sixth, Norway took 10th, and the comparatively violent Swedes came in 11th). Sweden was deemed the least fragile country in Foreign Policy’s 2014 Fragile States Index . This year’s four best countries in which to be a woman, according to the Global Post? All Nordic. Four of the top 14 “greenest” countries in the world, according to this year’s Environmental Performance Index? Nordic. (Filthy Finland came in at a still quite green 18th.) The country examined by the Economist this summer to explore the benefits of paid paternity leave? Sweden. The country touted by long journalistic profiles and best-selling books alike for its education system? Finland. The country profiled by the BBC for its creative approach to bettering the lives of the homeless? Denmark. The first country profiled by Slate in its examination of how good life is elsewhere for working parents? Norway. Where did NBC welcome us to this summer? Sweden. If only we could be more like the Nordic countries, we say, looking sadly at our ill-assembled Ikea furniture. Then we, too, would be better educated. Then we, too, would be more equally paid. Then we, too, would be more peaceful. Then we, too, would have dreamy blond men narrate our coffee drinking. But we cannot be more like the Nordic countries. And so it is time—past time, in fact—to say enough already to these pointless comparisons.
live on land and strut around.
Lifestyles and needs are changing, and consequently, our houses are shrinking. The tiny house movement has blown up in the past few years, shifting the traditional North American housing models towards a more practical, finance-friendly blueprint. The movement is garnering attention from people fed up with the current consumerist/utility-based lifestyle which has placed millions of people in debt.
Now, the idea of living your dream is no longer a cliché.